Quad is considered the paragon of audio innovation and excellence. Early products were all firsts of their particular type and cast the mould for the products which would follow in future years. Quad products are have a reputation for their longevity both in production and in performance terms, and one journalist quipped that new Quad products come along slightly less frequently than leap years.
Every product Quad that released is considered an icon, building on the successes of the predecessors, refining and innovating to bring the customer 'the closest approach to the original sound.'
The company was founded in 1936 by Peter Walker and named the ‘Acoustical manufacturing company’. The company produced ‘Public Address’ systems and compact amplifiers . In 1949, The company produced the ‘Corner Ribbon Loudspeaker, producing higher frequencies than had ever previously been achieved. In the same year, the QA12/P was launched and the brand ‘QUAD’ was born from an acronym ‘Quality Unit Amplified Domestic’.
Shortly after the Quad12/P, the now legendary Quad II was launched with a system architecture comprising of, a control unit with two monoblock valve amplifiers.
In the period from 1957 to 1966, innovation was fast. Improved broadcasting meant a high demand for quality reproduction equipment. During this time, Quad developed the world’s first ever full range electrostatic loudspeaker, the ESL-57 and followed this with the ESL-63 in 1963. In 1985 production of the ESL 57 stopped after a production run of approximately 60.000 units. Today, there are many thousands still providing their owners with audio pleasure and supporting a cottage industry of refurbishers too..
In 1981 Quad introduced a new ESL, the Quad ESL-63. Later, the Finnish electronics company, Gradient introduced a subwoofer system, the SW-63.
In 2000 Quad introduced a new ESL-system, the 98 series. This series was evolved from the ESL-63 into a family of models of which the 988 and 989 are the first.