Quad ERA-1 headphones

Loved my Quad ESL 63 but they lacked dynamism and punch so is that also what you get with their headphones? I have the opportunity to buy a pair for £ 300.

What else can people recommend for Naim Nova?

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Listening to my Quad Era-1 now, at that price you cant go wrong. Buy them, try them if no likey sell them and easily make a profit. Pair on the bay selling for over £400 now.

They were my first quality headphone purchase after demoing a selection that were mostly more expensive.

Just plain enjoyable. Balanced, engaging and very natural rather than more ‘technical’ sounding models like Sennheiser 800 to my ears. Not super dynamic but certainly not overly smooth. I have had to spend a lot more to really better them.

I think s/h they are a great choice. As you say you can sell headphones on for good money on Ebay…

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I have ordered them so I am looking forward to hear them

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I might need a extension cable 3 - 3.5 m. Any recommendations?

Both Oidio Sound and Lavri Cables advertise suitable cables for the ERA-1, or a simple extension can be plugged into stock cable.

I am expecting my demo pair pair of the Quads to arrive next week.
@Keano16 how were they, and what did you use to drive them. I hear they scale beautifully… ie perform even better with high end amplification… which doesn’t go for all ‘phones.

Hi @BruceW, what did you find that bettered them overall… and was that in musical enjoyment as well as technicalities?

Hi Simon

I treated myself to some Grado GS 3000e to replace them. Not surprisingly, since they retail for about three times the price of the Quads, they are a big step up. Very special. I also now have a fancy headphone amp in my system that maximises their potential.

I really like the Quad cans. I tested a few against them including Sennhesier 800HD and Grado GS1000e. Both substantially pricier.

The Sennheiser especially were technically probably ‘better’ but too analytical for me and along with the Grado struggled to perform with a DAP source (A+K Kann) compared to a dedicated amp. The crucial thing about the Quad was that I found them the most enjoyable. Nothing stood out as a particularly defining characteristic or trait either good or bad. During the demo I just kept coming back to them and enjoying the music whatever source I was using. They seemed very natural to me.

Two observations. Firstly they are shipped with two set of earpads. I found the leather ones (as opposed to the sheepskin) significantly better in terms of imaging and bass. Quite marked difference to my ears. Secondly I swapped the stock cable for a Chord Shawcan upgrade. Made a nice difference with more detail especially. That cable is now discontinued but suggests to me that the stock cable holds them back a bit and an upgrade might be of value along the line.

Let us know what you think.

Cheers Bruce

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I got the Shawcan cable but struggle to notice much improvement over the stock cable. Was considering the GS1000e but might stretch to the 2000e now (couldn’t squeeze the 3000 past the wife at moment).

Will do… quite look forward to listening to these… my HD650s I feel really do hold things back I feel… and I fell out of love with my Grado 80e’s.

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