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Quad v Naim

Discussion in 'classic' started by skito, Dec 8, 2009.

  1. skito

    skito pfm Member

    Hi, I'm familiar with Naim 72/32.5 - either with Hi-cap and 140/180. How do these compare with Quad 33, 34 303/ 405? Anyone had experience with these?
  2. rontoolsie

    rontoolsie pfm Member

    In a side by side comparison (done at Eulipon Audio many years ago) a 42/110-without Snaps, handily bested the Quad 44/405 in every possible way. Of course that was purely going through phono stages, as line stages had no real hi-fi applications in those days.
  3. skito

    skito pfm Member

    Cheers Ron, I had a 42.5 once but thought it sounded small scale in comparison with the 32.5 and 72. I do like Naim but am curious about the comparison with Quad.
  4. Gaius

    Gaius Trade: Stiletto by Tangerine

    I think quad is pretty much the opposite to Naim, smooth, polite, not things you associate with Naim so much. I had 44/405, apples and oranges compared to my 42.5/180.

    Skito, please describe differences between 42.5/72, would this be a step up, I found a prior 72 a bit shouty but then the speakers were intros...
  5. stevec67

    stevec67 pfm Member

    I'd choose the quad all day long. Naim fans the naim. If you like the naim sound nothing else will do (exposure and nytech aside!) and quad will not suit you. Listen and decide is all i can say.
  6. skito

    skito pfm Member

    Hi Gaius,

    The 42.5 had been serviced in the year or so prior to me buying and came with a receipt from Naim for the work done so was up to spec. When i say smaller scale it gave off much less volume overall than the 72 and didn't seem to take a hold of the speakers the same. It was a decent sound but i found it just didn't fill the room at the time so tended to skip between the 72 and 32.5 which i couldn't make my mind up about at times though the 72 tended to hold sway mostly as i usually ended up in blast mode more often which the 72 wins hands down. I'm now looking for something a bit more laid back and find the 72b a bit too up front and shouty as you describe it. I used these amps with Harbeth Compact 7s and ATC SCM 7s - sometimes with the 140 sometimes with the 180. The ATCs seem to lack power with either power amp however it was an old high ceiling room at the time so maybe the ATCs were just a bit small.
  7. skito

    skito pfm Member

    Hi steve, what Quad combo do you use?
  8. andy831

    andy831 pfm Member

    In full agreement with Stevec67 here, having had both I prefered the Quad which I still have as a second amp.
  9. mudlark

    mudlark nearly half a clue

    my multichannel system uses naim 140, avondale and quad 303s.

    i have not died.
  10. stevec67

    stevec67 pfm Member

    I've had many quads, 33/34/44, my fave is 44. 33 noisy and a bit vintage these days, but very musical.

    Powers - 405 mk2 is best IMO. Twinned 405 1s are great inio problem loads which can present difficulty to sinlle 405s. The Dada mods etc are worthwhie, loads on the net.

    If you like these amps they are cheap and plentiful, sound great and will take on real heavyweights, esp if modded.
  11. skito

    skito pfm Member

    ...cheers i,m as scientific as a gnat when it comes to buying...to wit, I just bought 33, 303 and 405 (1) on ebay never having heard any of them but then i did the same with the Naim years ago as i hate shops. They've all been cheap as chips so i shouldn't lose if i they don't gel. I can't hear them for a few months tho as i'm in Thailand until after the new year and was looking for some additional views of people that have tried both. Kop un krap as they say here!
  12. packtech

    packtech Ex band member twice.. :)

    I have no idea why anyone would ask a question like this, why dont you just listen in your own room with your own equipment and make your own judgment? This is the same as asking which girlfriend you would choose..or which Chocolate, it makes no sense at all. I might love Quad and say to you "yes it is this and that and sounds really wonderful" you may buy it and think "what is this guy on?, this is really crap, etc etc..I guess you looking for someone to help you make a decision which is impossible for them to make..This is exactly what the magazines feed on and perpetuate, how my experience of an amplifier in my room with my equipment with my music can in any way help you choose what you may like with your equipment in your room with your wine and music and girlfriend is beyond me, can anyone else help here?? with something helpful and non-subjective?..the whole thing about Hi-Fi equipment is that is is PERSONAL and SUBJECTIVE..sorry to piss on your chips here..but just TRY IT..you may be delighted..you may not..but in any event, at least YOU will know YOURSELF..why should someone else's input matter?
  13. Radfordman

    Radfordman pfm Member

    Overs the years I have had (and still have) many pieces of Quad equipment. In 1976 I bought brand new a 405 and was instantly disappointed. The sound did not suit me. It was boring, certainly not up to Radford STA25 III or Quad 303 quality. It sat unused on the shelf for quite a few years until the 405-2 came out. I decided to fit TL 071 op amps (as in 405-2). There was a marked improvement in sound quality.

    So I decided to get the Quad 405-2 conversion kit (not cheap). Fitted it, same sound as my cheap op amp update. Oh well!

    In more recent years I fitted Burr Brown op amps and gained a further subtle sound improvement. Strange, after all those years I'm only just getting value from the amp. It's pretty good now.

    It's connected directly to my SB sound card (no pre amp or mechanical volume control) feeding some Chartwell 15 Ohm LS3/5a's.

    Playing at this moment (Neil Young)
  14. TheDecameron

    TheDecameron Unicorns fart glitter.

    34/405 will blow them away, not that thats saying much. The 34 is the worst preamp Ive ever heard
  15. Robert

    Robert Tapehead

    The 34/306 or 34/405-2 is easily comparable to a Naim pre/power so long as you aren't triggering any current limiting.
    At the risk of sounding like a broken record, they don't sound that different at all when you cant see them. The Naim = forward and forceful & Quad = smooth and polite is a gross overstatement.

    About half of my 30 or so needledrops on this forum from my P9/AT33 went through a 34 - not had a negative comment yet. Of course if it really is that bad it'll be pretty obvious....

    Of the power amps, the 306 seems the bargain as it is essentially a 606 with a smaller PSU and one pair of output transistors per side - otherwise identical circuit.
    You can pick these up for about £120.

    405-2 is much underrated and as RM mentions you can also get the Mk1 405 up to speed for only a few pounds.

    I'll be receiving a nice 303 next week to fettle. No real experience with the 303 so looking forward to hearing it.

    The old TL071 op amp is fine in these applications, at the frequencies involved and with the load placed upon them. No need to change them IMO.
  16. 1000RPM

    1000RPM pfm Member

    Whole point of PFM is free exchange of opinions on matters hi-fi...we share opinions and then decide alone. Geddit?
  17. Gaius

    Gaius Trade: Stiletto by Tangerine

    Always good
  18. smithy

    smithy pfm Member

    My first proper amp was a Quad 405 I remember Avondale advertising their modifications in the back of HiFi Answers.I wanted to get it modified but Les had problems with the new boards he was producing,then I bought a RATA modified NAP 250 instead.
  19. skito

    skito pfm Member

    ...there's not that many shops selling old Quad 1972 - 1978 gear i can run to for an audition. If i don't like it it goes, at around 300 quid the lot i doubt i'll suffer much. Anyway I'm on hi-fi forum and asking for some views of people that have had both. Last i looked it was full of that!
  20. skito

    skito pfm Member

    ..thanks for the replies a lot of it quite positive about the Quad stuff so looking forward to hearing it. There's so much of it available cheaply and in good nic and reputation it's been calling out to me from afar!

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