in a word 'no'....all quad amps have the same sonic character, and are quite good.
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Thanks JRD- I use the 99 pre-amp and amp with my Spica TC-50 speakers (every time I listen to other speakers for upgrading, I appreciate the Spicas more) and sub.
I've never had a chance to demo the 909 and hear the sonic difference, if any, its "current dumping" circuit would have.
How would you describe the quad amp sonic character?
I bought the 909 over the 99 for use with Sonus Faber speakers -- there are some significant differences. The 909, along with its increased power, control and headroom, has a more colourful and dynamic sound with a smoother top end. The 99 can seem more "sparkly" on first listen but lacks the control and tonal colour of the 99 -- in my system anyway. You'd have to try them both, and they share a family sound, but the 99 is an excellent amp; the 909 is a great one -- again, in my system. The 909 and 99 have widely reviewed and these may help you decide -- but I'd hear both. I live in the UK and don't have access to the Absolute Sound but apparently the 909 is one of their favourites.
I have the 909, never heard the 99. All I can tell you is this amp has a beautiful midrange, a grainless top end and never sounds strained. Reveiwers seem to prefer the 909. Dont know what led me to the Quad, but Im very happy with it. One note: mine took at least a month to 'burn in'. I know some dont believe in this, but this was my experience while comparing it to an other good amp. The bass was suspect at first, now it sounds excellent.