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.