Know anything about the BSG Technologies QOL?


Hi there, I just saw a local dealer advertising this on craigslist, They wont tell you anything about it except it works, it half sounds like snake oil and half sounds like it could be something.

They claim it is all analog and retrieves inner detail and has the "WOW FACTOR".

My guess after talking to the guy is is might be disgned around smoothing out microphone curves maybe? or sending out a ton of above 20KHZ info to do some pshycho acoustic/room type thing?

I'm just tripped out they wont tell you anything except, well set it up, if you like it awesome if not dont buy it.

I am genuinely intrigued to see if its truly real and if anyone has expreience. It would be nice to save a long drive to hear something or have something to look forward to on the drive.
Convert?fit=crop&h=128&policy=eyjlehbpcnkioje1mdy1mtu4mjksimnhbgwiolsicmvhzcisimnvbnzlcnqixx0%3d&rotate=exif&signature=02015120b1b6babea09708b57ad9c45f7598f258ac76d873ef600b4e9aab29c9&w=128systembuilder
Look foward to the uncertainty of a new audio experience and the chance to discover something new and meet new people.
I saw this at RMAF and bought. It was astonishing, particularly on classical music in stereo. Everything is clearer, rounder, more natural and more dynamic. Going back to ones fairly sophisticated system without it is crushing. I doubt you could get equivalent improvement in your system no matter how much you spent on other equipment upgrades. I've been in high fidelity for 55 years and never heard its like. The nearest equivalent experience was when I first heard stereo at a friend's father's house in 1956--played through an Ampex. The recording was the now celebrated Fiedler Gaite Parisiene, available only on tape, of course--stereo vinyl being several years in the future.
By following the link below you can get an idea of what this device can do. If you use headphones during the demo you will have a better grasp on the merits of said unit.

http://www.bsgt.com/technology-information/oscilloscope-view-of-qol/
As I am the CEO of bsg technologies, llc, the company which makes the qøl™ Signal Completion Stage, I can and will explain in reasonable detail what long-standing audio problem it solves, and (in general terms) how it solves it.

It happens that I'm moving today and tomorrow, but those who'd like to talk about it can phone our office on Tuesday, 11/1, at 310-827-bsgt (2748) or e-mail at lak@bsgt.com.

It ISN'T SNAKE OIL. It's solid science--and Chriscar is right; it's the biggest advance in sound since the advent of stereo. Larry Alan Kay
Hello T.

Good to see you active on A'gon. Like Larry states, this is solid science.

As I offered you and I extend that offer to any of the A'goners in the San Francisco Bay Area, I would be more than happy to set up an audition of a unit in your system, at your home. As the SF Bay Area dealer, I am more than happy to accommodate.

Just give me a call to set up the experience.

408-887-5898
Let's hear about the solid science. Since you're inviting the world to call or email, save yourself some time and explain it clearly here.

I've had any component or cable inserted line level after the necessary components (source/pre-amp or integrated) which has not absolutely detracted from the pristine nature of the signal, and that includes all power filtering/regeneration devices.

So, this unit is all analogue, is not a processor, and is an add-on to the signal. That means it degrades the signal in terms of absolute clarity. What does it do to merit its insertion into the signal chain?
Typo: second paragraph: "I have not had..."
Doug, Just an FYI... Larry is not one for blogging so most likely he will not continue in this blog.

What I can say is that Larry is a very impressive man and always willing to discuss technology the old school way...via telephone. This is truly his preferred method of communication as since it is an efficient method of communication, I would encourage anyone interested in this technology to contact him for an enjoyable conversation.

There is also much info on the BSG website www.bsgt.com about their Qol product and the company in general.

As well, I am available to discuss the product. For those Audiophiles in the San Francisco Bay Area, I am available for a demonstration, if you are an interested customer.

Do date, I have many many hours of auditioning the Qol product and here are some of my findings thus far.

1) The product truly adds to a music listening experience

2) It performs much more ideal with digital music and high quality vinyl. I am not refering to the recording era but rather the condition of the vinyl itself.

3) It aids much more effectively in lower to mid-grade high end systems.(I have not yet listened in a consumer grade setup) I am not saying it does not still provide a WOW factor in ultra high end systems. In such ultra high end systems (what most of us dream about having)the quality of music is already just so good that the Qol product just does not seem to have much more to do to capture the listener so possibly too much of a good thing may apply here.

So, if you are thinking about upgrading components, one should first consider adding a Qol signal completion stage as it may be much more cost effective and simplistic than going the upgrade route...oh, and most likely a more pleasurable listening experience in the end.

I am available for local in-house demos...

408-887-5898
The responses continue to cause more confusion than help. The CEO says it's the biggest thing since stereo, and the dealer downplays it as perhaps more efficacious for MidFi than HiFi.

The website which I visited prior to asking my question here had nothing helpful regarding the technology; it was fluff, promotion. The discussion here from BSGT related persons is the same. The other thread on Agon regarding QOL mentions phase. Perhaps QOL is an enhanced phase inverter. I wonder if that's why one cannot switch between RCA/XLR inputs and outputs while using QOL? Sorry, but the lack of clarity in responses in my mind begs for answers.

I know one thing; when there's a truly staggering improvement/breakthrough it's efficacious with more certainty as one moves up the audio chain in terms of system quality, not with less certainty. The answer given causes less confidence, not more. :)
Douglas, i said ULTRA hifi.... say, $80k+ systems. If that is what you consider standard hifi, then you may have all the money and equipment you need already and the qol may or may not be for you.

But even in these ultra hifi systems, I hear an improvement so I think that says alot.

You should have a listen for yourself and see if that changes your mind. I have always beed a signal purist myself but after hearing the product, my thoughts about interjecting another component in the signal path changed 180°.

I don't think BSG is going to give anyone their secret sauce just yet so do yourself a favor and just have a listen....it just may put a smile on your face.

Feel free to call me as well....I am always available for friendly and optimistic conversation.
Setonaudio, thank you for your cordial responses.
So I've been googling around what is available and how BSG Technology hopes to market this product and the underlying technology (all very cool stuff!).

Here's a question... while it is stated that it is not processing the musical signal, it clearly must be doing something between Qol input and Qol output. Is it possible to record the output of the Qol and then play it back without Qol in the system with similar results? I guess what I'm asking is if it can actually be used to 'remaster' recordings for playback on non-Qol systems (car, smartphones, bedroom system, etc...).

And if that is possible, what happens if/when it's processed multiple times (i.e. play back such a recording thru the Qol again?)

I'd jump at a chance to hear a Qol in action, but to the best of my knowledge, no one in my area (NC) has one and I'm not quite ready to write a $4k check. But extremely curious I am!
This piece of equipment certainly has piqued my interest. I have a very resolving, highly musical, clean sounding system with great detail and imaging:

Canary monoblock tube amps 140 wpc, Canary monoblock tube pre-amps, Magnepan 1.7 speakers, Zentara speaker cable, Zentara IC and Jw Audio cryo IC, Tritium tiphazer ICs, dcs delius DAC (totally rebuilt by Doug Jessie at Asi_Teknology, Empirical Audio Design Off-Ramp, iMac computer with Puresound overlaying itunes, and a cheap chinese digital player (QLsonic) feeding directly into my dac (sounds unvelievably good). My system sounds staggeringly good.

However, I have audiophile disease and constantly wish to improve the sound of my system. The BSG device description seems to have the POTENTIAL to be a game-changer. I agree the price is steep and the price may just keep me from trying this high potential device. The million dollar question - is this device worth 4K of mulah???????? Understanding precisely how it works is not overly important. Many things work great in my field (medicine) yet we don't know fully the mechanism(s) by which they do their magic......
Interesting discussion and observations here:
http://www.whatsbestforum.com/showthread.php?4384-Stereo-Field-Processing&highlight=Technology

Kal
I understand the negative comments and thoughts about the qol unit. Adding extra cable and another unit in my stereo seemed foolish, but the tout about the 30 trial and a talk with Larry Kay convinced me to try it. In my comments on another thread i talk about the positive effect the qol unit had in my system. The reason for this thread is to make comment about value of qol in the high-end vs mid to low-fi. I have an ARC LS-27 pre and an ARC DS-450 amp. An Esoteric SA-50 digital front end and Clear Audio TT and cartridge are sources and speakers are the Sophia III's. All cable is Transparent from the very upper levels of choice and 1 Cardas clear for the qol. All units are placed on the latest Stillpoints rack with Stillpoint Ultra footers between all units and rack. And Stillpoints also under speakers and sub woofers. I have 3 seperate 20amp dedicated lines for stereo, one for each JL-113 sub and 1 for the main units. I also have 2 quantum qx-4 to deal with RFI & EMI. All power cables are Shunyata's TOL or near. Shunyata,s V-ray II is plugged into a Shunyata outlet with all units plugged into it. My point is I feel my stereo is fairly high-end and I was very pleased and happy, now I am extremely pleased and happy since adding qol unit. Long live qol. Marc
Well let me tell ya about my day enjoying this device. I was blown away. Speakers were magico q5. All gear was top notch. Also used the v3 magicos and all I can say is I'm buying one. I would of loved to had this piece of gear at one of my studios when making records. The sound stage expanded. There was about 2 DB gain over defeat. Maybe more info getting added with better phase. I heard with analog mono records it makes a huge difference. Also what I was told that about 90 percent of recording will benefit from having it in signal path. Really cool unit. I hope it takes off
I just read Robert Harley's review of the qol unit in the new TAS issue. In his super high-end system he lusts and loves the qol unit also. Once you hear the obvious benefits you will be spoiled. Long live qol, I need it every night!
Marc,

I read it too... confirmed much of what I am hearing and what BSGT has been saying all along. And yes, it is still a daily enjoyment for me too.

thanks for remaining active in the topic.
I decided to try it and will report back soon.
I just ordered a unit. I hope to have it before the weekend.
Ozzy, Looking forward to hearing your review.
I have had a unit for a few days, and it has been broken in for about 150 hrs. I think that it is probably a breakthrough product because it addresses the problem of phase relationships, which usually sound flattened out but which are allowed to be heard with this unit. The enlargement of the stereo image is something else that occurs.
I'm very interested as well, esp if there is a possibility (down the road) to incorporate it within my Dac?
Preale, Did you find much difference in sound quality between the fresh out of the box and the 150 hours of use?
The unit operates in the analog mode: so, it is placed between the preamp and amp. Sound quality improved considerably after break in, as it is with all electronics. Also, since I had to use an extra pair of XLR cables, they had to be broken it as well. I continued to break the unit in by running my FM tuner through the preamp and BSG for a couple of days. I also noticed a perfect synergy between my Bybee devices (which are between DAC and preamp, as well as Golden Goddess Speaker Bullets on loudspeakers).
Ozzy From my seat the unit sounded good fresh out and has slightly improved over time. The one thing of note was it takes about 20 minutes to warm completely up and this you will hear. Just as in an amp.
I noticed much more difference between cables burning in than the qol unit. Also Larry Kay (president of BSGT) said the same about qol in his high-end system. You may have heard more of the cables burning in than the qol unit itself. It does work in the analog mode, but it can be placed before pre-amp or receiver or through tape loop if wanted. From my experience after pre-amp is the best and with balanced connections. Elsewhere a loss of air and excitement was noted in my system
You may be correct about the burn in. I also used a short, aftermarket power cord, rather than stock. I had the unit connected with XLR cables between preamp and amp. I wonder if this unit is anything like the FM Aoustics Linearizer. SInce trhe qol uses so little electricity, I leave mine on all the time.
Thanks for the help. One more question.
Is this the type of unit that you leave on all the time ?

I hope Fed Ex delivers it tommorrow.
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.
What I did was to leave my FM tuner on for about three days straight. I really think that you need at least 200 hrs. before you can evaluate. I was lucky in that my unit has been used as a demo for about 100 hrs. before I even hooked it up. In the digital world things are even worse. When the mods for my EMM labs pair were done, they took almost 600 hrs. before they calmed down. When I was beta testing the Bybee Golden Goddess Speaker bullets, they took almost the same amount of time.
There is some warm up and like all equipment needs some burn in time. My point is there will only so much improvement. Not so much as to go from bad to good like in some units . From the off i have enjoyed all the excitement it brings. It is more important to maybe adjust your speakers and in my case i added a good bit extra bass from my 2 subs. Preale's comment about seeming bright was also my impression especially on some albums. This is due to the lost info in the signal now brought forward in playback. It is this added info that for me completes the signal just like they claim. There is an adjustment period, but for me it was all positive. You now have a huge sweet spot that you can move around without having to hold your head still. I could go on and on as it does so much the only way to believe is to hear it.
Ozzy, If you do not mind, after you get used to unit, will you test standard fuse against the HiFi? Hifi supreme fuses made a surprisingly big difference in my ARC preamp and amp. Larry said he did not think it would help as it does not draw much current. But I was already thinking I would test myself.
Preale, I let the tuner play overnight and I will continue to play the tuner during the times I am not playing my music for at least a couple of weeks.
I am a firm believer that all electronics take time to sound there best. But so far this morning, the edge has settled down.

Marc777, I am using the original HIFI fuse with the QOL. I do have a Supreme in my Preamp and the silvers in my CD/Dac player. It might be awhile before I put in the standard fuse that came with the unit back in.
Well, I am a little embarrassed to post this but what the heck.
My earlier statement about the Qol sounding a little bright was the cause of my way too many tweaks.
I found that the spades of my AudioPrism ground controls were touching the body of my Walker HDL Links, (On both L and R sides). Once I separated them the brightness went away and the soundstage expanded every which way.
I am now listening to Olivia Newton John and she has her tongue in my ear.
Ozzy, good to hear you solved your tweak issue. I have been listening to the qol unit for months and I can assure you some material will seem bright especially older recordings. It will be obvious. I usually like to hear what a tweak does so I plan to order a supreme and listen before and after as it only takes 5 minutes. Also glad Olivia is dishing out ear love to you as I know the feeling well. I am right there with you as the added info the qol unit uncovers brings out a big emotional response in me.
I will be posting my impression of the Qol this weekend.
My suggestion about A/B comparisons is that you should use recordings that you know extremely well. In the What's Best Forum there was a lot of talk about whether the bypass mode really took the unit out of the equation. My experience with about 70% of the recordings I used was that the changes were profound. There were a few recordings where not much happened, but there was no recording where the sound got worse. If you read the blogs, there is a lot of skepticism, but if your system has been the same for a long time, the addition of the Qol unit will make an instant (good or bad) impression on you. I think that a lot of criticism has to do with whether the results are accurate" or just euphonic (a little like all the discussion of "tube" sound). My take on this is that live instruments have a certain amount of randomness (chorus effect due to minor phase delays, even when instruments play together). When the music goes through a microphone, recorder, and finally your loudspeakers, everything becomes phase coherent. The Qol "restores" the effect of the original phase shifting. Whether this is the same as the original is the sticking point. Does that really matter, if the reproduced sound regains the character of the original , live sound. Isn't this the same thing as why many people prefer the "sound" of LP's. A good LP with its RIAA curve (which mimics the decaying acoustics of many concert halls, which usually do not project much above 15kHz) seems to be more musical. After all, recorded sound is merely an "impression," not a totally accurate rendering of a live event (I am referring to live classical or jazz recordings, made with all the musicians in the same room at the same time, not pop, which is never "live.")
Hello, Mdconnelly. If you are at or near Charlotte, you can audition this Qol at Liquid Hi-Fi. Ron Huffington has one ready for demo right now on his reference rig seen in the link below. This link also provides his contact information.

http://liquidhifi.com/

I have heard this unit and my impressions are very favorable. When I was auditioning it, I was thinking to myself that this is the biggest advance in coming closer to the reproduction of a live performance that I have ever ran across. There are many things to consider with how much this unit can offer to your rig and I'll provide more information on what I know about the Qol as time permits.

Please note: Do not be surprised if you order one in the next couple of weeks and they are not available for immediate shipping. Demand has been more than what was anticipated.

Have a good evening.
Argh, I do not know why the link to his website will not work. You can try just typing in liquidhifi.com

If that doesn't work for you, here is his phone number.

Phone (704)953-6034
So I was lucky enough to play around with a QOL in my system and here are my subjective impressions:

The build quality looks very good - along the lines of, say, Pass. It's designed to be flexible - e.g. if you have an integrated amp, you could put this between all your sources and the pre, but I believe the best way to use it is inbetween the pre and the amps, which is what I did.

As mentioned in reviews, there is a bypass button which you can toggle via remote but with the QOL enaged the perceived volume is louder so it's hard to A/B without the usual volume bias.

Listening impressions: I'm going to approach this from the standpoint of what my (amateur audio engineer) brain tells me is being changed by the QOL. First of all, the bass is pretty much unchanged. If I remember correctly, it only affects 125hz upwards. Everything above that frequency is louder - which changes the overall tonal balance to some degree. I found this mostly for the better in my system - at least at low to moderate volumes. I have plenty of bass, so more mids and highs (at least the degree to which it's augmented) seems good. It feels like it makes copies of all the information and mixes it back in with the original signal resulting in a presence/volume boost. Almost akin to 'double tracking' vocals and instruments (common recording practice to make a more palpable image) however in this case its doing it to the entire mix, not just an instrument. That means the ambience (or plain old reverb) is getting a boost as well.

The main effect to my ears is a more 'wetter' presentation. It adds 'space', as if the image was being projected in multiple directions instead of one. I suspect this is what people refer to as 'more like live music'. It IS engaging - no doubt about it, but it does come at a price: not all recordings suit this effect. For example, one of my test tracks is a Carpenters tune (yes, I do admit to listening to the Carpenters) where Karen's voice has plenty of reverb. With the QOL her voice is swimming in it and suffers from some intelligibility loss. It may still appeal to some folks - not like it sounds bad in any way, but imo it changes the character of the mix. Some track that had reverb did sound good - a Patricia Barber tune that has finger snapping sounded excellent and Patricia's voice, which already has gobs of reverb still sounded good. It varies. Classical music sounded good, as did jazz and rock (although I would still say this depends on the material). What I did find that some busy songs with instrument solos resulted in the solos being more buried in the mix (as if the engineer added reverb to it) where I prefer the more dry presentation.

Keep in ming that my Wilson speakers are very 'dry' sounding, especially in the upper frequencies. The QOL was never edgey and sounded quite smooth, despite the highs being more pronounced. I don't think I'd like this device in a very 'live' room.

The bypass switch is mandatory imo - and I think also in the manufacturer's. They warn that when playing vinyl, if an LP is noisy one may want to disengage QOL because it will emphasize the surface noise. While I haven't tried vinyl yet, I believe this to be true because with QOL engaged I can hear tube rush from my preamp at my listening position (where normally I cannot). It's truly being 'loudened' (and of course the frequencies for tube rush is midrange).

Ultimately I found that more and more I preferred my system with the unit in bypass mode.
I have also posted my review of the BSG Qol after 7 days of continuous use in the Audiogon section under Preamps.

BSG Qol Review February 2012.

I received my Qol unit late in the day last Saturday via Fed Ex. The Qol unit was very cold when I unpackaged it so I let it rest. Still, I was curious as heck so I did manage to play it for about 30 minutes that night.
I installed the Qol between My Pass XP-10 Preamp and Pass Labs X350.5 Amp. I was fortunate because I had another set of balanced interconnects just like my others and a Synergistic Tesla Power cord just like my others and I even had a 1A spare HIFI Tuning fuse available.

First impression, I thought it sounded kind of bright and with limited, if any, sound quality improvement.
The next day on Sunday, I played the Qol for a while, but again, I thought it was kind of bright sounding. I attributed it to needing some break in time. I then hooked the Qol up to a tuner and continuously played music 24/7 even when I was not actually listening to my music.

Well, I am a little embarrassed to post this but what the heck.
My earlier thoughts about the Qol sounding a little bright and the sound quality lacking turned out to be because I am using way too many speaker tweaks.
I found that the spades of my AudioPrism ground controls were touching the copper body of my Walker HDL Links, (On both L and R sides). In essence it was shorting out. It must have occurred when I was rerouting some of the cabling. Once I separated them the brightness went away, the sound quality greatly improved and the soundstage expanded every which way. I could actually hear that change occur when I was behind my speakers.
I wonder if I should just remove all of my speaker tweaks? Maybe later.

Since then, I have continued to break in the Qol by continually playing music through it. I believe the sound quality is still improving. So, anyone who says it is plug and play is not getting the full potential of the unit. Not sure how long the break in should take but 200 hours seems to work best for most electronic components.

Well my room also has problems that were preventing me from fully enjoying the Qol.
The Qol is certainly a different animal than what I have been used to. The Qol needs open area to do its magic.

So first off, I have had in my room for about a decade Argent Room Lenses.
For those unfamiliar to this room correction item, they are made with 3 pipes attached to a stand called dark matter. Anyway, the pipes are designed to work as a Helmholtz Resonator. There are 3 of these units in the room. Two were flanking the outer side of the speakers and one in the center of the room. These units worked fantastic, especially before my basement dedicated room was finished and I installed defined walls.
The Room Lens captured the side reflections and defined the soundstage.

Anyway, the Qol unit works almost the opposite by expanding the soundstage. So, I removed the Argent Room Lens from the room and played some music, and yes, the soundstage opened up.

The other problem I had was my Eggleston Andra 2 speakers were extremely toed in. The Toe in angle was so much that the image was directed to the center of my head. The music sounded like Olivia Newton John had her tongue in my ear. Not necessary a bad thing, but not correct for the recorded soundstage.
Well these speakers weigh 215 lbs and have 2” Audio Point spikes on them making it very difficult to just change the toe in angle.

I found that Herbie Labs sells a glider designed for Speaker spikes and with this glider I could move the speakers. So I ordered a set of them.

I received the Speaker spike Gliders a few days later and I went about reducing the amount of toe in. After the change, the soundstage became enormous.
I now have my speakers just about at a 90 degree angle and 36” from the side walls. But I will continue to experiment with placement further.

Well now it is almost 7 days later, how does the Qol sound? One of the big benefits of the Qol is the change in dynamics. I mean it is actually hard to find a volume set point to just leave alone. The music can go from soft to loud in a heartbeat. Funny, that even though the music appears to be quite louder, my Pass Labs Amp meter moves very little. This indicates to me that the increased dynamics is not pulling anymore current from my Amp.

With the Qol engaged, the music takes on a natural sound and image. The soundstage becomes very wide and deep. My speakers virtually disappear. I know that is said all the time, and before the Qol I thought my set up was awesome, but with the Qol you can hear deep into the recordings. The center image is the best I have ever heard. I can now hear background singers clearer and my toe tapping has increased.
The frequency extremes are heard with an authority. What I mean by that is that they are no longer buried in the mix but sound like they were part of the intended sound, if that makes sense.
Not all recordings were as hyped up as others. I guess each recording has its own reverb, echo, and different out of phase anomalies.

So the $4000 question, is it worth the money ?...
Well, if you want the deepest, widest soundstage and the wildest dynamics your components can handle, what price is that worth to you?
For me, it’s a keeper, no question.
I think that Ozzy's observations concur with mine. Luckily, I have a big, open area for my speakers (75 ft. long space with the speakers in the middle. I have mentioned in a few blogs that the distance and toe of the speakers might have to be adjusted. The edges of my Sound Lab M-1 PX's are about 6 feet apart, with about a 15 degree toe in. The illusion of greater dynamics and loudness I also noticed, and I had to set my default volumes about 9 db lower. As to whether the thing is worth $4000, well in a mid fi setup, where the whole expense is about 10-20,000, I don't know; but, in an ultra high end rig (over $120,000), the benefits outweigh the cost (a 5% investment, much like exotic interconnects, except the Qol will do a lot more).
Is this where we are now -- mid-fi costs $10,000 - $20,000 and ultra-fi starts at $120,000? That must explain the dearth of outlets to buy anything hifi anymore, and the shrinkage of the market from one of hundreds of millions of people to a few hundred thousand.

But that's an aside. There are a lot of ways to spend $4,000 for a system improvement in this interest of ours, and I haven't heard a QOL yet. I will. Until then, I'm wondering whether it presents greater of lesser spatial realism. That is to ask, folks here are describing a "huge soundstage." What happens when the actual soundstage appropriate to the recording isn't huge?

And how do you get bigger dynamic spikes out your system with no more peak power output by your amp(s), making no other changes than adding QOL? Does it somehow make superwatts?

I had a conversation with Sean Casey, founder of Zu Audio, about the QOL a few days ago. He had a chance to hear one in a customer system at length, in a domestic setting. His view of it was that the QOL has limited value to a well-matched vacuum tube system, particularly SET. He didn't mention any spatial presentation advantages but then the system he was listening on is quite competent in that quality. He did spotlight the serious and valuable upgrade in tone density and tonal realism the QOL adds when a tonally lean solid state amp is used in a system, and he thought that for a SS devotee, the QOL may successfully address many of the system deficiencies, real or perceived, that lead to restlessness and dissatisfaction with gear, on the part of some owners. It may be an effective cure or at least antidote for audio nervosa. Sean also said something else I found interesting given other descriptions of QOL -- "it's not manipulating phase; it's a tonal thing, like a restoration, without alterning the frequency balance."

If we put aside theatrics and try to stay grounded in fidelity, what is its net value? I don't have any doubt that a given listener finds QOL satisfying for a particular aural itch, but does it get you closer to a sense of the musical intent or believability of fidelity, or not? That's what I want to know.

Phil
Is this where we are now -- mid-fi costs $10,000 - $20,000 and ultra-fi starts at $120,000? That must explain the dearth of outlets to buy anything hifi anymore, and the shrinkage of the market from one of hundreds of millions of people to a few hundred thousand.

But that's an aside. There are a lot of ways to spend $4,000 for a system improvement in this interest of ours, and I haven't heard a QOL yet. I will. Until then, I'm wondering whether it presents greater of lesser spatial realism. That is to ask, folks here are describing a "huge soundstage." What happens when the actual soundstage appropriate to the recording isn't huge?

And how do you get bigger dynamic spikes out your system with no more peak power output by your amp(s), making no other changes than adding QOL? Does it somehow make superwatts?

I had a conversation with Sean Casey, founder of Zu Audio, about the QOL a few days ago. He had a chance to hear one in a customer system at length, in a domestic setting. His view of it was that the QOL has limited value to a well-matched vacuum tube system, particularly SET. He didn't mention any spatial presentation advantages but then the system he was listening on is quite competent in that quality. He did spotlight the serious and valuable upgrade in tone density and tonal realism the QOL adds when a tonally lean solid state amp is used in a system, and he thought that for a SS devotee, the QOL may successfully address many of the system deficiencies, real or perceived, that lead to restlessness and dissatisfaction with gear, on the part of some owners. It may be an effective cure or at least antidote for audio nervosa. Sean also said something else I found interesting given other descriptions of QOL -- "it's not manipulating phase; it's a tonal thing, like a restoration, without alterning the frequency balance."

If we put aside theatrics and try to stay grounded in fidelity, what is its net value? I don't have any doubt that a given listener finds QOL satisfying for a particular aural itch, but does it get you closer to a sense of the musical intent or believability of fidelity, or not? That's what I want to know.

Phil
To Cobra: loudness in live music is a mysterious thing. e.g. The loudest a solo violin can play is about .02 acoustic watts. A bass drum could pump out 20. That is roughly 1000 time louder, yet ,subjectively both can compete because subjective loudness involves other things. I am sorry about quoting those prices, but for a well-heeled audiophile who will spend $4000 on a pair of interconnects, the additional expense for Qol would not amount to much (and, he/she can always return it). Long ago, before I started producing pro CD's, I gave up the idea of reproducing the actual live event. I was (and am) satisfied to put things back into the recorded event that have similar parameters. Even if we could reproduce the actual live sound, we don't have the physical presence of the musicians, 50% of that performer-audience relationship that often propels great performances in concerts.
>>loudness in live music is a mysterious thing. e.g. The loudest a solo violin can play is about .02 acoustic watts. A bass drum could pump out 20. That is roughly 1000 time louder, yet ,subjectively both can compete because subjective loudness involves other things.<<

Well, no foolin'. Sure perception in sound is different from emprirical performance. But loudness doesn't come free. If all other things are equal or consistent and one pre-amplification stage change is made, and it results in more dynamics or gain yet there is no change in amplifier output, something is amiss in the credit chain of this equation.

Most concert recordings are woefully short of the live listening experience, but occasionally, enough is captured and re-presented well enough to be a credible facsimile. When that happens I'm happy to hear it. But exaggeration isn't welcome..

Sure, the customer who spends $4K on interconnects will find the QOL's expense also incidental. I have two systems for which their cost dwarfs the expense of the Qol, but still, even if I'm in the mythical 1 or 2%, that doesn't mean I think it's a good thing for the industry at large to pin its business on more of me. Selling a metal box as a mystery rather than forthrightly outlining its operation benefits very few. In software, we have an axiom that patents and stealth are worth next to nothing. Your job in a technical innovation is to put it out there and then run faster in terms of technical iteration, than everyone coming after you. So you may as well explain yourself, clearly. Either you're serious about innovation as a treadmill mandate or you're not. When a company obfuscates its working methods as opaquely as QOL, I have to take the default assumption they are not serious about genuine innovation until I see otherwise.

But that's the minor point. For anyone who owns it, I want to know whether it gets them closer to a perception of musical realism or not. A huge soundstage characterization tells me nothing about the QOL's contribution to fidelity if the soundstage is huge whether that's the right presentation or not.

Phil
I don't think that the soundstage is larger than life. The way I would characterize it would be to say the there is the illusion of more air around the instruments. What I am evaluating are commercial CD recordings that I actually made myself. Since the BSG unit is so new, the one thing nobody can talk about yet is the synergy between it and other components, particularly loudspeakers. I suspect that really analytical transducers, like planars and electrostatics really benefit from this technology; while big box monsters, like the Wilson Alexandrias might not fare so well. All the controversy made stem from the synergy issue. After all, everybody knows about this problem in matching the right amplifier with the loudspeaker. That is why BSG offers the 30-day money back guarantee.
Phil,

As a technical person myself, I had many of the same thoughts and reservations you seem to have. I am not one for mystery but rather facts. I then did myself a favor and approached BSGT for an audition. Fact...I loved it and it did what it was supposed to do without diminishing the fidelity of the music. As a signal purist, this was extremely important to me.

I liked it so much that I immediately became a dealer and added it to my line of wonderful brands of gear and our line of custom music servers.

I have said this in a previous post and will say it again. I don't think BSGT is going to give their secret sauce to anyone, anytime soon. That said, do yourself a favor and have a listen. You may just be pleasantly surprised and inspired to listen to your entire music collection with Qol to hear what you have been missing all these years.

Ozzy, I am happy to hear you are loving the unit. That comment has not even started to get old to my ears.

If you or anyone is in the San Francisco Bay Area, I would be happy to audition a unit for you, at our shop or at your home. Just give us a call... setonav.com 510-279-2600
Phil, My answer to your question is yes.

By the way, I at one time owned the top of Zu's cable. Today, I use a simple 5N Pure soft annealed silver cable at a fraction of the Zu cable cost.
Again, to my ears, my system, my tastes I think it sounds better.
Don't get mad or upset, go listen for yourself to a Qol.