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Quad S-1

Bookshelf speakers (Black)

Item # 306S1BK

The S-1 is the smallest and lowest-priced speaker we've seen with a ribbon tweeter of this quality.

The S-1 is the smallest and lowest-priced speaker we've seen with a ribbon tweeter of this quality.

Discontinued item

Item # 306S1BK

About the Quad S-1

Compact speakers designed for listeners

Audiophiles love the open, transparent sound of ribbon tweeters, but until now, the price of admission has been pretty steep. Quad's S Series speakers bring this advanced technology within reach of more music lovers, starting with the baby of the family, the S-1.
Quad S-1

Quad's ribbon tweeter sounds exceptionally smooth.

Compact speakers designed for listeners

Audiophiles love the open, transparent sound of ribbon tweeters, but until now, the price of admission has been pretty steep. Quad's S Series speakers bring this advanced technology within reach of more music lovers, starting with the baby of the family, the S-1.

Whatever kind of music you like, these speakers let it all come through — they hold nothing back. And if you love vocals, these little gems definitely belong on your short list.

Quad's ribbon tweeter lets the music flow

A ribbon tweeter produces sound in a way that's simpler and more direct than the more common dome tweeter. In a dome tweeter, the signal from your amplifier drives a voice coil, which is connected to the dome-shaped diaphragm, but only around the circumference, so a bit of musical information may be lost.

In a ribbon tweeter, the metal ribbon is suspended in a strong magnetic field. Basically, the diaphragm is the voice coil, so it's always under the control of the music signal from the amplifier. Because the ribbon is directly driven by the amplifier, its resolution of musical detail is extremely high.

Ribbons have always been prized for their pure, clear sound, but they haven't always been very rugged. Quad's ribbon tweeter is made from a lightweight metal alloy that is strengthened by a thin layer of polycarbonate. This sandwich construction makes the tweeter robust enough to handle high-powered amplifiers.

The S-1's tweeter sounds silky smooth, detailed, and "fast."

A nimble 4" woofer

To handle the mid and low frequencies, the S-1 relies on a 4" woven-Kevlar® mid/bass driver. Its small size keeps it nimble in the midrange, and helps it blend seamlessly with the extremely quick ribbon tweeter. The S-1's small woofer and cabinet means you can hear bass notes, but you won't really feel them.

Setup tips

The ribbon tweeter's shape radiates sound in a wide horizontal arc, while its vertical dispersion is purposely limited to reduce interaction with the floor or ceiling. For that reason, it's especially important to place the speakers so that the tweeters are at ear level. Using 24" stands should do the trick in most systems.

To hear the S-1s at their best, you should drive them with at least 50 watts per channel of high-quality amplification. The S-1s go surprisingly low for their size, but for truly full-range sound, I suggest pairing them with a high-quality powered subwoofer.

Quad's history of innovation

Founded in 1936 to build public address systems, Quad introduced two of the most important speaker innovations of the past century: the first ribbon-based home speaker, in 1949, and the first full-range electrostatic speaker, in 1957. Today, Quad speakers and electronics are still designed and engineered in England, and are manufactured in China.

Got wire?

Most speakers don't include any. Read our article about choosing and installing speaker wire.
Shop our selection of speaker wire.


Product highlights:

  • 1/2" x 1-3/4" True Ribbon tweeter for open, transparent sound
  • 4" woven Kevlar® cone mid/bass driver
  • bass-reflex cabinet with rear-firing port
  • frequency response: 58-20,000 Hz (±3dB)
  • sensitivity: 84 dB
  • impedance: 8 ohms
  • recommended amplifier power: 25-150 watts
  • dual sets of binding post speaker terminals with bi-amp/bi-wire capability
  • removable magnetic grille
  • 6-1/8"W x 11-3/16"H x 10-11/16"D
  • weight: 11.5 lbs. (each)
  • warranty: 5 years
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

What's in the box:

  • 2 Bookshelf loudspeakers
  • 2 Grilles (pre-installed)
  • 4 Metal straps (pre-installed)
  • 8 Self-adhesive rubber feet
  • Pair of white gloves
  • Owner's Manual
  • Warranty Registration Form

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Crutchfield response

<< >>

More details on the Quad S-1

Stacey B.

Features & specs

Enclosure Bass Reflex
Finish MDF/Wood veneer
Color Black
Video Shielded No
Tweeter Type Ribbon
Tweeter Size (inches) 0.5" x 1.75"
Midrange Size (inches) N/A
Woofer Size (inches) 4
Woofer Composition Woven Kevlar
Woofer Surround Rubber
Power Range 25-150
Sensitivity 84 dB
Impedance (Ohms) 8
Frequency Response 58-20k Hz
Connector Type Post
Bi-amp Inputs Yes
Height (inches) 11-3/16
Width (inches) 6-1/8
Depth (inches) 10-11/16
Weight (pounds) 11.5
Mounting Bracket Included No
Recommended Stand Height (inches) 24-28
Parts Warranty 5 Years
Labor Warranty 5 Years

Product Research


Ribbon Tweeter: The Quad S-1 bookshelf loudspeaker features a 0.5" x 1.75" ribbon tweeter that delivers effortless extended high frequencies. This new ribbon tweeter developed for the S Series utilizes the latest techniques and materials. The ribbon itself is a sandwich construction, making it robust enough to handle high-powered amplifiers, and is fully immersed in a powerful magnetic field so that it accomplishes its dual role of being both the voice coil and sound radiator. As well as delivering excellent transient response and superb musical detail, the sound from this ribbon tweeter is smooth right up to the highest musical overtones beyond the limits of human hearing. Controlled directivity maintains this sound quality over a wide horizontal arc to cover all listeners, while vertical dispersion is tailored to avoid floor and ceiling reflections - resulting in the purest high frequency performance.

Woven Kevlar Cone Woofer: The ribbon tweeter is aligned with a 4" midrange/midbass driver through a sophisticated crossover network. The 4" midrange/midbass driver features a woven Kevlar cone and rubber surround. The woven Kevlar cone is lightweight, yet rigid for excellent midrange and midbass frequency reproduction that sounds natural and uncolored.

Bass Reflex Port: The Quad S-1 bookshelf loudspeaker features a bass reflex design enclosure with a rear-firing port for greater efficiency and bigger bass response.

Furniture Quality Cabinet: The speaker cabinet uses a sandwich construction of alternate layers of MDF and high-density particleboard to reduce panel resonance to below the level of audibility. The cabinet features rounded edges which help to reduce coloration from standing audio waves inside the cabinet. The speaker cabinet is finished with a beautiful wood veneer and includes a magnetically attached cloth grille.

Dual Binding Posts: The S-1 bookshelf loudspeaker has two sets of binding post terminals connected by metal straps. The binding post terminals will accept bare wire (up to 10AWG), pin connectors, spade-lugs, and banana plugs (single only). Using the dual binding posts, you can bi-wire or bi-amp the speaker. Bi-wiring or bi-amping the speaker provides improved bass & treble performance. The binding-post speaker terminals are color-coded (red+/black-) and are at floor-level for easy identification and hookup.

  • Bi-Wiring: Bi-wiring can provide noticeable improvements in the overall transparency of your loudspeakers. Run separate speaker wires to the low & high frequency drivers from a single amplifier (the upper set of binding posts are for the high frequency drivers; the lower set of binding posts are for the low frequency drivers).
  • Bi-Amping: Bi-amping allows you to use separate amplifiers for the high & low frequency sections of your loudspeaker for greater dynamic range & lower distortion. We recommend that your separate amplifiers have identical gain to preserve the speaker's voicing balance.
Note: If you decide to bi-wire or bi-amp the speaker, you must remove the jumpers between the terminal posts (failure to do this could result in damage to your amplifier and loudspeakers).

Applications: The Quad S-1 bookshelf loudspeaker is very versatile and can be in a two-channel stereo or multichannel home theater setup. The S-1 can be used as front channels or rear surrounds in a home theater application.

Mounting & Placement Options: The Quad S-1 bookshelf loudspeaker can simply be placed on a speaker stand (sold separately - see Accessories), shelf, tabletop, or other flat mounting surface. Self-adhesive rubber feet are included to isolate the speaker from the mounting surface and to protect the mounting surface and speaker cabinet from scratches (the rubber feet add aproximately 0.375" to the overall height of the speaker).

  • A pair of Quad S-1 bookshelf loudspeakers should be placed between 6.5' and 9.8125' apart and equidistant from the main listening position. The tweeters should be roughly at ear level to a seated listener. The loudspeakers should be positioned so that they are angled slightly inward, facing the listener.
  • The most uncolored sound will be obtained when the speakers are at least 7.875" from the rear walls and 11.8125" from the side walls. If the loudspeakers are operated closer to the rear walls the bass will increase, but if they are placed too close to the walls the bass may sound too "boomy" and non-distinct. If the loudspeakers are placed further away from the walls, the inward angle can be increased by up to 40%, although this may restrict the width of the optimum listening position.

Note: The Quad S-1 does not offer any brackets, keyhole slots, or threaded inserts to wall-mount the speakers.

S Series: Quad designed the S Series line-up of speakers to deliver all the nuances and passion of the original musical and theatrical performance. Quad's S Series consists of two floorstanding loudspeakers (S-4/S-5), two bookshelf loudspeakers (S-1/S-2), and a center channel loudspeaker (S-C).

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