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A vintage Quad thread.

Discussion in 'classic' started by Tony L, Dec 7, 2012.

  1. Arkless Repairs

    Arkless Repairs Trade: Arkless Repairs

    I've seen the writing start to dissolve after using contact cleaner that's got on the front but not rotting/dissolving plastic.

    If they don't disappear aurally they ain't doing what 57's do... They should have all the width and depth you can handle... provided your head is in exactly the right position! The sweet spot really is quite small. Positioning? yep like Tony said.. and well away from other things and walls etc. They quite take over a room visually when positioned correctly:D
     
  2. richgilb

    richgilb pfm Member

    I can get this combo for £375....do you still think what you wrote here 5 years ago?
     
  3. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    I still rate it highly. I’m using the slightly tweaked 34 in my main system at present. It is very good, but do factor-in a recap and get someone to tweak the phono stage by setting the loading right for your cart and dumping the on-board rumble filter which just kills the bottom end. The 306 is a real sleeper, a lovely little amp for very little money. Really easy to service too, if you can solder neatly and read the labels on the sides of capacitors you can service a Quad 306!
     
  4. richgilb

    richgilb pfm Member

    Great....your description is like a 150 quid Luxman I had for a while. Really pleasing all-round and but did nothing badly so you tend to forget about hifi, and based on my finances right now, that is where my head needs to be. Am I getting a good deal?
     
  5. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    If it is in nice tidy condition yes, a stunning deal IMHO. There are lots of them around, but usually dearer and usually tatty. I’m obsessive about condition so that is the key factor for me. All will need a recap by now. If you get the chance to pop the lid off the 34 and look for leaky small caps and also the mainboard revision, 6 or 7 is what you really want, but I’d not walk away from a tidy earlier one as long as there is no corrosion on the mainboard (was an issue and it is a multi-layer board so the layer connecting pins can fail). Mine is a mint rev 6 and I like it a lot.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2017
  6. lordsummit

    lordsummit Moderator

    Depending on your sources, you could try to snag the 306 and then get a passive pre. The 306 works well with one.
     
  7. richgilb

    richgilb pfm Member

  8. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Few paint chips on the fins, which would bug me but I’m terribly obsessive about such things. Decent price though, a lot of amp for that.
     
  9. richgilb

    richgilb pfm Member

    I also like the look of the older 33 303 is it? But I was put off once by someone saying it was quite weak?
     
  10. stevec67

    stevec67 pfm Member

    That looks like a good 306. No actual damage, which is nice. I'd live with that level of wear.

    Edit - nothing wrong with a 303 if it's serviced and up to date. Not weak at all unless you run Isobariks et al. A bit buzzy and prone to clicks and pops from the mains, how much of that can be removed by servicing I wouldn't know. But the 303 was my first classic high-end hifi, bought for loose change, and it murdered the modern alternatives at £750 20 years ago.
     
  11. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Certainly no buzzes or clicks and pops from either of my 303s! They are sensitive to grounding though, so may get an earth loop with some modern preamps. Easy to fix by lifting one earth somewhere though.
     
  12. tyrant

    tyrant Active Member

    Can I ask what are revisions 6 and 7 and how can you tell if the amp has one or the other?
     
  13. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    There is a fair bit of data over on Dada Electronics and elsewhere, but as I recall early revisions had a sky blue-painted mainboard that for some reason had serious issues with corrosion of the metal tracks and link-pins that connect the top and bottom board tracks. As such a 34 with these boards can (but isn't always) be a bit ill by now and rather hard to repair. I've read somewhere that the Rev 7 board is the only one not impacted, but this is not true as my Rev 6 is also unpainted and the exact same translucent green of the Rev 7. The revision number is printed on the mainboard. Mine is something like 6.666 or something, so a bit of a beast. I have a feeling all grey/RCA equipped 34s have either a Rev 6 or 7 mainboard, but I may be wrong on that. The RCA equipped ones have a rather more logical gain structure too as they are more of the CD era. The bronze ones get loud real fast with a 303 or 306, or the one I had for a short while certainly did.
     
  14. tyrant

    tyrant Active Member

    Cheers Tony. I have a grey/RCA 34.:cool:
     
  15. regafan

    regafan pfm Member

    303 isn't weak IMO.

    Depends on your speakers of course and what sort of music you're listening to. I'm a fan of the amp. It delivers about 45 or 50 watts a side.

    As TonyL has said in other threads it sounds like a valve amp even though transistor. It is therefore kind to less than pristine vinyl which means I like it a lot! I've used the 33 with it and that is good, and is nicely configurable for your room with its tone, treble and filter controls. It also makes a great looking 'period' set. And it has a phono stage included too.

    If you want to drag out further performance from the 303 in a valvy way then you can add the following which I've tried: these better the 33 but aren't as configurable and offend Quad purists..

    1. Croft 25 with phono stage- 303 sounded luvverly... voices were heaven with Ls3/5a.
    2. Music First Audio magnetic passive copper pre, excellent, classical and spoken word via vintage cassette player great. S & B classic the same. Again using ls3/5a
    3. Standard passive pre's. 'Pot in a box'. I've tried several, best so far is NVA p10. I suspect others further up in the range will be better, but this works a treat and is cheap which I like ;}

    If you need more watts for difficult speakers I recommend a Quad 405. However despite sounding similar to 303 I find it very slightly harsher in a head to head comparison.But its a close thing. It has more of everything, just not so warm and lovely as 303. Will drive more difficult speakers and later models like 405-2 will get more detail out of recordings.

    Anyway enough wittering, long live Quad and their old amps!
     
  16. Arkless Repairs

    Arkless Repairs Trade: Arkless Repairs

    I don't know about "weak" as such but IME they tend to sound a bit "softened" and "rounded off" at the frequency extremes and lack the last degree of transparency. They're not actually poor in any of these characteristics and it's normally noticed when comparing them to more modern amps rather than being anything obvious. Even using ESL57's or Spendor BC1's I found these traits noticeable on direct comparison to both a power amp of my own design and an Exposure IV that were available at the time at a mates place. Some swear by the 303, and I've never known anyone really slate the thing, but the above comments are I would say the most common criticisms you will see, as well as being my own experience.

    A true classic, arguably the best SS amp available when it first came out, technically quite clever, a practical classic that still sounds good and represents good VFM second hand... but a vintage slayer of modern amps? Nah not IMHO. YMMV and I reckon TonyL's will :) I haven't heard one driving Tannoys BTW....
     
  17. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Everything everyone says about a 303 is true, both good and bad. Even well serviced ones run out of steam if the impedance drops much below say 6 Ohms. That lovely open, fluid, tube-like ease and coherence changes into a rather sat-on and gutless presentation as soon as the going gets tough. I love the things, but I have very easy to drive loudspeakers.
     
  18. richgilb

    richgilb pfm Member

    I like rounded off at the extremes, vinyl is also, so it doesn't really seem noticeable to me. Kind of safe and cosy. And my high end aspirations are well behind me now. I never spend more than 500 quid per component, so I only ever really pop up in the classic section here..
     
  19. richgilb

    richgilb pfm Member

    But I do like loud.....hmm
     
  20. Arkless Repairs

    Arkless Repairs Trade: Arkless Repairs

    I see Ragaman posted at about the same time with a slightly different perspective... like I said, YMMV.

    Personally I wouldn't have any use for the matching 33 pre amp other than as an objet d'art. by modern standards sorry but it's crap. There are aftermarket boards available which can make it perfectly acceptable though.
     

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