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Old 02-16-2009, 03:56 PM   #1
prerich prerich is offline
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First I must say that this came about from doing some simple mods to my Heresy speakers to improve their bass response. After some testing and auditioning with people who knew little or nothing about audio - they choose the modified Heresy speakers 94% of the time. The next test for the modded Heresy speakers was to try and take down my Snell E-II's - they made a valiant attempt - but it wasn't close. The Snell's won hands down.

That leads me to my next challenge - the Snells against a pair of properly broken-in but still new Quad 22L speakers. I have done this before but never on my own equipment. So I got a pair of Quad 22L's and brought them home.

Music Auditioned : Ben Tankard, Earl Klugh (Jazz), Live Gospel Choir music


Looks - This was no contest - the Quads are like fine furniture, they are finished better than any speaker that I have observed in its price class and even better than some above it. Constuction was equally impressive - very solid speaker, Gold binding post, very rigid - an impressive speaker to say the least. The Snells can't match the shear beauty of the Quads .

Sound - Here's where things get a little tricky. I only used people who knew something about speakers in this test (I didn't want to get the "both sound great" argument). The problem was .... they both sound great . The Quads can do the disappearing trick much better than the Snells. They have great treble extention but sometimes get a little lean in the mids compared to the Snells. The people that listend to them initially said they actually sound alike until they listened further. Their strenghts and weaknesses became apparent but not glaringly. The Quads imaging is just fantastic almost electrostatic like. Low-end production was good out of the Quads - but better out of the Snells, sensitivity and immediate dynamics also belonged to the Snells. Demo'ing these speakers was like choosing Kobe or Lebron. You would like to have both of them but you can only have one. I went one step further and removed the grills from the Quads to see if that would give them that push to send my Snell's reeling - no it didn't - it actually hurt the Quads - they actually sound better with the grills on!

So here I am sitting and waiting to see the outcome - my panel of audio friends where just as much in the air as I was. They couldn't choose based on sound alone. When you throw looks into the contest - the Quads win, but hold up - there are other factors.

Home Theater: Since they would be used in a HT system they would need a center channel also - and I'm sorry to say that the L Centre from Quad does not keep up with the 22L's at all. It's just too lean and it definately can't keep up with a trio of Snell E-II's (that's just not fair to the L- Centre). The dealer didn't have the L2 yet (that one can be oriented vertically if you want to) but it's still to lean when you look at its specs. I've listened to the L and it doesn't do the 22's justice. This creates another problem - there are no other speakers that are a timbre match for the 22L's unless you buy a pair of 21L's and use one as a center. You guys know me by now - I'm all about vertically aligned speakers. This was a very difficult test indeed. My verdict is....a draw - you hate to hear that in a fight but that's what it came down to. I wasn't the only one that thought that way. Some perefered the Snells, others the Quads - confusing.

So here's my point, is it worth me (in this economy) to justify spending the money on the Quads when the Snells perform equally well? I'm at a crossroads and I'm having a hard time justifying it - and it seems that I can't fully pull the trigger on these...yet.

If my Snells ever go down - I know what I'm getting, no need to demo and look - I've found something that's right down my alley and with my taste. I take my hat off to the Quad 22L a truly remarkable speaker and one of the most beautiful that I've seen - Snells, lets take you to the refinishing beauty parlor shall we . If the Snells go belly - up, there will be a 4 letter word in my system...called Quad (especially if they can work out some type of center channel).

Last edited by prerich; 02-16-2009 at 04:00 PM.
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Old 02-16-2009, 04:14 PM   #2
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gentle bump ^
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Old 02-16-2009, 04:24 PM   #3
sokrman14 sokrman14 is offline
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Hey, its great to hear that you love the quads, and I know what you mean about the center channel. I like it, but I dont love it. I love the 22L's though. Try the 12L bookshelf as a center channel, you may like it more than the L Center. I have heard of recording studios using 7 12L quads all over their studio. Since they are only sold in pairs I almost picked up the extra pair the dealer had, but I passed on it so I could biamp the fronts. Let me know if you have any questions on them. Which finish are you looking at? There was a special edition ebony at one point which I wish I got, they are gorgeous. There aren't too many of us quad owners since it is such a small company for loudspeakers, but they sure are amazing.
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Old 02-16-2009, 04:35 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sokrman14 View Post
Hey, its great to hear that you love the quads, and I know what you mean about the center channel. I like it, but I dont love it. I love the 22L's though. Try the 12L bookshelf as a center channel, you may like it more than the L Center. I have heard of recording studios using 7 12L quads all over their studio. Since they are only sold in pairs I almost picked up the extra pair the dealer had, but I passed on it so I could biamp the fronts. Let me know if you have any questions on them. Which finish are you looking at? There was a special edition ebony at one point which I wish I got, they are gorgeous. There aren't too many of us quad owners since it is such a small company for loudspeakers, but they sure are amazing.
Check my gallery I have some picks over there in the folder called "Quads?".
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Old 02-16-2009, 04:56 PM   #5
naturephoto1 naturephoto1 is offline
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Hi Rich,

If you get the chance and can find a dealer, you may want to try the Nola speakers. Of course Carl Marchisotto the designer of the present Nola and former Alon speakers was the designer of the Dahlquist DQ-20 and many of the Dahlquist speakers subsequent to the DQ-10. The DQ-10s were originally modeled after the Quad Electrostatic speakers by Jon Dahlquist himself.

You may want to check the Nola Viper series (there are 3; the last of which are the Viper Reference IIs (a very nice speaker that I have considered at $15,000 a pair list) and the Nola LCR Reference for your center and even surrounds. The Vipers and the LCR Reference are open baffle dipole designs sharing many of the same drivers. The LCR can be used either vertically or horizontally.

http://www.nolaspeakers.com/

I have totally rebuilt and upgraded (all new drivers and cross overs and bi-wire set-up) pair of Dahlquist DQ-10 speakers. I use the Nola LCR Reference for my Center channel. The DQ-10s (mine) are better than the Nola LCR. But the DQ-10s are a little leaner sounding than the Nola LCR at least as a result of the mix coming out of the Pre/Pro and the amps. The LCR is a bit richer sounding in my system, but though they do not match, they do blend well and sound quite good with my Dahlquist DQ-10s.

I have included some photos of my Nola Reference LCR which were 1 of 3 used in one of the Audio Magazine Reviews and what I purchased on Audiogon.

Rich
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Old 02-16-2009, 04:58 PM   #6
sokrman14 sokrman14 is offline
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The funniest part of all this to me is that your nelridge's name is Rich, your username is Prerich, and my name is Rich as well.
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Old 02-16-2009, 05:10 PM   #7
naturephoto1 naturephoto1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sokrman14 View Post
The funniest part of all this to me is that your nelridge's name is Rich, your username is Prerich, and my name is Rich as well.
You would have loved it then when I did my field work that led to my MS in Geology. It was a real comedy of errors. When I called back to my Thesis Advisor in NJ talking about things taking place in Montana it was a riot and a nightmare.

This is why:

1) One of my thesis members responsible for the field work who was out of Denver was named Dick (Richard)
2) The member of the Montana Bureau of Mines that was aiding our work was named Dick (Richard)
3) The owner of the Motel that I stayed in for all of the months of fieldwork in Dillon, MT was named Richard
4) My field assistant that worked with me for all of those months was named Dick (Richard)
5) My name is Rich (Richard)

You can imagine all of the confusion and giggles going on in all of our discussions.

Rich

Last edited by naturephoto1; 02-16-2009 at 05:14 PM.
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Old 02-16-2009, 05:11 PM   #8
sokrman14 sokrman14 is offline
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Especially since most of them went by Dick. I prefer Rich, or Richard in a professional setting,
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Old 02-16-2009, 05:14 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sokrman14 View Post
The funniest part of all this to me is that your nelridge's name is Rich, your username is Prerich, and my name is Rich as well.
What's even funnier - I'm not rich but I am rich in other ways !!!!
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Old 02-16-2009, 05:17 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by naturephoto1 View Post
Hi Rich,

If you get the chance and can find a dealer, you may want to try the Nola speakers. Of course Carl Marchisotto the designer of the present Nola and former Alon speakers was the designer of the Dahlquist DQ-20 and many of the Dahlquist speakers subsequent to the DQ-10. The DQ-10s were originally modeled after the Quad Electrostatic speakers by Jon Dahlquist himself.

You may want to check the Nola Viper series (there are 3; the last of which are the Viper Reference IIs (a very nice speaker that I have considered at $15,000 a pair list) and the Nola LCR Reference for your center and even surrounds. The Vipers and the LCR Reference are open baffle dipole designs sharing many of the same drivers. The LCR can be used either vertically or horizontally.

http://www.nolaspeakers.com/

I have totally rebuilt and upgraded (all new drivers and cross overs and bi-wire set-up) pair of Dahlquist DQ-10 speakers. I use the Nola LCR Reference for my Center channel. The DQ-10s (mine) are better than the Nola LCR. But the DQ-10s are a little leaner sounding than the Nola LCR at least as a result of the mix coming out of the Pre/Pro and the amps. The LCR is a bit richer sounding in my system, but though they do not match, they do blend well and sound quite good with my Dahlquist DQ-10s.

I have included some photos of my Nola Reference LCR which were 1 of 3 used in one of the Audio Magazine Reviews and what I purchased on Audiogon.

Rich
Funny you should mention Nola - I was looking at A'gon and some one down the road from me has a Alon sub-sat system for sale. The Vipers are very nice - and a bit rich for my blood (pun not intended). I have also looked at DQ-10's (always interested in good vintage) those speakers have always interested me !!!

Nola/Alon has always been big on open baffles! There's a pair out west for $400.00 (Alon 1's) but he won't ship.
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Old 02-16-2009, 05:19 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sokrman14 View Post
Hey, its great to hear that you love the quads, and I know what you mean about the center channel. I like it, but I dont love it. I love the 22L's though. Try the 12L bookshelf as a center channel, you may like it more than the L Center. I have heard of recording studios using 7 12L quads all over their studio. Since they are only sold in pairs I almost picked up the extra pair the dealer had, but I passed on it so I could biamp the fronts. Let me know if you have any questions on them. Which finish are you looking at? There was a special edition ebony at one point which I wish I got, they are gorgeous. There aren't too many of us quad owners since it is such a small company for loudspeakers, but they sure are amazing.
So what did you think of the finish?
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Old 02-16-2009, 05:28 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prerich View Post
Funny you should mention Nola - I was looking at A'gon and some one down the road from me has a Alon sub-sat system for sale. The Vipers are very nice - and a bit rich for my blood (pun not intended). I have also looked at DQ-10's (always interested in good vintage) those speakers have always interested me !!!

Nola/Alon has always been big on open baffles! There's a pair out west for $400.00 (Alon 1's) but he won't ship.
Check Audiogon periodically. You can get the Viper IIs periodically in the $3,000 range. Certainly the newer Nolas are better finished than the older Nolas or the Alons. Also check the Alon listing periodically on Audiogon. They are still very nice speakers but not quite as good as the Nolas which carried on the ideas. By the way, if you are unaware Nola is Alon backwards. Carl reversed the name when he had a falling out with his partner (s) for Alon and changed the name of the product and set-up the new company.

Rich
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Old 02-16-2009, 05:29 PM   #13
sokrman14 sokrman14 is offline
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Quote:
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So what did you think of the finish?
Those must be the birds eye maple, those are their most popular for a reason, they are beautiful.
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Old 02-16-2009, 05:44 PM   #14
sokrman14 sokrman14 is offline
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Check out this finish from quad.

This one is the Ebony veneer limited edition. Its on page 3 of their brochure.
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Old 02-16-2009, 06:23 PM   #15
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Check out this finish from quad.

This one is the Ebony veneer limited edition. Its on page 3 of their brochure.
That Ebony finish is killer - reminds me of Zebrawood!!!
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Old 02-16-2009, 06:25 PM   #16
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Quote:
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That Ebony finish is killer - reminds me of Zebrawood!!!
Thats exactly what I was thinking too. Its absolutely beautiful. My rosewood has a similar grain finish to it, but obviously not the same color.
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Old 02-16-2009, 06:28 PM   #17
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Thats exactly what I was thinking too. Its absolutely beautiful. My rosewood has a similar grain finish to it, but obviously not the same color.
Your's look beautiful also - no joke!!! I wonder how they sound with the B&K (another great amp). The Quads loved my M-80 to death in Auto-Class A mode. My son (who works for a dealer) said they sounded much better in my house than they did in the shop (and I totally concur with him)!
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Old 02-16-2009, 06:29 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by naturephoto1 View Post
Check Audiogon periodically. You can get the Viper IIs periodically in the $3,000 range. Certainly the newer Nolas are better finished than the older Nolas or the Alons. Also check the Alon listing periodically on Audiogon. They are still very nice speakers but not quite as good as the Nolas which carried on the ideas. By the way, if you are unaware Nola is Alon backwards. Carl reversed the name when he had a falling out with his partner (s) for Alon and changed the name of the product and set-up the new company.

Rich
Yep, I knew that I thought it was a slick ideal, but I keep thinking of New Orleans when I see it !
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Old 02-16-2009, 06:30 PM   #19
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The B&K was definitely an upgrade over the amp in the denon receiver, my next upgrade is a good pre/pro, but I need to find the right one for the right price. Any suggestions? I want the B&K reference 70, but nowhere near to afford it. Do you think anything like outlaw or emotiva would be better than the denon?
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Old 02-16-2009, 06:39 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by sokrman14 View Post
The B&K was definitely an upgrade over the amp in the denon receiver, my next upgrade is a good pre/pro, but I need to find the right one for the right price. Any suggestions? I want the B&K reference 70, but nowhere near to afford it. Do you think anything like outlaw or emotiva would be better than the denon?
The new Outlaw would definately be a better upgrade. The Emotiva - I like what I'm seeing (I hope that there are no bugs like the LMC-1 had) if its bug free - that would also be an awesome upgrade. Emotiva is actually an OEM company and has done things for Sunfire before. I'm lookinig at the Emotiva to replace my Yamaha receiver of its pre/pro duties. You couldn't go wrong with the B&K or with Rotel's new offering but they do cost more. The two that you mentioned are the ones to keep an eye on ! For people who let their BD players do the HD decoding - I would also add the Lexicon MV-5 to the mix.
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