Quad 12L at low volume

I'm interested in the quads 12L (could be active or passive), but I have the constraint of listening mostly at low volume.

How do the quads sound at low volume? Are they good from the lower volumes or do they have to be pushed to sing?
Is there a difference between the active and the passive versions in this respect.

Thanks a lot
I am responding for passive version and have not heard the active ones. The Quads do require a bit of volume to sound their best. I do listen late at night and the volume settings are reasonable. On my NAD amp, the zero volume starts at 6 O'clock position. For late nights I get superb resolution between 8 and 9 O'clock positions. Hope this helps.
These struck me as OK but not great low volume speakers when I heard them.

Triangle Titus 202 can be had used for under $500 and are exceptional, the best small monitors I've heard at low volumes. They can also crank up loud and clear amazingly well for such little guys with good amplification behind them.
The actives sound great at low volume. I listen to Pandora.com through my computer and Hagerman USB DAC straight into the actives. When I'm sitting at the computer I have the volume down quite a bit.

Compared to my 22l/909 amp combination, the 12L actives are more detailed and analytical sounding, which makes them good at low volumes IMO. Of course if you crank 'em up they sound good as well!
I would concur with everyone here. The passives need some juice, but the actives are just awesome even at low volume. The active versions show up all the time here. Snag a pair and you won't be sorry.

I've heard the Titus and think that Mapman is right on the money; you simply can't go wrong, but if I had that little extra cash I'd get the actine Quads. You can't make a bad decision between the two.
Thanks for the answers, very helpful !
But how to you explain the difference between the active and the passive?
After all it should be the same speaker, so if the passives are not very responsive at low volumes, because they are not very detailed or dynamic enough at low level, how is the fact of embedding amps in it is going to change anything?

I note the recommendation on the Titus, I've also seen very good reviews of the Triangle Comete which seem to be a beefed up version of the Titus with also great reviews and same low volume capabilities. So I may try to listen to them as well.
I would assume the actives just get the amplification needs of the speaker right by design and would reduce the need to find a separate amp that is optimal otherwise.

Not sure how it would change the basic nature of the speak design though as you point out.

Never heard Comete's (have almost bought a pair on several occasions but already have enough speaks), but that aside, I would consider those a good step up in the Triangle line in general.
When I was reading the initial question what mapman said is exactly what I was thinking. Quad 12l passive is good but not great in terms of low level listening. The Triangle Titus (especially the 202) is the absolute champ in this regard. The only issue is that the Triangle and Quad are two very different sounding speakers.

The 12l Active is much better at low level listening versus its passive sibling. This is one of the many inherant virtues of active designs and having the crossover at line level versus speaker level. (The titus has an incredibly simple speaker level crossover which is a reason it does well at low volume)

The 12l active is in a different league than both the passive and titus. The speaker can play big- where as the Titus really cant. The 12l vs 12l active is a no brainer in favor of the active IMO. However, the L2 series has a slighly different sound- especially on the top end. It is a little brighter which can actually come off as more resolving power in the listening room. I really like the L2 series.

To summarize;

Quad 12l- good speaker, smooth with an ability to play almost like a floorstander in regards to dynamics and bass.

Quad 12l active- same as above- but it does play like a floorstander. Very transparent, fast, accurate.

Quad 12l2 passive- slightly different presentation. A little hotter up top. Seems to do a tad better at low volume versus the original L series.

Titus- much different sounding versus above. ES version is larger and significantly different speaker than the XS and 202 which got the great reviews. (The Stella is more like the legacy Titus) The 202 has an incredible amount of HF energy, it takes a while to get used to but it does wonders at low volume. Midrange is very natural. Careful matching of amplification is important. Tubes, Arcam, etc. Cheap- the 202 goes in the 300s. Vinyl wrapped cabinet is no where near as nice as the Quad.
Don't underestimate the little Titus 202's ability to sound big, given proper amplification.

On a vintage Tandberg TR2080 80w/side receiver I have owned, the little Titus' could hang easily with any larger speaker I've had concurrently, including B&W, Dynaudio, Magnepan and Ohm, at louder volumes as well. At low volumes, they were the best.

The bass extension of a good full range will not be there, but everything else is so good there is a good chance you will not miss it.
Well have to disagree on that one but we do agree on everything else. The 202 really only plays down to 65hz or so.

The newer Titus ES does a better job with dynamics but unfortunately loses a little of the 202 magic.

I did forget to mention that I was using the Titus 202s with a sub, which does make a big difference regarding a more complete sound.