Quad Vena II Stereo Amplifier (Sapele Mahogany)
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High End Stereo Amplifier, Great Sound, Small Package
Punchy 2 x 45 Watts @ 8 Ohms, Bluetooth, Digital Inputs/Outputs
Completely Designed In England
The Quad Vena stereo amplifier was ground-breaking when first released in 2014 but now Quad Vena II has gone to another level in both performance and features. The lashings of visual style are still on display and these are ably backed up with quality internals that are convincingly engineered to play well with high quality source components, speakers & headphones. This is a truly incredible product that we really love.
Quad Vena II is an interesting product to say the least. Technically it is considered as an Integrated Stereo Amplifier, but at 45 Watts RMS per channel output you could well conclude that it may be a little pricey! But look further and you will note that it also has an amazingly high-quality built-in DAC and headphone amplifier. Ahh, that sounds very interesting. And it is! The Quad engineers have captured the essence of advanced Quad audio engineering in a world of modern technology. How so? Whilst retaining the original two-channel stereo design philosophy, consumers now have access to a host of digital inputs and outputs plus Bluetooth streaming and all in a compact, high quality amplifier that doesn't compromise on sound. With an analogue Preamp output, which can be used to connect either a Power amp or even a subwoofer, makes Vena a truly versatile product. Remote control of volume and input selection is available from the included handset.
Connectivity: In one neat package Vena II provides the necessary amplification to realise the highest quality of your stored music replayed through any loudspeakers or headphones. You can link Vena to both analogue line and digital sources. Three analogue inputs, including a dedicated phono input, are mirrored with a variety of digital options from Optical and Coaxial to USB. Additionally, the Quad Vena II is designed with the innovative AptX codec for CD quality audio over wireless transmission. Vena II is the perfect compact audiophile amplifier for the modern day Hi-Fi enthusiast.
Quad loudspeakers and electronics are internationally recognised for their transparency, accuracy and natural reproduction of music and Quad Vena II is no different. In addition to maintaining high audio performance levels through your speakers or headphones, Quad engineers have also paid special attention to the new high resolution Sabre DAC. Even for Bluetooth or USB playback you can expect "the closest approach to the original sound" as the slogan states, an important key in precision hi-fi manufacturing. Any Bluetooth® equipped source can link to Vena wirelessly with optimum sound quality ensured by the innovative aptX codec.
Quad Vena II Aesthetics: Vena II encapsulates advanced engineering and sound quality inside a neat package that is bound to find favour with today’s space conscious listeners. In typical Quad style, the simple fascia is dominated by a large volume control with an array of push buttons providing input selection. Vena II is available in a variety of exquisite finishes to complement your lifestyle and living space. Choose from high-gloss piano-style finishes in White or Black or the gorgeous Sapele Mahogany wood option as featured here.
New For Vena II
The Vena has always had a lot going for it and didn’t really seem to need updating. Quad, it would seem, had other ideas and wanted to make a great product even greater. So, they decided to concentrate on upgrading or adding the following great features:
Digital To Analogue Convertor: The original Vena sported a Cirrus Logic CS4398 DAC that was good for 24-bit/192kHz PCM via USB. The Quad Vena II boasts an up-to-date ES9018K2M from the Sabre32 Reference family. This enables the Vena II to benefit from ESS Technology's 32-bit HyperStream architecture and Time Domain Jitter Eliminator to deliver ultra-low noise and high dynamic range. Quad also paid attention to the post-DAC active filter with the design team opting for op-amps chosen explicitly for their synergy with the ES9018K2M. All this work seriously ups the ante regarding quality and resolution with the Vena II able to handle up to 32-bit/384kHz PCM as well as DSD (up to DSD256) for the first time.
Upgraded Amplifier: Significant improvements have also been made to the Vena II's amplifier stage. Like the original model, the new amp sports a Class AB power amp section that draws on Quad's many decades of design experience. However, the Vena II receives a new 200VA toroidal transformer lying at the heart of its power supply upgrade. This is followed by 2 x 15000uF reservoir capacitors (30000uF in total), helping the amp to maintain firm control of the music while enabling excellent dynamic range.
Phono Stage Built-In: Quad have also included for the first time a phono input so a turntable can be connected directly, without the need for a separate external phono preamp. The built-in moving magnet phono stage features a high-quality, low-noise, JFET-based circuit with precise RIAA equalisation.
Upgraded Headphone Amplifier: While the first Vena had a rather simple, though effective, headphone output, the Vena II incorporates a dedicated headphone amp with current-feedback circuitry. The head-amp's gain bandwidth and high slew rate promise a more dynamic, detailed and engaging performance with all manner of headphone types.
In The News
'The Quad sounds clean, crisp and musical. Despite not using the same circuitry as more traditional, larger and more expensive Quad amplifiers there is still a lot of the house sound to be heard. It's musically informative and engaging, with a pleasingly detailed presentation. You would certainly never call it boring, but then again it is never harsh or searing; Quad has struck exactly the right balance meaning it's a civilised performer that you can listen to for long periods.' - Hi-Fi Choice Magazine
Just as the design of the Vena both harks back to classic Quad designs while still being very modern, so its sound is some way from the way the Quad sound is often (mistakenly) stereotyped: this is no soft and cuddly amplifier, but one with much more spark and vitality about it. Yes, there's warmth in the bass, giving it a lovely generosity unusual in this kind of mini-amplifier, but it's not achieved at the expense of definition or resolution: it's full and rich rather than in any way slow or ploddy, and really brings out the scale of everything from a full orchestra to a well-recorded grand piano, without any sense of things being overplayed or softened. The Vena has more than enough power on offer to deliver realistic listening levels, with current in reserve for the dynamics of recordings. Best of all, this is a very refined amplifier, both in the way it delivers the timbres of voices and instruments, and in that it always sounds entirely in control of what's being played. What the Quad engineers have managed to do is combine some of the character on which the company built its reputation with up-to-date features to appeal to a new generation of users - the result is a very impressive package, and one well worth auditioning. - Gramophone Magazine
"The original Vena was praised for its smooth yet bold and engaging sound quality; the Vena II retains this infectious musicality and adds greater resolution and refinement. Crisply defined detail reveals the character of voices and instruments, impressive dynamic range conveys natural impact and the amp’s transient ability keeps feet tapping with rhythmic music. For all its versatility, this is an amp that always puts the music first." - Online Review
Compact amps, incorporating digital inputs, are all the rage these days. It probably started with the NAD D3020, which is a very affordable desk-top amp with great connectivity. Now for something better and still in one neat package is the Quad Vena. However, don't think that a small, compact amp can’t deliver speed and punch! Vena provides the necessary amplification to realise the highest quality from both digital and analogue music sources through any compatible loudspeakers or headphones. And don't make the assumption that you need to limit the outlay on speakers to something similar in cost.
The front panel is a minimalist design with motorised volume control, a headphone output and a line of input buttons, including one for the new, built-in phono stage (for connecting a turntable). Quad products stand alone in the Hi-Fi world - renowned for their longevity, quality of build and consistently high standard of performance. Since 1936, Quad has been at the very cutting edge of high-end audio winning acclaim and respect for their products around the world and Vena II is just another great example of Quad’s dedication to the world of music ... but in a modern form!
Main Features & Specifications
- Design: Integrated Stereo Amplifier With Built-In DAC
- Rated Power Output: 2 x 45 Watts at 8 Ohms, 2 x 65 Watts at 4 Ohms
- Frequency Response: 20Hz-20kHz - 0.5dB
- Total Harmonic Distortion: <0.002%
- Signal-to-Noise Ratio: ≥110dB (A Weighted)
- Bluetooth: Yes with aptX codec support
- Line Level Inputs: 2 x Stereo RCA
- Phono Input: Yes for Moving Magnet or High Output Moving Coil Cartridges
- Line Level Outputs: 1 x Stereo RCA (Can be used for a Subwoofer or Power Amplifier)
- Digital Input: 1 x Coaxial, 2 x Optical
- Digital Outputs: 1 x Coaxial, 1 x Optical
- PC Input: 1 x USB B
- Speaker Terminals: Heavy duty - will accept bare wire, banana plugs or spades
- Headphone Jack: Full-size 6.3mm
- DAC: ESS Sabre32 ES9018K2M
- Sampling Frequency:
- Optical & Coaxial Inputs: 44.1-192kHz (PCM)
- USB Input: 44.1-384kHz (PCM) & DSD64, DSD128, DSD256
- Remote Control: Included
- On/Off Switch: Located on front panel
- Power Switch: Located on rear panel
- Power Input: 220-240V ~ 50Hz
- Dimensions (WxHxD): 313 x 95 x 313mm
- Nett Weight: 7.5kg
- Manufacturer's Warranty: 2 Years
Note: Features & Specifications Subject To Change Without Notice. E&OE.