Quad Artera Solus integrated amplifier/CD player Manufacturer's Comment

Manufacturer's Comment

Editor: Regarding digital filters, Herb says in the review that offering listeners multiple filter options is "evidence that digital is designed by numbers, not by listening." Quad's director of acoustic design, Peter Comeau, and Jan Ertner, the principal engineer of the Artera Solus, spent a lot of time listening to filter characteristics and worked hard at getting the best out of the Sabre DAC. They included four filters because people's preference for filter type is often dependent on personal choice and accompanying equipment. And from a purely technical perspective, different sources often require optimization using the specific character of the filters. For example, a DSD file might sound better with the Fast filter, as it has a slow roll-off characteristic. We're glad to give Herb and customers the choice that suits them best.

JA mentions a "suspected coding error" in the measurements of the Narrow filter. The Narrow filter bandwidth on S/PDIF (being different from USB) originated as a way of dealing with low-quality sources, such as the optical output of a Chromecast Audio or original AirPort Express. The "low-quality sources" with Artera Solus are now best dealt with by changing the digital phase-lock-loop bandwidth. There is a pending firmware update (which is user upgradable) that will take care of this. This will be available from the Quad site imminently.

When you get to play with big gear like the epic Pass Labs integrated that Herb references, who wants to own an all-in-one integrated amp with a built-in DAC and CD transport? Herb's knack for putting himself in other people's shoes nails it in the summary: The Quad Artera Solus is for a "music-first audiophile" who wants a simple system with "engaging" sound quality, and they want to play their CDs. That describes a lot of people who might shy away from massive separates but want a much better experience than a popular table radio can provide.—Jonathan Derda, MoFi Distribution

US distributor: MoFi Distribution
1811 W. Bryn Mawr Avenue
Chicago, IL 60660
(312) 738-5025

Bogolu Haranath's picture

HR said Artera Solus' CD player sounded superior ........ May be HR could compare that CD sound with the Denon DCD-1600NE CD/SACD player ($1,200) and/or compare with the new Mark Levinson No.5101 CD/SACD player/DAC ($5,500)? :-) .........

JHL's picture

...you could compare the half of Fidel's last Cohiba Esplendido found wedged between the wall behind the desk and a tattered copy of Imperialism, and Clinton's sodden version of same found under the Resolute desk four days into the subsequent administration.

Because we're all in the market.

Bogolu Haranath's picture

One of them involves a 'blue dress' in the mix :-) ........

Bogolu Haranath's picture

I may choose a 'Wide Churchill' instead :-) ........

tonykaz's picture

Wasn't it QUAD that assured us that they came closest to the original?

While I was flying-in ( importing ) Air Containers of Quad 63s ( back in the day ), Quad people were bragging about "musical fidelity", Reviewers were supporting Quad's assurances. My customers bought all the Quads I could get into the Country. I wasn't a believer.

I do have the "Feeling" that Mr.Derda takes care to only represent high performance gear and that Mr.HR's evaluation is probably valuable, just not for me, this time.

For this 21st Century Quad to have genuine credentials it'd have to be made in the same place Quad was original, the place where "closest to the original" hung on the Production wall, the place where the Postman brought the day's mail on a Raleigh Bicycle.

As it stands, matching this device with Chinese loudspeakers seems appropriate.

So I ask the missing question: Why not just buy a bunch of Schiit?, Stoddard & Moffat are "our" newest Peter Walkers.

Tony in Venice

ps I've always felt Mr. Derda was a good person.

Bogolu Haranath's picture

HR said, Artera Solus CD playback came 'closest to the original', almost :-) ........

The Times They Are a-Changin' :-) ........

Bogolu Haranath's picture

The promise of 'perfect sound forever', finally fulfilled? :-) ........

Ortofan's picture

... will excel on a null test?

Do most audiophiles really want an amplifier whose objective performance exemplifies what QUAD's Peter Walker termed a "straight wire with gain"?

Or, would they rather have one that sounds, in some subjective manner, more "pleasant"?

tonykaz's picture

That test must have value to someone, for an important reason.

I can't answer any Schiit questions. I do realize that Schiit make dam good gear. ( what is dam good? seems like oppisotes )

A Null test for me is reading unenthusiastic & uninspiring reviews about another Chinesium, does-it- all, Best Buy Shelf siting SKUs.with legendary Brand Names.

What sings significant is that Mr.Dedra scored a product review by the reviewing industry's Poet Laureate. I'm hoping for a QUAD 11 Classic integrated 4_ KT66s & 4_12AX7s Review by someone.

Fingers Crossed

Tony in Venice

Ortofan's picture

... used to demonstrate the extent to which the performance of QUAD amplifiers resembled a "straight wire with gain."

As for a QUAD II Classic integrated review, Art Dudley did that deed nearly a decade ago:
So have others:

While you're more than welcome to the QUAD, I'd prefer the Luxman LX-380.

tonykaz's picture

Geez, I've never owned any Luxman piece.

I've never had a Luxman in on trade.

I've never even known anyone that owns a Luxman


known anyone displeased with Luxman.


I just checked eBay to discover about 100 pieces of Luxman are selling per month from US owners, from the low $100s to about $3,000! Global eBay sales 150 Luxman pieces from about $100 ranging to $7,000!

There are plenty of eBay Luxman integrated Amps in the $3,000 range.

Hmmm, Luxman ( along with Sugden ) seems another Brand I've forgotten that I would like to own and enjoy.

Thanks for the reminder.

Tony in Venice

ps.. a Clean Luxman piece is "Obviously" resealable for 120% of purchase price, it's a Brand with Integrity.

Bogolu Haranath's picture

Artera Solus may be a better value for the money than several integrated amps selling under $3k, because it has a built-in CD player, hi-res DAC and multiple DAC filter options :-) .......

Bogolu Haranath's picture

I'm waiting for some one to come up with a name 'pleasant (sounding) filter' on their DAC :-) ........

Dr.Kamiya's picture

The narrow filters seems a bit too narrow. 44.1kHz files cut off at just 10kHz?

Bogolu Haranath's picture

There is a pending firmware update ........ See manufacturer's comments :-) .......

David Harper's picture

Except when the CD player eventually starts malfunctioning in some way (which most of them tend to do in my experience) I'm completely S.O.L. But then I guess I could just continue streaming.

count.de.monet's picture

He'd probably be so angry he'd jimmy slap that stupid integrated into the skip as they call it there over on that side of the pond. Where the fuck is the emoji button?

Hummer189's picture

Hi Herb,

I read in your review that you used Audirvana for you digital files, could you let me know what settings you use in Audirvana?

Ulfilas's picture

I mean, way to undersell your own product!