Quad 99 CDP-2 CD-player

All components of the 99th series look very unusual. They are made in the midi form factor, they are distinguished by enhanced vibration protection (the upper casing is not made of a traditional thin sheet of steel, but is a very thick monolithic part), and have an attractively laconic front panel design. There are two CD players in this series, CD-S model can formally be considered the youngest. However, this is actually not so. This CDP-2 player is actually its exact analogue at the level of the main components and parts, and is more expensive only because of its expanded functionality - it can be used as a simple pre-amplifier and a high-end 24-bit DAC. This is visible on the rear panel. Here you will find, in addition to traditional analog and digital outputs, an adjustable output for direct connection of a power amplifier, as well as three groups of digital inputs that allow the connection of external PCM signal sources. You can connect, for example, a mini-disk recorder or a DAT recorder, a DVD player or a satellite digital TV receiver to this device. This solution is perfectly consistent with the idea of an extremely short path and at the same time expands the functionality of the stereo system.

But we will test Quad 99 CDP-2 as a player. The reading mechanism has become for Quad engineers the main object of the upgrade. They invented and patented a "lazy servo" that ignores errors when reading bad sectors of the disk and thereby increasing the stability of the digital stream.

We tested not only CDP-2, but also the CD-S model. And there is a difference in sound between them, although, in theory, it should not be. CD-S sounds a little cleaner, but less emotional. But the sound signature of the devices is identical. The scene is equally perfect - each imaginary source in its place, stereo images are perfectly distinguishable. The "voice" of the Quad players is not sweetened and not sleek at all, but stays comfortable for perception on any, even the hardest music program. The upper range is reproduced neutrally, without embellishment. The bass seemed to be more convex, but at the same time, lighter than other players. There are no humming notes at all. Yes, the sound of Quad 99 CDP-2 may seem more straightforward and not too emotional in the middle register, but I am sure that only this unit among competitors can withstand with honor a duel with some expensive reference Super End class player. Quad captivates with its honesty, and therefore it is generally difficult to make any claims.

Quad 99 CDP-2 CD-player photo