I am currently using one on demo, and it really is a positive addition. More so than when I added my shunyata hydra 6. I find that the music is more three dementional, liquid and better defind. All the things one would expect from removing a layer or two of grunge. I recently demo'd a VTL 6.5 pre-amp and that made a much bigger improvement in my stereo, as did a set of Odin speaker cables. That being said, the Qx4 made a very noticable positive difference at a much lower cost. The price of the hydra, QX4 and two power cables though would get me an audience adept 6 with teflon caps so I am not sure what direction I will go. Other opinions?
I heard the QX4's in the Nordost room at RMAF 2008 and was very impressed. They had them hooked up to a Thor conditioner and could turn them on and off so it was easy to tell the difference they made. Similar to but lesser in effect than the Synergistic Research Power Cell (which is incredible).
Thanks for the feedback!!
Dlcockrum - Does the SR power cell work as well without using active SR cords and cables?
I wouldn't say that it works as well without the Tesla cords, but I would say that the Powercell 10SE and the Audience aR6-T are the best power conditioners out there with thatever cords you use.
To quote Jack Roberts in his review of the Powercell 10SE for dagogo:
"The PowerCell using my Shindo power cords sounded just wonderful. The bass fleshed out without any boominess, the soundstage was deeper, yet still coherent and whole, the top-end was prettier, and the midrange was faster and more transparent. If youre worried about plugging a power amp into it, all I can tell you is that my system sounded slightly more powerful and had even greater dynamics and micro-dynamics with the Wavac plugged into the PowerCell then it did before.
The best power conditioners I have used in the past make a fundamental difference in the musicality of my system. They have had the ability to improve the overall detail, transparency and clarity of the sound. The two best that I've used can even do this without inhibiting dynamics, micro-dynamics; or even obscuring the natural rhythm and pace of music. Now, the Tesla PowerCell does all this, but in a more complete way. For example, the PowerCell does more than just not inhibiting dynamics and micro-dynamics, it furnishes your system with the power that can actually increases them. The PowerCell also increased the musical flow of my system and significantly augmented the system's overall PRaT.
If you are a regular reader of my reviews, you know that holographic soundstaging isn't my highest priority, but that doesn't mean that I don't appreciate a good soundstage and there is no doubt that the Synergistic products release your system to produce a very lifelike soundstage. There is no doubt in my mind that the Tesla PowerCell 10 SE is a cutting edge power conditioner that sets your system free to reproduce recorded music in a way that sound more dimensionally lifelike and more musically alive.
As good as I thought the PowerCell was with my power cords, you really need to hear what the complete PowerCell and Active power cord system sounds like. When you add Synergistic's active power cords to the PowerCell, it's a whole new ball game. I need to take a moment and explain a couple of things. Yes, it will help your system to add one or two of the Tesla active power cords, but the real magic comes when you put in the last one.
I have played around with taking different cords in and out, if the last cable to go in is the turntable's power cord, then it seems to be the one that makes the biggest difference by far, but if it's the amp's or preamp's power cord then it seems that's the one that makes the biggest difference. Maybe it's because the PowerCell not only treats the current going out to each piece of equipment, but also the current that flows back the other way. Whatever the reason, when you get a complete Active Tesla PowerCell System, it is something very special, so let's get busy talking about it."
Then to quote Jack's comparison of the Powercell 10se with the Audience aR6-T:
"If you have now read both reviews, I know you want me to tell you which one is best, but I can't do that. I especially cant tell you which one you will like best, because I haven't heard them both in your system. The best I can do is to tell where they sound different from one another in my system. Let me start by saying they sound similar in more ways than they sound different despite their very different technologies.
They both brought about an incredible improvement to my system's transparency, though with the Audience my system was more immediate and with the Tesla PowerCell it was a little warmer and fuller sounding. They both also improved my system's bottom-end albeit in different ways. Through the PowerCell, my system has more mid-bass, and more natural mid-bass warmth. Through the Audience aR6-T, the bass in my system was deeper, tighter, and has somehow still had more air around it. In the midrange the PowerCell was smoother and more liquid sounding in the very best way. The midrange of my system through the Audience was so clear it's almost disconcerting at times. With the Audience, the ability to hear both attack and decay is simply amazing.
When it came to the effect on my system's soundstaging, there was a clear difference. The Tesla PowerCell did something that allowed my system to produce a more cavernous, holographic and palpable soundstage. The Audience, on the other hand, produced a soundstage with the most lifelike scale I have ever heard. It also let my system unravel the acoustical space on a recording in a way I've never heard before. It was in the area of soundstaging that there was a fundamental difference in how the two power conditioners affected my system.
The PowerCells effects on the soundstage of my system are pretty much there with every recording. Of course, the soundstage varies somewhat from recording to recording, but my system basically produced a more holographic soundstage than it did before, and I would think that for the majority of audiophiles that's a good thing. Your systems soundstaging, of course, is dependent on your room, equipment, and speaker placement. Still, I have now heard the PowerCell in four different rooms each with different systems, yet every time it brought out a consistently more holographic soundstage.
By contrast the, Audience aR6-T's effect on my system's soundstage was as I described earlier: It has a very coherent, whole soundstage. It is a soundstage that is more like you are at the event than the event is in your room, and as I said above what really made this soundstage so real is the way it handles the vertical dimension of the soundstage. Another difference is that the soundstage varies tremendously from recording to recording. That too can be a little disconcerting for some listeners. Still, I expect that through the Audience the system is just letting you hear the differences from recording to recording. The Audience also has an uncanny ability to let the system reveal the different size of different instruments in the soundstage.
I've tried so many power conditioners that I wont try to list all of them. With most of them I could hear a difference, but most of what I heard from them were incremental refinements. Not so with the last two remarkable power conditioners to come this way; the Synergistic Research Tesla PowerCell and the Audience aR6-T. No, with these two conditioners the improvement is dramatic, very dramatic, and the result is to make music come to life in ways I have not heard before.
I want to close by saying that I don't know of anything at anywhere near the price that has improved my system like either of these two power conditioners. In the end, I am a firm believer in the KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) principle when it comes to audio design. Just look at my system, it only has three power cords, and one pair of interconnects plus the tonearm cable. That combined with the value I place on transparency makes the Audience a clear choice in my book; but if I valued more warmth, and a huge, cavernous soundstage then I would go with the PowerCell. Either way it is obvious that with the Audience aR6-T or aR12-T we really have a great breakthrough in Power Conditioning."
I'm using a Quantum QX4 plugged in a dedicated line, between the wall outlet and my Exactpower EP15-A. After 3 weeks listening (Jeff Rowland pre and power with Avalon speakers) I'm very impressed. The sound is more liquid and I enjoy the PRAT.
The new ByBee power conditioner from www.tweekgeek.com is one of the best power conditioner that you can buy....period!
I was very pleased with a Qx2 and 3 months later I decided to audition an added Qx4. I bought that as well.
How can I put this? If you have been wondering all you hi-fi listening life what was missing from your music then try the Quantums. Depth, width, perspective, attack, sheer musicality - and yes, PRAT. I love it. At last I'm listening to the music and not the system.
I was sceptical till the moment I switched the Qx2 on. I asked my wife if she could detect any change when I turned it off "Well, all the tone's gone" she said, walking off!
Everyone who has heard the system now has been very, very impressed - family, hi fi friends.
There are dealers who will send you Quantums to audition. They know you probably won't send them back. Almost no one does.
The cost of this upgrade is less than any new major box you might buy and the improvement is much greater.
I know the info. reads like snake oil and I don't know how it works. It sounds like the mains must have been completely cleansed of shash but without any sense of loading that most mains cleaners seem to give. You've got to hear it.
I'll take questions...(ah I've had to register just to say this and I'm not the registering kind of guy)
Yes i'm playing with the QX2 on High End 2 channel and Low End 5.1 theater gear.
My 2 channel components and cables are shielded from RF and wall outlet pollution garbage so only the signal the manufacture designed makes it to the outs or speaker so,as expected, had no effect. Neither does a blender sitting on DAC or transport or--- vacuum cleaner sharing the same outlet. True High End gear, including cables, doesnt need anything between the wall outlet. Thats the engineering you paid for in Hi End names. "________ amp at 4000 $ for 180 watts need a conditioner to sound better".....you've got to be kidding!!!! _______ amp at 1500 $ for 500 watts is not hi end. Expect noise.
My 2 channel: Interconnect cables Tara labs, speaker cables MIT, Cary (class A)tube power, McIntosh DAC and Transport, Magnapan 1.6 speakers. Sunfire sub. NO CONDITIONERS.
Theater side: Yamaha receiver, sony blueRay, Monster cables, Martin Logan speakers, Sunfire sub. NO CONDITIONERS.
The Norton Quantum QX2----Did nothing on either system while playing on (a short list of) revealing speakers.
Turn ON all your gear. play nothing with volume wide open. Now, Place your cell phone on the amp, component or cable and give it a call. Its a matter of do some of you have a clue what your paying for in High End or do you just like to buy stuff and have pyramids in every room. A $4000 + and some less (like a "LINN GENKI, Arcam) is going to work fine sitting on top a JOHN DEERE tractor. Thats the point of competition with separates and the noise isolation we pay for in Hi end. They dont need million doller iso platforms and a 600 $ wall plug, external anything. No price-point marketing strapped to a 8000 $ Krell or Mark Levinson is going to make them sound better...PLEASE. Its like upgraiding the spark plugs on a new ferarri thinking its going to perform better if you dont. "silly why they didnt do that at the factory on a 350,000 $ car".... huummmmm.
Norton QX2 is a gizmo or get better cables identifier. Personally...I think the dog left the room when you turned it on is when the sound stage opened up. If you heard a diff.
are u saying the reviewers are wrong then?
Im saying this device had no effect on either of my systems as my review.
I didnt spend 6 grand on a cd player and say "this thing sucks it needs 1600 addtional dollers for a qx2".
I tried to create noise sharing the outlets so to me, its a solution to another problem that doesnt exist for everybody and i think some people hear what they feel they need to becouse of marketing mumbo jumbo.
It did nothing for me in my home but maybe on a aircraft carrier it would.
Uhmm.... just popped in and read the above. If this guy has such a wonderful system why was he trying the Quantum anyway. What's he not happy with?
Just to add to my previous post: My background - I had a career in professional audio. I was a sound recording engineer on many commercially succesful recordings. I owned an internationally renowned recording studio that frequently had chart credits worldwide
I was trained to listen to audio analytically and I have a spooky ability to remember sound quality and acoustic environments back over my whole life.
My sound system would have a total value of around 18k dollars and comprises components that are highly rated in the high end audio market - ATC, Harbeth, NVA, Nordost etc.
For reasons of "domestic impact" (!) I don't have high end shelving for my kit and this may be an issue. I have developed my own methods for equipment support and minimising vibration induced problems which has made a big improvement.
The Quantums have removed a kind of undefinable grunge in the sound. More effortless musical energy has released. I love it.
If you can, try them.
Because of my background I would love to know how the Quantums work. Those guys who worked on NASA and defence equipment have had to deal with very low level signals and beat problems like vibration and noise generated at connections and in cabling. They know something about the interaction of electrical energy and materials that we don't know.
Sadly the QRT website has been dormant for over a year now and I have seen no new reviews. Does anybody know the situation Nordost and QRT?
Great that some people have systems so good that don't benefit from the improvement they make. Maybe they don't have the shash on their mains that I have. I am sure the more exotic components have been built with enormous care taken in choice of components and construction. I choose not to spend that kind of money.
What I do know is that for the cost of the Quantums I have upgraded my system to a level where I don't see myself spending any more money on it and that gives me enourmous pleasure hearing any kind of music, even poor quality sources. I'd like other people to check out this option.
Hey, Val 1 "live and let live"? I hope you get your system sorted.
Having heard the Quantum at RMAF and the Roy Gregory Demo at heathrow last year, I was mightily impressed. The latter demo was clear they are not an alternative to a good condition, I use a Pure Power APS. At the Gregory Demo, it was the Quantum seemed at least as impressive as changing to the Stillpoint stand and supports under the speakers, at less than half the price.
Being cheap, I will continue to look for a second hand Q4
To respond to Apship. "Does anyone have any experience with either the QX2 or QX4" Is the title of this thred. I responded that im "playing with it" as my experience for Xtil 6. For your question to me, I found the hype interasting from this thred so I demoed QX2 from dealer. I also tryed other things in the past like ummm going from casset deck to casset deck with DOLBY, then to CD......Like every other audiophile with hi end gear, If we have something to sort out, the Nordost Quantum qx2, 4 isnt it, unless your radio is 38 years old.
FWIW, i have owned the Nordost Thor and am in the midst of upgrading to qx4 having heard it. the best way i can describe it is that certain passages within complex music suddenly become even more "understandable" and clear. For example, on certain ;arge orchesteral compositions, when i put the Thor into the system, i realized that parts of the orchestra were actually playing a sort of contrapuntal counterpart to the other part of the orchestra. Nor sure why, but before the Thor, I had never made the musical connection before despite listening for several months to the CD. There is something very clear, organized (and effortless) about the way the music is presented that I feel like it is easier to listen to all of the various complex passages at the same time and keep them all going without "bleeding" together with the Thor...and soon the qx4. One man's experience. hope it helps.
There seems to be a change of view where to put one Quantum unit in the chain. I thought before the power conditioner to include the whole system. Speaking to a Nordost rep at the UK show last weekend, he said put it in front of any unit with a low current draw, say the CD player or phonostage. It will still help the whole system, particularly if somewhere in the middle of the rack and you avoid tyhe risk of excess current demand through the Q4
That is good to know. I met Roy Gregory in London a few months back who is now with Nordost, and he suggested i try both ways...entire front end (not amp)...and directly in front of my DAC.
i will post upon hearing. Have elected to upgrade speakers so that is (fingers crossed) going to be done in a week or so...they arrive 22nd i am told. fingers crossed!! thanks for your advice.
The Quantums in question here are not HF noise filters. They are designed to be used with or without noise filtering PLCs, or any type for that matter.
You are right about many high-end components not needing additional filtering.
However, there are other types of PLCs that address power factor correction, quantum noise, and electronic artifacts, not normally addressed by conventional filters or transformers.
I own some earlier, less expensive Quantum products, and they give a small improvement when placed in certain areas of the system. The Qx2 and 4, I have heard at a show, no A-B demo was done, so I can't say how effective.
Finally got my trade-in speakers! Expect to have the Nordost QX4 (part of the trade) after the New Year. will post.
Lloydelee21, I look forward to hearing how it works out with the Q4. I'm still as thrilled with my Q's as I ever was.
off topic..I just got some Something Solid light rigid speaker stands for my Harbeth compact 7's and a big improvement on the ancient high mass Cliff Stone Foundations I was using before. Currently using the supplied spikes onto a wood block floor on concrete. Seems ok.
Solid support is incredibly important. Tubed equipment, speakers, transports...to say nothing of turntables (which i dont own). Have you ever tried HRS products?...my word, they are incredible. Components dont vibrate, even upon knocking/tapping. and the sound is more solid...a shimmer you sometimes dont realize is there suddently stops. The image becomes still and more solid. Also, if you have tubes, i use the EAT tube damper...another winner for $19.
As for Qx4, it arrives tomorrow! i will post!
It arrived!!! In a word stunning. In more words...
(To me), the Nordost QX4 is not ostensibly about clarity, or soundstage, or detail, or even a lower noise floor...all of which could apply to this piece of equipment to a greater or lesser degree. I acknowledge that many of these terms DO apply to power conditioners (particularly the better ones).
(To me), the Nordost Qx4 takes whatever signal you are playing and makes it more like REAL MUSIC and less like well reproduced sound. Specifically,
- say you have 1 piano and 1 violin playing with a small orchestral ensemble in the background. Without the Qx4, you end up with 2 instruments playing clearly in the foreground with the orchestra in the background.
- WITH the Qx4, you suddenly realize (for the first time), that the piano and violin are actually playing off of each other...and that the composer meant for the two instruments to actually be playing a contrapuntal theme
- Super-subtle taps/rhythms which were in the background suddenly make sense as an added bit of rhythm to the main tune.
- Chorus background suddenly makes sense and becomes more obvious as a backup to the main singer.
i know...i know...it is the only way i can describe the effect of the Qx4. But that is what it did when i had a qx1 in my Thor...and now in my qx4.
the neat thing is you can turn off/on the unit even with everything playing thru it. not that i needed to...it was that obvious. the one thing i will say is...i dont want to turn it off anymore!...even to compare! i just want to listen to music.
and in the end, that for me is the point. Happy holidays everyone!
Hi,Lloydelee21, Just picked this up. I agree with absolutely every thing you say. The Q's reveal a musicality that I always missed in Hi Fi. And yes,.. why would you mess about turning them on and off! Just relax and listen. A life time in professional audio helps me not all to understand how these gadgets work. Radiation? Of what? Why can't we detect it! Rare metals at work, maybe?
I have persuaded my local hi fi dealer (that I got my ATC amp and Harbeth speakers from ten years ago!) to come by soon and take a listen. He now deals mainly in Naim gear and was unimpressed by the Thor a while back. I think he will be re-impressed.
If anyone knows what's going on with Quantum and Nordost do tell. The website has been same for nearly two years.
Re. Stands. I just bought a pair of Something Solid stands made by Mark Orr. Rigid light weights replacing my ancient massive Cliff Stone Foundations. Nice tighter bass, crisper timing. Excellent for 200 GBP.
I think vibration and resonance problems will be specific to any set up. I have used inner tubes and home made cups-and-balls to deal with the problems caused by the wooden unit in which I hide my gear from my wife.
Minute changes of these items can effect the whole spectral balnce of the sound in very audible ways. Presumably any vibration of equipment must modulate the sound.
Hey, Lloydlee21 get back to that music!
Glad to hear you are enjoying Nordost! Have your ever found HRS damping plates or EAT tube dampers? I have bought both (mainly s/hand). Tremendous at dealing with airborne and physical vibration in cabinetry/equipment. I was stunned frankly at the improvements from both.
I stuck one on my DAC, and when my girlfriend tapped on it, she thought it was solid metal. i removed the HRS damping plate, and she tapped again...rang like an empty tin can. She was stunned. S/Hand these are extremely useful for the money.
EAT Tube damper equally good in different way.
I have 3 Qx4 in my stereo system and 1 for my HT system.
They are extraordinary devices, but needs attention regarding where to place them and what cables to use and how.
I thought first that it was most important to have a good AC cable into the Quantum, but the most important AC cable is actually the one coming out of the Quantum. My dealer has shown this with Magus AC into the Quantum and Odin out, which sounds spectacular.
You should also try to have damping devices under the Quantum and also place them as close as possible to your gear, the best is to have directly above or beneath.
I have Qx4 in combination with my Burmester 948 AC conditioners. I have found that it is best to have the Quantum after the 948 in the chain.
In my system specifically I have 1 one Qx4 between my 948 no.1 and preamp and 2 between 948 no.2 and monoblocks. I would like to add one also for cd player.
wow...great feedback. I have one at the moment...from wall into QX4 and then into Transparent Ref Conditioner...all my pc's are Purist Audio Ann Contego/Dom Ferox, plus 2 Sablon Audio PCs.
i do not have it under damping device per se, but it is on a custom built rack which is quite inert (3" thick birch ply on top of 1" thick slate).
Queston, on The Nordost QX4, The ON/OFF Quantum Switch, The Light on the switch come on at will, not when you first turn the switch on what is the Problem.
Sorry - cannot help. my light is always on...but that is because i always leave it on.