Artera Play+ From Quad: Artera upgraded

23rd August 2018

New version of the CD player/DAC/preamp from Quad’s Artera Series, the Artera Play+ adds features whilst lowering the price

Quad has replaced the original Artera Play with a new version called the Artera Play+: a CD player, DAC and preamplifier combined in a single chassis. 

The first addition is the inclusion of aptX Bluetooth, enabling users to pair smartphones, tablets and computers and stream music wirelessly. Also new is a front-mounted headphone output, positioned beneath the fascia and coupled to dedicated circuitry.

Inside is an ESS Sabre32 Reference DAC, handling PCM data up to 32bit/384kHz as well as DSD64/128/256. For CD replay, a slot-loading mechanism buffers data from the disc before feeding it to the asynchronous DAC section. Four digital filter options are available. 

The power supply circuitry has also been redesigned, with a larger toroidal transformer and independent power supplies. Volume is digitally controlled in the analogue domain, feeding single-ended RCA and balanced XLR analogue outputs, two coaxial, two optical and one USB Type B, while a pair of RCA phono inputs handle analogue sources. Two digital outputs (optical and coaxial) and a 12V trigger output complete the array.

The housing has a textured aluminium front panel, thick glass top and CNC-routed heat sinks on either side plus touch-sensitive controls built into the circular OLED displays; a fully featured remote control is also provided.

In 2015, the original Play launched at £1,399.95. Quad has been able to deliver the enhanced Artera Play+ at £1,199.95 with a choice of black or silver front panels.

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