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Quad 909: anything to watch out for?

Discussion in 'audio' started by JTC, Jun 9, 2018.

  1. cjyosemite

    cjyosemite pfm Member

    I have not owned a 909 for some years now but at one time I had 5 of them & never a moment's problem with any of them. Had previously owned a 606 bought in 1987 & as far as I know it is still in use at the local school to which I donated it around 15 years ago. The Chinese versions of all Quad amps were of dubious quality initially but that problem did not last long as Quad UK made it quite clear to the new owners that they would kill the brand if they did not maintain the quality standards. It was difficult to get a 909 for some time & Quad UK never new when they would be shipped. Due to this I tried a pair of 99 mono power amps instead but they got so hot there were unusable so they were returned for replacement which suffered from the same problem. Quad were so embarrassed they agreed to sell me the 909 review model (the one in the Ken Kessler review) at a reduced price & I was a very happy chappie. I subsequently bought a single 99 power amp (overheating problem solved by this time) for an AV system & later bought a second one to make a stereo pair. Later bought another pair as I preferred them to the 909 - the 99 mono does not use the 909 current dumping system which was a major marketing thing for Quad so the 99 mono never really took off despite Quad acknowledging it was better than the 909. Still have a full 99 system of fm tuner, cdp2, pre-amp & pair of 99 power amps. Only repair necessary was new transport on cdp2 & system still in daily use other than ceps which has been retired in favour of Oppo 105 universal player to create space for turntable. The present Artera Play & Power are simply more modern developments of the 99/909 series including the built-in DAC inputs - Quad were way ahead of the competition of this facility & on the Elite series (tarted-up 99's) one of the optical inputs was replaced by a usb input. Quad back-up info & service are excellent so you should have no concerns about reliability & 909 holds its s/h prices quite well so no great loss if you do not like & decide to sell on.
  2. Schnitger

    Schnitger pfm Member

    It's an excellent amp. Put it this way, I have a Quad 909 and Electrocompaniet AW180 monoblocks, which are considerably more expensive than the 909. They both sounded pretty much the same. The only reason to prefer the Electrocompaniet in my system was a pair of power hungry Sonus Faber floorstanders, which appreciated the additional current delivery. With a pair of Harbeth M30.1s or B&W805s I couldn't hear any difference. I once tried the 909 with a pair of ESL 2805s and it was superb. Buy with confidence as others have said, not least of all because Quad have such a good repair service. That's important when using older or 2nd hand kit.
  3. Shane2468

    Shane2468 pfm Member

    Sorry for asking daft question. Is your 909 the Chinese built version?

  4. camverton

    camverton pfm Member

    It is certainly a decent amp for undemanding loads and for their own speakers. If using with speakers with low impedance beware. It doesn’t double its output as the impedance halves, and by the time the load reaches 2 ohms it is going in reverse. But, the 909 doesn’t come with price of a Krell, so used within spec good value for money. I suspect my 909s were early Chinese amps which might account for the poor reliability. Certainly worth checking their age if buying secondhand.
  5. Seanm

    Seanm pfm Member

    That’s interesting about the 99 monos - you don’t hear much about them.
  6. Philv

    Philv pfm Member

    They can have a tendancy to pop when turning off, through tne speakers.
  7. Philv

    Philv pfm Member

    Also....earlier builds were built in uk.
    Differentiated by tne color of tne led?
  8. ToTo Man

    ToTo Man the band not the dog

    Also when turning on, and it's rather annoying.
  9. Philv

    Philv pfm Member

    Although not so mch if left for a short while before turnng off.
  10. ToTo Man

    ToTo Man the band not the dog

    I don't follow?
  11. Paulq2

    Paulq2 pfm Member

    Resurrecting an old thread as am also interested in a 909 offered to me whilst also looking at the Artera as someone suggested earlier. I'm put off slightly by the comment around the 909 not being a good match for not so sensitive speakers and wondered how it, or indeed the Artera stereo, would fare with Dynaudios at 86db. They actually don't dip below 4.8 so not too demanding but I'd, perhaps wrongly, assumed that the current dumping on these amps was the panacea to demanding speaker loads.
  12. Zombie

    Zombie pfm Member

    I have 909 made in the UK. When I bought it the PSU caps where a bit tired and got them replaced. Last year I decided to replace the over 10 yo PSU caps again with Mundorf Mlytics. Wow!
    Gervais Cote likes this.
  13. ToTo Man

    ToTo Man the band not the dog

    The 909 was designed to drive "not so sensitive speakers" like ESLs :).

    Given the 909 is 140wpc into 8Ω and 225wpc into 4Ω, I'd assume it can cope with difficult loads pretty well. Unless you're using it as a PA amp in a nightclub setting, I wouldn't expect it to be taxed much by 86dB/1w efficiency speakers that don't dip below 4Ω (225wpc into 86db/1w speakers = 109dB SPL approx). However, I'll defer to one of pfm's resident engineers to confirm that.
  14. Arkless Electronics

    Arkless Electronics Trade: Amp design and repairs.

    It should be absolutely fine with those speakers from a technical POV. Whether it butters your muffin is another matter:rolleyes: Not that I'm suggesting it won't as it's a pretty good amp:)

    "They actually don't dip below 4.8 so not too demanding but I'd, perhaps wrongly, assumed that the current dumping on these amps was the panacea to demanding speaker loads." As I was saying in another thread just the other day, the main limit on current in many amps will be what is safe for the output transistors. Their Safe Operating Area (SOA/SAOR) should be adhered to.... and current limiters will usually kick in and save the output transistors. This, rather than anything else about an amp, will usually put the limit on current delivery and the Quad Current Dumping amps are no different.
  15. ampedup

    ampedup Lost in audio

    I can't imagine why that comment arose....The 909 is powerful and will drive a wide variety of speakers. It's a good machine. Mine needed some caps replaced on the Quadlink circuit. I would certainly send such an amp to Quad for a going through.
  16. Paulq2

    Paulq2 pfm Member

    I did read it somewhere for sure. I am tempted by the 909 especially as my first job would be to pack it off to Quad for an overhaul so I know it's good for a few more years.

    Any views, from anyone, on buying the 'new' Artera vs the 'old' 909?
  17. camverton

    camverton pfm Member

    For most speakers the 909 is fine. Their spec into 2 ohms isn't, iirc, so impressive, which only really matters when you start to consider Martin Logans etc. In practice I found the 606 and 909 rather harsh when playing higher frequencies into a Martin Logan Ascent-i, particularly with the highest notes of a violin. Now some would say that is a weakness of the speaker but then again they can sound rather wonderful with an appropriate amp! As ever horses for courses
  18. foxwelljsly

    foxwelljsly Hawkwind and Fire

    I bought a new QSP from Lintone audio last year as I wanted something to drive some Kef 104.2's to high levels without clipping or thermal cutouts.

    The combination sounds fantastic and goes louder than you would ever really practically need in even a large room, but there is more mechanical noise off the transformer than I would like, so it may be returned for warranty replacement after the lockdown's over.
  19. S-Man

    S-Man Kinkless Tetrode Admirer

    I recently owned a QSP Stereo. I think the bass is slightly tighter than the 909 I had.
    The power LED is a massive upgrade from the weapons grade blue laser on the front of the 909 :eek:.
  20. Paulq2

    Paulq2 pfm Member

    I have heard that said about a number of QSP's so would probably be swayed towards the Artera if so.

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