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Quad 606 - what speakers (..and other n00b questions)

Discussion in 'audio' started by morkof, Jan 10, 2021.

  1. morkof

    morkof Member

    Hi there,
    I am absolutely new to both high-end and classic equipment (like the 606) and to this forum. I bought mine from a sidewalk-flea-market and had no clue what I was buying. It just looked kinda weird, so I googled it and baught it. Now I have no idea how to use it (properly), I don't even have speakers. I am not rich so I am not looking for the best possible option :/ - I just want to at least somewhat experience its capabilities, and I don't want to make a fatal mistake, so I have some n00b questions and I would really appreciate absolutely any input:

    1. What type/brad of speakers should I look for? This is my main question.

    2. I found out on this forum that people talk about a pre-amp for it - do I need one? I do have a normal amp (that powers my "ok" 5+1 mini-home-theatre) - can and should I use it?

    3. Are there any "known" must-do-s and must-not-do-s related to the Quad606-type of technology?

    Thank you in advance and if similar questions have been asked before please just let me know - if that's easier for you. Thank you!
  2. miktec

    miktec unissued

    Lucky you if the price was right :)
    Sounds to me like you might be stateside so the first thing to check is that the voltage is right for your area (UK models are 240v)

    I have two Quad power amps (303 and 405) and they are not too fussed about speakers provided they are a pair and preferably 8 ohms (should say somewhere on the boxes) but they need to be a decent size (bookshelf and upwards) and passive (not have their own amp built in). Other than that the sky is your limit pricewise.

    If I had picked up this bargain from a flea market I would:

    a) get it checked over first by someone qualified to make sure it's safe to plug in (or try it out in a very safe area like outside).

    b) connect a pair of really cheap speakers for the first try so I'm not bothered if they go up in smoke ;)

    As to a preamp, that will depend on what you are going to use with it. A turntable will require some pre-amplification but most other sources don't need anything more than a volume control (a 'pot in a box' passive is enough)
    If the amp you have has a pre-amp output it might work OK but most early Quad power amps (including the 606) are sensitive and easily over powered by modern sources so don't expect a lot of travel on the volume knob before it gets really loud.

    I'm sure others will chime in with more useful advice but that should get you started
    morkof likes this.
  3. ryder

    ryder pfm Member

    Look for the matching Quad 66 preamp. You may consider Harbeth loudspeakers with the Quad amps.
    Gervais Cote likes this.
  4. Jowcol

    Jowcol pfm Member

    I would suggest that you sell it for whatever profit you can make, and do not get involved in hifi.
    It's a very slippery path you are walking along. Stick with your mini home theatre.
    PhilofCas, miktec and Zombie like this.
  5. Fatmarley

    Fatmarley Agnostic

    I think the hardest thing with this hobby is getting good, honest advice. People will often recommend what they own themselves. Magazines and online reviews (YouTube etc) can get backhanders to show a product in a favourable light. Manufacturers websites will blind you with science (and bulls**t).

    Everyone has different taste, so I know for instance, if someone says they like Dynaudio speakers, I will be wary of anything they recommend.

    As for good budget speakers, I don't know what's available in the US, but JBL would be on my list. Check out Royd models if they are available (the Minstrel is very nice for a budget speaker). Vintage Tannoy DC would probably be too expensive, and possibly too big. The Tannoy DMT studio monitor series are very nice and can be had much cheaper than most of the well regarded vintage models (monitor gold, HPD series).
    The little Mission 731 were only £130 when they came out but were very good for the price. I know others like the Mission 760 or 760i.
    Snell K are very well regarded but possibly expensive. The JPW P1, AP2 and AP3 use exactly the same drivers as the Snell but can be had a lot cheaper. I've heard people say they sound almost as good. The Snell/JPW speakers have foam surrounds that rot over time, so that's something to be wary of.

    Talking of old speakers, another things to be wary of, tweeter ferrofluid can dry up and cause the tweeters to sound either dull or harsh.

    I'd personally avoid anything Naim because I think it's mostly (not all) overpriced junk.

    Expensive cables are a complete waste of money.

    I'd be wary of cables with silver in them. I know some like it, but lots don't.
  6. Arkless Electronics

    Arkless Electronics Trade: Amp design and repairs.

    Virtually any speaker will be fine with virtually any amplifier. The 3 times a day or so repetition of "what speaker should I get to go with X amplifier" has me shaking my head in disbelief....
    Emlin, PhilofCas and miktec like this.
  7. PerF

    PerF Member

    Purchased on a Flea-market you may risk its not working.
    Thats what I would find out first.
    Maybe the seller didn't knew what he was selling ?

    Quad 606 were manufactured in the UK as opposite to more recent Far East made Quad.
    UK factory still support and service their products.
    Its a mighty fine power amp and deserve playing in a decent setup.

    Next you will need a preamp, a source and a pair loudspeakers plus various cables.
    Do you play vinyl, cd or streaming, maybe radio ?

    Depending on budget you can get decent kit at the cheapskate - same method as your power amp, or you can buy very expensive stuff as someone suggest.
    You don't go wrong with "all" Quad setup.
    Rockmeister and Operajulian like this.
  8. miktec

    miktec unissued

    Personally I wouldn't bother unless the OP has a TT.

    I have two Quad preamps hiding under the bed - stopped using them some time back .... a half decent potmeter and connectors and you're away.
  9. PerF

    PerF Member

    Is that the one that only respond to a remote ?
  10. Operajulian

    Operajulian Opera Julian

    The Quad 66 preamp had a separate "panel" thingy with IR back to the pre-amp. Not that great IMO.

    Might I suggest the Tisbury as a very nice possibility with the Quad 606 ?

    Speakers - as Jez (Arkless) suggests many many options out there - the 606 is quite a powerful amp so just be careful with volume settings if using lower wattage speakers.
    miktec likes this.
  11. morkof

    morkof Member

    Thank you!
    I'm located in Bulgaria (220V). We don't have many high-end options here, especially not as far as popular for this brands. I got the 606 for 300 euro and we "tested" it with a friend with some shitty speakers, so it's definitely working..

    My plan was to use my Denon amp as pre-amp, keeping a suboofer as well. I understand the pair of speakers should be 8 ohms, but should I go for 140W nom / 300W peak ones or that's too much? What range would be good and does it depend on the pre-amp?
  12. morkof

    morkof Member

    Yes, I thought about, but I don't want to part with it before I hear at least something from it.. :)
  13. morkof

    morkof Member

    Cool, ty! Will look into all your suggestions!
  14. morkof

    morkof Member

    This was my main concern - since 606 is not exactly a regular amp I didn't know if could be used in a "normal" way as well.
  15. morkof

    morkof Member

    My Quad 606 has a sticker that reads "MADE IN HUNTINGDON ENGLAND", but has no serial number on that sticker .. lol - fake?
    My (would be) pre-amp is Denon AVR-X250BT receiver. I have a PC connected to it and I stream or play from the PC, so whatever I'd be listening to would come from my PC.
  16. morkof

    morkof Member

    What is a "TT"? It's good to know that even the smplest solution would still work.
  17. Arkless Electronics

    Arkless Electronics Trade: Amp design and repairs.

    Whilst it uses current dumping it is very much a regular amp in it's parameters and likely interactions. Plenty of power, can drive 4 Ohms fine, low output impedance, unconditionally stable and needs no "special" cable...
    morkof likes this.
  18. morkof

    morkof Member

    Probably, but mine did not come with a remote.. lol.. It has absolutely nothing on it..
  19. camverton

    camverton pfm Member

    My 606 is my longest lasting and most reliable piece of hifi, working day in day out for well over thirty years. A terrific workhorse. Enjoy! As for speakers I’ve used it with Quad 63s, Apogee hybrids, PMC, Martin Logans, Kef LS50, Monitor Audio and currently driving BKS 107s. Maybe not the best with the Martin Logans but takes most speakers in its stride.
    PhilofCas and morkof like this.
  20. morkof

    morkof Member

    Cool, ty, and what wattage speakers would be good?

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