Quad is a venerable British name that's been associated, tongue-in-cheek, with the
"pipe and slippers" brigade. That was some time ago, by an illustrious editor I worked for who used a Naim six-pack and a pair of Linn Isobariks with which to bludgeon himself to death. Well, in truth he survived and used me to represent alternative art forms like valve amps, electrostatics and Quad amplifiers, such as Quad 33/303s and 405s.
The new Elite QMP monoblocks in this issue continue to use Quad's own
'Current Dumping' patented circuit topology, first used in the 405. If in the past this appealed to the
"pipe and slippers" brigade, today the world has moved on. The Elite QMP monoblocks we review on p10 have an almost unique strength in being able to cope with modern electrostatics, providing a great sound in the process.
Do please see our High End Show report from Munich on p52, for the world's most extraordinary amplifier. It stands 8ft high, runs in Class A and produces a mere 60,000 Watts. Switch off and it folds down to just 6ft tall, so you won't notice it. Somebody did point out that on loud passages this amplifier would draw 240 Amps and blow the 60 Amp main fuse of any home, so you'd need to live in a factory to use it. Don't ask about which loudspeakers might be compatible.
What more can I say about the Astell&Kern AK120 in this issue, reviewed on p14? Well, I can say that one reader has already complained that by not mentioning other high resolution players we must be
biassed! I'm sure we will review other players in due course. iRiver, the company that designed it realised that only Hi-Fi World could measure its advanced performance – and this was important to them. At launch our review was read across Korea and Japan. We are very happy to be able to bring it to you in a World exclusive.
The world moves on and Hi-Fi World moves on with it. This issue carries some great reviews and features that I hope you enjoy.
here to subscribe to Hi-Fi World