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

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 seven day period 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 #2

Again 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 very rare Yamaha CX-2

Pre amp: The CX-2 is an outstanding preamp in its own right and a remarkably fine partner for the 405-2. Very rare. Click HERE for an example. Owner reviews can be viewed HERE and additional info HERE

CD player: Marantz CD94. Beautifully built and excellent sounding for peanuts money. Usually to be found HERE and aim to pay no more that £375 for a Mk1 and around £460 for a Mk2

Speakers: Yesterday, having flown in the face of conventional wisdom, i.e that the only logical choice comes from Harbeth, Spendor and QUAD of course. Tannoy too, today I'm still avoiding that 'wisdom'. I go for the IMF Professional Monitors Mk3. A typical price is around £400 and worth every penny. That said, replacement drivers might be hard to come by although the bass drivers can, so I am told, be easily re-coned / re-foamed.  If curious, you might start looking HERE

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 #3. Will you be joining me?

Neil McCauley / editor in chief

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