Quad S5 Floor standing speakers

The S series loudspeakers that we are going to talk about were presented in 2016, that is, exactly 80 years after the release of the first Quad amplifiers. The family composition is absolutely classic: two models of shelf speakers, two floor ones, and a central channel. Just a subwoofer was not found in the catalogue, which is a bit surprising, especially considering the presence of central channels clearly oriented to the home theater.

The most impressive S5 speakers in the series are 27-kg floor towers of 107 cm in height and 33 cm in depth. Traditionally for Quad, tweeters are tape. Mid-frequencies are reproduced by one 5-inch driver with a Kevlar diffuser, but the five drivers at once sound the bass section. Two of them are located on the front panel - these are 6.5-inch drivers, the diaphragms of which are also woven from Kevlar threads. However, they are loaded not on a simple bass-reflex, but on a block of three passive drivers of the same caliber.

The surface of the case can be decorated with ebony or mahogany veneer, and also finished with white or black piano lacquer. On the back wall there are two pairs of massive mirror-polished massive terminals, allowing for bi-wiring connection. They are located on a spectacular golden plate, once again associated with the glorious 80th anniversary.

In the test amplifier path, it was logically decided to use stereo Quad Artera Stereo amplifier. Its power is 2x100 watts.

However, after start of listening, I honestly did not immediately remember the need to analyze the operation of crossovers and passive drivers. The fact is that Quad S5 effortlessly surrounded me with an amazingly light, open and harmonious sound. Consciousness noticed the peculiarities of reproducing well-known phonograms, while trying to correlate them with the cost of the speakers and their acoustic circuit.

It's worth starting a conversation with high frequencies. Over the decades that have passed since the first tape tweeter in Quad Corner Ribbon speakers, a lot has changed in the world, of course. And tape tweeters in modern times are not so rare. However, it seemed to me that exactly Quad S5 was able to play the high frequencies so that, regardless of the performing instruments, they were perceived as a single sound fabric with a clearly touchable dynamic and tonal micro relief. Each thread in this canvas has its own well-defined place and shade. It is even more difficult to find fault with the spatial characteristics of sound performed by Quad S5 than with transmitting ultra-thin nuances at high frequencies. The soundstage is wide and mathematically scrupulous. The scale of the musical images is absolutely adequate, although their positioning in depth seemed somewhat smooth to me.

The presence of three 6.5-inch woofers on the rear panel requires sufficient free space. In my opinion, it's definitely not worth moving the speakers closer to the wall than half a meter. Meeting this rule, the bass acquires clarity and controllability, as for linearity - it is just enviable.

Speaking about the mid- range, the first thing you pay attention to is the complete absence of a tint that is sometimes characteristic for Kevlar diffusers - especially when working at high levels of sound pressure. Apparently, a rather wide rubber suspension, which provided the piston nature of the driver's operation even at high volume, also played a positive role here. In a word, Quad S5 play vocal lively and energetically, but at the same time without aggression or arbitrary adornment, treating complex tonal textures with quite a due care.

Quad S5 Floor standing speakers photo