Quad 11L Classic review

These Quads are an update of a tried and tested design, and are massively impressive performers in many areas Tested at £330.00

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

Massively impressive performers in so many areas, but they don’t quite have the sparkle to set our world alight


  • +

    Impressive neutrality, control and detail resolution

  • +

    terrific build and finish

  • +

    relatively unfussy about positioning


  • -

    Presentation lacks the sparkle to truly engage the listener

Why you can trust What Hi-Fi? Our expert team reviews products in dedicated test rooms, to help you make the best choice for your budget. Find out more about how we test.

It's been eight years since we first laid eyes on Quad's 11L.

That first generation was terrific, blitzing all-comers for a few years. We were less taken with the second-generation model, which improved on the original in some areas while losing balance in others.

The Classic is new and improved, and is a determined attempt to recapture the magic of the original.

Superb build, even handed tone
It gets off to a great start. Build quality is excellent: the speakers have a hewn-from-solid feel few rivals can match.

The finish is great, too – the standard version costs £330; add another £50 if you want the rather lush lacquered veneer.

These are wonderfully even-handed speakers with a convincing tonal presentation. It may be small at just 31cm high but it sounds far more authoritative than you expect with large –scale recording such as Bruckner's Symphony No.7.

The Classic's powers of resolution are impressive as is its stable and precise stereo imaging.

Too considered, lack sparkle
So, a winner, then? Not quite. Despite the long list of plus points these aren't speakers we warmed to.

They sound almost too considered in their approach and lose a fair bit of excitement and involvement on the process.

They're speakers to analyse recordings rather than enjoy the music, and that's why they fail to get an unreserved recommendation. Classic? Almost, but not quite.

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What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, Reading and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.

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