Quad 909 review

Size is not everything here, as the 909 delivers a dynamic punch of sound to your ears with great clarity and quality Tested at £900

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

This classic power amp design is a class performer that’ll work superbly in a wide range of systems


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    Even-handed sonic delivery with strong dynamics and fine resolution

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    good build

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    Nothing of any significance

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Small amp = small sound? Don't you believe it. The Quad 909 may be relatively small, especially by the standard's of some of its rivals, but play anything large-scale – say, Stravinsky's Rite of Spring – and this dynamic amplifier will take a firm grip of the partnering speakers and produce a sound with impressive authority.

Much of this is down to a rich and weighty bass performance that goes very deep without losing control: even fast-moving rock and rap basslines thunder along and give a firm foundation to a clear and full-bodied midrange.

Outright clarity is good, and there's a strong sense that the amplifier isn't messing around too much with the signal. An even tonal -balance and surefooted sense of -timing complete a strong sonic cocktail.

A compact power amp
In common with other 99 Series products, the 909 power amp is built inside a one-piece cast casing, and feels hefty and solid. Within, you get the company's acclaimed ‘current-dumping' design, which actually uses two amplifiers: a very high quality low-power amp provides the signal, and keeps what's going out as close as possible to what's coming in from the preamp, while a high-power section provides the grip to keep the speakers under control.

The result is a relatively compact power amp able to deliver 140W into 8 ohms and 250w into a 4ohm load, and still one of the very best power amps at this price. Listen to it before you buy anything else.

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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