I - Introduction
Armand van Ommeren is a writer about high fidelity since 1974. He is a frequentand authoritative publisher about audio-, video, photography and music. Besides these activities he is an ardent Mercedes-Benz lover and editor-in-chief of the Mercedes vintage magazine in the Netherlands. There is no audio video magazine thinkable in the Netherlands and Belgium, now and in the past, without his numerous contributions.
He was for more than 20 years active for Dutch radio and TV and started his own company Technotekst in 1986, specializing in writing and translating technical brochures, documentation and literature. Numerous well known brands make use of Technoteksts facilities.
In 2008 Van Ommeren materialized his love for and interest in QUAD products, mainly because he feared that these coveted products would be ignored and end in the garbage bin. Mainly the 3-series, originating from 1967s, are still top products, but bearing their age in mind they need refurbishing. Some components need to be replaced (e.g. electrolytics) and intelligent 21st age electronic insights can be fruitfully implemented in these nearly 50 years old designs. Nowadays components are available which do their work better than their 1967 foregoers. But integrity is first, so only minor improvements in reliability, versatility (e.g. cd-player input) and performance pay homage to that unique amplifiers and electrostatic loudspeakers from that unique Britsh make QUAD.
Studio 6 - may, 1969 Radio Nederland
Armand - A recent picture
Studio 4 Radio Netherlands ca 1979,
South African transmission
Studio 7 Radio Netherlands ca. 1970,
together with the late producer Harry Kliphuis
1987 Osaka, on visit by Matsushita’s Centre for the Future
1990 Bayonne (France) visiting Sony’s musicassette factory
Bowers and Wilkins loudspeaker works in Worthing UK, 1976 introduction of the DM 6 loudspeaker. Fifth from left: Armand van Ommeren, ninth: John Bowers, eleventh: Jack Cluysenaar, founder of Audioscript, the Netherlands, fourteenth: Peter Hayworth, one of B&W’s quartermasters, sixteenth: John Gilbert audio editor The Gramophone magazine.
Interest in our activities is growing and we get regular demands from Benelux countries but our services are also available in Europe and even worldwide In the meantime new developments shed new lights on the Quad 33-303 design philosophy. After actualising Quad 33 and 303 respective power supplies and new designs and materials (epoxy) for printed circuit boards I am still working on refinements and intelligent input alterations (33). Needless to mention that all connecting cables and Bulgin main plugs are on the shelve for modest prices, even adapters and attenuation cables (e.g. cinch/DIN).
After using that unique QUAD ELS-57 and ELS63 for many decades/years followed by the QUAD ELS 988 I am now listening to QUAD-63’s, refurbished and enhanced by QUAD Musikwiedergabe (D). These loudspeakers contain new electrostatic panels, manufactured in Germany while the system’s chassis has been made more rigid and reinforced like QUAD Musikwiedergabe’s top model ELS 63 QA. Needless to say that the speakers are driven by an QUAD 303 power amplifier and an Accuphase C-200 V preamplifier: I always have Accuphase in high regard. Further Sony’s SACD player XA333ES, a sublime design, work together with Accuphase tuner, a TC-K6ES cassette deck, one of the best cassette players ever built and the DTC-ZA5ES DAT and MD333ES Minidisc player from the same manufacturer. Vinyl is played on a Technics SL-1220/II transcription unit with SME 3009 improved tonearm and Denon DL304 cartridge. Open reel tapes are played in my laboratory on a Telefunken M15A studio recorder, the most beautiful taperecorder ever built and a Revox A-77 workhorse for 4 track 9,5 and 19 cm/sec recordings on reel. In my laboratory I listen to Quad 33/303/FM3/AM3 and a pair of those famous KEF Cresta I bookshelve loudspeakers and a Beogram 4000 record player with MMC 20CL cartridge. Nearly 50 years on and still high quality and flawless music reproduction!
On my test bench I make use of Phlips PM 3055 and Hitachi V-425 oscilloscopes, the B&O NM1 power/noise measuring device, B&O TG7 and TG8 oscillators, three Goertz Unigor 6E FET meters, Leader LDM 170 distortion analyzer and a Kenwood SG 5150 AM/FM stereo generator.
Test bench in Bavel:
nice cottage industry in the best sense
Building of Quad Musikwiedergabe in Germany
Demand for repair and refurbishing of ‘old’ QUAD electrostatics is growing. It is astonishing to realize that hundreds of more than 40 years old QUAD 57’s are still in use in Benelux countries. Refurbishment is realized in close cooperation with QUAD Musikwiedergabe in Gering Germany. When QUAD Huntingdon seized activities they took over the machinery for manufacturing the electrostatic units. The Germans are now producing new electrostatic units for both the 57 and 63 loudspeakers, making use of better and trustworthy materials than QUAD Huntingdon could have dreamed of. Repair or refurbishment of electrostatics is an precision job and most of the time not cheap but you will hear your familiar QUADs for many years to come: saevis tranquilus in undis!
Armand van Ommeren