Quad Artera Play (Black)
Combining a sleek user interface, Quad has crafted a new Control Unit/CD Player – Artera Play - with all the latest high-definition audio technologies: state of the art DAC chips, DSD file processing and more.
The Quad Artera Play is best described as a multifunction box and not quite like anything else on the market. A CD player that also has digital inputs for use as DAC. With Play, Quad has chosen to go even further - this is also a complete and fully capable Digital/Analogue preamplifier with two analogue inputs and analogue volume controlled pre outs. Along with a USB input there are also two optical and two coaxial digital inputs, and one optical and one coaxial digital output. With rugged heat-sinks either side, combined with a beautiful aluminium facia, Artera is a modern statement piece for your living room, with a nod to Quad’s hi-fi heritage.
The Modern Quad Experience: Creating an experience for the modern living room has been the primary focus of the Artera Series. The Quad Artera Series' styling incorporates a completely fresh design approach while still staying true to Quad’s legendary tradition and functionality. With textured aluminium front panels, thick glass top and CNC routed heatsinks either side, the Artera's housing offers a beautiful yet rugged structure, which also deters any unwanted vibration interference. The front panel of the Artera Play is finished with an ultra-intuitive touch-sensitive control, with quick access to playing your prized music collection
From the transformer to the input terminals, each section of the Artera has been engineered from the ground up to ensure power, musicality and stability. Special attention has also been paid to the newly developed balanced XLR inputs. This is no gimmick and is common on both pro-gear and high-end audio. Simply put, XLR cables and connectors help minimise interference. The robust connections are yet another string to the Artera Play's bow, making all the high tech stuff like a bonus extra.
Innovative Industrial Design: As you would expect, the Artera Play beautifully complements the sonic realism and power of Quad Artera Stereo - the matching power amplifier. Designed to be operated by even the least tech savvy user, Artera Play features a simple interface and ultra-sleek design, the inspiration of consultant designer Rodney Mead who is the man behind the Industrial Design of such Quad classics as the 606.
High Definition Playback
Behind the simply beautiful fascia lies a wealth of hidden technology that comprises a fully capable. Digital/Analogue preamplifier that can handle ultra-high resolution playback through the USB input. A new slot-loading CD mechanism buffers data read from the disc before feeding it asynchronously, for minimum jitter, to the powerful 8 channel DAC chip. The DAC in Artera Play is the flagship customisable ESS Sabre ES9018 32bit DAC that can play PCM files with resolutions of up to 24bit/384kHz or DSD files with resolutions up to 256 all available via the USB input.
Peter Comeau On Quad's New Artera Electronics: Peter Comeau - Director of Acoustic Design at IAG Group Ltd presented the QUAD Artera Series along with QUAD latest Z Series Loudspeakers at a special event in Sydney September 2015 which we also attended. Click here for an interview by Jez Ford with Peter Comeau on the AVHub web site.
Quad have long been known by their catch cry "The Closest Approach To The Original Sound". With the Artera Series, Quad have kept this commitment to sound quality and mixed in cutting edge 21st Century technology with amazing ease of use. The Artera Play is a genuine work of art designed to look at home in even the most modern of interiors whilst incorporating high resolution digital file compatability as well as CD playback and an analogue preamplifier with balanced outputs all in one simple to use box. Even when it's not playing it commands attention for its cutting edge industrial design and when it is playing music you quickly forget all about how it looks and find yourself drawn deep into the organic sound of the music being played. This is top high-end audio at a truly down-to-earth price, something to which QUAD have paid close attention. If this is where Quad is heading we cannot wait for more Artera products to come along. The future for Quad just got a lot more fascinating.
Note: At first glance the Artera Play appears to have no front panel volume control which could be an issue on occasions when the remote control isn't close at hand. Never fear dear audiophiles, a secret handshake with someone in the know at Audio Trends will reveal all and have you adjusting the volume from the front panel in no time at all. Or - you could just read the manual - but how unAustralian is that!?
Main Features & Specifications
- Design: Stereo Preamplifier with built-in CD Player and DAC
- DAC: ESS ES9018 32bit DAC
- Output Level (1kHz): 0-2.5Vrms (PRE Outputs), 0-5Vrms (Balanced Outputs)
- L/R Channel Difference: ±0.02dB (1kHz)
- Frequency Response: -0.2dB (20Hz-20kHz, 1kHz)
- Total Harmonic Distortion: <0.001% (20Hz-20kHz)
- Linearity: ±0.01dB (20Hz-20kHz)
- Signal-to-Noise Ratio: >110dB (1kHz), >118dB (Weighted, 1kHz)
- Channel Separation: >100dB (1kHz)
- USB Input: 1 × USB (Support HID)
- USB Input Sampling Rates: 44.1/48/88.2/96/176.4/192/384kHz
- USB DSD: DSD64, DSD128, DSD256
- Digital Audio Inputs: 2 × optical TOSlink, 2 × RCA (DIG1, DIG2)
- Digital Audio Outputs: 1 × optical TOSlink, 1 ×RCA (DIG)
- Digital Inputs & Output Sampling Rates: 44.1-192kHz
- Analogue Inputs: 2 × RCA (AUX1, AUX2)
- Analogue Outputs: XLR & RCA (PRE)
- Dimensions (WxHxD): 320 x 105 x 320mm
- Nett Weight: 8.5 kg
- Manufacturer's Warranty: 2 Years.
Note: Features & Specifications Subject To Change Without Notice. E&OE