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Top Of The Range UK Designed Floorstanding Speakers
Silky Smooth Ribbon Tweeter, Woven Glass Fibre Midrange & Woofers
High Gloss Curved Wood Cabinets
About Quad Z-4
Quad Z4 speakers are the larger flagship floorstanding design in Quad's Z-series speaker range, sitting above the Quad Z-3 floorstanders and Quad Z-1 and Z-2 bookshelf models.
This is Quad's flagship ribbon range of loudspeakers and utilises a new approach to ribbon tweeter design using a unique sandwich formation. An exceptionally robust, high power speaker has been engineered, yet with the delicate treble sound ribbon speakers are famous for.
Where It All Started: Way back in the mono days of 1949, Quad launched the Corner Ribbon as its first loudspeaker. This was, indeed, a "prestige" product, but it offered something special, a particularly clear and detailed upper mid-range to treble performance from a large and delicate ribbon driver. The naturalness and fidelity of sound reproduction of the original corner ribbon was championed by the hi-fi press. So, the question is, can Quad engineers replicate this performance today, or even surpass it? the answer, not surprisingly, is yes.
Then And Now: The Quad corner ribbon was a speaker incomparable to competitors at it’s time, all with thanks to the Quad ethos, which is still adhered to in all product development and to deliver; “The Closest Approach To The Original Sound”. Being Quad's first ever commercially available loudspeaker, the Corner Ribbon was not completely perfect - it generated a relatively low power and the ribbon unit was very fragile. As we know founder Peter Walker moved on to develop the world’s first full range, push-pull Electrostatic speaker, if not the most iconic loudspeaker of our time.
So, to make a ribbon unit that handled today’s high power amplifiers and to do the original Corner Ribbon justice was no mean task. The Z Series ribbon accomplishes this by utilising a composite ribbon sandwich substrate that is far more robust than earlier designs and immerses this ribbon in an exceptionally strong magnetic field to yield ultra-high sensitivity.
The Ribbon Tweeter: Unlike conventional dome treble units where the voice coil ‘motor’ is attached separately to the diaphragm, Z Series ribbon is both the diaphragm and the motor system. The result is a unique combination of delicacy, smoothness and hear-through performance that helps make your music sing. While taking influence from the unparalleled success of the ESL speaker, the ribbon itself is engineered to be extremely light and thin, which delivers the startling accuracy and wide coverage Quad is famous for. In Quad's flagship series, the larger 90 x 12mm true ribbon creates an even higher sensitivity and bandwidth which means better dynamics and an even smoother integration with the midrange frequencies.
Woven Glass Fibre Drivers: In the Z Series floorstanders, this advanced ribbon unit is married to an equally high performance midrange driver with a unique double-roll-surround especially designed to control edge breakup and give equal transparency to the all important vocal range. Both the midrange and bass drivers feature Quad's woven glass fibre cone geometry, now matched by the double-roll-surround for the same smoothness and clarity offered by the ribbon treble unit.
Transparent Technology: The bass section, similar to the original Corner Ribbon utilises an acoustic filter bass reflex system. This section uses a double chamber filter that eliminates “chuffing” found in inferior loudspeakers with conventional ports. This also maintains a natural and unforced reproduction right down to the lowest frequencies of a symphony orchestra, producing Quad's signature sound as found in the iconic ESLs.
Crossover Network: You don't see this, but the crossover network or circuitry inside each enclosure is a key factor in any speakers performance. The all-new designed crossovers were painstakingly designed with feedback from a large team of audio specialists across the world to produce emotional vocals, an astonishingly vivid sound stage and a smooth blending of frequencies. The highly stable off-axis response means they maintain realism in a wide spectrum of listening environments – because everyone’s listening room is different.
Speaker Terminals: On the back, in lieu of the gold-plated binding posts you’d expect from a high-end speaker, are some interesting copper binding posts with a matte gray finish. Quad has the luxury of rethinking their speaker wire binding posts because they don’t buy parts off the shelf; they design, tool up, and make every part. The four posts in strict vertical formation are bi-wirable and come with large, sturdy bridges that have very little flex. Because Quad are using bi-wiring terminations for all Z-Series models, it is our recommendation that you go down that path and use matching speaker cable.
Beautifully Curved Cabinets: The cabinets or enclosures as some call them are gorgeous by anyones standards. You may take it for granted that making curved speaker cabinets is an easy process. Quite the opposite is the case.As well as being time-consuming with a lot of manual labour, they are horribly expensive to make. In fact one well-known brand that we sell abandoned the process simply because of cost. However, the rewards to the listener are worth the serious monetary investment. The non-parallel panels reduce 'standing waves' which are an annoying problem that every speaker manufacturer has to address if they want tight and accurately pleasing sound. Also invisible to the naked eye is the comprehensive bracing that has been positioned to minimise harmonics.
Our Take On The Quad Z4 Speakers
These are first-class speakers by anyone's standard. The Quad Z4 retains its stellar performance from a stunningly accurate high-end response, they also look amazing. This is not a product just to fill a price-slot but more to fulfil the goals of a dedicated design team. Hi-Fi stereo or home theatre enthusiasts will be comprehensively satisfied with the performance. Of course that will be also be a factor determined by your choice of amplification and source material so we would expect you're prepared to dig deep for suitable components.
Main Features & Specifications
- Design: 5-Driver, 3-Way Floorstanding Speakers
- Enclosure Type: Bass Reflex
- High Frequency Driver: 90 x12mm True Ribbon
- Mid Range Driver: 150mm Black Glass Fibre Cone
- Bass Driver: 3 x 175mm Black Glass Fibre Cones
- Input Sensitivity: 90dB
- Recommended Amplifier Power Output: 60-250 Watts
- Peak Power Handling: 120 Watts
- Peak SPL: 115dB
- Frequency Response (+/-3dB): 47Hz - 20kHz
- Bass Extension (-6dB): 40Hz
- Crossover Frequency: 300Hz - 3.5kHz
- Cabinet Volume: 43L
- Dimensions (WxHxD): 267 x 1175 x 340mm
- Net Weight: 23.5kg each
- Finish: Piano Black, Piano White, Rosewood
- Country Of Design: England
- Manufacturer's Warranty: 5 Years
Note: Features & Specifications Subject To Change Without Notice. E&OE.