Quad Launches Quad 9AS: Compact Active Speakers with a New Design

December 17, 2013 — Article

Based on the mini-monitor concept of the popular Quad 9L, Quad has launched the 9AS compact two-way active speakers with a new design, featuring a new treble unit with associated waveguide front plate in addition to the classic Quad woven Kevlar bass unit, both driven by low distortion Class AB amplifiers via a sophisticated active crossover. Offering sonic accuracy required of near-field studio monitors, these speakers are small enough to sit on a desk or a shelf in the living room, while incorporating amplifier power output of 100 watts per speaker (peak rated at 200W per speaker) and a wide range of digital and analogue inputs.

Quad 9AS In High-Gloss Black finish

For those who may not (yet) be familiar, the term “active” refers to the inclusion of power amplification in each speaker, negating the need for a separate power amp, so the 9AS thus becomes a full pre-amplifier and power amplifier plus loudspeaker combination that can be driven from multiple digital and analogue inputs.

An ultra high performance DAC, as found on Quad’s Elite CD players, resolves digital inputs with up to 24 bit/192kHz accuracy, allowing the input of digital signals from desktop and laptop computers, disc players and other digital devices.

Quad 9AS In High-Gloss White finish, with connections

The Quad 9AS offers a remarkably wide range of inputs to suit multiple source components. USB, coaxial and optical digital inputs as well as a convenient 3.5mm jack socket on the side, allow a variety of ways to connect and switch between digital sources, making the 9AS compatible with CD players, PCs, MacBooks, iPods or Smartphones as well as analogue sources. Switching between these inputs is simply controlled by the master speaker, with a discrete, easy-to-use touch-sensitive panel on the base of the speaker, just below the magnetic grille, or via the remote control.

To optimize performance, maximum internal volume is given to the drive units, while the amplifier is housed in a cast-aluminium chassis incorporated at the base of the cabinet. This improves low frequency performance as well as ensuring efficient heat dissipation. All signals are passed, via a low-noise electronic volume control, to twin Class AB power amplifiers tailored to the individual drive units in each speaker: a classic Quad mid/bass unit with a 100mm woven Kevlar cone, plus a newly designed 25mm woven Kevlar cone tweeter with a waveguide incorporated into its front plate. These drivers are coupled via a sophisticated Butterworth crossover network, modelled to provide the exact acoustic integration demanded by Quadʼs speaker engineers.

A rear panel switch offers a three-position bass EQ facility that equalises the low-frequency response for free standing, shelf and close-to-wall mounting. An output for an external sub-woofer facilitates ultra-low frequency extension when desired.

Quad 9AS Shown connected to the Quad Elite CD Player

Founded in London in 1936, Quad has had a long, distinguished history and over the years developed a fine reputation for high-end products, winning many Awards from around the world, including the Queen’s Award for Technological Achievement in 1978 – the only one ever presented to an audio hi-fi equipment manufacturer. Part of IAG (International Audio Group) since 1998, Quadʼs current range includes many award-winning products, such as the latest generation of ESL electrostatic speakers, class-leading valve amplifiers, dynamic ʻboxʼ speakers and a range of solid-state audio electronics that fuse high-end performance with innovative connectivity. After over 7 decades, Quad prides itself in continuing to be driven by the philosophy of its founder, Peter Walker, to produce “the closest approach to the original sound”.

The Quad 9AS is available with an SRP in the UK of £599.95 (720€) per pair. Each speaker is elegantly finished in a choice of high-gloss black, high-gloss white or ruby red.

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