Astereo setup doesn't get much better than a dedicated CD player, a preamplifier and two mono-block power amplifiers primarily because these individual components will never give the incoming and outgoing signal a chance to run away from their grasp. What is even better, is this set of four coming from Quad's Elite Series: their uppermost bracket of production for the audiophiles and anybody else who's serious about how their CDs sound.
OUT OF THE BOX
There's an element of charm racking up four layers of matte black cast alloy electronic units that are identical to each other in all the three axis of dimension. Making them feel as hard as metal and as ribbed out as Arnie's abs (before the Mayor Arnie) helps a great deal too. These Elite products look very simple with only a hint of buttons on their front panels which is otherwise a plain strip of black. Whether or not it'll charm the fashion conscious population is not of too much importance because this series isn't aimed towards them either. Racked up, the foursome are about as high as a foot stool but are a lot heavier than they'd have you believe. Quad has also made their connectivity a lot easier by supplying the back panels of each component a 'Quad link' system connection port and the necessary cables.
The Elite is a replacement for the 99 Series by Quad and even if its members look almost identical to their predecessors, there's a lot more going on under the hood. All of the electronics has gone for an overhaul, starting with the Elite 54 AV MAX NOVEMBER 2010 CDS CD player. For minimising digital distortion, the audio stream is regulated by a high performance master clock, with the help of which a top-end Crystal 24-bit/96kHz DAC operates. There's an Elite CDP CD player that's also a part of the Elite series which comes with the same settings as the CDS except Quad's dropped a 24-bit/l92kHz DAC in there along with a preamplifier. Also, the CDS is only available in a black finish while the CDP comes in silver and champagne besides black.