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Quad Z-1

Bookshelf speakers (Piano Rosewood)

Item # 306Z1PRW

Quad's Z-series speakers create a big, 3-dimensional soundstage that extends beyond a small "sweet spot."

Quad's Z-series speakers create a big, 3-dimensional soundstage that extends beyond a small "sweet spot."

Discontinued item
1 question - 1 answer

Item # 306Z1PRW

About the Quad Z-1

Quad's Z series combines upscale sound and looks

Normally, I don't pay too much attention to how a speaker looks, but the sculpted curves and lacquered finish of Quad's Z series really caught my eye.
Quad Z-1

Quad's ribbon tweeter sounds exceptionally smooth.

Quad's Z series combines upscale sound and looks

Normally, I don't pay too much attention to how a speaker looks, but the sculpted curves and lacquered finish of Quad's Z series really caught my eye.

Using multi-layered construction, the Z-1's compact, rounded enclosure curves all the way around the back from one side of the baffle to the other. It's stylish, and helps reduce internal standing waves, for uncolored sound.

The ribbon tweeter is the star

Most home speakers use a dome tweeter to handle high frequencies. A much rarer approach is the ribbon tweeter, but you'll find one in every Quad speaker we sell. The ribbon in their flagship Z series speakers is twice as tall as the one in their S series, for greater dynamics and even smoother blending with midrange frequencies.

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 amp, its resolution of musical detail is extremely high.

From the Sound & Vision review

"The Z-1 is both warm and revealing. Ordinarily, that might be a paradox; sometimes, warm-voiced speakers are hiding something, or at least sugarcoating the truth. But Quad's ribbon tweeter mustered its golden glow while simultaneously opening a big, clear window into instrumental and vocal color and texture. It conjured bold, detailed images in the prime listening position — but also did so off axis. The result can be more physically relaxing than with some other designs because you needn't hold yourself as rigidly in the sweet spot.”

— Mark Fleischmann, Sound & Vision, August 2016

The Z-1's woofer is in control

The Z-1 relies on a 5-7/8" woven-Kevlar® mid/bass driver to handle the mid and low frequencies. The woofer is reinforced by an “acoustic filter” bass-reflex cabinet design with a rear port that employs an expansion chamber filled with resistive foam. You get the best of both worlds: the sensitivity and extension of a bass-reflex speaker, and the clarity and quick response of a sealed box.

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. So, it's especially important to position the speakers so that the tweeters are at ear level. Using 24" stands should do the trick in most systems.

To hear the Z-1s at their best, try to drive them with at least 50 watts per channel of high-quality amplification. And as with any compact, high-quality speakers, I suggest pairing these with a high-quality subwoofer for truly full-range sound.

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 3-1/2" True Ribbon tweeter for open, transparent sound
  • 5-7/8" woven Kevlar® cone mid/bass driver
  • bass-reflex cabinet with rear-firing port
  • frequency response: 56-20,000 Hz (±3dB)
  • sensitivity: 86 dB
  • nominal impedance: 8 ohms
  • recommended amplifier power: 20-100 watts
  • dual sets of binding post speaker terminals with bi-amp/bi-wire capability
  • removable magnetic grille
  • 8-5/8"W x 15-1/16"H x 11-3/16"D
  • weight: 14.3 lbs. (each)
  • warranty: 5 years
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

What's in the box:

  • 2 Bookshelf loudspeakers
  • 2 Grilles
  • 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 Z-1

Stacey B.

Features & specs

Enclosure Bass Reflex
Finish MDF/Lacquer
Color Rosewood
Video Shielded No
Tweeter Type Ribbon
Tweeter Size (inches) 0.5" x 3.5"
Midrange Size (inches) N/A
Woofer Size (inches) 5.9
Woofer Composition Woven Kevlar
Woofer Surround Rubber
Power Range 20-100
Sensitivity 86 dB
Impedance (Ohms) 8
Frequency Response 56-20k Hz
Connector Type Post
Bi-amp Inputs Yes
Height (inches) 15-1/16
Width (inches) 8-5/8
Depth (inches) 11-1/4
Weight (pounds) 14.3
Mounting Bracket Included No
Recommended Stand Height (inches) 26-28
Parts Warranty 5 Years
Labor Warranty 5 Years

Product Research


Ribbon Tweeter: Unlike conventional dome tweeters where the voice coil "motor" is attached separately to the diaphragm, the Z Series ribbon tweeter is both the diaphragm and the motor system. Utilizing a composite ribbon sandwich substrate that is engineered to to be extremely light and thin, the Z-1 bookshelf loudspeaker delivers startling accuracy and a broad soundstage. This unique sandwich formation designed 0.5" x 3.5" ribbon tweeter also produces higher sensitivity, wider bandwidth, and greater dynamics for high resolution audio.

Woven Kevlar Woofer: The 5.9" mid/bass driver features Quad's woven kevlar cone geometry, now matched by a double-roll-surround to control edge breakup and produce the same level of smoothness and clarity in the mid and bass frequencies as offered in the high frequencies by the ribbon tweeter.

Curved Ported Cabinet: The Quad Z-1 bookshelf loudspeaker features a bass reflex design enclosure with a rear-firing port for greater efficiency and bigger bass response without "chuffing" or port noise. The speaker cabinet is a skillfully, engineered one-piece curved structure that prevents internal standing waves and aids in broader sound dispersion. Available in a black, white or rosewood lacquer finish. Includes a magnetically attached black cloth grille.

Dual Binding Posts: The Z-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).

Mounting & Placement Options: The Quad Z-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 approximately 0.375" to the overall height of the speaker).

  • A pair of Quad Z-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 to 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 Z-1 does not offer any brackets, keyhole slots, or threaded inserts to wall-mount the speakers.

Z Series: Z Series is Quad's new flagship ribbon loudspeaker line-up. After taking a new approach to ribbon tweeter design using a unique sandwich formation, an exceptionally robust, high power speaker has been engineered that still offers the delicate sound, conventional ribbon speakers are known for. The Quad Z Series consists of two floorstanding loudspeakers (Z-3 / Z-4) and two bookshelf loudspeakers (Z-1 / Z-2).


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Customer Q&A

1 question already asked

can you tell me the exact nature of the "scratch & dent" status for this item?
[ Cary  Jun 07, 2020 ]
1 answer
Scratch & dent are open-box items that have minor cosmetic damage. They may be missing non-essential accessories. In some cases the manufacturer's accessories have been replaced with generic equivalents. The manufacturer's warranty applies. You can get an idea about typical cosmetic damage here:
[ Cosmo  Jun 24, 2020 ]  Staff

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