Compact amplifiers now in vogue. Models such as the Monitor Audio Airstream A100 and NAD D 3020, brought a fresh approach to the world of Hi-Fi, revealing a brilliant combination of smart design, smart features, and great sound. They really helped out those who listen to music from a variety of sources – for example, CD-player, computer, and smartphone.
Model company Quad, one of the most respected companies in the Hi-Fi-market, is also very good. We amplifier Vena less graceful design than that of NAD and more restrained design than the Monitor Audio, but it looks fine: excellent workmanship, design common with other brand models.
Dark gray matte finish called «Lancaster Grey» gives it a classic look; if you are attracted to more spectacular options, you can select one of the other three colors – black or white piano lacquer and sapele mahogany kind.
The front panel contains a motorized volume control and a range of buttons corresponding inputs, among which, however, do not enter the missing phono stage for turntable.
Rear USB-ports are located types A and B: the first allows you to charge your Apple device and play music with them, and the second is used to connect to a computer. The kit is completed by the optical and coaxial digital inputs and outputs. Amplifier supports high definition formats with sample rates up to 24 bit / 192 kHz.
Bluetooth provides convenient connections and protocol aptX – translation of a higher quality with a compatible smartphone or tablet.
Due to the aluminum casing and its impact on the wireless signal is necessary to use an external antenna, which is included in the kit. It’s not the most elegant solution, but it can loosen away. In three other embodiments finish aluminum casing is not used and, therefore, no slot antenna.
We started with the composition Up Is Down from the soundtrack to the film “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” and were absolutely amazed by her performance. It is not comparable to character sound familiar to us with other models Quad – powerful, strong and even, one might say, outrageous. Wave after wave rolls on the listener might orchestral soundtrack.
CD-copy songs Already Home rapper Jay-Z admire impeccable control Quad. Vena is easy to hold in subjection juicy, rich bass line, showing equally both the depth and the ability to manage. All the elements of a wide sound stage are at their intended locations. String expressive vocals soar focused exactly where it is necessary.
After listening to your music through the headphone output, we found that it is inherent in a lively character.
In the composition of Led Zeppelin Kashmir Vena has skillfully elastic and powerful blows on the drums between the energetic guitar riffs.
When you connect your smartphone via Bluetooth inevitably some drop in sound quality, as well as reducing the scale and dynamics compared to a wired signal transmission between the sound becomes more rigid and a loose, as often happens when using Bluetooth.
However, if the content requires more restraint and delicacy, Quad is not quite manage to fulfill this requirement. Hora song Take Me To Church sounds a bit more aggressively than we would like. Despite the organization of the music scene, high detail and excellent attack at the beginning of the chorus, we lack the sophistication and sensuality.
It seems that the Quad is always moving at the same speed, unable to add speed or slow down when you need it. Emotional and soulful sound piano and vocals on the song Take Me To Church is not touching the heart, as in the performance of the leaders in its class.
Nevertheless amplifier Vena very good, partly because of the sheer Quad bias towards more powerful and exciting sound. Whether this trend in future models, it is not clear; but at the moment Vena has a good chance of success in this competitive market segment.
Price: $ 1,500
PROS: Workmanship; aptX Bluetooth; powerful, compelling sound; depth and bass control; focused soundstage
CONS: lacking refinement
VERDICT: very good; with a little study of the best would be great
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