ANut

STRAW POLL ON FULL-RANGE SPEAKERS FOR QUAD303/VALVE AMPS

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To keep the story short and sweet, I am in the process of getting off the rather expensive SET merry go round and reverting to my first love, a Quad based vintage system. Call it old age, but this is the kit I was brought up on and various impending life changes dictate that I have to watch the audio pennies somewhat. So, without further ado, I am appealing to you good Wammers to help me draw up a short list of speakers which will be happy on the receiving end of all that my Quad 303 can throw at them, but further down the line, will give me the scope to have a play with, say, some Quad IIs. In the frame are:

Spendor BC1s - Pros: plenty around, are an easy load for valve and solid state amps, can be repaired, relatively inexpensive at £400 - £500 the pair SH. Cons: difficult to audition, on the large side for my smallish listening room, plug ugly although that’s not a deal breaker......

Harbeth P3 ESRs - Pros: quite a following, beautifully made, can be serviced for the foreseeable future. Cons: mixed reviews (lack of bass), expensive at £1,000 - £1,400 SH

Any others? I’ve had ESL57s and ESL63s but must reluctantly rule these out on the grounds of space  - or rather the lack of it.

As you can see, I have already shot myself in the foot by shortlististing the P3ESRs, which are contemporary and not vintage, so I haven’t ruled out considering a moden alternative. The HECO Elementa 300 has been mentioned by a dealer I know and whose opinion I trust.

All suggestions welcome.

ANut

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Personal view is that the best match for a Quad 303 would be a pair of Tannoy 15 inch monitor golds (or the 12" 3LZ)  .. they work well on the power that the quad can produce and will not go all soft and cuddly sounding (as the Spendor BC1s and others will).  

Others that will work well include; Yamaha NS1000s and all the loudspeakers from the Art Range and any speaker you like with an efficiency of over 89db.

if you want bookshelf loudspeakers to go with it - search and wait for a pair of Radford TriStars or IMF super compacts.

Of course there are many other choices but the above would be mine.

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Hi Andrew;

I've been using a (Quad factory serviced) Quad 303 (into a Promitheus Audio TVC passive pre) every day for a few years now connected to a pair of (German) Audioplan Kontrast Mk2 speakers with fantastic audio results. The detail/soundstage is really excellent. My source is a Squeezebox Duet.

I haven't tried any other of the speakers you've mentioned above.......my Quad 303 can really rock/boogie with the Audioplan Kontrast's.

Peter

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Super Wammer

My spare speakers, Warfedale 306 (92dB) and Celestion Ditton 15, are more than happy in my 70s era second system being powered by a 13wpc Pioneer SA-500A. So plenty of choice out there and both of these produce pretty fair levels of bass.

As your not far from me (Chichester) your more than welcome to bring your 303 over to see what you think. We could also take a trip to my local Hospice shop where they have a hifi section and a very knowledgeable chap who runs it, he gets alsorts of interesting speakers in. 

Edited by Lurch
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3 hours ago, macvisual said:

Hi Andrew;

I've been using a (Quad factory serviced) Quad 303 (into a Promitheus Audio TVC passive pre) every day for a few years now connected to a pair of (German) Audioplan Kontrast Mk2 speakers with fantastic audio results. The detail/soundstage is really excellent. My source is a Squeezebox Duet.

I haven't tried any other of the speakers you've mentioned above.......my Quad 303 can really rock/boogie with the Audioplan Kontrast's.

Peter

Hi Peter

Tell me more about the Audio Kontrasts? I believe they are quite amazing

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Super Wammer

I heard a pair of quad S2's, that impressed for their diminutive size, and price, might be worth an audition. Old school, how about a pair of Epos 11 or 14 or Snell type K.

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Super Wammer

As a suggestion for a speaker that is sort of contempory with the Quad a good pair of KEF 103 Reference from early 1970's are very easy to drive and soound excellent . if you ask for them in the classifieds bot here and on PFM,AOS i thin a decent pair could be had for around £200 or less . If you do not like them they would be easily moved on for what you paid for them .

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Super Wammer

I’d not rule out the decidedly un-exotic but extraordinarily decent Q Acoustics range, many of which are 89dB or more sensitivity.

The floorstanders start with the 2050i at 92dB, currently available brand new for £235 - about half price - direct from QA’s clearance warehouse. Another Wammer recently bagged some , I read the other day.  

https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.co.uk%2Fulk%2Fitm%2F113282701371

The newer and better 3050i is around £649 from Richer Sounds.   Currently 20% off if you trade in any old speakers.

https://www.richersounds.com/hi-fi/q-acoustics-q3050i-walnut.html

Far less flaky than crumbling Spendors!

Edited by Nopiano
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I think you need to decide what type of sound you want to end up with. When I used to use a 33/303 I found it quite laid back and smooth. If you pair this with a similar sounding speakers then it might be too much of a good thing unless thats what you are looking for. 

The two examples you mention the Spendor BC1 and the Harbeth P3ESR would sound quite different regarding scale and as you mention the Harbeth have somewhat restricted bass output which to me (bass lines) are an essential part of the musical fabric. You don't mention what your musical diet will be which might influence the models you should look for.

Given the era you are looking at and that you have already ruled out the Quad ESL's there are any number of possible choices. I would consider the classic B&W's DM4 and DM2(a), Mordaunt Short Pageant 2, Tangent RS4, Rogers, Acoustic Research and the Tannoy Dual Concentric plastic coned models to name but a few.

Edited by complin

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20 hours ago, uzzy said:

Personal view is that the best match for a Quad 303 would be a pair of Tannoy 15 inch monitor golds (or the 12" 3LZ)  .. they work well on the power that the quad can produce and will not go all soft and cuddly sounding (as the Spendor BC1s and others will).  

3LZ is a 10"DC, 303 will work well with most/all the Tannoy DC's Gold's through to K Series.

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If you can live with the shortcomings of the P3ESR in the bass dept, and I can, a properly serviced 303 with them is a gorgeous pairing. Bear in mind I'm talking from the perspective of a 12 x 12 foot listening room though, which is an important factor.

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HiAnut..

Iam not familiar with your choice of music or loudness levels. In my recent trip to the UK, I saw some eclipse TD508mk2 or 3's on richer sounds or seven oaks for around 1000 pounds. Couldn't decide upon then. But subsequent online research showed them to the best in mid range clarity irrespective of price. And all the popular jazz musicians use them at home and in their studios. That is recommendation enough for me. But they don't do very high volumes or go deep in the bass, even their treble is rolled off. But they are supposed to be awesome for a near field setup. 

Since you mentioned a shortage of space like me, and again since the title  of this thread mentions full range , thought I'd mention them here for your consideration. They are a single driver full range speakers

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Got my Quad 303 sent off for a factory serviced a few years back and I can't believe the sound it produces for a 1970's vintage power-amp. I paid  £150 for my 303 and feels it sounds so much like a four figured unit +.

The 303 drives my 88db efficient Audioplan Kontrast MkII speakers beautifully.

Edited by macvisual

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On 04/02/2019 at 21:55, Lurch said:

My spare speakers, Warfedale 306 (92dB) and Celestion Ditton 15, are more than happy in my 70s era second system being powered by a 13wpc Pioneer SA-500A. So plenty of choice out there and both of these produce pretty fair levels of bass.

As your not far from me (Chichester) your more than welcome to bring your 303 over to see what you think. We could also take a trip to my local Hospice shop where they have a hifi section and a very knowledgeable chap who runs it, he gets alsorts of interesting speakers in. 

Gee, I remember the Pioneer SA500A! It was my first serious amp and I bought one for about £32 from an emporium at the Centre Point end of Tottenham Court Road c 1972. It fed a pair of Goodmans Havants, from memory. Thanks for the offer of a listen in Chichester, leave that one with me to organise.

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On 05/02/2019 at 09:35, Nopiano said:

I’d not rule out the decidedly un-exotic but extraordinarily decent Q Acoustics range, many of which are 89dB or more sensitivity.

The floorstanders start with the 2050i at 92dB, currently available brand new for £235 - about half price - direct from QA’s clearance warehouse. Another Wammer recently bagged some , I read the other day.  

https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.co.uk%2Fulk%2Fitm%2F113282701371

The newer and better 3050i is around £649 from Richer Sounds.   Currently 20% off if you trade in any old speakers.

https://www.richersounds.com/hi-fi/q-acoustics-q3050i-walnut.html

Far less flaky than crumbling Spendors!

Q Acoustics are a new one on me, I will investigate further - thanks for the suggestion.

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