Quad HiFi describes the latest addition to the Quad Artera Series, the Quad Artera Solus Play, as a compact yet powerful, yet elegant and extremely flexible all-in-one system. This is intended to provide the classic features of the Quad Artera Series in the most modern form.
The Quad Audio company can build on decades of tradition, whereby the search for perfect sound reproduction, especially in the field of amplifiers, was of course the main focus.
Today, Quad Audio has a wide range of products, but even though the spectrum ranges from headphones to loudspeaker systems and CD players, the focus is still on amplifiers in the most diverse forms.
The Quad Artera Series, for example, which the manufacturer itself describes as a classic solution for modern lifestyles, is proof of this. According to the English company, it combines the proven qualities of Quad Audio with the latest technical features and a modern industrial design.
Every product in the Quad Artera Series combines modern digital connectivity with the signature amplification technology from Quad Audio, the English company promises. This is also true for the company’s latest addition to this product line, the Quad Artera Solus Play, which is described as an audiophile all-in-one system of the most modern coinage. It combines a CD player, a streaming client, a preamplifier and a power amplifier in a particularly elegant form and with classic HiFi virtues.
Until now, the Quad Artera Series has included the Quad Artera Pre and Quad Artera Stereo, a classic combination of preamplifier and power amplifier. The Quad Artera Play+ is a CD player, DAC and preamplifier, and the Quad Artera Solus is a CD player, DAC, preamplifier and power amplifier. This solution therefore forms the basis for the new Quad Artera Solus Play, in which streaming is now added to the CD player, DAC, preamplifier and power amplifier. The Vertrieb IAD GmbH even speaks of an egg-creating milkshake, and is probably not so wrong.
The new Quad Artera Solus Play is described as a very compact and at the same time beautiful solution, in fact this solution, like the others of the Quad Artera Series, has an extremely elegant, modern industrial design and measures no more than 320 mm in depth and width, and 105 mm in height. The chassis is made entirely of metal, with side panels in the form of cooling fins, the front in chic brushed aluminium, and the entire chassis perched on stands at a slight angle.
The front first holds the CD player, designed as a slot-in drive, and to the left of it is a circular display that provides all the essential information. There are few controls, only two sensor buttons are available above and below the mentioned display, as well as a button for ejecting the CD and of course a standby button, but nothing more is needed.
In addition to the CD player, the new Quad Artera Solus Play offers a whole phalanx of interfaces for other sources, both analog and digital. The rear panel features two analog inputs, designed as pairs of RCA jacks, two optical and two coaxial S/PDIF interfaces, plus a USB port for connection to a PC or Mac. On the analogue side, two pairs of RCA sockets, a balanced output in the form of XLR sockets and a headphone connection in the form of a 6.3 mm stereo jack are available. To the latter it should be said that the new Quad Artera Solus Play is a discrete amplifier of its own, which does its job behind this headphone output.
Signals may also be forwarded digitally via an optical or coaxial S/PDIF interface. In addition, there are of course the loudspeaker terminals, but also an RJ45 Ethernet interface, which is used as an alternative to the WiFi module, which is also available, to integrate the Quad Artera Solus Play into the network.
In the network, the Quad Artera Solus Play functions as an extremely flexible streaming solution, using a streaming platform that is very popular in the USA, namely DTS Play-Fi. This provides access to a range of streaming services, including Deezer, Qobuz, Spotify, Amazon Music, Napster, Pandora and TIDAL. Internet radio is also available via the TuneIn service. Of course you can also access your own content, because the Quad Artera Solus Play is also a dlna-certified UPnP streaming client.
It is controlled primarily via the DTS Play-Fi app, which is available for both Apple iOS and Google Android.
Of course, multiroom audio streaming is also available via DTS Play-Fi, so the Quad Artera Solus Play can also be part of a comprehensive streaming system throughout the house.
DTS Play-Fi also ensures that this solution can even be controlled by voice, as this streaming platform is compatible with Amazon Alexa. However, this of course requires an Amazon Echo Device in the household.
If you want to use smartphones and tablets directly as a source, you can also do this quite simply via Bluetooth outside the network infrastructure, whereby the aptX codec ensures that signal transmission in “CD quality” is guaranteed.
The heart of the signal processing in the new Quad Artera Solus Play is an ESS ES9018 32-bit DAC, which processes data in Linear PCM format with up to 24 bits and 192 kHz, and signals in DSD with up to DSD 256.
The amplifier of the new Quad Artera Solus Play is designed as a discrete Class AB amplifier and is completely balanced. The developers rely on a so-called Complementary Feedback Topology, or CFB for short, which is designed to ensure maximum linearity. The shortest signal paths and components of the highest quality as well as volume control on the analog level alone are intended to guarantee the best sound quality.
Naturally, a great deal of attention was also paid to the power supply, and a 300 VA toroidal transformer was chosen, with separate secondary windings being used for each of the two power output stages. This is supported by capacitors with two times 15,000 uF per channel, giving a total of 60,000 uF.
The new Quad Artera Solus Play should already be available in specialist shops these days. The distributor IAD GmbH states that a recommended retail price of € 1.999,- must be budgeted for this solution. The Quad Artera Solus Play is available in two versions. In the first variant, the Quad Artera Solus Play presents itself with a silver front, the housing itself is black. The second version is completely black.
The scope of delivery naturally includes a matching infrared remote control.
Getting to the point
Every product in the Quad Artera Series combines advanced digital connectivity with the signature amplification technology of Quad Audio, the English promise. This is also true for the company’s latest addition to this product line, the Quad Artera Solus Play, which is described as a state-of-the-art audiophile all-in-one system. It combines a CD player, a streaming client, a preamplifier and a power amplifier in a particularly elegant form and with classic HiFi virtues.