A Tribute to Peter Walker
Found out today that Peter Walker (founder of Quad) passed away on Wednesday, he was very ill for some time.
He will be remembered for a very long time to come for his contributions to the world of audio/hifi.
A tribute to Peter Walker.........
SIMPLY THE BEST
by Kristan Benson
Late 60’s early70’s as a very young man I recall finishing work every Saturday morning and high tailing into Leeds (Vallance and Davidsons’) to check out two obsessions – having sifted through the ones that changed their model no’s and appearance on a yearly basis, “ QUAD & B&O “, sad you might say. Not so as I was later to choose one which would become a total relaxing agent/household companion for many years too come.
So!! Saturday afternoons I would stand there in the store listening to Alan Freeman playing the likes of Pink Floyd, Zeppelin and Bowie in FM stereo on these two wonderful machines, plus inferior types which I would smugly walk past having by now made up my mind for a Quad bar a couple of minor points like prices.
At 23 years of age I went into Dixon’s to enquire as to the price of the Quad gear and was told “more than you can afford”. At 24 years of age I with great pride and a fistful of cash went into Dixon’s and purchased my first QUAD item, this was the 33 pre-amp which I ran through a Sansui with it’s own pre-amp unplugged. I was finally on my way with my very own Quad. Of course I would re-trace my steps now and then just to make sure I wasn’t making a big mistake but NO - Quad always came out on top.
At 25 years of age the heat was on, partly because I was concerned about possible price increases plus other commitments, at this point I should mention that I always swore I would have my Quad before I got married,” And I did”.
Things being as they were I decided to forego the other priorities and took the plunge buying the 303 amp and some Celestion 44 speakers (which I still have), “WOW” what a sound, never before have I heard anything so beautiful.
The trouble if one could call it so was that by then I was living in a caravan which was fine by me as this produced an effect similar to what they now call “Surround Sound”, never mind my Quad is safe.
Ironically just after this I became a married man, went into catering, and became a chef and my Quad and wife followed me all over the country this time living in hotels. After marrying it did occur to me that I did not as yet have the FM3 Radio
or the Electro-static speakers. My wife Bless her (!) bought me the FM3. As for the electro’s WELL (sigh) they are still on the want list.
Through my obsession (for the want of a Better Word) I have taught myself basis electronics e.g. difference between Germanium and Silicon, N.P.N./P.N.P. and Ohms law etc. So that I can maintain my own equipment. Is it love of music? Am I obsessed? Or even a fanatic? I don’t know “Who cares?” What I do know is that I still have my Quad 30 years on and it still sounds excellent “What a companion!”
I go into Dixon’s/Curries and Comet and look at all the flashing lights (very pretty) and have a quick listen, still 30 years on I walk out smiling. I have seriously still never heard ANYTHING to better Peter Walker’s Quad.
A GREAT BIG THANK YOU MR. WALKER, SIR.