I’ve just serviced a Quad 44 preamplifier. In this article, I’ll show you what the Quad 44 looks like inside and explain some of its features.
Along with a Quad 405 power amplifier, I recently serviced this Quad 44 preamplifier, both owned by the same customer. I’m told he purchased them after a chat we had about resurrecting his KEF speakers, and purchasing some Quad gear to power them!
The Quad 44 is a compact, CMOS switched preamplifier, with minimal wiring, and high-quality parts. It has a few too many controls for my liking, though there are some useful tone controls and filters. The bad news is that all the mechanical switches and pots in the signal path, along with quite a few op-amps and CMOS switches, impact on the sound.
To my ears, this a slightly opaque sounding pre and not quite up to the same high sonic standards of 405-2 power amp. It is very nicely made though and there are still hard-core Quad 44 fans out there who would no doubt disagree with my assessment.
As a kid, I cherished my Tandy 200-in-1 electronics project lab, Dick Smith electronics kits, my Dad's hi-fi and my own first proper system. Later, I created Liquid Audio to help keep classic hi-fi gear alive and well. Our mission: to deliver TLC for classic Japanese, American and European hi-fi stereo equipment.