QUAD Artera Link – Rare Bird or Lame Duck?

The audio manufacturer QUAD introduced the Artera line of products back in 2015. At the 2016 Sound and Vision show in Bristol, QUAD previewed two additional models in the range: an all-in-one player and amplifier (the Artera One) and a player and streamer (the Artera Link). A full year went by without these models appearing on the market, and they ended up being re-announced at the 2017 show, and production began.

I managed to purchase an Artera Link in February 2017, and it’s been a key component in our HiFi system during the past year.

Yet something odd happened; apart from a passing mention in the Artera product page at QUAD’s web site, the Artera One and the Artera Link models were rarer than hen’s teeth, and not found on QUAD’s dealer price lists. Then, a week ago, QUAD suddenly announced the Artera Solus – to all intents and purposes, exactly the same model as the Artera One (a player and amplifier), and all references to the Artera One and the Artera Link were expunged from QUAD’s web site. It is said that a second version of the Artera Solus will become available later this year, which will add streamer capabilities. This seems to suggest that a pure player/streamer model (i.e. equivalent to the Artera Link) is not part of QUAD’s plans.

So I seem to have ended up with one of the few Artera Links that have been produced. And with zero chance that it will become a Roon-Certified network player. That’s a pity.

Quad Artera Link

About Geoff Coupe

I'm a British citizen, although I have lived and worked in the Netherlands since 1983. I came here on a three year assignment, but fell in love with the country, and one Dutchman in particular, and so have stayed here ever since. On the 13th December 2006 I also became a Dutch citizen.
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11 Responses to QUAD Artera Link – Rare Bird or Lame Duck?

  1. Martin Unterschemmann says:

    Hi, I am thinking about buying the Quad Artera LINK ifor 1.099,- EUR currently offered in the net. Igues the lowprice is due to the fact that actually onlly few devices actually have been produced and distributed. Can you tell me if everything is allright with your device? Would you recommend the LINK although few is to be read about it? Is as good as the PLAY? Are you still happy with it?

    • Geoff Coupe says:

      Hello Martin – I’m very happy with the Link. It has worked perfectly for me. A few comments:
      1) because I’m using Roon, I use the Link connected to a Roon Endpoint via USB all the time. I don’t use any other input sources (I’ve only ever played a few CDs, or used Airplay over the ethernet connection just to test that those functions were working).
      2) I’ve never seen a firmware update from Quad, but then again, since it all just works for me, this hasn’t bothered me.
      3) I did hear from the German distributor that there were issues reported with the WiFi, but since I have the Link on a wired ethernet connection, and use the USB input source, I’m not affected by these issues, whatever they are. So unless you were planning to use the Link with Airplay over WiFi, you should be fine.

      • Martin Unterschemmann says:

        Hi thank you very much for your advice. I have contacted the German distributor. It was confirmed that for Android there were some issues with initiating connection although the Wifi actually works fine As I will connect the device with LAN anyways I dont care about this issue. It was also confirmed that the streaming player concept was not pursued in further models as requests as Roon certification and MQA ability were formulated by German distributor against UK but not realised by development. However, the current offer was the final selloff of the obviously last LINK models, that’s why there was a discount of more than 50%. For me it was the chance by ordering a LINK to get a PLAY including Bluetooth (alllowing spontaneous connection from mobile or notebook wireless) for a great price. Soi finally ordered one. It turned out that it was the last one available. I will try the networkplayer using the Quad Link App in IOS (for which no problems were reported), Due to UPNP any other connector app (such as Bubble) will be working fine too. Thanks again for your help!

        • Geoff Coupe says:

          Hello Martin, thanks for that additional information about the LINK – useful to know for the full picture. It’s a pity that Quad never pursued Roon Ready certification. In fact, I understand (from the UK Group Service Manager) that no LINKs were ever sold in the UK, and the concept of a player/network streamer now seems to have been dropped entirely from the Artera line. So it’s turned out to be a rare bird. I hope it flies as well for you as it does for me. Cheers.

  2. Ralph Foster says:

    Hi do you know if the quad link is the same as the quad Artera or the quad Artera plus in sound quality as the plus is supposed to be a lot better

    • Geoff Coupe says:

      I really wouldn’t know. As far as I can see, both the Link and the newer Artera Play+ have the same DAC chip (ESS ES9018), so I would have thought that the SQ would be comparable.

  3. Jo says:

    Hej Geoff!
    Hello Martin!
    Thanks about details in your thread about Artera LINK. I considered to buy an Artera Play(without the plus). Can you confirm that the preamplifier section of the Artera Play(also maybe Play+) is without the connectivity of wlan, Bluetooth and Lan the same? Mention that because i would also prefer using USB only with my Mac 🙂 Or does all these Interface(active used or NOT) influence the sound in bad way? THANK you. Very nice regards, Jo

    • Geoff Coupe says:

      Hallo Jo, I think that the design of the Play and Link will be the same in those areas where the functions are the same, but I don’t know for certain. And as to whether unused components will influence the sound, I think it’s down to the ears of the listener. Some people swear that cables need burn-in time. Frankly, I’m not bothered. I use the USB input on my Link, and since I am satisfied with the sound in the digital/analogue chain, I have not done anything further

      • Jo says:

        Hej Geoff!
        Did you connect your “Link” with active powered Loudspeakers(XLR balanced) or with stereo amp and passive speakers? Sorry for my questions maybe you are normal listener and do not care about good cable connections and just listen as an background music source 😉 Last question: Do you think built-quality is cheap made or trusty 😉 ? Unfortunately i have to buy it blind, no opportunity test my suggested equipment with small Dynaudio active speakers. Thanks a lot, Jo

        • Geoff Coupe says:

          The Link is connected via XLR balanced cables to a Quad Artera Stereo poweramp, which in turns drives a pair of ESL57s. The build quality of the components is excellent, and up to the level of traditional Quad designs.

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