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Quad 11L2

QUAD 11L2 loudspekaer review

From Hi-Fi World - January 2009 issue

 

 

 

 

quad-iil2

 

 

 

Quad's 11L2 has enjoyed wide popularity, rare with loudspeakers. Perhaps it's because Quad have a 'sound', as well as a reputation to maintain and the 11L2 is a tightly focused design that meets its goals. Quads don't have emphasised treble, easing long term listening. Their underlying technology is finely honed.  And then there's appearance. The 11L2 is beautifully finished with a deep piano gloss coating, giving it a lustrous shine. The cabinet weighs 6.3kgs, measures 310mm high, 190mm wide and 243mm deep, and feels very rigid. It houses a bass unit with a 125mm woven Kevlar cone and a rigid, reflection free chassis, plus a fixed central phase plug. The tweeter is a 25mm soft dome type (i.e. fabric, not aluminium) with aluminium voice coil. Bi-wire terminals are fitted at rear, and twin ports are sited here too. Quad use Neodymium magnets for high sensitivity and claim 86dB from a true watt; we measured a high 87dB from one nominal watt, confirming their figure.

 

SOUND QUALITY

In this group the Quads stood out for many reasons. Their tonal balance was everything Quad are known for: smooth, not immediately challenging but quietly impressive. Indeed, the Quads initially sounded warm in balance, likely due to a suppressed 3kHz-10kHz region, but they are very detailed all the same and were able to deliver vocals with the almost the same degree of resolution and naturalness as the Ushers, devoid of their slight dryness. Indeed, vocals from the Quads were positively lush sounding, quite unlike most current loudspeakers. They have a lovely sense of stage depth and superb inner detailing that had me hooked on listening intently to all sorts material, even the relatively poorly balanced live performance from Within Temptation's Black Symphony CDs.

 

Duffy's Rockferry sounded gorgeously atmospheric and she was picked out strongly, centre stage, situated within an obvious studio acoustic - superb. Just as measurement suggested, there was deep bass of the subsonic variety to be heard, making bass sound weighty and large, yet it was tuneful too. Only the 11L2s managed deep bass in this group. At last the Class A Sugden could display its strengths, as it didn't have a forward sounding tweeter to provoke.  The stereo stage was both wide and high, with well established images. Strings sounded smooth and even, if not lustrous as with the Mezzo 1s.  The Quads were a class act; they are smooth, sophisticated and, in every area, very effective, if obviously 'warm'.

 

 

verdict 4

A big easy sound with plenty of bass makes the 11L2 a great listen

 

QUAD 11L2 £250

International Audio Group

+44 (0)845 4580011

www.quad-hifi.co.uk

 

FOR

- easy sound balance

- smooth treble

- plentiful bass

 

AGAINST

- on the warm side

- slightly hard midband

- bass a trifle loose

 

 

MEASURED PERFORMANCE

The Quad 11L2 differs subtly to the others by having more energy below 2kHz due to overall plateau lift relative to tweeter level from 2kHz to 20kHz. This will give it a less ‘aggressive’ balance than most rivals, even though there will be plenty of detail, especially so as output through the crossover region is well maintained. So the 11L2 is ‘voiced’ as you might expect from a Quad product. Response is smooth, broad and even, forward output extending down to 70Hz (-6dB), below which the broadly tuned twin rear ports take over. These extend bass below 40Hz. The spectral decay graph shows a lack of early hot spots, suggesting the 11L2s will sound clean and colouration free right across the audio band.

 

Sensitivity was high at 87dB, aided by a 4 Ohm bass unit and an impedance curve that stays close to 4 Ohms at low frequencies where power is delivered, overall impedance measuring 5.7 Ohms. In every area the 11L2 measures very well. It has been carefully voiced to reflect the Quad sound. NK

 

 

FREQUENCY RESPONSE

 

quad 11l2  stepped sine fr1  screen

 

Green - driver output; Red - port output

 

IMPEDANCE

 

quad 11l2  sine z1 screen

 

 

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