Athens 2013: Quad, Hanss, Ikeda


By Dr. Panagiotis Karavitis

British legend QUAD (founded 1936..) had on display 2 rooms, full of goodies and ranging from classic line electronics all the way up to reference electrostatic speakers.

The bigger of the 2 systems had ESL 2912 speakers, QUAD 24 pre amp, 2x Platinum mono power amps, 24P phono stage and Hanss TT-30 paired with Pole Star PS-UNV1 tonearm fitted with Ikeda’s 9TT MC cart.

I must admit that the QUAD electrostats are unique to my ears. Thanks to their design of multiple electrodes and the fact that are crossover-less, they manage to create the illusion of point source sound propagation. And though these are big speakers (1.47 x 69 x 38 cm) they vanish right in front of your eyes when music starts to play.

I gave a spin to the same record used in the Brodmann room, Beethoven’s violin concerto with David Oistrakh on the Stradivari. A very different presentation, very fast, detailed with slightly forward mids but with less coloration at the same time. It all comes down to personal taste as both systems were great.






  1. I’ve heard some alarming things about Quad’s situation overall, and the lack of a U.S. importer/distributor has been very disappointing. That is why I am glad to get Dr. Karavitis report on Quad’s latest. Would love to hear them personally. I’ve been wondering if the Quad 25L is at the Athens show with the rest of the L line, and if anything “new and improved” about them.

    • Greek QUAD importer brought just about everything, including 25L speakers. Though made in China, they are very well finished and sound very good, especially for the money. I had a pair of 12L2 and was very pleased by the “tight” sound and overall built quality.

      As for QUAD, it is part of IAG group since a few years now, and as far as i know, they are economically healthy and expanding their operations.

      • Thank you sir for taking the time to add this information, and for the very informative show reports.

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