Quad's reputation as one of the world's greatest audio brands is largely based on its iconic electrostatic loudspeakers, which first set the hi-fi scene alight in 1957. Any Hi-Fi Choice reader will know all about Quad's impressive legacy, and successive loudspeaker models from the Cambridgeshire-based company have been able to justifiably boast that its approach gets closer to the original sound than its challengers.
Like the company's S Series released last year, the new Z Series combines advanced Kevlar-coned bass and midrange drivers with a specially designed ribbon tweeter. The new lineup comprises two standmount models and two floorstanders. The Z-1 standmount (£1,200) – pictured below – is 383mm tall and utilises a 150mm mid/bass driver, while its larger Z-2 standmount sibling (£1,500) uses a 175mm mid/bass driver. Both floorstanders utilise a three-way configuration, coupling a 150mm midrange driver with two 175mm bass drivers in the Z-3 (£2,500), and three 165mm drivers in the Z-4 (£3,200), pictured above.
Each Z Series model sports a bespoke 90 x 12mm ribbon tweeter design by Quad's parent company IAG. Like the ribbon unit developed for its S Series, the composite sandwich construction of the Z Series ribbon ensures it is robust enough to handle high-powered amplifiers, delivering greater sensitivity and bandwidth for even better dynamics and smoother integration with midrange frequencies, says Quad.
Bass and midrange drive units throughout the series feature a unique double-roll Kevlar cone surround said to enhance accuracy and transparency. Commenting on the Z Series, Peter Comeau, director of acoustic design for IAG said: “The Z Series is the pinnacle of Quad’s enclosure speakers and features the largest ribbon treble unit that I’ve ever used, giving the Z Series a clarity and definition throughout the upper midrange and treble that is utterly beguiling. This combines with the acoustic filter bass reflex system and low-coloration enclosure to deliver the perfect embodiment of the natural sonic realism that is the hallmark of Quad."
The Z Series is launched as part of Quad's 80th anniversary celebrations and is available in black, white or rosewood piano lacquered finishes, click here for more info.
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