Quadral's streaming section suggested slightly less suavity than their fully dialed sonics. But I didn't mind the app's somewhat home-baked optics too much. Far more important was its stable reliable operation. Only the 'default to A' switch from album to library view reminding me of best-forgotten Monopoly evenings I really could have done without. It's why I mostly used Bubble UPnP; and because streaming from hard disk or stick via USB-A was accompanied by certain niggles and only worked with the Aurum app. Dirac Live meanwhile hits the attractiveness scales very heavily, particularly when one faces gnarlier room issues.
In the end, today's testers were fun with everything from unplugged audiophile fare to bass-heavy Dupstep to mindboggling Mathcore. Universality for rooms 25m² and up is pretty much built in thanks to Dirac's room correction. But Quadral's Aurum Gamma still allows itself a small area of personality. Listeners who prioritize a deliberately forward perspective won't fall as hard for Gamma as those who prefer to fall in love over the long haul. So it's a special recommendation for sensible aesthetes.
Psych profile for Quadral's Aurum Gamma…
♦ Treble for demanding connoisseurs is as precise and microdynamically agile/airy as it is non-offensive and long-term pleasant. More brilliance and glitter are possible, better integration and realism not likely.
♦ The midrange is transparent, of apparently very low distortion and filled with ultra-specific timbres. Vocals are well balanced and realistic.
♦ A well-judged tonal balance goes slightly soft upward of the presence region. Going on the offensive wasn't part of this project brief. A highly cultured overall take clearly was.
♦ The bass fulfills all desires and reasonable expectations for an active solution in this size/price class. It goes deep under full control, is articulate and defined and perfectly integrated. Bass pressure materializes physically yet macrodynamics never limit or boom. Surprising room friendliness is additionally reinforced by Dirac DSP compensation.
♦ Soundstaging is well proportioned and sorted. Vocals localize centrally with extreme precision. Certain competitors will render transients with even higher focus for even more tacit blitzes.
♦ First-rate fit'n'finish, with proper solder not push-on joints on the drivers which even in this price class sadly isn't guaranteed elsewhere.
♦ Fundamentally stable and sorted app and streaming functions though no album art with hard disk streaming, no exFAT support, 'jump back to A' default when switching from album to library view and slow wake-up from standby due to extensive DSP having to boot up first.
♦ Concept: active streaming-ready 3-way in fully sealed enclosure
♦ Finish: High-gloss black or white
♦ Power: 2 x 150W class D for bass and mids, 50W class AB for ribbon tweeter
♦ Streaming: LAN/WLAN, Tidal, Internet radio, local NAS, USB hard disk
♦ Extra socketry: Toslink, XLR/RCA analog
♦ Dimensions and weight: 111x25x46cm HxWxD, 54.9kg/ea.
♦ Other: Dirac Live built in, proprietary ribbon tweeter
♦ Warranty: 4 years upon registration