QUAD release NEW Revela Speakers

British audio brand QUAD, is launching its first new speakers since 2016. The Revela 1 and Revela 2 harness highly evolved versions of classic QUAD technologies that can be traced back to 1949 and QUAD’s first speaker system, the Corner Ribbon. These technologies, elevated to breathtaking new heights using modern materials and advanced contemporary design.

Had to be a Ribbon

A critical component of both new Revela models is the new QUAD True Ribbon high-frequency driver. With its origin stretching back more than 70 years, QUAD’s ribbon driver has evolved over many product generations. This new version took four years to develop and is unquestionably the finest iteration yet.
The Revela’s True Ribbon driver delivers effortlessly extended high frequencies that are audibly superior not only to those supplied by typical dome tweeters, but also other planar driver types that are not ‘true ribbons’. It works by positioning a ribbon of thin aluminium foil in a high-strength magnetic field, through which the audio signal flows from the amplifier.

The advantage of this ‘true ribbon’ design is that the diaphragm is fully energised by the audio signal and does not suffer from the breakup modes and resonances encountered in domes and other planar types. Being driven evenly over the whole radiating surface and having a mass that is typically one- tenth that of a dome means that the precision and transient response of the ribbon to the audio signal from the amplifier yields a remarkably clean, detailed and pure output.

QUAD’s original ribbon treble unit, as used in the innovative Corner Ribbon speaker of the 1950s, was relatively fragile, only handling up to 15W of power. The latest QUAD pure ribbon has a reinforced, sandwich diaphragm capable of handling the demands of modern music and the higher power output of contemporary solid-state amplifiers.  The ribbon responds to the most subtle waveforms and correctly relays the harmonics of instruments and vocals in recordings to provide a realistic sense of space, depth and air.

The ribbon treble unit was one of QUAD’s many innovations all those decades ago. Other manufacturers followed and developed versions their own; but the latest QUAD True Ribbon unit that graces the Revelas is the perfect embodiment of the sonic strengths of ribbon drivers, fully modernised and incorporated into speakers that, whilst assuredly high end, are affordably priced.

New Material drivers

QUAD’s engineers have developed a new material for the Revela speakers’ mid/bass diaphragms – a unique formulation of wood pulp and artificial fibres named ‘Reveal’ because of its natural, transparent and detailed output. Paper cones have long been regarded as yielding excellent midrange performance and by adding artificial fibres – like para-aramids – to the pulp, the Reveal diaphragm is further damped and strengthened, providing superior bass control and smoothing upper-midrange resonances.

The Reveal diaphragm is incorporated into a driver built on a cast chassis and fitted with a high-power magnet and voice coils to achieve high sensitivity. The Revela 1 features a single 165mm mid/bass driver, whereas the Revela 2 dedicates two 165mm drivers to bass frequencies with a 150mm unit handling the midrange.
The mid/bass cones have been carefully matched to custom rubber surrounds that incorporate a damping layer at the junction with the diaphragm to absorb reflections that would otherwise cause resonances in the upper part of the frequency range. This allows the crossover slopes to be accurately matched for optimal integration with the ribbon treble unit, as well as providing a smoother and more open sound quality.

The drivers’ output is combined via an Acoustic Butterworth crossover network, fine-tuned over hundreds of hours of listening tests to ensure a seamless blend between the drive units. The result is an effortless, dynamic and room-filling sound that transcends the speakers themselves, endowed with realistic pace, scale and clarity.

Clever Cabinet

The Revela speakers’ cabinets utilise optimally stressed and braced panels with generously radiused edges to reduce unwanted diffraction effects. Around the back, bass reflex ports (the Revela 1 has one port, the Revela 2 has two) include longitudinal splines that help smooth airflow and increase the efficiency of the reflex system for deep, powerful bass performance.

Both the Revela 1 and Revela 2 incorporate main drivers with cones made from an advanced fibre composite called RevealInternal damping is formed from a mixture of acoustic foam and long-hair fibre, strategically placed to absorb internal reflections and standing waves without obstructing the action of the bass reflex ports. In Revela 2, the midrange unit is housed in its own generously proportioned sealed chamber with foam and long-hair fibre damping arranged to optimise its wide frequency bandwidth.

For the all-black finish option, multiple layers of lacquer are applied over deep black veneer to provide a lustrous finish, protect the cabinet and help damp unwanted acoustic radiation. The walnut finish option maintains the piano black front baffle, top and base, and adds interlocked wood veneer on the sides and rear, again generously lacquered.

A pair of optional speaker stands has been specifically designed to position the Revela 1 at the ideal listening height and manage the unwanted effects of vibrations and sound reflections. The stand’s main structure is formed from laminated wood, selected for its combination of torsional rigidity and superior self-damping properties. This is lacquered to match the speakers and attached to a carbon steel base supported by four large stainless-steel spikes (spike seats are also provided for hard floors). The Revela 2 floorstanding speakers come with a pair of carbon steel plinths, stainless-steel spikes and spike seats.

Price and availability

The QUAD Revela 1 and Revela 2 loudspeakers are available from September at RRPs of £1,799 and £3,499 per pair respectively.

The Revela 1 can be purchased with its purpose-made floor stands at an RRP of £2,499 (the stands are £799 per pair if purchased separately).

A new range of QUAD audio electronics is set to follow the launch of the Revela speakers, later this year.