Quad 606mkll upgrade

Woodel

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Oct 25, 2013
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Hi all,

i'm currently in the process of upgrading my kit after getting the bug again.After my old arcam dac died last year i started looking on eBay for a replacement which ended up being a BeresfordTC7552.I have a Meridian 200 transport but i've gone over to using the Pc with Flac files it's just so convenient.I also use the Beresforsd as a pre amp as it sounds better than my old Nad 1000 pre amp.My power amp is a Quad 6o6mkll which i've for 18yrs&has done a great job.My speakers are Monitor Audio GR10s which i recently got on eBay.I also have a Rel Q100 sub&it works very nicely in my room with the MAs.I don't play my music loud(neighbours)so running out of power is never going to happen.At preasent the sound is detailed&open&the bass is tight with out the Rel the MAs sound lean&brite,i especialy like the midrange of the MAs.My question is about the Quad&upgrading it to something better my budget is £500 2nd hand.I've done some looking&i'm looking at the Arcam p10 power amp or Music fedelity A3/A5 or A300 as these amp are allways said to be a good match for the MAs.The MF are said to fuller&warmer in tone which would be welcome as well.Would either of these amp be a step up or would i just be going sideways.Or are there other amps out there in my budget that could bring improvements.

 

Johncwleigh

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Hi, £500 is almost Quad 909 money, I bought a mint one from the wam, this time last year for not much more, and almost new,

have been nothing short of impressed

John

 

la toilette

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Oct 7, 2010
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Is the 909 noticeably better than the 606 though? I know it's a more recent model but essentially the same amp from what I've read. Some folk seem to prefer the UK built Quads too, claiming that the chinese built 909's may contain components of a lesser quality (probably all web-gossip/nonsense though).

 

Camverton

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I have a couple of 909s and an elderly 606. Couldn't tell you which is used where without looking. They look a bit different but sound the same... Unless you know which is playing........

decent amps at at a reasonable price though.

 

RobHolt

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606 & 909 circuits and PSU capacity are virtually the same. Biggest change is the case.

Both as good as any other decent SS amp of similar power, so if you want a different sound you need to do something radical - go tube, either fairly normal and powerful push pull or wacky and even more different sonically such as a good SET. Those will usually give you a different sound which you might prefer.

Since you don't listen loudly, anything with about 10 watts or more into the MAs should do fine.

 

bluedroog

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Apr 9, 2012
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I have a Quad 909 and Beresford Caiman DAC so feel I have similar experience. I also know the Arcam alpha amps. First off I think the 606 is better than the Arcam, don't change it. Second that Nad worse? I'm surprised but don't know it, I did how ever use my Beresford DAC as a temporary preamp and found it terrible in that capacity, so flat and lifeless. If I were you I would return your DAC to fixed output and use it as a DAC and spend your budget on a quality preamp, I use a Croft 25 with my 909 and the the Beresford just as a DAC and it makes for a very good system.

 

Frizzy brizzy

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Feb 3, 2013
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Spend the money on one of the all singing digital pre's a la audiolab , there's loads secondhand for £400+, will have huge effect as a source upgrade and pre.

it may be 606 could benefit from a service and some tweaks from one of the many specialists around.

 

Woodel

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Oct 25, 2013
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Looks like i need to rethink!I will have a look at pre amps now i know the 606 is worth keeping.My hi fi room is only 9ftx14ft so i sit around 70/80in from the speakers&the tweeters are around 70in apart so it's nearfield listening.What other pre amps are worth looking at besides the audiolab,croft&in what way will they change the sound.I listen to quiet a lot of vocal material so i would like to improve the midrange clarity/seperation/realism the bass at the moment is tight but it does'nt go low,room to small?so i'm pretty happy with the bass i have at the moment.

 

S-Man

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Aug 26, 2009
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606 & 909 circuits and PSU capacity are virtually the same. Biggest change is the case..
The biggest change is - the 909 has OP275 on the input to provide the balanced to single ended conversion (for the quadlink) as well as low pass filtering and buffering for the power amp via the phono inputs. 606 has a low pass filter on the input of the power amp.

The Quad modifiers recommend bypassing the OP275, but then it's running without the LP filter. Personally I thought this made the amp sound rather bright.

 

RobHolt

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The biggest change is - the 909 has OP275 on the input to provide the balanced to single ended conversion (for the quadlink) as well as low pass filtering and buffering for the power amp via the phono inputs. 606 has a low pass filter on the input of the power amp.The Quad modifiers recommend bypassing the OP275, but then it's running without the LP filter. Personally I thought this made the amp sound rather bright.
Certainly a difference on the input but I don't agree it impacts sonics at all, but each to their own.

 

Woodel

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Oct 25, 2013
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@bluedroog

i've listen to the Nad pre amp over the weekend&yes it does sound better than the beresford.I swapped them over a couple of times listening to lots of different tracks.I'm keeping the 606 for sure as i'm pretty happy with it&it seems to work well with the MAs in my room.I think i will look for a better pre amp on eBay is the Quad 66 a good pre amp i know it should be good match for the 606 in theory but were they well regarded in their time as they pop up on eBay now&then.What other pre amps in my budget range(£300/500) should i look out for.Not after a stonking bass&i don't listen to rock mostly vocal just a nice open&detailed midrange&smooth top end.I enjoy the sound i have now so not looking for big improvements just a bit more of what i have now if that makes sense.

 

Frizzy brizzy

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Laurie
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
Generally quad where better at power amps than pre's , heard the croft very clean and clear, slightly solid state but none the worse for it, well balanced, on the spry side. Much much better than quad, but not on its own. But it is really good value second hand.

 

Woodel

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Oct 25, 2013
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I've had a look at the croft&am very tempted with the croft micro 25 basic which can be had for £300 without the phono which i don't need.Will this work ok with the 606 i've read that the gain can be an issue?Or would it be fine straight out of the box.I'm keen to try valves&this seem like a good place to start for not much money.

 

Cable Monkey

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HiFi Trade?
  1. No
You seem to have missed one option and that is passive amplification. I would try to get a listen to to a range of possible options before opting for any single one. I honestly think you may end up with too much gain unless you choose your valve pre very carefully or get one built specifically to match your 606.

 

bluedroog

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Apr 9, 2012
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I've had a look at the croft&am very tempted with the croft micro 25 basic which can be had for £300 without the phono which i don't need.Will this work ok with the 606 i've read that the gain can be an issue?Or would it be fine straight out of the box.I'm keen to try valves&this seem like a good place to start for not much money.
I don't think much can touch the Croft basic for the money. Not sure about the basic but I have the 25 and it is available in line only version cheaper. I also agree with cable monkey that you should also try a quality passive and you'll get quite different results, neither is right or wrong it is about personal preference and synergy.

I found the gain on my Croft way too high for my 909 but it was a very easy fix by the dealer who reduced it for me as part of the service. I'd the 606 has similar specs then you'll likely need to do the same but I'm sure you'll be pleased with the results.

I'd definitely see if you can try a couple of preamps wi your Quad as you may be surprised at how key they can be in the sound signature, for me they have the biggest impact after speakers.

 

Woodel

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New Wammer
Oct 25, 2013
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Could i use an attenuator between the pre&the power amps to reduce the gain or would i be degrading the sound a lot.Quiet keen to try the croft as it's valves&good value.I did home demo a couple of decent passives when i bought the 606 but preferred the Nad in the end,of course i may have just tried the wrong passives at the time.Not in a rush so i'll look into the passsives as well.

 

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