Complete Quad 77 system with Quad 22L2 floorstanders

horace

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Wammer
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Martin
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Once upon a time, I scored a Quad 77 integrated amp with matching CDP on that eBay place. I liked them a lot, and resolved to give the 77 pre/power combo a try at some point - which I have now done.

Before the current Quad system, I had a rather tasty setup based around a pair of Audio Innovations Second Audios. I loved those amps, so naturally I sold them (ahem - stupid boy etc etc). I suppose I had tired of endless boxes, growing numbers of racks, power supplies and the like. It was time to simplify and focus on the music for a while.

I now have a Quad 77 preamp, matching CDP and a pair of 77 stereo power amps. To complete the set, I added a pair of 22L2 floorstanders. I'm all Quad now (we won't mention the Orbe, as Quad don't do turntables).

As I was talking about simplicity, I'll start there. The four Quad boxes stack neatly on top of one another, each connected by a short BUS cable - hey presto, an immediate saving of both space and spaghetti. It's really neat. But it gets better - the much maligned 77 system remote works perfectly, offering complete control of the whole lot. For a setup pushing 20 years old, it's impressive, and must have raised a few eyebrows in the mid-90s.

A special mention for the preamp. It is probably the most sensibly designed and fully featured pre I have ever used. Each of the line inputs has a choice of three input sensitivity settings. The phono input is switchable between mm and mc and both have adjustable gain. Then there's Quad's unique tone controls - they are actually useful, being of a particularly subtle variety that can genuinely improve the listenability of old and/or dodgy recordings. All of these settings are accessed from the remote - very cool indeed. Better still, pressing the standby button switches all four boxes on or off at the same time. There are heaps of other features....

The power amps are rated at 80wpc into 8 ohms and 115wpc into 4 ohms. They have a maximum current delivery of 11 amps (which I am told is quite good - is it?). One of the benefits of Quad's BUS system is the facility to add a seemingly endless number of extra boxes - amps aplenty, a tuner, a second CDP (if you like). They all daisychain via the BUS cables, which (I believe) carry balanced audio signals as well as power and instructions from the remote.

So how do they perform?

Flawlessly. The Quads have unerring solidity and focus. Everything is presented with honesty - no fireworks, no fuss, no questionable boosting of upper mids to 'impress'. Some people say they are boring - I say not. They are just honest. More on that later.

Quick note about the phono stage: Not only is it versatile, it also sounds bloody good. Came as quite a surprise.

The speakers: More of the same. Beautiful midrange brings out voices and acoustic instruments very well. Prodigious bass from relatively small cabinets means placement at least two feet from the wall, or it can all sound a bit over-egged. If I were to criticise, the 22L2s could have more presence - music sometimes feels rather earthbound when it should be floating, but hey, they do a top job overall.

When I had the 77 integrated, I wondered what a 707 might bring to the party. I still do (if anyone has a 707 for sale or knows of one, please get in touch), but in the meantime the little class B power amps sound peachy and I reckon they will drive most speakers without breaking a sweat.

To summarise then, we have a cleverly designed, beautifully built (in the UK, unlike Quad's subsequent offerings), fine sounding system with full Quad service backup (it's all still fixable - I checked with Quad). Secondhand prices are insanely low IMHO - the whole system cost me less than many audiophiles spend on a doodad to go on the end of a wotsit to connect a thingumyjig to an oojamaflip. Best of all, this is a system that takes up less space than pretty much anything else of comparable quality. Heck, I have all four boxes sitting on a single shelf of the rack with space at the side for the remote's charging cradle.

If you must have the last word in air and space, then look elsewhere, as that is the only thing I can think of to criticise. It isn't badly lacking (I was certainly spoiled by the Second Audios on that score), but neither is it class leading. Everything else is honey though. Certainly, for Jazz, classical and acoustic music in general, the Quads have it sussed. Possibly not the best for Metallica, but that doesn't bother me.

I nearly bought a 99 system instead, but was persuaded that the 77 is largely the same thing, only cheaper...

Next change will be the speakers - maybe something a bit more forward in presentation to counter the sweetness of the electronics.

And a 707 if I can find one.

Cheers

Martin

Yes, photos will be added soon).

 

jkbmusic

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Brittunculi
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Jeff
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Nice write up Martin. Glad to see you are still enjoying your Hifi and music. I was half expecting a buy-it-now price near the end, till I realised it was not a classified advert I was reading:doh:. It is still early after all.

 

horace

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Dec 4, 2006
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Martin
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Nice write up Martin. Glad to see you are still enjoying your Hifi and music. I was half expecting a buy-it-now price near the end, till I realised it was not a classified advert I was reading:doh:. It is still early after all.
Hello Jeff - it's good to be back.

Nah, not for sale until I get my Quad badged pipe and slippers. I think I need a few more years Quadding before I qualify.

Martin

Sent from my HTC One using Tapatalk 2

 

kernow

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:^ nice review, although I do keep looking at posh valve amps I can't be arsed to explore so stick with old faithful
 

graham67

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Although unfashionable I think quad gear is underrated. I bought some quad gear 3 years ago as a bit of second / interim system and found I like it so much I now use Quad pre-power in my main system.

The MM phono stage on the older 34 is excellent and in conjunction with a SUT gives a great result. So much so i have not been using my separate phono stage.

The Quad 34 pre is a bit on the polite side. However I am surprised just how good a 405-2 can be. At a fellow wammers, we recently tried my serviced 405-2 with a croft pre-amp and the result into Stirling 3/5A was stunning.

And I dont doubt that the later Quads are even better.

 

supersonic

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Aug 9, 2009
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People have mentioned that quad is pipe and slippers etc but in my 99/909/22Ls with cdp-2 as the source its upbeat, got a deep groovy bass which really charges/carries the music along and has superb warmth in the vocals and acoustic instruments. Also using (particularity) chord interconnects and power cables improves the sound stage width and detail IME. Overall the sound is organic, musical, never harsh and less Hifi (e.g. pin point imaging) if you know what I mean.

 

vacdac

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Nice review Martin & I've always liked/admired Quad eqpmt & enjoyed it when I've heard it in action. I can see why you're smitten & the form factor/system integration/feature/flexibility + ease of use do indeed make a whole lotta sense & it's really easy to see the attraction. :^ :stereo:

Re your question re the Quad power amps current delivery I think a maximum of 11amps would be considered healthy, rather than impressive. Also the power increase of 55% into a lower 4ohm load whilst healthy enough is more par for the course compared to the impressive doubling or near doubling that some amps manage. My own XTZ can happily swing over 62amps in current & manages over 70% power increase into a 4ohm load but does have a pretty hefty 1500va R-core transformer. Still its a fair way off doubling its output but does have enough grunt for my speakers which are lowish efficiency & present a tough load on an amp.

I'm not knocking the Quads at all here, cos I'm absolutely sure they sound lovely & no doubt measure pretty well too. Just worth noting in your search for suitable speakers.....look at whether they're a particularly tough load & aim for a sensitivity of 87dbw or higher & the Quads shouldn't be found wanting in terms of 'poke'.

 

f1eng

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Oops, what has gone wrong? This complete system looks like it is up for sale in the classifieds after only a few days.

 

vacdac

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Had me wondrin' too Frank, when I spotted Martins ad after I'd posted. :dunno:

Oops, what has gone wrong? This complete system looks like it is up for sale in the classifieds after only a few days.
 

horace

Not allowed near the classifieds while drunk
Wammer
Dec 4, 2006
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Morpeth (Northum)
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Martin
HiFi Trade?
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Oops, what has gone wrong? This complete system looks like it is up for sale in the classifieds after only a few days.
Ahem, yes, fair point....

In fairness, I have had these a while (since last year). When I wrote the review, I didn't have any immediate plans to make changes but an opportunity came up that I am keen to pursue.

Of course, nobody's going to believe that...

Bad timing - oh well...

They are rather good though.

Cheers

Martin

Sent from my HTC One using Tapatalk 2

 

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