Posted on 22nd November, 2018


The Quad Vena integrated amplifier has been upgraded with a richer specification.

Quad is launching a new version of one of its most popular products of recent years – the Vena integrated amplifier. 

The highly respected British hi-fi brand tells us that the Vena II builds upon the strengths of its predecessor. By looking at its compact design, we can see the original's DNA is still coursing through its circuits. However, there are new features and an enhanced sonic ability that places the new amplifier as a high-performance audio system.

Quad Vena II amplifier

Measuring just 313mm wide the diminutive Vena II retains the smart and contemporary, not to mention distinctly ‘Quad' aesthetics. A neat row of source-selection buttons and smooth-acting volume control adorn its fascia. Around the rear, you are offered an impressive range of digital and analogue inputs, including a phono stage. Digital inputs comprise asynchronous USB and three S/PDIF sockets (one coaxial and two optical), while digital outputs are provided in optical and coaxial flavours. Analogue signals are catered for by three stereo RCA inputs – two line-level plus the new MM phono input for turntables – while pre-out sockets permit the addition of an external power amplifier.

The Quad Vena II boasts an up-to-date ES9018K2M from the Sabre32 Reference family. This enables the Vena II to benefit from ESS Technology's 32-bit HyperStream architecture and Time Domain Jitter Eliminator to deliver ultra-low noise and high dynamic range. Quad also paid attention to the post-DAC active filter with the design team opting for op-amps chosen explicitly for their synergy with the ES9018K2M.

Regarding hi-res file compatibility, the original Vena maxed out at 24-bit/192kHz PCM via USB. The Vena II stretches this to 32-bit/384kHz, alongside DSD (up to DSD256). This ensures the amp is fully equipped to make the most of today's hi-res music formats, as well as future advances in ultra-high- definition digital sound.

Significant improvements have also been made to the Vena II's analogue stages. Like the original model, the new amp sports a Class AB power amp section that draws on Quad's many decades of design experience. However, the latest Vena receives a new 200VA toroidal transformer lying at the heart of its power supply upgrade. This is followed by 2x15000uF reservoir capacity (30000uF in total), helping the amp to maintain firm control of the music while enabling excellent dynamic range.

Quad Vena II rear ports

The moving magnet phono stage features a high-quality, low-noise, JFET-based circuit with precise RIAA equalisation.

The Vena II incorporates a dedicated headphone amp with current-feedback circuitry. The head-amp's gain bandwidth and high slew rate promise a more dynamic, detailed and engaging performance with all manner of headphone types.

The preamp section is kept as simple as possible to maintain signal purity, with line input signals passing to a precision analogue volume stage controlled by a motorised ALPS potentiometer. Additionally, the physical layout of the Vena II's circuitry has been designed to protect the sensitive preamp section from noise interference. 

Wireless connectivity comes by way of aptX and AAC codecs, to ensure easy pairing with all manner of smart devices. 

The Lancaster Grey finish has an RRP of £649, while the three premium finish options add £100 to the price tag.

Quad Vena II bundle

Quad is also offering a specially priced system pack, which combines the company's five-star-rated S-1 compact speakers in Black Oak with the Vena II in Lancaster Grey, for an RRP of £999 – a £150 saving compared to the individual RRPs.

Both the Vena II integrated amplifier and the Vena II/S-1 system pack are available from the end of this month.

For more information, head to Quad.

Technical specifications

Preamplifier Section

  • Analogue Inputs
  • 2x line-level RCA / 1x MM phono
  • Analogue Outputs
  • 1 x RCA (pre-out)
  • Analogue Input sensitivity
  • 450mV (line-level) / 4.1mV (MM phono)
  • Analogue Input impedance
  • 10kOhms (line-level); 47kOhms / 100pF (MM phono)
  • Frequency Response
  • 20Hz-20kHz (+/- 0.5dB)
  • Total Harmonic Distorion (THD)
  • < 0.002%
  • Signal-to-Noise
  • > 110dB (A-weighted)

Power Amplifier Section

  • Power Output
  • 2x 45W RMS (8 Ohms) / 2x 65W RMS (4 Ohms)
  • Frequency Response
  • 20Hz-20kHz (+/- 0.5dB)
  • Total Harmonic Distortion (THD)
  • < 0.005% (30W, 8 Ohms)
  • Signal-to-Noise
  • > 108dB (A-weighted)

Digital Section

  • DAC Chip
  • ESS Sabre32 ES9018K2M
  • Digital Inputs
  • 2x optical / 1x coaxial / 1x USB Type A / Bluetooth
  • Max Sampling Frequency – USB
  • PCM 384kHz / DSD256
  • Max Sampling Frequency – Optical/Coaxial
  • PCM 192kHz
  • Digital Outputs
  • 1x coaxial / 1x optical


Jay Garrett's avatar

Jay Garrett

StereoNET UK’s Editor and Bass playing gadget junkie. He’s captained the good ship GadgetyNews for over a decade, making low jargon high tech a very handy thing. His passion for gadgets and Hi-Fi is second only to being a touring musician.

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Posted in: Hi-Fi
Tags: quad