The Q ic is a very good cable. I wish I had command of the audiophile vocabulary to give a more accurate description, but I will try.
First of all, I was very happy with the sound of the Proteus ic's especially with the Art Audio Carissa and the Dali Helicon 800's. I had just received one of those $49 PS1 game systems with the audiophile chip sets. This is what I was listening to when the Q's arrived.
I swapped the Q's with the Proteus. Within seconds, I heard a very noticeable difference. Much more clarity, as they say, like removing a veil. In this case, like removing about 5 veils. The low end seemed to have a lot more texture in it and I could hear that a lot more detail was present. The base was not any louder, just more detailed. I loved it.
I was listening to Annie Lenox and heard her voice very lifelike and natural. Her music has a lot of nice background vocals and they were positioned right behind her where you would expect them. The soundstage seemed deep and very well positioned. I also noticed that the highs seemed very soft or sweet for a change. I'm not sure of the correct term for that, but it might be something that another reviewer can put into the right words.
I have since purchased a Quad 67 cd player and I am just starting to compare the PS1's excellent qualities to the Quad. In this thread, I think this is another example of getting a great deal more than you pay for.
Hope this helps, and I am curious to see what others have to say about the Q's.
I will follow up up with my findings on their speaker cable as soon as I get them.