QUAD: Resurrecting the marginalised 405-2 (solution #1)

Hi, I'm Neil McCauley / editor in chief and I'm on a mission to resurrect this excellent classic British design. In short, to distance it from the widespread perception that it’s purely for the pipe and slippers brigade. Yes, of course it does to some extent have it’s roots in that patronized yet well-meaning market sector, but that was then. These days though … ?

My task during the next seven days is to produce one bespoke combination per day using only pre-owned equipment; preamp + CD player + speakers. Seven systems that in my direct personal experience really work well together either side of the 405-2.

To keep it simple, I'm not discussing cables, stands nor isolation systems here. That’s the sort of fine tuning that you really don’t need my help with right now but by all means contact me HERE if you feel I might be able to help you on an individual basis.

Is this you perhaps?

This venerable vintage amplifier if in fully working condition offers astonishing value in terms of sonic performance per £. Possibly you have one lurking (skulking?) in a loft or garage, forgotten, ignored and abandoned?

The thing is …. it can provide the centre-point, or musical hub if you prefer of a very fine second or third system. In some cases, if matched with sympathetic partners it can be a first system that punches very much above it’s weight.

Or are you a QUAD 405-2 novice?

Okay, fine. You are most welcome to tag along. A great source of QUAD 405-2 amps is HERE. Typical prices sit between £250 > £350.

System solution #1

I'm going to fly in the face of convention here and for now, but only for now I'm going to ignore the ‘logical’ preamp choices of QUAD 34 and QUAD 44. Today I suggest a personal favourite of mine the Meridian 502

Pre amp: The Meridian 502 at today’s way-too-low for the money resale prices is an outstanding preamp in its own right and a remarkably fine partner for the 405-2. Usually to be found HERE and aim to pay around £340 in better-than-average condition

CD player: Again, here I go for a Meridian. Any of the 507 and 508 series work very well as indeed all Meridian players do. Usually to be found HERE and aim to pay no more that £500 for a 508

Speakers: Some might argue that the only logical choice comes from Harbeth, Spendor and QUAD of course. Tannoy too. Part of me is inclined to agree but today, with my rock / blues hat on I'm opting for and off-the-wall suggestion; the JBL Century L100 monitors. While it’s true that these are capable of an in-yer-face presentation, they can be tamed by a QUAD power amp without diluting the essential visceral thrill these can deliver. Look for them HERE and aim to pay around £400

So, thank you for your attention. I'll be back tomorrow with a rather different approach to applying a QUAD 405-2. That’ll be solution #2. Will you be joining me?

Neil McCauley / editor in chief