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Old 15th May 2006, 06:31 AM   #1
Alaska is offline Alaska  Australia
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Default Restore QUAD 303 OR Build Gainclone?

Hi, ive been reading for some time on DIY audio but this is my first post.
I currently run a QUAD 303 power amplifier on my system but am very tempted to build one of the mainy gain clone designs around at the moment, my question to you. Is it worth spending some money resorting my QUAD 303 with NET audio upgrade boards or building a Gain clone using boutique parts from scratch? I am looking at this entirely from what will give me the best sound
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Old 15th May 2006, 06:39 AM   #2
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I have no idea what the NET audio boards do but a stock Quad cannot compare to a boutique GC.

Fundamental limitations of the Quad:

- cap coupled load
- horrible speaker sockets
- frightful appearance
- designer didn't believe amps made any difference
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Old 15th May 2006, 07:14 AM   #3
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I seem to remember that the Quad 303 has DIN plug inputs, which limits your choice of quality interconnects to zero. Building a good Gainclone would probably cost less than upgrading the Quad.

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Old 15th May 2006, 07:32 AM   #4
Nuuk is offline Nuuk  United Kingdom
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I spent a couple of years restoring/upgrading my Arcam A60's (a similar vintage to your Quad amp). Then I built some GC's and they were clearly superior.

When another A60 stopped working, I didn't bother repairing it, I did this !

So yes, if it is sound quality that you are after, go for the Gainclones.
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Old 15th May 2006, 09:42 AM   #5
johnm is offline johnm  United Kingdom
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Hi there!

I perfromed the Net Audio mods (which are FANTASTIC) on my tatty Quad 303 a while back, and wrote an article on it for Hi-fi World.

I am afraid to say (as I have a soft spot for the 303) that the Gainclone blows it away in every department. There is just no contest. Finished my Audiosector board Gainclone yesterday and I am just blown away by the sound. You wont be disappointed.

BTW: The Quad 303 is a masterpiece of industrial design visually - love it's looks, but each to their own ;-) as for DIn sockets Naim still swear by them.... most other people swear at them - hahaha!

Cheers,

- John
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Old 15th May 2006, 09:50 AM   #6
Alaska is offline Alaska  Australia
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Things like the DIN connectors ugly looks and cruddy speaker connectors are all things that can be addressed with an upgrade. I was planing to get it resprayed white to match the rest of my system, to fit some RCA connectors and ive already fitted gold plated binding posts. Thanks for all the input so far
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Old 15th May 2006, 09:55 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Alaska
Things like the DIN connectors ugly looks and cruddy speaker connectors are all things that can be addressed with an upgrade. I was planing to get it resprayed white to match the rest of my system, to fit some RCA connectors and ive already fitted gold plated binding posts. Thanks for all the input so far
Spraying a 303 WHITE!!!!

Isn't that a capital offence?.
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Old 15th May 2006, 10:13 AM   #8
johnm is offline johnm  United Kingdom
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You might also want to consider replacing the output transistors with motorola types 15003 I think (been a while!). This was an instant and cheap upgrade (well actually free as they were samples - haha!). Also replacing all caps makes a HELL of a difference. Also went overboard and handmatched all resistors... after all this effort the gainclone happily outperforms it....

p.s. think a white 303 would look cool. Iam considering doing my set of Quad II's a sort of 1970's 'burnt orange'. They are far from original and were in AWFUL condition when I got them so I have no qualms about doing this.
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Old 15th May 2006, 11:16 AM   #9
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Try running ESL's with the 303.
Then try this with a gainclone.
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Old 15th May 2006, 05:16 PM   #10
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Has our man got ESL's or is this just a red herring?

Shoog
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