Back in the day, the original Quad 11L was one of our favourite speakers, winning our coveted Product of the Year award.
But that was a few years ago now (2002 to be precise), and the speaker market has moved on since then. The 11L's successor, the 11L2, scored four stars when we reviewed it in September 2003, "appealing on technical grounds but failing to stir the heart, or feet", as we said at the time.
Now Quad hopes the third-generation model, the Quad 11L Classic, will redress the balance.
Peter Comeau, director of acoustic design for Quad's parent company IAG, says: "In the best Quad tradition, the 11L Classic follows the dictum 'the closest approach to the original sound'. Majoring on timbral accuracy, exceptional detail retrieval and low colouration, the 11L Classic is everything a small monitor-class speaker is meant to be, and more."
More after the break
The new model retains the same compact cabinet size of its predecessors (31 x 19 x 24cm, HWD), and is finished in high-gloss, real-wood veneers, selling for £380/pair.
However, Quad is also introducing non-lacquered wood veneer finishes at £50 less, selling at £330/pair.
Inside the cabinet, an upgraded motor system has been fited to the mid/bass unit with its 12.5cm woven Kevlar cone, "resulting in a substantial reduction in midband and bass distortion levels", says Quad. The upshot is that the 11L Classic can go louder than before.
The 25mm fabric dome tweeter has also been improved, its housing forming a shallow "horn" or "waveguide" fixed to the front baffle. This better controls the dispersion of the dome to mimic that of the midrange cone through the crossover region. The crossover itself has been enhanced too.
Twin reflex ports on the back of the cabinet augment the speaker's bass performance and enable a physical crossover to the bass unit at 68Hz.
Lacquered versions of the 11L Classic are available in cherry or piano black (£380), or you can have non-lacquered cherry and rosewood finishes for £330.