The L-ite Plus satellites incorporate technology filtered down from Quad’s high-end L Classic speaker range. The front and rear speakers feature a long-throw mid-bass driver with a 100mm cone made from Quad’s bi-directional Kevlar weave. This resin-impregnated fibre is lattice-woven to give it stiffness, strength and weight, while a phase plug in the middle of the cone enables a phase-linear response to the tweeter. The centre speaker features two of these drivers.
Meanwhile the 25mm fabric dome tweeters in the sats and centre employ a waveguide to coherently integrate midrange and treble.
The new subwoofer is equipped with a 200W amplifier and two mechanically opposed bass drivers with 150mm Duo Tri-Lam cones. These are formed from one layer of bi-directionally woven carbon fibre sandwiched between two layers of bi-directionally woven glass fibre.
The only thing more impressive than the Quad’s design and spec is its electrifying performance with movies. We fired up John Carter on Blu-ray and its swashbuckling action sequences are handled with agility, precision and power.
The satellites’ roomy cabinets and the drivers’ wide dispersion generate a big, engulfing soundstage, into which effects are fired with admirable speed and attack. When John blasts away the Zodanga ship in chapter 6, the explosion has palpable snap and heft.
And when the Tharks join the battle, their arrows and gunshots whizz excitingly from every speaker and glide smoothly between channels. Careful tonal matching of each speaker ensures a cohesive soundstage too.
Crucial to this commanding performance is the brilliant sub. Don’t let its size fool you – this little cube is a box of pure, pent-up power. As John and Tars battle white apes in the arena, the beasts’ thumping footsteps are tight, clean and seamlessly integrated, provided you don’t get too carried away with the volume dial as it can sound bloated when turned up too high.
We’re also impressed by the smoothness of L-ite Plus’s sound. During the battle scenes, the clanking swords and rattling chains never sound bright or harsh. If anything L-ite Plus plays it a little safe in the midrange, which might not satisfy listeners wanting a little more aggression, but it’s entertaining nonetheless.
Dialogue is clearly articulated and during quiet moments the L-ite Plus shows off its superb high-frequency reproduction. As John takes his first tentative steps on Mars, the delicate crunch of his boots on the gravelly surface is wonderfully lucid, plus the hatching Thark eggs crack open crisply. This clear, informative presentation lends texture to every scene.
L-ite Plus is also a very musical system, offering a smooth, tuneful rendition of Roxy Music’s Avalon on SACD. The hi-res multichannel recording sparkles with detail, while the pulsing basslines and sultry vocals stir the senses. Instruments are skilfully organised within the open, atmospheric soundstage.
This 5.1 speaker system's superb build quality, looks and performance make it a terrific purchase. The satellites’ curvy lacquered cabinets are pure eye candy, with compact dimensions that’ll fit neatly into most living rooms.
But sound quality is where the Quad really excels, offering a powerful, detailed and cohesive soundstage, anchored by a sub that belies its compact size with potent bass performance.
L-ite Plus is a high-quality speaker package that combines stunning design with top-class performance. If you want quality without great size, they're a great option.