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Thread: Advice on Quad power amps.

  1. #1
    Join Date: Mar 2016

    Location: Brighton, UK.

    Posts: 734
    I'm Mike.

    Default Advice on Quad power amps.

    I wish to change my amplification, I have the humble Nait 5 (with extra flatcap power supply!) as my main amp, Ruark Talisman speaker, Pioneer PD 8700 cdp, Graham slee era v gold phono stage. Notts analogue TT. I wish to get rid of the Nait and get something better. I recently borrowed a little known U.S. amp - the Monarchy sm70, tried that with my (now sold) Nakamichi ca-5, it was clearly a lot better than the Nait, but it was so unbearably hard sounding, I knew it wouldn't last - not in my system anyway.
    So for whatever reason I've got it into my head that a Quad power amp/pre power/ might be suitable. 606, 909, 405-2 ?? What can I expect? Just want something with real audiophile qualities - something I feel the Nait is missing - I guess it is only an entry level amp, but I'm not even sure going further up the Naim ladder would help. Was thinking 606/909 with some cheap passive pre. If you have any other recommendations please add them. I listen to a lot of Jazz cds at the minute, day and night, I find myself very drawn to Jazz, and think I will be for a good while now. My current set up isn;t too kind to those blaring saxs/trumpets. I think in the long run I might need to change the Ruarks, I think the tweeters underperform. But for now I just want rid of the Nait. Remote control would be nice, but seeing as I'm listening to a lot of cds now, not essential. I will also buy a new dac to help the Pioneer along, something like a Beresford or Raspberry as I hear good things about them.
    Current system. NAS Interspace, Jelco 750, /Nagaoka MP 200/Graham Slee Era V. CD Player - Mission PCM 7000. Quad 306/Little bear. Chario Syntar 100 Tower. QED XT40 speaker cable/Straight wire interconnects.

  2. #2
    Join Date: Sep 2013

    Location: North Island New Zealand

    Posts: 1,199
    I'm Chris.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mikeandvan View Post
    I wish to change my amplification, I have the humble Nait 5 (with extra flatcap power supply!) as my main amp, Ruark Talisman speaker, Pioneer PD 8700 cdp, Graham slee era v gold phono stage. Notts analogue TT. I wish to get rid of the Nait and get something better. I recently borrowed a little known U.S. amp - the Monarchy sm70, tried that with my (now sold) Nakamichi ca-5, it was clearly a lot better than the Nait, but it was so unbearably hard sounding, I knew it wouldn't last - not in my system anyway.
    So for whatever reason I've got it into my head that a Quad power amp/pre power/ might be suitable. 606, 909, 405-2 ?? What can I expect? Just want something with real audiophile qualities - something I feel the Nait is missing - I guess it is only an entry level amp, but I'm not even sure going further up the Naim ladder would help. Was thinking 606/909 with some cheap passive pre. If you have any other recommendations please add them. I listen to a lot of Jazz cds at the minute, day and night, I find myself very drawn to Jazz, and think I will be for a good while now. My current set up isn;t too kind to those blaring saxs/trumpets. I think in the long run I might need to change the Ruarks, I think the tweeters underperform. But for now I just want rid of the Nait. Remote control would be nice, but seeing as I'm listening to a lot of cds now, not essential. I will also buy a new dac to help the Pioneer along, something like a Beresford or Raspberry as I hear good things about them.
    The 606 or 909 or 306 are excellent with passives, due the sensitivity being low. I use a pair of 306's - one per channel, and my own ldr attenuator.
    reviewed here: https://www.stereo.net.au/forums/top...ttenuator-kit/
    Similarly I listen to lots of jazz. You are on a winner choosing similarly.

  3. #3
    Join Date: Apr 2011

    Location: cheltenham

    Posts: 509
    I'm matt.

    Default

    I use a 306 (dada upgrade) with a cheap Little Bear passive (25 ebay). It's the easiest amp I've ever worked on. Two screws and you have access to the circuit board, and every component is numbered to match the circuit diagram.

    The 306 has tight but deep bass with good punch, nice clean midrange and smooth highs. An absolute bargain at around 200 and it's only a tiny thing too. There's no way I'd ever go back to Naim...

  4. #4
    Join Date: May 2017

    Location: West Sussex, UK

    Posts: 655
    I'm Steve.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mikeandvan View Post
    I wish to change my amplification, I have the humble Nait 5 (with extra flatcap power supply!) as my main amp, Ruark Talisman speaker, Pioneer PD 8700 cdp, Graham slee era v gold phono stage. Notts analogue TT. I wish to get rid of the Nait and get something better. I recently borrowed a little known U.S. amp - the Monarchy sm70, tried that with my (now sold) Nakamichi ca-5, it was clearly a lot better than the Nait, but it was so unbearably hard sounding, I knew it wouldn't last - not in my system anyway.
    So for whatever reason I've got it into my head that a Quad power amp/pre power/ might be suitable. 606, 909, 405-2 ?? What can I expect? Just want something with real audiophile qualities - something I feel the Nait is missing - I guess it is only an entry level amp, but I'm not even sure going further up the Naim ladder would help. Was thinking 606/909 with some cheap passive pre. If you have any other recommendations please add them. I listen to a lot of Jazz cds at the minute, day and night, I find myself very drawn to Jazz, and think I will be for a good while now. My current set up isn;t too kind to those blaring saxs/trumpets. I think in the long run I might need to change the Ruarks, I think the tweeters underperform. But for now I just want rid of the Nait. Remote control would be nice, but seeing as I'm listening to a lot of cds now, not essential. I will also buy a new dac to help the Pioneer along, something like a Beresford or Raspberry as I hear good things about them.
    Hii Mike
    Your giving the Monarchy Amp a bad reputation, the hardness in sound was from the Nakamich, there was no hardness when played
    at my house using a stereo coffee passive.
    The Nak has a reasonably good phono stage but used as a pre definitely sounds hard especially when you turn the wick up

    Steve...
    Project 2experience sb dc, Cart: At33ptg
    Puresound P10 / T10 Phono Stage
    Firebottle Mono Blocks
    Nelson Pass Dcb1 turbo @ 1.2A. Khozmo 50k series attenuator.
    CD Player: Cyrus cd8se
    Spendor S6e
    Spotfire rca throughout - Spotfire Speaker Cable

    Steve...

  5. #5
    Join Date: Aug 2009

    Location: Staffordshire, England

    Posts: 24,745
    I'm Martin.

    Default

    Agree about the Monarchy, I had one here and it is not hard sounding. Quite an impressive amp actually, did not give much away to the Krell KSA50S which is high praise indeed.

    Pre-amps can be make or break to a system and not everything works well with everything else (that would make things too easy after all).
    Martin



    Current Lash Up:

    Technics SLP1200 CD Player * Nelson Pass DCB1 Pre amp / Krell KSA50S Power amp * JM Lab Electra 926 loudspeakers *


    'You fool! To think that your ape-brain could contain the full knowledge of the Krell!'

  6. #6
    Join Date: Nov 2015

    Location: Wolverhampton

    Posts: 8,354
    I'm Oliver.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Macca View Post
    Agree about the Monarchy, I had one here and it is not hard sounding. Quite an impressive amp actually, did not give much away to the Krell KSA50S which is high praise indeed.

    Pre-amps can be make or break to a system and not everything works well with everything else (that would make things too easy after all).
    It's the one you heard Macca.

    The Monarchy is ruthlessly revealing and will show up anything undesirable in the chain.

    Tried it with a Passive SA preamp, DCB1 and a Valve pre. Sounded fantastic with them. I can only agree with Steve that the hardness is probably the Nakamichi.
    Analogue: Technics SP10 MK2 > Phonomac AT-1010 MK6 tonearm > Ortofon Kontrapunkt b > Bigbottle Jfet MC Valve Phonostage (Telefunken Valves)
    Digital: Raspberry Pi 3+ With Allo Boss 1.2 + Isolator.
    Amplification: Nelson Pass DCB1 with Khozmo 48 Step Series Attenuator & Krell KSA100 MK2 Amplifier
    Cables: SPOTFIRE Speaker Cable & SPOTFIRE IC Cables & NEW SPOTFIRE Tonearm cable
    Speakers: Pioneer CS-77A
    Price List For Cables:https://bit.ly/2Uxiv3j

  7. #7
    Join Date: Sep 2014

    Location: brighton uk.

    Posts: 3,962
    I'm jamie.

    Default

    Yep I also agree on the nak, I used Steve’s Monarchy Amp for a while with it and wondered what all the hype was about? Thankfully the Jw kt88 amp was soon back in action.
    Last edited by karma67; 31-01-2019 at 13:09.
    My System
    John Wood KT88 Amp.
    Paradise Phono Stage
    Sony TTS-8000 Turntable.
    PMAT-1010 MK6 Tonearm.
    Sony X555ES Cd Player
    Yamaha NS1000m Speakers
    Audioquest Columbia & Colorado interconnects

  8. #8
    Join Date: Mar 2016

    Location: Brighton, UK.

    Posts: 734
    I'm Mike.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by fatmarley View Post
    I use a 306 (dada upgrade) with a cheap Little Bear passive (25 ebay). It's the easiest amp I've ever worked on. Two screws and you have access to the circuit board, and every component is numbered to match the circuit diagram.

    The 306 has tight but deep bass with good punch, nice clean midrange and smooth highs. An absolute bargain at around 200 and it's only a tiny thing too. There's no way I'd ever go back to Naim...
    That sounds like what I'm looking for, till I won't know for sure till I hear one!
    Current system. NAS Interspace, Jelco 750, /Nagaoka MP 200/Graham Slee Era V. CD Player - Mission PCM 7000. Quad 306/Little bear. Chario Syntar 100 Tower. QED XT40 speaker cable/Straight wire interconnects.

  9. #9
    Join Date: Mar 2016

    Location: Brighton, UK.

    Posts: 734
    I'm Mike.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by STD305M View Post
    Hii Mike
    Your giving the Monarchy Amp a bad reputation, the hardness in sound was from the Nakamich, there was no hardness when played
    at my house using a stereo coffee passive.
    The Nak has a reasonably good phono stage but used as a pre definitely sounds hard especially when you turn the wick up

    Steve...
    Hi Steve,
    Yes I did say 'in my system', I've read some very good user reviews of the Monarchy.
    Current system. NAS Interspace, Jelco 750, /Nagaoka MP 200/Graham Slee Era V. CD Player - Mission PCM 7000. Quad 306/Little bear. Chario Syntar 100 Tower. QED XT40 speaker cable/Straight wire interconnects.

  10. #10
    Join Date: Oct 2017

    Location: Ontario, Canada

    Posts: 792
    I'm Svend.

    Default

    Mike, back to your question -- my father-in-law has the 405-2 power amp, paired with a matching preamp. It sounds very good, but I think it needs to be matched with an efficient speaker. In his first setup he ran it with some KEF Ref. 103.2s, in a large room with vaulted ceiling and carpeted floor, and the amp was underpowered and anaemic sounding; rather dull actually. Not a happy combo. Then he got some more efficient Energy floor-standers and the system really came alive. His new listening room is still large, also has vaulted ceiling, but is slightly smaller than previous. The amp sounds punchy, fluid, dynamic...very musical. It has no problem filling the space with music.

    Hope this helps...

    Svend

    PS -- for what it's worth, I now have his KEF 103.2s, paired with a Belles 100W power amp, and those speakers sound fantastic driven by that amp, which tells me they need some ooomph to really make them come alive.

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