Hifi News

Vena II Amplifier From Quad

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.

Vena II Amplifier From Quad

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.

Vena II Amplifier From Quad

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).

Vena II Amplifier From Quad

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.

Vena II Amplifier From Quad

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.

Vena II Amplifier From QuadTo read more, click www.quad-hifi.co.uk

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  • Reply
    26th November 2018 at 9:52 am

    I very nearly bought the first Quad Vena but held off as a dealer told me a new one was on the way with a built in phonostage and as i play a lot of vinyl i thought I’d wait and see what happens. Now around the same price there is the Rega Brio and the Audiolab 6000a. The Brio is analogue only and the Vena and Audiolab have an array of digital inputs. I wonder how similar they sound as both a part of the IAG group. As I already use Quad gear i’m swaying towards the Vena but the fact Audio Lab make a matching CD transport is also attractive. I wonder how this new Vena matches up against the Rega. What are your thoughts Paul .

    • Reply
      Paul Rigby
      26th November 2018 at 10:59 am

      Thanks for your question, Michael. To be honest, I’m offering you generalised advice only here because I’ve yet to see the new Vena in the flesh (that was a mere news item you read). I’ll throw a few pointers at you and ask you to make the final decision.
      1: You like Quad, you like the Quad sound and the way it does things so the new Vena should be in your sights, therefore.
      2: The new Vena is a lot better than the earlier model.
      3: The Brio – which I have heard – is excellent and highly recommended. It does NOT offer digital, though. You need to ask yourself how important that is in terms of your listening. That said, a separate digital chassis will sound superior to a bundled amp/DAC as per the Vena. But you will pay more in the long run. If digital is important, look for a separate component. If digital is nice but not critical, then a bundled DAC is worthwhile.
      4: The Audiolab is solid too – nothing wrong with that.
      5: I wouldn’t recommend heading for the Audiolab only *because* there’s a matching transport. I would strongly advise choosing any component based on its own sonic merits. There might be superior competition lurking in the wings.

  • Reply
    26th November 2018 at 3:05 pm

    Thanks for the reply PauI. I currently use a Google Chromecast on my existing Quad setup to stream radio and music from google play. I could use this if i was to buy the Brio also. I guess the best thing is to go and have a listen and decide from there. Though I have to admit I’ve always had a soft spot for Quad aesthetics.

    • Reply
      Paul Rigby
      26th November 2018 at 5:14 pm

      Hi Michael – that ‘soft spot’ is a big part of buying hi-fi so, for all of my rantings about sound quality, listen to that part of your brain too. In addition to the sound quality, making a connection with your hi-fi is a strong aspect. A demo is a great idea, though. Let me know how you get on.

  • Reply
    john lichnerowicz
    4th December 2018 at 10:31 pm

    Courtesy of Audible Quality I received a Quad Vena II by courier today and first impressions are very favourable. It is quite heavy, the finish and build quality excellent and the feel of all of the controls and the remote is very good.

    The amp is replacing a venerable but well loved Musical Fidelity A2 so direct comparisons with up to date gear are not possible but from the get go the Quad has given a more assured sound with good clarity and improved bass when used with DAB tuner and my existing Stirling LS3/5 and bass extenders. More to the point my Astell & Kern AK70 paired with the Vena using Bluetooth with absolutely no problem opening up an enjoyable evening of going through my digital library of music. without listening fatigue of any kind.

    I haven’t had time to test any of the DAC connections yet – that has to wait until the week-end but I’m pleased with the amplifier so far.

    • Reply
      Paul Rigby
      5th December 2018 at 11:06 am

      Excellent, John – thanks for sharing your thoughts. Appreciate it.

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