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Thread: Quad 306 and 909 for ESL 63

  1. #1
    Join Date: Sep 2018

    Location: London

    Posts: 59
    I'm Howard.

    Default Quad 306 and 909 for ESL 63

    Iím using a 306 to drive a Quad ESL 63 - there are passive subs driven by another amp. I donít use a preamp at the moment, I control volume digitally.

    Iím tempted, just out of curiosity, to try a 909. Thereís one for sale on eBay which I can return if I donít like it.

    Is it a waste of time? How will it change things?

    Are there any pitfalls to look for when buying the 909? Are all 909s the same? Does recent servicing make a difference to how they sound?

  2. #2
    Join Date: Jan 2009

    Location: Essex

    Posts: 21,210
    I'm openingabottleofwine.

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    If I were in the market for a Quad 909, I would look for one that was made in Huntingdon before the company, as part of the IAG group, was bought up by the Chinese, and manufacture moved to China. There have been consistent reports that local Chinese sourced components are now used, especially capacitors, and that these are sonically inferior.

    This situation may well have improved, so I wouldn't dismiss a 909 out of hand - especially as you can return the eBay item if you don't like it.
    Barry

  3. #3
    Join Date: Sep 2018

    Location: London

    Posts: 59
    I'm Howard.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    If I were in the market for a Quad 909, I would look for one that was made in Huntingdon

    And would that be one that says Huntingdon on the back, like this? (Sorry, I can't make this image smaller!)


  4. #4
    Join Date: Jan 2009

    Location: Essex

    Posts: 21,210
    I'm openingabottleofwine.

    Default

    Well the serial number looks low enough (ignore the initial 909), for it to have been made in Huntingdon.
    Barry

  5. #5
    Join Date: Sep 2018

    Location: London

    Posts: 59
    I'm Howard.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    Well the serial number looks low enough (ignore the initial 909), for it to have been made in Huntingdon.
    Ah!

  6. #6
    Join Date: Sep 2013

    Location: North Island New Zealand

    Posts: 1,429
    I'm Chris.

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    An issue with the 909 amplifier is heatsink compound was not used between the large internal aluminium bracket and
    the outer heatsink fins. If buying one you need to spend an hour or so, to do this.

    I would in preference purchase another 306, and use one amplifier channel per speaker which is what I do.
    Note you cannot combine the 306 channels to make a mono block, rather one channel per speaker from each 306
    is quite an improvement. You could though at some later stage purchase another pair of 63's and run them stacked,
    with each 306 amp.

  7. #7
    Join Date: Mar 2016

    Location: Brighton, UK.

    Posts: 1,072
    I'm Mike.

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    In my system I thought the 909 much better, I think my one was made in China, but it did go back to Quad for a service in 2017. To me the 909 is quite a big step up, the presentation is slightly more laid back, but the gains in detail are worth it. I can't comment on these amps with Quad speakers though, others here will likely have experience of that.
    Current system. NAS Interspace, Jelco 750, /Nagaoka MP 200/Graham Slee Era V. CDP - Mission PCM 7000. Amps - Quad 909/306/Croft micro 25. Chario Syntar 100 Tower. QED XT40 speaker cable/Straight wire interconnects.

  8. #8
    Join Date: Sep 2018

    Location: London

    Posts: 59
    I'm Howard.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Light Dependant Resistor View Post
    I would in preference purchase another 306, and use one amplifier channel per speaker which is what I do.
    Note you cannot combine the 306 channels to make a mono block, rather one channel per speaker from each 306
    is quite an improvement.
    Can someone explain to me how doing this can make an improvement? As far as I can see it shouldn’t make any difference at all, but I’m probably missing something obvious!

  9. #9
    Join Date: Sep 2013

    Location: North Island New Zealand

    Posts: 1,429
    I'm Chris.

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    It provides better audio as the power supply is then providing to one channel vs two channels
    The 306 does feature separate transformer windings and rectifiers, which you would think was enough separation
    but having tried one amp for two speakers vs an amplifier each for each speaker many times- it speaks for itself.

    There may be other more intricate explanations, in Quads use of a virtual earth for each channel, perhaps the channel running
    is a better circuit slightly where one channel of one amp is running and the other is idle.

    To my ears there is no doubt of its superiority

  10. #10
    Join Date: Sep 2018

    Location: London

    Posts: 59
    I'm Howard.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Light Dependant Resistor View Post
    It provides better audio as the power supply is then providing to one channel vs two channels
    The 306 does feature separate transformer windings and rectifiers, which you would think was enough separation
    but having tried one amp for two speakers vs an amplifier each for each speaker many times- it speaks for itself.

    There may be other more intricate explanations, in Quads use of a virtual earth for each channel, perhaps the channel running
    is a better circuit slightly where one channel of one amp is running and the other is idle.

    To my ears there is no doubt of its superiority
    Well it's easy to do so I'm very tempted to try, if I don't feel the same as you, I will have lost very little, if I do feel the same as you I will have gained a lot!

    Have you really stacked ESL63?

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