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Sonus Faber Quid

[Sonus Faber Quid]
[Italian version]

The Quid is an integrated amplifier made by Sonus Faber between between '86 and '92. Sonus Faber now makes a new integrated amplifier called Musica.
Take a look at the picture above (the Quid is connected to a pair of Opera Terza) and imagine a walnut-finish Linn LP12 (yes, the turntable) without platter and arm, with two walnut knobs placed frontally (volume and source selector) and two switches (on/off and source/tape monitor). That's the Quid.
Otherwise you should try to remember the Gravis, the active subwoofer by Sonus Faber. Its external power unit was, more or less, a Quid.
A very slim real Italian walnut cabinet with a huge separated power supply, connected to the amplifier via a monstrous cable. In the picture below, taken from the original Sonus Faber brochure, you can see the separated power supply unit.

[Sonus Faber Quid]

Just to add another touch of class the dot over the i of Quid works as the on/off led (green in the first version, amber in the second).
For what that matters the Quid had 50 watts per channel with a high current power stage.

How does it sound ?
First of all it's fast, very fast. Dynamically explosive, it can virtually drive any speaker, bringing new life even to the laziest and slowest ones.
Compared with other amplifiers (Arcam 2.90 and Pioneer A400X) it outperforms his contenders dynamically, sounding faster, more detailed and impressive.
Going back to a slower amplifier makes wonder if the CD player or the turntable are turning slower !!!
This is one of its major drawbacks: sometimes it may sound too fast and one would like to slow it down a little.
But the Quid is a *love or hate it* amplifier, no compromises, no fear.
It sounds louder than its 50 watts would suggest (Sonus Faber specs claim 110 + 110 Watts @ 2 Ohms) and easily outperforms standard jap 100 watters.
One should not ask too much, though, as it may become harsh and overbright.

It has very detailed highs which, with some speakers, may result even a little too bright.
It is not the classical English amplifier, if you know what I mean.
It does not sound warm, unless you listen at very low volume.
Thia way the Quid sounds warmer and sweeter and I guess this is due to the fact that it works in Class A till 8-10 watts.
The bass range is peculiar: not particularly powerful but deep and very agile.
The Quid can virtually control even the *laziest* woofers and, of course, can make tremble your windows panes, glasses and doors when matched with the right speakers.
The mid range is critical: if the source is harsh the Quid won't do anything to make it sounding sweeter.
It is plenty of detail and razor's edge precision: acoustical guitars and voices literally materialize into your listening room.
3D reproduction is good, with a fair image depth too.

The bottom line is: the Quid is a lovely piece of electronic art: if you can find one second-hand I'd suggest to buy it and run :-)
Retail price (in Italy) was around 900 US $, now you can find a second-hand Quid for 450/500$, in other words a bargain.
Other amplifiers grow old, the Quid, thanks to its walnut cabinet becomes more and more beautiful (as the walnut gets darker).

Copyright © 1997 Lucio Cadeddu

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