Quad Artera Solus
The most recent addition to the Artera range is an all in one audio system. It marries technology from the Artera series but offers a higher degree of value for money. The Artera Solus costs £1499
A CD player is combined with a high-quality DAC and a very good integrated amplifier. Connectivity is strong with this unit and Quad appear to have thought of everything. Both analogue and digital inputs are provided as well as Bluetooth and a USB input allowing streaming of music files right up to High Res.
|General Description||CD Player, DAC, Pre-Amp, Integrated amplifier and Bluetooth Connectivity|
|Key Technology & Features||DSD (up to DSD256 Compatible) BIuetooth (aptX)|
|Audio File Formats||ALAC, WAV, FLAC, AIFF, WMA, MP3, AAC, AACHE, AAC+, DSD64, DSD128, DSD256|
|D/A Converter||ESS ES9018 32bit DAC|
|USB Input||USB B (PC / MAC)|
|Digital Audio Inputs||2 x Optical TOSI ink, 2 x RCA(DIG1, DIG2)|
|Digital Audio Outputs||1 x Optical TOSI ink, 1 x RCA (DIG)|
|Analogue Inputs||2 x RCA (AUX1, AUX2)|
|Analogue Outputs||2 x RCA, 2 x Balanced XLR, 6.3mm Headphone Jack|
|Speaker Outputs||2 x Speaker Binding Post Terminals|
|Sample Rate (USB B)||44.1 kHz, 48kHz, 88.2 kHz, %kHz, 1 76.4kHz, 192kHz, 384kHz|
|Sample Rate (Digital Inputs / Outputs)||44.1 -192kHz|
|Standby Power Consumption||<0.5W|
|Output Level (1 kHz) Variable Output||0 – 4 Vrms (Pre Outputs)
0 – 8 Vrms (Balanced Outputs)
|Frequency Response||20Hz-20kHz, 1 kHz (± 0.2dB)|
|Total Harmonic Distortion||<0.002% (20Hz-20kHz)|
|Signal to Noise Ration(S/N)||> 103dB (1 kHz)
> 11 0dB (A Weighted, 1 kHz)
|Channel Separation||> 1 00dB (1 kHz)|
|Power Amplifier Section|
|Rated Power Output||2 x 75W (8(2)|
|Frequency Response||± 0.5dB (20Hz-20kHz, 1 kHz)|
|Total Harmonic Distortion||<0.009% (1 OW 20Hz-20kHz)|
|Signal to Noise Ration(S/N)||> 100dB (A Weighted,ref.75W)|
|Channel Separation||>82dB (A Weighted,ref.1 W)|
|Dynamic Range A-wtd||98dB|
|Dimensions||320 x 320 x 105mm|
Listening to the Quad Artera Solus
In fact the Solus is immediately recognisable as an Artera product. Visually and build quality-wise it shares the chassis with the Artera Play. It also sounds like a slightly less powerful version of the Play matched with the Stereo. I say less powerful but 75 watts per channel is enough to drive most loudspeakers that the Solus will realistically be partnered with.
We auditioned the Solus with the Amphion Argon 1. This is a compact loudspeaker that we’re rather taken with at the moment. It produces a very detailed and open sound without a hint of fatigue and we expected the Quad to deliver with this speaker. We weren’t disappointed either. There’s plenty of go in the tank and better still; the combination sounds good when you turn it down.
Next we tried the Solus with some Bowers and Wilkins 704 floorstanders from the new 700 series. These cost £1999 and are an obvious match because of their slim footprint and high standard of finishes. They match the intent of the Quad. Again we were impressed by the weight and presentation of the soundstage. Bowers have used a new tweeter in the 700 series and it is detailed without being harsh. This was right up the Quad’s strasse and the combination was really quite superb for the money.
All in all we think Quad have a winner with the Artera Solus. Not everyone wants to do away with their CD collection and the Solus is a perfect alternative to streaming. It also gives you the option to stream audio files should you so wish.
On demonstration now.