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QUAD ERA-1 Thread

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by FastAndClean, Apr 24, 2018.
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  1. nicholars
    Anyone know if Quad would offer out of warranty repairs on these? With these kind of headphones, I would want to use them for more than 2 years warranty period. I asked Brainwavz about this with their new planars, they said that they would not offer repairs out of warranty, so basically if they break after 2 years, they are a paperweight. As these are OEM I am not sure what Quad would do about repairs out of warranty?

    I am a bit worried about planar drivers, after reading about problems with Audeze driver failures, makes me think planars are a lot more likely to break than dynamic drivers. Has anyone asked Quad about this by any chance?
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2019
  2. igorAT
    Worrying or being afraid in life just spoils the fun...

    My reasoning:

    how much am i willing to pay per day for a good pair of headphones? 2 EUR? 3? 4-5, as for a pack of cigarettes? since i do not smoke so that actually counts as "saving" - 5 EUR per day. Cost ca 600 EUR -> 600/5=120 days ... well within the warranty (ca 2 yrs, 700 days)

    other way to look at it (i do): warranty 700 days / 1 eur per day = cost of the headphones - that means that in worst case, i pay a EUR a day for enjoying a good pair of headphones for two years. I can live with that.

    And every day afterwards is listening for free.... And honestly, i do not see why they should break on "the day after" .... it is hard to build in an "obsolete switch" in something as simple as headphones.... :wink:
  3. FullBright1

    Everyone loves to get high.
    Some do it illegally, but the smart ones do it legitimately.
    Headphones are a safe, pure, and legal way to get high.
    I highly recommend that you do it as often as you like.....:)
    Get the headphones.
    Great sounding headphones are a gift that just keeps on giving........they keep on getting you high, every day.
    PaganDL and trellus like this.
  4. donlin
    Very well said, couldn’t agree more.
  5. nicholars
    Well its just that other brands have repairs or spare parts, for example Sennhesiers, fostex etc. Some other brands have longer warranties, example audeze 3 years, monoprice 5 years etc. The Quads may very well last longer than 2 years, but considering they are not exactly cheap, it would be nice to have some assurance that you would not be left with a paperweight if they broke outside of 2 years. I do personally think that 2 years warranty with no out of warranty repairs, is a bit offputting on a product like this. 1 Year on Hifiman is even worse, but for example Sennheisers you know you can easily get parts or repairs at any time.
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2019
  6. donlin
    Seems like you should probably get some Sennheisers instead.
  7. nicholars
    What use is that response?

    I was asking a question about the Quads, if they have out of warranty repairs. Nothing to do with Sennheisers.

    Also I think with Hifiman, although their standard warranty is poor, I am pretty sure you can get replacement parts from them or repairs, so that is good.

    Maybe Planar drivers are not actually that unreliable, and it is just some problems that Audeze had, has made them look like that? I notice that Fostex Planars like T50RP, do not seem to have any problems with reliability.
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2019
  8. FullBright1
    There are a few ways to deal with potential issues, regarding any electronics you purchase.
    First, all legit dealers are going to offer you an "extended warranty", that is usually reasonably priced.
    Also, most dealers have their own tech dept.
    Finally, Quad offer in house service, if this is necessary.-
    Our Story
    Where to buy

    Our Story
    Landmark Products
    Current Dumping Technology
    Research & Development

    For many people, buying their first Quad sound system can be a life changing experience. They enjoy the confidence of knowing that the complete system has been engineered to achieve optimal performance, free from compatibility problems.

    They relax in the knowledge that Quad's legendary service department will give support throughout the system's useful life. They derive pleasure from knowing that Quad is a company of individuals who care about both the design and construction of their products, while sharing their love of music. These are just some of the reasons why we now serve the children and even grandchildren of our first customers.

    Our UK Service department is available Monday - Friday. For customers outside the UK, please contact the Quad distributor in your country here.

    IAG Service department,

    Units 13/14 Glebe Road,

    St Peters Industrial Estate,


    Cambridgeshire PE29 7DL

    Telephone : 01480 452561

    E-mail : rob@iaguk.co.uk

    nicholars likes this.
  9. donlin
    You mentioned Sennheiser a couple times in your previous post so it seemed relevant.
  10. nicholars
    I might email them and ask about it, because for example the brainwavz are a lot cheaper (and probably not as good as the Quad), but then if Quad have better service such as repairs if necessary etc. Then that would be a positive for the Quads. I think these headphones are OEM headphones though so I am not completely sure, maybe they are OEM / custom etc.

    ... Ok I just sent an email to that email above, will let you know what they say.
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2019
  11. dan3952
    Hello Igor:

    I think cable differences are very, very slight, and most people should be doing an A/B/X double blind listening test before reaching any conclusions. My idea of a good cable is a short, and noise free one. Twisted pairs, and foil shielding, are both proven techniques in noise abatement, and don't require expensive, exotic materials. Or perhaps electrons really do prefer traveling through silver instead of copper in my system, and this would be audible in the form of lower distortion in my headphone cable, where the whole rest of the system has copper? Most people won't pick up much noise at all in their headphone or speaker cables, unless they put signal cables right by noisy power supplies (switching is higher the linear), or VFD's. Most of it is jewelry.

    Balanced vs. unbalanced I feel is a bit more tricky, as the produced power is higher for a given setup with balanced as opposed to unbalanced. I do see some benefits to having fully balanced circuits (we want to lower the noise floor, and each channel has a unique ground), but feel that the idea is being over-marketed in high end gear. XLR was originally designed for the specific case of long cables in a studio, where signals levels are lower than the 2 V Redbook standard (like the output of my DAC), and we are more likely to pick up noise. What I've seen some people do is mistake the higher power (and resulting loudness) balanced offers over unbalanced, for a sound quality difference. People should be matching the levels carefully in doing their comparisons, with a multimeter or a sound pressure meter.

    I read the data sheet for my Burr Brown DAC, and it says to use separate power supplies for the analog and digital sections of the circuit, and to use a 10 nF capacitor between the + and - power supply rails to lower noise. My $1000 DAC board appears to have neither of those things, and that wouldn't be helped by using balanced circuitry. I suspect that it's the DAC's that are over $1500 that have followed all of the designer's suggestions completely. A $500 one is probably going to have more cut corners. Enthusiasts should be reading the data sheets carefully for op amps, and DAC's they have, and inspecting the circuits of their gear. I have highly ripple tolerant solid state components, where getting a better power supply may not get me anywhere.

    You had brought this up late in your post: once you get over the $800 price point with headphones, you could do better than the ibasso dx150. You are dealing with equipment that will in most cases be more revealing than $500 mid-fi headphones like the Sennheiser HD660s, revealing enough that you will notice coloration caused by cheap circuitry in any point in the audio chain more readily. I would be inclined to pick the Chord Mojo at the same price point. I feel that it was worth spending over $1000 for my amp and DAC combination. My personal favorite at the $1500 price point is the Questyle CMA-12, but am not in a position to upgrade just yet. That's an all one one unit. In using separates, you know that there aren't any issues in sharing the power supply between the amp and DAC, but there's well designed circuits and less than optimal ones in both cases.

    I had almost bought the Quad ERA-1 at $799, but ended up going with the Focal Clears instead as they had more detail (they are also more lively in the upper midrange, with a cold sheen, which can be fatiguing with some music). ERA-1 I felt was well balanced tonally, but with an especially good mid range (like my Quad power amp), and a bit warm, and definitely not cold and clinical. I will be looking for a planar in coming months to supplement my collection, ending up with three pairs of headphones in total. In general, I felt that only headphones that were $1200 and up had offered more detail than the ERA-1, but only with certain music. Its closest peer is probably the Mr. Speakers Aeon Flow Open.

    The Audeze LCD-2 sounded dark in comparison to both the Focal and the Quad (like a certain frequency range was "hiding").
  12. FullBright1
    Do you actually own the Aeon Flow?
    The reason i ask, is because its impossible to compare it to a headphone you don't own.
    Its also impossible to compare it to any headphone, if you don't own it.
    Also, you do realize, that in the real world, within functioning reality, you can't possibly compare the ERA-1s, from memory, to any other Planar's.
    This can't be done.
    You literally have to try out each, in a quiet environment, over time, to assess something as critical as "detail".
    So, unless you have all the headphones you are interested in, at your disposal, and not in a hi-fi shop, but literally, have them, burn them in, spend copious amounts of time comparing "4" headphones, then
    you are guessing.......and that is at best.
    You can't remember the "detail" and "resolution" of any headphone, as compared to another, especially, if you have never heard them at all.


    PaganDL likes this.
  13. nicholars
    Its interesting how people are saying these ERA1 are very good and competitive with various other headphones, clear, lcd2 whatever else.

    But from what I can tell, they are an OEM design that is very similar to the Brainwavz version, except mostly people are saying the Sundara are better than the brainwavz version.

    Do you think Quad has customised the OEM? I know that pads and cups can make a big difference to sound, maybe it is that?

    Overall not sure what makes these so much better than the Brainwavz equivalent? Any more impressions from comparing the 2? I must admit I am a bit put off the Brainwavz due to no repairs out of warranty and also some reviews saying they are not as good as Sundara.

    I am still a bit tempted to try the Brainwavz because they are literally approx half the price of the Quads, and apparently are very similar and made by the same OEM? I could be wrong, but this is the impression I get from what I have read.

    Is there a big difference in sound quality between the 2? Thing is though I much prefer darker treble and more bass as a sound signature, compared to the brighter with less bass signature of the Quad, so the Brainwavz is certainly interesting, but depends what Quad email me back about service out of warranty, if they are the same policy as Brainwavz, maybe I will try the Brainwavz, if they offer a much better support out of warranty, that might be worth trying the Quad, also especially if the Quad apparently sound better than the Brainwavz.

    Also I know Quad is much more associated with "good" sound, compared to Brainwavz, but their new planar which is apparently the same OEM as the Quad, does certainly look interesting for the price, but maybe they sound significantly worse than the Quad I don't know.
  14. negura
    Seriously you have all the advice one reasonably needs already. Now it is time for you to step up and hear some of this stuff if really interested. Trying to over analyse stuff on forums wont get you anywhere further. Been there. :))
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2019
    kid vic likes this.
  15. FullBright1

    PULL THE TRIGGER.......:)

    PaganDL and VilMo like this.
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