My Quadral Amun MK V journey

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Audio enthusiast’s journey is not always an easy one. You need to have patience, be ready to compromise and take risks. But all that sometimes pays off.

 

The story of my pair Quadral Amun MK V is a perfect example. It took me 4 years to complete them, and I only needed a pair of tweeters.

 

Quadral Amun MK V are big, heavy, closed 3-way German speaker with ribbon tweeters from the 90s. The “ribbon” tweeters are actually planar magnetic (quasi-ribbon, like Infinity’s EMIT) drivers developed based on Technics EAS-10TH400A, which Technics called “leaf tweeters”. But with everybody, including Quadral, calling them simply ribbon tweeters, who am I to argue. Anyway, Amuns have that classic big black box look, elegant velour finish of the front wall, and very well balanced sound, full and precise, with great bass extension, wonderful instrument separation and very good soundstage. They are closed, so you can place them fairly close to the rear wall without risking boominess. Low sensitivity (only 86 dB) is possible drawback, but if you have a decent solid state amp that’s not a problem. 100 WPC Inkel MD2200 power amp I’m using now is more than enough, they were fine with 50 WPC Philips 22AH309 I used before, and even with a 35 WPC Superscope R-1270. The amp must be 4 Ω capable and have a beefy power supply. Although the Amuns are magnetically shielded, which would make them candidates for HT systems, in my experience HT receivers cannot handle them – they tend to sound weak, some even go into protection (few HT receivers are capable of driving 4 Ω speakers). Amuns need some room, I’d say at least 20 m2, 30 m2 is better. Lastly, convincing your partner that she has to live with 2 black coffins in the living room might require some effort – the looks of these speakers do not appeal to women. But their sound sure does. After listening to Nirvana “Unlugged” through the Amuns driven by Superscope R-1270 my partner never again questioned having separate systems for HT and music.

 

I got my pair of Amuns in April 2011 and it turned out that tweeters were blown. Amun V uses XX 1000 tweeter that’s rather expensive and nearly impossible to get anywhere outside Germany. A pair sold on German ebay for 164 euros, 19 people were bidding. So, the cost of the tweeters for these speakers can be more than half the market price of the speakers.

 

In the pair I bought the tweeters were barely audible. After opening the tweeter cases it turned out that someone had actually gutted them – removed magnets and put crappy cheap Philips tweeters inside the enclosures behind the ribbons to have some sound coming from the tweeters and make it look like they were working. Luckily I discovered that on the day I bought the speakers. I contacted the seller at once and sent him the photos of this atrocity. He didn’t want the speakers back so I got him to return 80% of the money I paid and kept the Amuns. I figured I might get XX 1000 tweeters for them later on, or find good substitutes.

 

After some research I figured that the MK IV (previous) version of Amuns was nearly identical except for the tweeters and for the fact it was an open enclosure. There were titanium domes in MK IV (T110/20/2), but other drivers were the same and, more importantly, so was the crossover frequency for tweeters. As luck had it, I had a pair of different Quadrals with T110/20/2 tweeters; I tried one in the Amuns and it sounded good. I bought a pair of T110/20/2 and installed, and I made a cover for excess opening (fronts of XX 1000 tweeters are higher than T110/20/2). Effectively I made a closed version of Quadral Amun MK IV. They sounded really good, so I figured – no rush with buying original ribbon tweeters. I still wanted to get them eventually, as I knew they would sound better. Later I got other speakers that use these ribbon tweeters, Quadral Aurum 5, so I could test it. But over the last years the XX 1000 tweeters only showed up on German auctions, and for much more than I was willing to pay.

 

Finally, last week I spotted a an auction of a pair or Quadral Rondo Phonologue Gold in “uncertain condition”. They also have the XX 1000 tweeters, and the price was less than 100 euros including shipment (that’s 30% of what they normally go for), so I took a risk. They arrived, and of course only one of the woofers sounded OK. The other woofer distorted, both tweeters were dead silent. But after I opened the speakers it turned out the crossovers were fried. I tested the tweeters in different speakers and surprisingly they were fine!

 

I quickly removed the T110/20/2 domes from the Amuns, installed the XX 1000 and after 4 years I finally have Quadral Amun MK V with original ribbon tweeters. It was worth the wait, they were my best sounding speakers before, now they’re amazing! Highs are less aggressive, sweeter without losing any detail, vocals sound more natural, soundstage is even better than before.

 

It was a long journey. It could be shorter – I could get a pair of XX 1000 tweeters from Germany, but I would have to pay twice the price I ended up paying. The total cost (the price I originally paid for the Amuns, the cost of T110/20/2 dome tweeters I used in them until now and the price of the Rondos from which I finally got the ribbon tweeters) was much less than I would have to pay for a fully working pair of Amuns in Germany or here in Poland (even for Amun MK IV). On top of that, I still have the T110/20/2 dome tweeters and the distorting woofer and fried crossovers from Rondos can be repaired cheaply, so I see a pair of very decent bookshelf speakers in my future, too.

 

 

Quadral Amun MK V

General information

Manufacturer: Quadral

Model: Amun MK V

Years of manufacture: 1992 – circa 1995

Manufactured in: Hannover, Germany

Colour: walnut, mahogany, black oak, natural oak, maple; special order: rustic oak, cherry, alder, blue marbled

Dimensions: 907 x 262 x 355 mm (H x W x D) with grille,

weight: 26 kg per speaker

Original price approx .: 1.098, – DM per speaker

 

Specifications

 

Type: 3-way closed system

Woofer: 1x 220mm

Midrange: 1x 132mm

Tweeter: 1x ribbon

Power handling (nominal/music): 120/170 W

Efficiency: 86 dB / 1W / 1m

Frequency response: 28-80000 Hz

Crossover frequencies: 280/3500 Hz

Nominal impedance: 4 ohms

Special Features: magnetically shielded

 

8 comments

  1. Die Bruine

    Quadral Germany will repair bandtweeters! I know, it’s not around the corner. But if you really love these speakers, they’re worth it.

  2. rafal lisinski Post author

    I’ve heard about that, and I agree they’re worth repairing, especially that this tweeter model is not manufactured anymore and I think old stock ran out several years ago. But mine were incomplete, one tweeter was missing the magnet, the other had the enclosure completely gutted (no ribbon, no magnet), and someone had put crappy plastic Philips tweeters inside the enclosures to have some sound coming out of them. They were beyond repair.

  3. rafal lisinski Post author

    Well, I hope my review helps 🙂

    My experience is Amuns (and other Quadrals with ribbon tweeters) sell quite easily if you put them on auction with bidding starting relatively low, say an equivalent of $100. Then they normally go up to $250-$500, depending on condition, luck and location.

    Good luck!

  4. Dusan Ilic

    Could anyone tell me what is the sensitivity and frequency response for Quadral T 50 20/LT 300 A tweeter driver?

    Big thanks

    1. rafal lisinski Post author

      Unfortunately I couldn’t find specs for these tweeter, I don’t thing Quadral published this. The only available information can be deduced from the specs of speakers in which these tweeters were installed. Quadral set crossover point at 4 kHz for all speakers with these tweeters, and they stated that the top limit as 40 kHz, so the tweeter’s frequency range should be at least 4000-40000 Hz, but tolerance is not stated either. Sensitivity is not published anywhere. Maybe try to contact Quadral, they might have technical data for these tweeters in their archives.

  5. Zoran

    Hello Lisinski. I need help from you to resolve my problem about tweeters on my Wotan MK5. I bought this speakers about month ago and last week, after many days of suspecting, i open box of tweeter ribbon and realise that someone put a cheap chinese ribbon in there. So there no option for me to send my ribbon to Quadral to reapair because no original parts in it. Tell me if you know, can i put for example this tveeters “VIFA XT25BG60-04- 4ohm/100W” to replace original (XX1000 T55/10/XX1000 Art.-Nr.:923023)?
    I try many times to find parameters for original XX1000 T55/10 but without success. I need information about Ohms, watts, frequencis and sensitivity to be able to put some other tweeters to change originals and avoid damage on crossover.
    Thank you in advance!
    Zoran from Serbia.

    1. rafal lisinski Post author

      Hello Zoran.
      Unfortunately I do not have specs for the original XX1000 tweeters. As far as I recall, they are 8 ohm tweeters. I can test that for you and confirm later – as I have 4 pairs of Quadrals with these tweeters at home, so I can take one out and measure. But I do not know their power handling or sensitivity. As far as frequency range goes, the crossover frequency for the tweeter in Vulkan Mk V is set at 4 kHz, which means any tweeter that works from that or lower frequency up will be OK (crossover freq. 4 kHz just means that the tweeter will not receive signals below 4 kHz). That includes the VIFA XT25BG60, which is good from 1 kHz up. It’s a 4 ohm tweeter, but the Quadral tweeters I used as temporary replacements were 5 ohm and that worked well, it did not cause any problems. Using a different impedance tweeter should not be a problem for the crossover, but such a tweeter it might play louder than the original 8 ohm tweeter in the same system. This is possibly in the case of the Vifa tweeter. And it’s actually not bad, because if the tweeter is too quiet, you would have rebuild the crossover, but if it’s too loud, you can fix that by adding resistors (L-pad – 1 resistor in series, 1 resistor in parallel with the tweeter) before the tweeter. They will attenuate the tweeter to the desired level. The value of resistors depends on tweeter impedance and how much you want to attenuate it. There are online L-pad calculators that will tell you which resistor values give you which attenuation.

      If the Vifa tweeter is the right size, I would give it a try. Best get it from a store that accepts returns and if it’s too quiet in this speaker, just send it back. If it’s too loud, try L-pads.

      I would do my best to avoid doing any permanent changes to the enclosure (tweeter mounting hole). This way, if you are lucky and find original XX1000 in the future, you will be able to restore your Quadrals to their original condition.

      Good luck!

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