Quad 303 Amplifiers

Quad 303 Amplifiers 

DESCRIPTION

45 Watt Power Amplifier (1973-1977)

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-10 of 42  
[Feb 18, 2012]
Stu Amato
Audio Enthusiast

An awsome amp. I use it with a Meridian 208 CD and Acoustic Research AR 40 speakers. I use the Meridian as a preamp. I found this little beauty at a car boot sale for $20 and had it rebuilt by an ex Quad engineer. Total cost of rebuild and amp $400. A bargain! The engineer said it should last 20+ years if it was looked after. I will!
Sounds so good. mid range, bass. treble. Bob Dylan is in my room.
The only problem I had was that when I played a CD with bird song on it and my cat ripped the speaker panel looking to catch it.
The bass delivery leaves ripples like a tsunami in my wine glass even at low volume. The mid range vocals you can count the number of fillings in the singers teeth. and the cat is totally decieved by the treble.
Expensive speaker cables forget it! Quad themselves reccomend lamp cord in the manual. Works fine. I use a good interconnect for the Meridian made by the engineer mentioned above.
Amazing build quality. My favourite challenge is to ask friends to pick it up using one hand. Nobody has managed it yet.
Get one if you can find one, have it rebuilt and you will have an amp that will last and sound great for at least 20 years.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Nov 17, 2011]
Stu
Audio Enthusiast

Have wanted one of these since I was a student in the 60s right in the middle of the swinging London scene. I heard one coupled to some ESL 57s via a Thorens turntable. I thought the Kinks were standing in the same room. Alas student finances prohibited purchase.at the time. Then marriage and mortgages arrive with the same result. Happily managed to obtain a 33 303 combo with ESL 57s much cheaper being so 2nd hand (25 years old) had them refurbished and now the Kinks (and some of those other great 60s groups) are standing in my living room again.
The amp is bullet proof and every note is clear and defined. Warm and living sound even with a digital CD player (Merdian 518)
The engineer who refurbished them said they would last another 25 years no sweat.
So ok no remotes etc or dancing coloured lights but at my age need the exercise!
I still gave yet to hear a modern amp speaker combo that sounds so good with all genres of music. even hip hop.
Highly reccomended and affordable.



OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Mar 24, 2009]
teemacs
Casual Listener

Brilliant product, absolute bulletproof. When it finally died (after 26 years' continuous service) I packed it off to Net Audio for a complete makeover. It's back and off for its next 26 years.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Jan 22, 2004]
Chas Underhay
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

This equipment is very reliable and when it is within proper "factory calibration", it sounds superb.

Weakness:

I feel I should give prospective buyers a word of warning. This product came out in the late 1960s and I think, was discontinued in the early 1980s. This means that the youngest would now be 20 years old. Certian components, particularly the power supply caps, degrade. An overhaul by Quad including replacemont parts is likely to cost £100.00 or more. Ask the vendor to demonstrate the service history, if no documentation is available, remove the unit covers, Quad place Service Labels inside with the date of service written on them. Unless it can be proved that they were serviced within say the last 10 years, bank on the fact it will need doing. This equipment is very reliable but when it is within proper "factory calibration", it sounds superb. To be totally fair, the fact that we are talking about normal factory maintenance of a product of this age is a stregnth few other products of any description posess.

I have had a Quad 303 with matching 33 and FM3 for well over 20 years Judging by some of the equipment I have heard over the years, I think that when that sad day comes when the old Quad finally goes to that great studio in the sky, I will have to dig very, very deep into my pocket to replace it. The weakest link in the chain is the 33's integral phono preamp but this can easily be by-passed.

Similar Products Used:

Can't think of any thing else that is as reliable, apart from my bench vice

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Nov 15, 2003]
Tyrone
Casual Listener

Strength:

Well built go on working for years

Weakness:

None

My quad 303 amp and 44 preamp Excellent quality, very smooth and detail sound like a quad II valve amp I find that these are the worlds best amps recommend quad to anyone

Similar Products Used:

Quad 405 But I find the 405 more aggressive

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Jun 29, 2003]
biggarthomas
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

will last for ever. fantastic sound.

Weakness:

not so pretty. can be a little bright even with the moderately expensive Chord interconnects and Kimber 8PR that I use

I now own two 303s. They are bi-amped to two Kef Q-65s. I use a Quad 44 pre and an FM 3 tuner (looking for an FM4). recently I bought twop "upgrade" boards for the 303s but I've not had the nerve to have them installed. I cannot tell you how much I love the sound of this system. You can instantly tell the difference when these big Kefs are being driven by one 303 7 when they are driven by two. These amps hav lots of power to spare at the best of times but with my arrangement they really fly. No humming, no nasty distortion. I've been getting upgrade itchy and thinking about geting a couple of 306s. I know that I'll regret it. These amps will not win any beauty contests but, when my neighbour who owns a big expensine Bryston comes over, he's hard pressed to be critical of the sound from my kit. He say's that my kit is a little in the "bright" side but that's it. Do yourself a favour, save a ton of money and try these almost vintage sweeties out. Tonight I listened to a number of Bach Cantatas - absolutely fantastic and a could of CDs of the new Harry Potter book - amazing clarity and so real. I'm a jazz, blues & clasical listener if that helps

Similar Products Used:

used one 303 for 20 years till I bought the second.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[May 22, 2003]
Roopz
AudioPhile

Strength:

Superb, smooth and dynamic sound. Built to last the ages.

Weakness:

The typical gripes to do with Quad's esoteric 5 and 4 pin DIN connections. Apart from that NOTHING!

Having always hankered after a piece of Quad equipment since hearing my friends Quad 44/405 combo, I found these fantastic pieces of kit at a local secondhand hifi store (wonderful place!) Hefty they are, build quality is top notch. They must be matched with good components like anything in this category. Once unleashed they produce a superb rendition of all types of music. As a recording engineer, Im constantly monitoring and listening to all types of music, and this provides a fantastic way to do it. Very few modern amps can produce that special sound without paying shedloads. I have a hifi setup with B&W N805's with Naim pre and power amplification. This was going to be an interesting comparison. They do very very very well. Its a different sound, more relaxing with the Quad's. Hence why its in my bedroom!

Similar Products Used:

Naim, Cyrus amplification, Crimson

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[May 20, 2003]
Van Basten
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

Totally indestructable, I've tried. They are very loud. No noise, no hum. They impress the #@$% out of everyone that hears them.

Weakness:

Looks (it really does grow on you). Connections (i can live with it).

I first came across a Quad33 when my mate bought the tuner, pre-amp, amp combo for £100 from the free-ads. I have to admit, i was totally unimpressed with its looks, colour everything. I thought the connectors were rubbish and it basically impressed me about as much as a toaster would (which i thought it lokked like anyway). My mate explained that he had heard a 33 one night at a friends house and instantly wanted one, he snapped this one up as soon as he saw it. I remained unimpressed. We got back to his place and wired it up to his existing cd, tuner, tape combo. It didn't work. Being an electronics engineer, i suggested i have a look as it had the circuit diagram with it. i thiught this odd as I'd never had a diagram for any piece of consumer electrical equipment I'd ever bought. Upon opening the pre-amp i was stunned. I've seen the inside of nearly every type of electrical product, but none ever looked like this. Each circuit board had a signature of the engineer that tested it, every part of the wire loom is individually hand-tied, each part has been thought out with build quality in mind. The closest thing I've ever seen that had the equivalent 'care' built in was early avionic equipment as found on Concorde. Well I was impressed totally by the build quality but it still didn't work. I found that one of the poles in the on/off switch was open-circuit. I short-circuited the pole for him later at work with a length of wire out of a concorde. I returned it to him the following day and we wired it up and sat back to listen. That was the first time in my life that reproduced music had ever made me smile, glow. Made me want to listen to everything I ever heard in my life. Definitely made me want to own one, I didn't care what it looked like, how heavy it was, how much I disliked the connectors (which made me replace all my leads). I had one within 3 months, paid £250 for the tuner, pre-amp, amp combo and got a pair of Acoustic Energy AE120SE's. All I can say is everytime iI listen to it, it makes me smile. It makes my friends smile. They handle any kind of music and excel with movie sound effects where lots of bass is required. I have listened to lots of different set-ups, and have been impressed with loads, but the cost to upgrade to that level is a huge leap of faith. I cannot see the point in spending hundreds on units that are more modern and look flashy and basically are not going to last ten years. I cannot see me ever parting with them, there really is no point. The best £250 I truly ever spent.

Similar Products Used:

Ive heard lots, just to compare

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Mar 31, 2003]
simon303
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

The stock 303 has a fuzzy and warm sound that is very acceptable to listen to even by modern standards. The rebuilt 303 is fantastic it has all of the good qualities and none of the bad!

Weakness:

Funny chassis power plugs and 4 pin din plugs. The Quad Pre-amps are a week point, the 33 look cool but sounds very fuzzy and the 34 is better but is a long way from a pre-amp like the PS Audio 4.6 (I know it cost more!)

I have always liked the look of the 33/303 combinations. I have three of them; two are as they came from Quad. The third has been rebuilt with high quality modern components.

Similar Products Used:

I have a 306 that is clearer sounding but lacks the soft valve like 303 qualities (sounds hard). The rebuilt 303 has all the virtues of the 306 and the 303.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Mar 09, 2003]
tpage1975
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

Build Soundstaging Midband

Weakness:

Would prefer IEC mains plugs (but being picky)

Recently bought this amp off a friend with a Quad 33 preamp. The preamp needed a bit of work on the output socket, but once this was sorted the amp combination was very impressive. I used to have an old Creek 4140s2 which I thought was good with my Rega EL8s, but the Quad turned them into new speakers! Soundstaging is excellent, and I'm discovering lots more detail in all my music. Also had a very good experience with Flashback sales (http://www.flashbacksales.co.uk) who sold me some great new DIN cables, fixed my preamp socket and provided cups of tea! Built like a tank with nice understated looks. Positive connections and hum-free.

Similar Products Used:

Quad 33 Preamp Creek 4140s2

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 42  

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