Quad is launching a new version of the Vena integrated amplifier. The new Vena II adds new features
The original Vena offered hi-res USB, optical and coaxial digital inputs in addition to wireless streaming via aptX Bluetooth. The diminutive Vena II maintains the aesthetic of its predecessor with s row of source-selection buttons and a large volume control. The same range of digital and analogue inputs is provided, with the addition of a MM phono stage.
Beneath the hood, the 45W Vena II sports significant upgrades. The digital audio circuitry has been improved, the Cirrus Logic DAC chip found in the original Vena replaced by an ES9018K2M from the Sabre32 Reference family with an added post-DAC active filter.
The original Vena maxed out at 24bit/192kHz PCM via USB. The Vena II stretches this to 32bit/384kHz, alongside DSD (up to DSD256).
Like the original model, the new amp sports a Class AB power amp section but the power supply has been upgraded, a new 200VA toroidal transformer lying at its heart. This is followed by 2x15000uF reservoir capacity (30000uF in total).
The original Vena included a headphone output but this was connected to the amp’s main output stage rather than to a specialised headphone amp circuit. The Vena II incorporates a dedicated headphone amp with current-feedback circuitry.
Bluetooth wireless streaming is featured too plus inputs for digital sources comprise asynchronous USB and three S/PDIF sockets (one coaxial and two optical), while digital outputs are provided in optical and coaxial flavours. Analogue signals are catered for by three stereo RCA inputs – two line-level plus the new MM phono input for turntables – while pre-out sockets permit the additionof an external power amplifier.
Quad’s Lancaster grey is the standard finish option, while Sapele Mahogany, gloss black and gloss white wrap the Vena II’s aluminium housing in veneered or lacquered wood.
Price is £649, while the three premium finish options add £100 to the price tag. Quad is also offering a system pack, which combines the company’s compact speakers in Black Oak with the Vena II in Lancaster Grey, for £999 – a £150 saving compared to the individual prices.
Both the Vena II integrated amplifier and the Vena II/S-1 system pack are available from the end of November 2018.
To read more, click www.quad-hifi.co.uk
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