Quad's "Z" loudspeaker series.

Quad's Z loudspeaker series.

Source: Press Release, Last Accessed: 2016/04/20

Quad unveiled their latest loudspeaker range, the Z Series – the first of many new products planned for 2016 in celebration of the distinguished British audio brand’s 80th year. Like the S Series, which launched in 2015 to widespread acclaim, the new range combines advanced Kevlar-coned bass and midrange drivers with a specially designed ribbon tweeter. The Z Series takes this fundamental design to a whole new level, however, re-engineering the drive units, crossovers and cabinets to provide the perfect bridge between the entry-level S Series and Quad’s classic electrostatic ESL speakers.
The range comprises two stand-mount models (Z-1 and Z-2) and two floorstanders (Z-3 and Z-4). The Z-1 stands 383mm high and incorporates a 150mm bass/mid cone, while the larger S-2 uses a 175mm bass/mid cone. The two floorstanders sport three-way configurations, coupling a 150mm midrange driver with two 175mm bass drivers in the Z-3, and three 165mm bass drivers in the Z-4.
All Z Series models sport a bespoke ribbon treble unit, a technology not new to Quad; in fact, the company’s first loudspeaker was known as the Corner Ribbon, launched in 1949. Back then, ribbon drivers were delicate affairs, easily prone to burning out if overpowered. Like the ribbon unit developed for the S Series, the composite sandwich construction of the Z Series ribbon ensures it is robust enough to handle high-powered amplifiers, but at 90x12mm it is significantly larger than the S Series ribbon. In fact, it is the largest ribbon treble unit that Peter Comeau, Director of Acoustic Design for Quad’s parent company IAG, has ever worked with, delivering greater sensitivity and bandwidth for even better dynamics and smoother integration with the midrange frequencies, the company says.
Designed especially for the Z Series, the bass and midrange drive units use cones fashioned from woven Kevlar – an exceptionally strong yet light Aramid fiber that is as ideally suited to loudspeaker diaphragms. A key feature of these drive units is their unique double-roll cone surround, which controls breakup modes to enhance accuracy and transparency, coupled to a cast aluminum basket providing a stable chassis for the driver motor systems, thus enhancing transient performance. All the Z Series models feature acoustic filter bass reflex loading. This incorporates a dual-chamber filter system inside the cabinet, with the reflex port exiting via a specially shaped expansion chamber in the plinth that is filled with resistive foam. The result, according to the press release, is the sensitivity and extension expected from a bass reflex system but with the clarity and transient attack of a closed box design, entirely avoiding the turbulence and “chuffing” often associated with conventionally ported speakers. The treble, midrange and bass units are aligned via a phase-compensated Acoustic Butterworth crossover devised using advanced computer-aided design coupled with hundreds of hours of listening tests with all manner of music.
Every Z Series model sports a cabinet constructed from multiple layers of wood fiber composites of varying density, extensively strengthened using multiple circumferential braces, all of which reduces panel resonance to below the level of audibility. Internal long hair fiber damping helps to absorb unwanted reflections in conjunction with the scattering effect of the curved cabinet sides, thus minimizing coloration. Each speaker is endowed with a luxurious piano lacquered finish, splendidly complementing the elegantly boat-tailed sides and smoothly curved top.
The Quad Z Series loudspeakers are available in piano lacquered black, white or rosewood.

For more information: http://www.quad-hifi.co.uk/

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