Quad 21L Floorstanding Speakers

4.67/5 (6 Reviews)


Product Description

  • X-over point 2.2kHz
  • Frequency Fb 40Hz
  • Height 780mm + 15mm plinth
  • Width 205mm
  • Depth 263mm


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Reviews 1 - 5 (6 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by govanomy a Casual Listener

Date Reviewed: March 29, 2008

Bottom Line:   
In short, if you are a fan of jazz, chamber, instrumental, vocal, solo, easy-listening and such not-too-noisy kinds of music, it is highly likely you will LOVE these speakers. On the contrary, if you are a fan of Metallica, AC/CD, and the likes, you will not like them at all and you don't even want to look at them either. For a start, they don't even look the part for those kinds of music.

I was expecting something new and good from 21Ls when I first got them, only because all the positive reviews I'd read here. Especially after spending so many years with my old AR3a's from mid 70's, and so little money on audio equipment. (I did re-con and x-over job myself.)

Instead, what a disappointment!!
Awful, poor sound. Proper bass and mid were nowhere to find and the sound felt like it was coming from a rice paper. Vocals were behind a thick curtain and instruments were behind the vocals. "The first owner told me he owned Tannoy Cheviots and he must have been hugely disappointed as well, and that was the reason for selling.", I thought to myself. But the deal was done and return was not an option. So I decided to give them a chance as QUAD recommends 50-hour burn-in, and the first owner told me he'd done less than 10 hours.

It wasn't 50 hours, let me tell you.You may be able to do that after a few police visits to you if you enjoy your music late in the evening, but if you are like me, it won't happen in 50 hours. At modest volumes, it will take 100 or so hours, probably more, to free up the driver. You won't be able to really enjoy the music during that time and you will most likely constantly question your decision of buying them and that's what I did. For me, the real burn-in didn't happen until I got somewhat pissed off. Out of dissatisfaction, I pushed them to clipping stage several times with all the doors and windows closed and played them right below that clipping level for some time and 21Ls began to show some noticeable changes after those max-outs. After all, the quiet listening style of mine didn't help and as a matter of fact, frustration helped.

Once the driver is freed, it's a different story and the difference is not small. Nora Jones and Bryn Terfel come out from behind those blanket-thick curtains to the front stage, strings start to sing, percussions begin to rock, and Bach's pipe organ pieces come to life. I've been able to compare the set with my old AR3as all the way, as I often used them together to compensate each other's downside, muddiness of AR's and poor mid/bass of QUAD's and I especially liked the combination at reduced volume during the late evenings and nights.

But now, I hardly use AR anymore since Quads give me a lot more joy without the help from ARs. Bass, though not as solid or deep as AR's, goes deep down without the usual muddiness of AR's, mid-range opened up and sings naturally and the high gives a very clear image without causing fatigue. I can immerse myself in Brahms' violin concertos and Romero's guitars all day long. These Quads will be my friend for the coming months and years.

One more thing. These speakers do NOT need big power. At first, you may think they need relatively strong amplifier to get them moving. But, that's not the case here. They only take quite a long time to burn-in and when they are done, you only need modest power to drive them to your satisfaction. These Quads get to their clipping stage sooner than you'd expect. On my little Yamaha RX-797B, they start clipping at about 2/3 of max output whereas my old AR3a's never do that even when maxed. So, I wouldn't push it too hard.

Enjoy listening

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Casual Listener

Product model year:   2006

Price Paid:    $780.00

Purchased At:   Second-hand



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Tripping Billy a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: February 26, 2008

Bottom Line:   
Bought a pair without even listening to them.

No regrets.

Got them hooked up to a little system I've been cobbling together -

NADC521bee CD
Rotel RA-01 integrated with PS Audio xStream power punch ac cord
Kimber hero I/C
Kimber shotgunned 4TC speaker runs

Not much, but I like it, and given that i put the whole thing together for less than $1500, I'm laughing all the way to the bank.

Proof positive that good things can come in small packages.

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2006

Price Paid:    $700.00

Purchased At:   Importer



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by The13thGryphon a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: November 26, 2006

Bottom Line:   
Admittedly I am biased... I just purchased them... but I seriously have not heard any speaker under two grand that I would rather have. If I had found such a thing, I'd have them instead of the Quads.

To my ears the Quad 21L’s are dynamic, musical, tonally accurate, and transparent without being hyped or accentuated. They have good, tight, tuneful bass extending down to about 35 Hz. And they project an almost holographic spatial image. It's downright spooky to hear sounds coming from way beyond the outside edge of the speakers, and to be able to place each instrument in three dimensions.

Personally, I don't care much for metal dome tweeters. I can't listen to them for very long without wanting to turn down the volume. There is a hardness to the sound that I find very fatiguing. I have always preferred silk/textile dome tweeters, and the textile domes in the Quads are literally music to my ears.

Brass sounds brassy... woodwinds sound woody... symbols sound properly metallic... I can tell whether the artist is using steel or nylon guitar strings... and I can feel the ivory under my fingers when someone tickles the keys on a piano… all without making me want to reach for the volume control and back it down. Incredible!

I like the 21L’s better than their 12L or 22L brethren. The 12L, although faster and very slightly more articulate just doesn’t do it for me in the bass. I need more than they provide. The 22L’s on the other hand have more bass than is good for them. The bass is not as tight and tuneful, and it also tends to muddy up the mid-bass and midrange. The 21L’s are the best of the lot, in my opinion.

I auditioned them with a Rega Apollo / Mira 3 combo, as well as with a Naim Nait 5i / CD 5i setup. The Quads sounded fantastic on both systems. My own gear is getting a bit long in the tooth, and do not do the Quad 21L’s justice. However, as I’ll likely be purchasing the Rega gear in the near future I know what I’ve got to look forward to.

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2006

Price Paid:    $890.00



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by daydayyea a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: June 16, 2006

Bottom Line:   
WOW. i thought i have found the best of the bunch already. Quad proved me wrong. Had gone thru most Dynaudio and Totems, and so many other "BESTBUY and overated" speakers, I thought they were the best... Quad makes me speechless now. Those who does not give 5 stars - 1. They either did not have the right equipment and right setups or 2. Have they lived with other good players out there?

Not to mention there are not much speakers company out there have such kind of finish quality.

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2003

Price Paid:    $900.00



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Leonardo a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: April 9, 2006

Bottom Line:   
I bought the 21L showmodel speakers for 600 Euro with a crack in the lack (oly noticable form less than 1 meter in sunlight)

What a speaker is this.
I compared this speaker with different speakers in the same prize range and above (B&W, Monitor audio s6 and s8, Kef Q7 and many more)
For me it was clear that this were the speakers I was looking for because they did not sound to me like a pair of speakers but more like the real thing .

The soundstage and depth are amazing
They are smooth and detailed and fast at the same time.
What I also like is that all instruments/ voices are separated.

I compared these with the 22L which I found less transparent and articulated and since my REL Quake II takes care of the low frequencies there I do not need that extra speaker (and filter etc.).

I notice now that the quality of what I hear is more depending on the studio / recording quality.

And maybe upgrading my Yamaha R300, which I use for 25 years now and is warmed up on me quite a bit, might be a good idea as my Pioneer DV 350.

Anyway I am very very happy with these speakers bringing back again the sheer joy of enjoying music at a much “closer” and realistic level.

I read somewhere that this speaker will reviel the quality of less upstream equipment. That might very well be the case not because the speaker is hard to drive but beacause of the lack of detail clarity etc...

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2006

Price Paid:    $600.00

Purchased At:   Snijder Hifi Rotterd




Reviews 1 - 5 (6 Reviews Total) | Next 15

Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating


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