Anyone HEARD the qol 'signal completion' device?

An ad in TAS... touting this box. I remain skeptical but would like to know what your impressions are if you have heard whatever it does!


Very Impressive--

Shipping now I believe

Very impressive ... ? Very impressive aluminum box ?

What does it do?
It supposedly extracts hidden Phase data in the signal (the so-called geography of sound). In unfurling this data, the sound appears more real, like the original event.

They say they plan to license this out like Dolby does, so trhat it will be ubiquitious embedded tech.

It is a bit of a dismay that their one available audio product is so expensive and thus will limit the amount of people who will be able to afford this. $4K is steeep! This should be a $1K price point.
I agree,4-K for a future ubiquitous product in the realm of main-stream audio is a bit much.1K seems a little more in line with reality.

Are you listening Mr Kay?
I have had one in system for a week now and I am very satisfied. I went in extremely skeptical with thoughts that this might just be a gimmick. So far I am amazed at how everything seems so much more live.I had previously thought my system gave one a hair-raising experience, but the hair on my air literally stood up as long as i was playing music, this past weekend. This coming weekend I plan a music marathon and will describe more what differences one hears. Marc

So how did the marathon go? I look forward to comparing your notes with ours.

Note: I am a Dealer of the Qol product here in the San Francisco Bay Area.

If you have time, details on type of music auditioned and how the Qol product effected these types of music would be much appreciated. As well, if you can make a comment about the music depth, I would love to hear your impressions.
Setonaudio, I am a slow typist and at work late tonight, but i will share my experience as soon as time allows. I can say, from my "earpoint" that the unit seems to have solved a fundamental short-coming in sound reproduction and the more listening done the more of value it becomes to me. I will break down what music and what differences were heard. I may sound subdued, but believe me the fire is down below and i will explain what i mean in next thread. Marc
The music I have played so far has been acoustic, voices, horns, piano, drums ect. in CD, SACD and streamed in from Mac both in stereo and some mono. Etta James, Ray Charles, Van Morrison, Norah Jones, Stevie Wonder and BeeGees.In all cases added phase info adds to marked difference in articulation of voices and instruments. Besides stage width and depth both being increased another benefit was that music seems to come from a sphere from each speaker instead of being flat in nature. The stereo separation is improved no matter the position or room you are in. It just reminds me of all the live music i have been graced with listening thru the years. This weekend i plan some rock and classical music to hear how it is effected. One caveat from my experience was when I moved the qol unit from between my ARC LS-27 preamp and ARC DS-450 amp to before the preamp the air and soundstage collapsed. A Cardas Clear 1/2 meter IC arrived so that i will be trying to see if this was cable related or did i somehow miss connect it. Live music has always made me want to get up and dance and I now realize the phase info must be the ticket to ride and what has been lacking in all stereo systems. I know it is fairly expensive and it goes against my audiophile nature to simplify and here you add a box and a set of cables. But this for me is it!!! After some more time and use i will write again about how cable and position came out.
Setonaudio, one more weekend only verifies the value of qol unit. Old rock, The Who,Beatles,CCR,Doors,Stones, ect. are all enhanced very markedly. Have not tried classical yet, because once you start playing music you keep playing more of whatever you are listening to due to the great improvement. I am grinning a whole bunch more than I have in years. What has been your experience so far? Marc
Marc, any more experimenting with placement in your system? (before pre, after pre, etc.). Any effects on tonality?
I will be testing position change this weekend. In previous test, within my system,placing qol before the pre there was marked drop in air and soundstage. After talking to Larry Kay and telling him my experience he confirmed he also heard improvement after pre. I am fairly sure that is the prime way to go, but I will try 1 last test now that the new Cardas Clear IC is broken in. Marc
I have been having some friends over, but the rotation was so heated i could not justify a slowdown in the action so that i could do a cable swap. All comers spoke more than once that it sounded better than live to them. We know this isn't likely, but you get the point i'm sure. Upon taking the qol unit out of the circuit, all the excitement diminished. I will get around to swapping cables soon. Marc PS Setonaudio, what is your feedback?

I concur with your findings. I no longer do sound test but rather just run Qol during listening sessions. The way I see it, it is like going to stereo...once listeners got over the paradigm shift, it just become the completion of the music and how it should be heard.

Once very nice extra feature is that the room acoustics now play less of a role. This is great for problem and odd shaped rooms.
I've heard the Qol on several different systems now, including Maggie 3.6, Apogees, small Gallo's and Pipedreams.

I can say, in general, I didn't like what it did to the panel speakers. They are already capable of producing wide open sound. The QOL was a bit too much of a good thing, and you can achieve the same presentation on these with proper setup and room treatment.

However, on cone speakers the QOL was very nice indeed. Those little Gallo's sounded like floorstanders and filled the room. On the Pipedreams it made the presentation far more expansive.

So overall, YMMV depending on the type of speaker system you are trying this on. And yes, the price point of this puts it out of reach for many people, and no I have no idea how it works except that it must play with phase. That means it is probably not a device for the purist audiophile, but more for someone who just wants things to sound good to their ears.
Pimconsulting, that is interesting about the panel speakers. I have a back-up pair of maggies I use if a speaker problem occurs with the Shophia IIIs. One of the many benefits the qol unit does is expand the perceived height of the Wilsons. They sound more like the maggies now as far as soundstage. This is one of the many benefits the qol unit does in my system. I have not tried the maggies with the qol, but I had wondered if things might be different with panel speakers. I do disagree about audiophile statement you made and I bet time will prove me right. To me if something sounds more live and real, that is desirable, after all stereo is just an illusion trying to sound more real than mono. And Setonaudio, I agree the qol does make the system a lot less room dependent. I am sure that i love what the qol unit does for believability and when off the thrill is gone. Long live qol, I need it every night. Marc
Ditto Mark....

I spent the holidays an my vacation home where I do not have a qol in that system. A very nice system, was once my primary audiophile setup, but I could not wait to get back and listen to my daily system that runs qol.

I kept thinking....what the heck is missing....what did I change there...then it struck me....I should have brought the qol with me.

Interesting how one grows acustom to a way of listening and when it is gone, it is easily noticed and missed.
Nak8, I do not understand how this technology works after reading all I can. What I do understand is when you hear it you know it is right and sounds much more live and correct. Not all recordings are as improved as much as others, but all benefit and some dramatically. Just read review of the qol unit in the latest TAS by Robert Harley with his super high-end system. He also is in love or lust as much as I am with his unit and it ain't going nowhere. ((smile)) Marc PS It is hard for me to listen to my car stereo much anymore, as I miss all the extra the qol unit brings into play. Long live qol, I need it every night!
Ron Buffington of Liquid HiFi here in Charlotte NC.

I am an authorized dealer for QOL and recently plugged in my demo unit and the effect is not subtle. Significantly larger soundstage, improved imaging with more air around instruments and musicians, improved depth of field.

I would be pleased to demonstrate the unit for any interested parties in the area in my systems or yours.

Marc777 got his from me and actually encouraged me to get involved with the QOL, and we are both very glad to have them in our systems
I just ordered a unit. Hope to have it this weekend.
just another fad...
Or it will work in your system and sound great.

Hifigeek1, have you tried it and are you basing your opinion on actual experience?

I haven't tried it, but do feel strongly feel we should give the basis for our opinions here. Give a product and the possibility for real innovation a chance rather than dismissing it out of hand.

That said, if you audition a piece of new equipment, please put your critical hat on, compare it with as much as possible, and give it time to either grow on you or give it time for you to sour on it.

Let's be honest about the source of our stated opinions, our own personal listening preferences and the systems in which a piece of equipment is being evaluated.
Your point Roscoeiii, is well taken by me.
Opinions without having experience has NO value.

I saw the Qol system a year ago...tried to engage them, as their basic principle of phase information restoration makes perfect engineering sense to me...

They, at that time were not ready for as much attention as they'd gotten...I wish them well, and look forward to trying one in my own system.

I agree the only sure way of evaluating a piece of equipment is to try it in your own system and room.
All other remarks are just unsubstantiated opinions.

Someone mentioned on another thread about the H-Cat Preamp and was comparing it in there opinion (without trying the Qol) to the Qol unit.
My comment to that is, a few years back I did buy the H-Cat Preamp but I could not detect an improvement so I sold it.
I am going to use that same process with the Qol.
Haven't heard it, but in my past life as musician, I have heard many devices that can make a piece of reproduced music nicer to listen to - Aphex Aural Exciter for example, although that device is very old by now and I'm sure there are plenty of new items available in the studio to spice up a track. In general, these devices worked by manipulating the eq and phase to make things sound bigger and more present. I read the review of this device and the interview with the designer and I don't doubt for a minute that this gizmo may well make an audio system sound more pleasing. But I do have a hard time with the "unlocking hidden phase information.. etc" concept. I could see if this device followed the microphone directly in the recording chain, but once the music is recorded, I can't understand the concept of "hidden information" that cannot otherwise be unearthed through playback on the same device on which it was recorded. I realize that audiophiles claim to hate tone controls and DSPs, so from a manufacturing standpoint, it is much more paletable to say you're just uncovering what's already there than to say you're manipulating the signal. Again, I won't say it doesn't sound good or that what the designer is saying isn't true. I just don't see how it's possible. Once something is recorded on a 30 ips tape (for example) I cannot see how that same recorder is failing to play back intact what it just recorded. Enjoy.
To build on Chayro's post, I have an SPL Qure parametric equalizer which has the Qure processor. In addition to the normal 3 bands of parametric EQ the Qure processor messes with the signal's phase and adds a mid/hi boost which is intended to clarify vocal/instruments and reduce digital harshness. It also adds around 1-2 dB to the signal. I personally don't like the effect and never switch it into the signal path, but if is definitely noticeable.

I'm not saying that the SPL Qure is the same as the QOL device, but just pointing out that phase manipulation devices are fairly common and do have a sonic effect.
When in active mode, it changes the amount of gain, making it nearly impossible for a true A-B.
Well, I am expecting much better results from the Qol unit than the last few posts have described.
I'll just have to wait and hear it in my own system this weekend.
Is it the 'gain' or the dynamic range that is changed?
Two very different items...

Definitely gain.
My attitude, less is more. Another device in the chain complicates matters.
Sorry to disagree...but...
Usually, less is more...but what if, big if here...that some thing, adds back, (restores) lost phase information, making for a more complete signal, one that looks more like the original?

My basic theology is YOUR theology, yet, having seen this, experienced what it 'appears' to do, I'm pulling for it, and do really believe in it's value.

Again, sorry to disagree...

Good listening,
The manufacturer swears there is no gain stage in the unit. The additional perception of gain is really due to a cleaning up of the signal.

Now I personally agree with you, it sure enough sounds like additional gain to me. Others have said the amount of perceived gain varies by album though.

Does this device work with speakers that have ribbon tweeter too?
I'm not aware that it would matter what type of speaker.
My understanding is that the device restores 'lost' phase information...restores it.
In that regard, the answer to the increased gain, may be answered.
More data, would equal more volume..more dynamic range.
So the 'illusion' of more gain, would be no illusion at all.
Dynamic range expansion, through recaptured, lost phase information.
Unless there's something I'm not getting, which is entirely possible.
All the negative posts based on theory and not having listened to them are a waste of your time and ours. We as well as you know "buyer beware" and that there have been countless gizmos that play with the signal before the qol and most of those if not all sucked after any long term listening. With this unit the longer I listen the more sure I am of its extreme value for me. Until you try it sour grapes seems small minded from my seat as I know what it can do for listening enjoyment.
So Marc, would you say this device is something you put in after everything else? I mean, would you say it would be a higher priority then something like room correction or room treatments?
Marc, why does it sound like your panties are in a bunch? My responses above is from my experience demoing to the unit, not "theory".
I don't think the posts are negative, as you put it. The device may well sound fabulous. Frankly, I think most systems could benefit from some subtle eq and phase manipulation, but audiophiles are uniformly against such things on principle. Except for the bass, where a Rives is permitted under certain conditions. The question is not whether it sounds good. The discussion revolves around how it works and what it does with the signal. If you think it sounds good, who cares what anyone else thinks?
Kclone, I have a fairly big room (16'x34'x9') that is very open to a bigger room so I do not have major room issues as speakers are far from front, side and back walls. But I can say that when the qol is engaged the room seems to be less a factor by far. As far as why i am fired up is it is like you are taking a swipe at my hot lady and i took offense. Once you sample her wares you may be in the same boat.
Mark, Are you reffering to me at taking a swipe at it? I never took a swipe at it. I'm open minded about this and I appreciated the feedback you have provided to us.
Kclone, Nay I was referring to other threads, sorry for confusion.
I thought so, thanks Mark. The thing that I potentially like about this is this unit does not do any D to A converson or anything like a lot of room correction devices do. So if you love the sound of your DAC or source, it's siganl dose not get altered by another D to A or A to D process. Thanks.
I didn't say it sounded "bad" either. Other than it being difficult make a fair comparison due to what appeared to be different levels of gain, the unit did appear to change the sound field. As for better or worse, that would be for the listener to decide.
Just got my unit off the Fed Ex Truck.
It was really cold so I waited a while before turning it on.
I added a 1 Amp HiFI tuning fuse that I had , and I had another balanced interconnect that was the same as my others. I also had a Synergistic Tesla T2 power cord that I plugged into the Powercell.

First impression, it does increase the sound level. I also think it sounds a little bright.
But, it was fresh out of the box , I'll let it break in a few days before I comment further.
I realize after listening to any live music and in particular a 1973 live album in London by Van Morrison on my turntable, why I have have been so emotional about the qol. It brings out a heavy emotional response in me! I want to laugh, scream, jump, cry,fight,love,kiss,make love and so much more. All this fire I accredit to the qol unit. Just start listening to music and forget about burn in and then you will hear what the big deal is.
Hey Ozzie, anything to report? It was mentioned that is sounds best between the pre and amp. What about an integrated, anyone try one with that in which case it would have to come after the source?
Kclone, some integrated amps have a preamp out, if not, choices are after source or through tape in if available.
I would think that if this device is the "real deal" ie not some signal processor that most people like at first, then get tired of; which I am concluding from all the positive posts that it's not; then if one were to hook two in series the sound shouldn't change very much, if at all. The reason is if it restores lost info then the second one in series would have no more lost info to restore, therefore not changing the sound at all. Now that's just theory and I figure some small changes, but not like twice as large an effect. If the second one makes a big difference to the sound then it probably is just another spatial effect machine.

So if possible, can someone try two in a row to test this?
Interesting thread. Ozzy, what is the latest on the qol?
yeah, my Luxman has a preamp out. But wouldn't just hook up through one inputs on the Luxman (source>>>QOL>>>Luxman)? I mean, why use tape out or preamp out? I don't get it.