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Quad 33 sound quality.

Discussion in 'classic' started by Martyn Miles, Nov 14, 2019.

  1. Arkless Electronics

    Arkless Electronics Trade: Amp design and repairs.

    I keep meaning to get the tweeters back in and resurrect them... prob will soon I reckon... but Spendor BCII's are my main daily speaker here, Leak Stereo 20 driven for the last few months... oh and Mordaunt Short festival II's in the workshop with Tandberg TR2055 receiver gets more use than anything! Really good receivers are those big Tandbergs BTW and will give most big Jap receivers a bloody nose. One of the best tuners around in it and a very good 55WPC amp section:)
     
  2. chartz

    chartz pfm Member

    I can’t hear any.
     
  3. herb

    herb music live

    Back in the 1970s and 1980s I had Quad 33/303/ESL57 system but needed to change the 33, which performed very well if you punched in the CANCEL button. With the filter and tone controls in circuit the sound became more dirty. So I went for the newly introduced 34 with its MC input,but that has no cancel button and always sounded dirty. So I took the plunge and bought a Musical Fidelity preamp, which was in between the 33 and 34 soundwise.

    I liked the 33 and only an Exposure 6 and 7 sounded better, but was relatively noisy.
     
  4. ampedup

    ampedup Lost in audio

    I had the 34 and the 99.....they were always the weakest part of the chain, unable to show up the qualities of a good power amp. But I'm a sucker for all things Quad and I'm really curious about their new Artera preamp, which has all kinds of useful facilities, adjustable gains, tilt, bass, phono etc. Yum.
     
    Zombie likes this.
  5. Zombie

    Zombie pfm Member

    Only thing I miss from the 34 is the first bass lift, which suited small speakers and the ESL-63s better to give that little extra, subtle kick. The 99/Elite preamp has a similar function but kicks in at a higher freq, making it boomier. Have never come around to changing the RC.
    I modded the 34 out of this world but a bog standard 99pre left it in the dust, imo.
    Still the Croft Super Micro and QII combo with Tannoys was smth special. Would go back to a Croft pre if it at least had a remote volume control.
     
    ampedup likes this.
  6. ampedup

    ampedup Lost in audio

    Yes, I think it would take all of 10 minutes with some mid-priced modern amps to verify this. I had the opportunity to compare the 34 and 303 against all kinds of modern designs and it was an unfair match. However, I really like the 303.
     
  7. chartz

    chartz pfm Member

    Mmm...
    I have all sorts of hi-fi components, and the 33 never leaves me wanting for more.
    It is just not my best preamp of course, but it is very good indeed, and I don’t get those who say it has a veiled sound. It hasn’t.
    I just enjoy its sound, along with a 303 or better, a 405.
     
    ampedup likes this.
  8. ampedup

    ampedup Lost in audio

    To be honest, it's been 51 years since I last heard a Quad 33! In my experience, there have been big advances in power amplifier design since the '60s and modern power amps need a particular design of preamp to fully reveal what they can do. My Quad 34/303/909 were very agreeable to listen to. However, my much more modern chain is so revealing of the musical details and dynamics that it's impossible for me to revert to the older Quad designs.
     
  9. chartz

    chartz pfm Member

    I too have such a dynamic and revealing system, with high efficiency speakers.
    But I like going back to the old Quads which are so easy-going but not undynamic with rejuvenated components. And the ESLs match my big listening room perfectly, so I even have some sort of bass!
    Treble can be on the bright side when needed too.
     
  10. ampedup

    ampedup Lost in audio

    I'm wondering if you also have Quad IIs in your collection?
     
  11. chartz

    chartz pfm Member

    Not yet. Definitely one of my projects. I have a superb valve amp but not Quad, unfortunately.
     
  12. ampedup

    ampedup Lost in audio

    I too have a yearning for the Quad IIs (which basically blows my assertion about not reverting to older Quads!)....they were my first audiophile listening experience. It's fantastic that they are being re-issued now.
     
  13. Arkless Electronics

    Arkless Electronics Trade: Amp design and repairs.

    Odd amps the Quad II.... can sound awful with some speakers and amazing, but in a definitely not accurate way, with others...
     
    ampedup and Dowser like this.
  14. ampedup

    ampedup Lost in audio

    Could you generalize your observations about which speakers do or don't work well with the Quad IIs?
    After this, I hope the OP can find more answers to their 33 question....sorry!
     
  15. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    One thing with the Quad II is IIRC the output transformer tap is an internal setting, and it is factory set for 16 Ohms, so may not give its best away from the usual ESL, Tannoy Reds, LS3/5As they so often get partnered with. You’d need to change it to 8 or 4 (assuming it has one) for most modern speakers.
     
  16. ampedup

    ampedup Lost in audio

    Yes, and I believe that useful adjustment has been made with the re-issued amps, the Quad II Classic, at 8 Ohms.
     
  17. mandryka

    mandryka pfm Member

    Which may mean that the new quad ii doesn’t sound so good with speakers which respond to 16 ohms.
     
  18. oldius

    oldius I miss baked beans and brown sauce.

    The older I get, the more I realise that the key is just to sit and listen, for a good while. The judgement is then only if you enjoyed the music that you listened to with the equipment you had.

    I had a Quad 33/303 and I thoroughly enjoyed listening to it. I could not give a toss for its specification; it looked great and sounded really nice.
    Could it be improved upon? It depends what you want: I could sit listening for the subtlest nuance of extra information but that wouldn't necessarily mean I would enjoy the music more.

    Why did I sell it? I have two integrated amplifiers that I am very attached to, sonically, aesthetically and emotionally.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2019
    mjkelshaw, calorgas and Martyn Miles like this.
  19. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    That is exactly the reason I use a 303, assuming it is happy driving the speakers in question it just gets right out of the way and never for a second draws attention to itself. It is not spotlit, analytical, fast, slow, dull, bright, dry or anything. I just don’t notice it at all!
     
    Martyn Miles and oldius like this.
  20. chartz

    chartz pfm Member

    By the way, I get real bass from the ESLs with my valve amp set on 16 Ω.
    Transistor amps, even Quad, seem to curtail that lower octave. Why?
    Sorry if a bit off-topic.
     

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