Quad Vena II

Now with Phono Stage!
Manufacturer: Quad
Availability: In stock
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£649.00

The Quad Vena has been one of our favourites here at Harrow Audio over the years but our only negative point about it was the lack of Phono Stage. With the release of the Vena II, Quad have fixed that and included a high quality MM Phono Stage but not only that, they have also improved the DAC Chipset resulting in a better sonic performance and tweaked the styling. 

Still very much a Quad looking product, just a little smarter. 

Available as a stand alone unit or in a bundle with the Quad S1 speakers. 

Specifications

Preamplifier Section
 
Analogue Inputs 2x line-level RCA / 1x MM phono
Analogue Outputs 1 x RCA (pre-out)
Analogue Input sensitivity 450mV (line-level) / 4.1mV (MM phono)
Analogue Input impedance 10kΩ (line-level); 47kΩ / 100pF (MM phono)
Frequency Response 20Hz-20kHz (+/- 0.5dB)
Total Harmonic Distorion (THD) < 0.002%
Signal-to-Noise > 110dB (A-weighted)
Power Amplifier Section  
Power Output 2x 45W RMS (8Ω) / 2x 65W RMS (4Ω)
Frequency Response 20Hz-20kHz (+/- 0.5dB)
Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) < 0.005% (30W, 8Ω)
Signal-to-Noise > 108dB (A-weighted)
Digital Section  
DAC Chip ESS Sabre32 ES9018K2M
Digital Inputs 2x optical; 1x coaxial; 1x USB Type A; aptX Bluetooth
Max Sampling Frequency – USB 384kHz PCM; DSD256
Max Sampling Frequency – Optical/Coaxial 192kHz PCM
Digital Outputs 1x coaxial; 1x optical

The Vena II’s small footprint (compared to many amps in its class) allows flexible positioning and ensures the amp slips tidily into a range of environments. The amp‘s dapper design is enhanced by a choice of four finishes: Quad’s classic Lancaster Grey is the standard option, while three premium finishes – Sapele Mahogany, Gloss Black and Gloss White – wrap the Vena II’s aluminium housing in veneered or lacquered wood.

Though technically excellent, Sabre32 Reference DAC chips can be challenging to implement effectively. If the circuitry that surrounds them it is not of a sufficient standard, the resulting sound can seem a little cold and hard; treat them right, however, and the level of musical expression that these chips dig from the digital signal is captivating. One such critical element is the post-DAC active filter; Quad’s design team has paid great attention to this circuit, using op-amps that were specifically chosen for their synergy with the ES9018K2M.

In terms of hi-res file compatibility, the original Vena maxed out at 24-bit/192kHz PCM via USB. The Vena II stretches this to 32-bit/384kHz, alongside DSD (up to DSD256). This ensures the amp is fully equipped to make the most of today’s hi-res music formats, as well as future advances in ultra-high-definition digital sound.

The Class AB power amp section now has an upgraded power supply, a new 200VA toroidal transformer lying at its heart. This is followed by 2x15000uF reservoir capacity (30000uF in total), helping the amp to maintain firm control of the music whilst enabling excellent dynamic range.

Vinyl lovers will appreciate the addition of a phono stage for moving magnet cartridges – a high-quality, low-noise, JFET-based circuit with precise RIAA equalisation – adding to the Vena II’s already formidable format flexibility.

Headphone users are also better catered for. The original Vena included a headphone output, but this was connected to the amp’s main output stage rather than to a specialised headphone amp circuit. The Vena II incorporates a dedicated headphone amp with current-feedback circuitry, its gain bandwidth and high slew rate delivering a more dynamic, detailed and engaging performance with all manner of headphone types.

Simplicity is key to the Vena II’s outward design. Quad’s design team selected Bluetooth wireless streaming, with support for the aptX codec, to ensure easy pairing with all manner of smartphones, tablets, PCs and Macs – expertly implemented to deliver an adroit balance of quality and convenience. The Vena II feels like a traditional hi-fi amplifier, with its uncomplicated front-mounted controls and simple remote, yet its specification is state-of-the-art.

Copious cable connections enhance the amp’s flexibility. Inputs for digital sources comprise asynchronous USB and three S/PDIF sockets (one coaxial and two optical), while digital outputs are provided in optical and coaxial flavours. Analogue signals are catered for by three stereo RCA inputs – two line-level plus the new MM phono input for turntables – while pre-out sockets permit the addition of an external power amplifier.

Products specifications
Item Condition New