1st post: Should i sell my Quad 306/34 for a Rega Brio 3/Creek Evo?


New member
Username: Mikrogruvz

Post Number: 1
Registered: Jun-07
so after browsing this and a couple of other hi-fi boards for the weekend, i find myself drawn back into the work of audio for the first time in about 15 years....

my current set-up, which is fine for me and the acoustics of my music room: B&W DM-1200 bookshelves on Atacama Nexus stands, Marantz Cd53, Pro-ject Xpression tt, and the aforementioned Quad 306/34 combo.

so my question is: for this set-up, would it be worth my while to replace the Quad amp/preamp with one of the better sub 1000$ integrated amps out there? i was looking at the Rega Brio 3 and Creek Evo online and they look right up my alley (minimal design, good build, no bells and whistles).

i would probably not change anything for another 10 years. how do these new ones stack up against my classic little 306?

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 10573
Registered: May-04

" ... would it be worth my while to replace the Quad amp/preamp with one of the better sub 1000$ integrated amps out there?"

" ... my current set-up, which is fine for me ... "

If your current set up is fine for you, why spend the money? There must be some reason other than you've been reading about "the better sub 1000$ integrated amps out there". They do sound like they will butter your toast; don't they? Make your life better. Make you glad you're a man.

Please realize there will always be something the reviewers tout as new and improved. You don't sell magazines by printing old and similar. (Well, you can, but only to a very small sector who wish to return to the 1930's forever.) Products have improved as a group but music is still very much like it was when you made your Quad purchase. Did the gear sound like music then or more like a hifi? If you find your current set up to be fine, realize what makes it fine. Did you buy it because you truly thought it represented music honestly or because it was offered at a good price? Decide what, if anything, your current set up isn't doing correctly or well enough and what it does quite well. And be certain you've identified the actual cause of the problem, should one exist.

You realize, of course, that moving your speakers will result in a more obvious change in sound than buying a new amplifier. Yes? Possibly getting your sources more secure in their positions and with better isolation from the effects of the systems will be more beneficial than a new amplifier. Have you attempted to retrieve the most information possible from your current set up or have you let the system settle in where it fits best? Bringing new gear into the same set up might be throwing away what you've paid for in the new gear. Are you certain the current gear sounds as good as it posibly can?

If so, then go have a listen but don't buy new gear that only sounds or looks different from what you presently own. If you haven't listened to live music recently, go tune up your references for what the real things does. Then judge the new products based upon your preferences in music and not your desire for a new faceplate. How many season subscriptions to the real thing could you buy with what you might spend on more or less the same sound at home? Is this the best use of your money? Only you can decide.


New member
Username: Mikrogruvz

Post Number: 2
Registered: Jun-07
> Make you glad you're a man.

um, did typing all that out do the same for you?

i believe, people in hi-fi land will often swap pieces in/out to satisfy whatever need or desire is driving them do to so.

i'm thinking of buying a new amplifier. maybe the creek evo, maybe the rega brio. maybe another amp that i've never heard of.

so i'm soliciting opinions. the ppl here seem knowledgeable and friendly, notwithstanding your post.

Silver Member
Username: Stryvn

Post Number: 233
Registered: Dec-06
Ed, don't get emotional, man. It's one sentence. Jan offered up the knowledgeable, friendly (and free) opinion you solicited. Read the post - there's plenty of meat there to chew on.

You yourself said you were happy with what you've got. Why change? ok, so you're not really happy with what you've got. Why not? Does what you've got sound like real music? Why not? Where are you trying to get? What is the need or desire driving you to make the change? An ad in a mag?

New member
Username: Mikrogruvz

Post Number: 3
Registered: Jun-07
haha naw, not emotional, just caught kind of off guard by the tone of Jan's reply. so i didn't provide my life story or exact calibrated breakdown of my audio setup. trust that i knew what i was asking for when i was asking.

anyway i like my speakers and where they're placed and the stands they're on, like my cd player (which i hardly use), and love my turntable. furthermore i can't do a thing about the room they're in, or how the components are placed (which is also optimal, btw). the power is conditioned quite nicely too. so swapping out the amp seemed like a potential place to improve the sound: the 306 is getting "old", so i'm wondering if maybe one of the posters has an amp in this range that they really like and that i should check out. or maybe that old quad has got something special that none of the new jack amps can touch (i bleev there's another live thread on the board about this same topic, very interesting topic)

also i live in a place with no stores that sell good audio gear above the NAD/Bose/Cambridge Audio level, so auditioning requires a 2 hour drive to the nearest city.. just trying to gather information here...

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 10574
Registered: May-04

" ... did typing all that out do the same for you?"

Uh, no. What made you think it might?

Sounds like you've already decided to buy new gear. So why'd you ask for our opinion? Your the one who must decide what you want, you can read the forum for ideas and it does no good for us to suggest something you can't find or that you would immediately rule out for some reason.

" ... maybe that old quad has got something special that none of the new jack amps can touch"

Read my first post again.

Good luck.



Silver Member
Username: Mike3

Wiley, Tx USA

Post Number: 431
Registered: May-06
Same thing I just posted ago on another thread. Consider a refurbishment for the Quad, new caps, resistors, etc?

You mention power conditioning. Is your amp run into you power conditioner? If it is, plug it directly into the wall socket and see if that does anything for you.

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 4938
Registered: Feb-05
I agree with Mike. However if you are compelled to do so I would go and give the others a listen, if possible a home demo. That's probably the only way you'll know. If you really like your Quads, refurbish. If you're looking for a different sound and there is no crime in that, do some listening. For what it's worth I really like the Brio, it has a very nice phono section as well.

Gold Member
Username: Frank_abela

Berkshire UK

Post Number: 2199
Registered: Sep-04

I am looking at the description of your system and trying to understand why you've settled on the power amp as the item to change.

I recall the 34/306 from some time ago. Of the two, the weaker was the 34 preamp. Soft, cuddly and fairly veiled, it made no mistakes but wasn't exactly something to write home about. The 306 was a clean, sweet, reasonably powerful amplifier provided you didn't have monsters to drive. Your Marantz CD53 CD player is something Noah used while waiting for the rain to stop. Now I'm hardly one to point to technological advances in HiFi normally, but the CD53 was no great shakes. The one item I don't recognize is the DM1200 speakers. I checked B&W's site to read up on them but they don't mention them either, so I can't comment there.

The Xpression is relatively new though you don't mention what cartridge you're using. It's an OK deck, but I wonder if it's even in the class of the Quad combination.

You also don't mention what cabling you're using to tie this lot together. Please don't tell us it's QED Original...

The Quad amps weren't expensive in their day, but that was a long time ago, and I wonder if replacing them is the right approach. They are arguably the strongest items in the system.

If you decide to forge ahead anyway (and I suspect you will) I strongly recommend you sell the Quads as a pair. It's difficult to move on preamps and many people expect Quad gear to come 'complete'. I wonder if any sub $1000 amplifier will really be in the same ballpark. Of course, modern amplifiers (and systems) tend to be a bit more analytical than the rather warmer presentation of yesteryear, so they may all come as either a bit of a shock or a breath of fresh air depending on how you look at it. :-)

One other observation if I may - althoughI've picked holes in your system, it is one (apart from the turntable) of a 'time'. Therefore the various components tended to work together synergistically. By changing any part of the system, you are likely to upset that balance. Only you will be able to tell if the change is one that will last you ten years.

Regards and good luck,
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