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Quad, of course, is world-famous for its peerless planar electrostatic loudspeaker designs. What is less well known is that, before their electrostatic designs, the folks at Quad had also designed a very early ribbon model called the Corner Ribbon. Now they've come full-circle, back to their roots, by designing superb planar magnetic ribbon tweeters for use in their dynamic bookshelf and floor standing designs. Enter the S Series with two bookshelf models, the S-1 and S-2, at $1199 and $1399, the S-4 and S-5 floor-standing models at 2199 and $2699, and the S-C center channel at $899. Furthermore, for those who want the very best, there is a new flagship Z Series with even higher performance. This series is comprised of the Z-1 and Z-2 bookshelf models at $1999 and $2499 and the Z-3 and Z-4 floor-standing models at $4199 and $4999.
The S Series cabinets are beautifully presented, furniture-quality woodwork with rounded top edges at the front and rear. Each loudspeaker cabinet uses a sandwich construction of alternate layers of MDF and high-density particleboard to reduce panel resonance to below the level of audibility. There is a choice of several satin and piano gloss finishes. The new ribbon treble unit is aligned, through sophisticated crossover networks, to Quad's advanced bass and midrange drivers.
The ribbon treble unit delivers effortlessly extended high frequencies that are audibly superior to those supplied by typical dome tweeters. While many ribbon drivers are delicate and prone to burn out if overpowered, the new ribbon unit developed for the S Series is a thoroughly modern design , using the latest techniques and materials. The ribbon itself is a sandwich construction, making it robust enough to handle high-powered amplifiers. It is fully immersed in a powerful magnetic field so that it accomplishes its dual role of being both the voice coil and sound radiator.
As well as delivering excellent transient response and superb musical detail, the sound from this ribbon unit is smooth right up to the highest musical overtones. Controlled directivity maintains this sound quality over a wide horizontal arc to cover all listeners. Vertical dispersion is tailored to avoid floor and ceiling reflections, resulting in the purest high frequency performance at the listening position.
The ribbon tweeter is aligned with Quad's Kevlar-coned bass and midrange drivers through sophisticated crossover networks. While the stand mount models use carefully tuned, rear-firing reflex ports to augment the bass, the floor standers incorporate three ABRs (Auxiliary Bass Radiators) in place of a port. These passive, rear-firing bass units support the main drivers to extend bass response down to 35Hz while maintaining an accurate and articulate rendition of instrument fundamentals.
In the Z Series, a significantly larger 3.5 x 0.5 inch true ribbon tweeter creates even higher sensitivity and bandwidth than in the S Series. This yields better dynamics and an even smoother integration with the midrange frequencies.
In the floor-standing models, this larger ribbon unit is married to an equally high-performance midrange driver with a unique double-roll-surround especially designed to control edge breakup and give equal transparency to the all important vocal range. Both the midrange and bass drivers feature Quad's woven Kevlar cone geometry. These special cones, combined with the double-roll-surrounds, afford the midrange and bass drivers performance that matches and blends with the ribbon tweeters.
The bass section, similar to the original Corner Ribbon, uses an acoustic filter bass reflex system. This section uses a double chamber filter that eliminates the “chuffing” sounds often found in loudspeakers with conventional ports. This helps to maintain natural and unforced reproduction right down to the lowest frequencies of a symphony orchestra.
Finally, the Z Series comes in several gorgeous gloss finishes, including black, white, and rosewood.
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