Quantum QRT QX4

Anyone wondering whats inside one of these for the almost $3000 Nordost is asking for them? Well I owned one and took it apart, and let me tell you I was shocked!! I have never seen cheaper parts and crappy little PCB than this. I think a total of about $20 was spent on the electronics, and I am being generous. The case is by far more expensive to make. They spent more effort into making the case heavy and out of billet and extruded aluminum to give it the appearance of high end and so they could somewhat justify the price tag. It is utterly shameful what Nordost has pulled on its consumers. Thats why they have the protective sealing sticker on the chassis so no one opens it up and voids the warranty. I bought mine directly from a dealer when the Nordost rep came for a demo.
The board looked like it was a factory R&D project. Scratches all over it, a cover on the board was removed at one point leaving behind the trace of it in the left over glue. I was fuming after I opened it and witnessed the biggest ripp off in audio history. I had a Symphony Pro years ago and it blew this piece of crap out the rack.
Needless to say, even though it did provide some enhancement, I no longer have it. But before I did get rid of it I happen to make a schematic and take plenty of pictures, even built one with much needed improvements.;)
The very robust case was actually heavily softening the effect and the one inch thick sides were directing some of the energy vertically. Anyway my new version of this guy has been a huge improvement to say the least, it has 6 times the power of the QX4. Thanks Nordost ;)

Wow thanks for the tip. How much $$$ did you stack into your version?
Welcome to hi end audio. This is not a unique experience. Very sad. Thanks for outing them....
It is very foolish for manufacturers to charge premium prices for second-rate quality and risk being exposed. I am actually quite surprised at this from Nordost. I have been thinking about buying one of these high-ticket Qx4 units but I am having second and third thoughts now -- thanks to your information.
Also can I get a demo of your unit you built or a read out of your work?

I almost bought one a week ago. I got outbid. I am currently upgrading my system and have started looking at distibution and conditioning. I had been using Shunyata Hydra 6. I started looking at the Thor and the Isotek units or PS audio. I too have looked inside and said to myself "Really??" I could build some kick-ass power strips and line conditioners for that kind of dough. The chassis is available online as are the outlets and wire.

Do you have any interest in sharing your design?
Thanks! for sharing. I recently heard one of these units in a Naim, PCM & Nordost Blue Heaven set-up. The sound was very good, very real on acoustic music. I do not know how much the Qx4 played a part (if any) during the demo session.
I have a QB4 distribution box and it works very well. I don't know about the others.
Indeed, it is a sad commentary when a company with Nordost's reputation is really an audio emperor with no clothes.

I am not new to high end audio, have had many different components through out the years but never have I seen this level of shameless greed. They have reached top of the class with this product. I cant say much better for QB4 as seeing the inside revealed nothing more than star ground configuration and the pretty box. Basically The QX4 is a Schumman resonance device and there are a handful on the market to choose from without the pricetag.

I paid $2400 for it a year ago. Dont get me wrong, it does improve the spatial imaging, but not as good as the Symphony pro did. I could place it anywhere in the room and the effects were always apparent. Not so so with the QX4. Nordost claim it to be two times as powerful than it. It is also based on the Symphony Pro which Nordost bought from Walker. Nordost clearly new what they were doing with this. There design intent was to use this unit under or between componants and hope multiple units would sell depending on placement of gear.

I think you are doing fine with the Shunyata stuff and should stick with it. I have nothing but Shunyata in all areas of their products line. The Thor is one unit I heard as well and thought it was a bit high priced for what it did. Its an all in one with some Qx4 like effects, but again low value for your money. Shunyata is based on designs from a guy who's an Engineer which happen to work for the NSA doing classified noise reduction studies in electrical assemblies. He used his knowledge of that and Shunyata was born. Not many have that kind of experience behind them.
Can you post pictures of this somewhere? I'm skeptical as it is mentioned that it has star ground. How could a device that has only a single outlet have a star ground? So I'm having a hard time believing this. Claims this strong should really be supported with photos.

I own a QX4 and it works wonders. I could not live without it. Turning it off flattens the soundstage and sucks life out of the music. I could care less if the build quality inside wasn't so spectacular as I paid for the sound. But nothing I've seen from Nordost suggests that they'd put out a poorly built product. I could be wrong though, so I'm eager to see the photos.

Lastly, I really don't believe the QX4 is a Schumann resonator. What proof can you offer that it is?

Walker only licensed the technology from Quantum. AFAIK he never owned the company. Where did you hear that Nordost purchased Quantum from Walker?

And of course you can't expect to place the QX4 anywhere in a room to hear it's effect. That's not how it's supposed to be used. It's designed to be placed in close proximity to one's electronics.

Well being at a demo its always difficult to judge whats happening. I knew a dealer that had a room setup with some pretty high end gear. We would use it as a reference to test cables and other gear brought in. Hearing it many times I knew what the new piece of gear changed in sound as soon as something was swapped. One thing he never revealed to me until I got to know him very well was the fact that he had put 4 Quantum Symphony Pros in the room. One day we were listening to a new CD and I said something didnt sound the same. He told me he deliberately turned off all of them. I was shocked by how much they had added to the sense of dimension and without them how flat everything became. Never had that experience with the QX4.
Dcizmok, I was speaking metaphorically in that this is endemic to "hi end" audio. There are more extreme examples to be had highlighting an inverse relationship between parts quality and cost. An engineering pedigree does not necessarily safeguard against this phenomena but paradoxically often aggravates it since parts are parts, wire is wire, etc.
Dcizmok, I have an Acoustic Revive 77 Schumann Resonance Generator and 4 Kemp SR (Schumann generators) and certainly they increase the sound stage tremendously.

Have you had a chance to look inside a Schumann with a PCB and see if it's similar to the QX4?

That would be very helpful to know. As you say, you can pick up Schumann units for a couple hundred that work great. The AR 77 has a plastic box (maybe better than the metal of the Qx4) and has to be placed up high -- above 1.5 m or so. Nothing in the instructions about placing it close to gear.

Those who have the Symphony and the Schumann may want to comment on the differences.

I know you are eager to see one of these on the inside like everyone is. As for pics I am not sure there is a place I could post them to?

As for the star ground, you should do your homework and read their website. Its the first thing they even say, HELLO! Second, you should study what star ground means.

All of these types of devices are based on the Schumann resonance theory. Have a read, pretty interesting stuff. Oh yes you don't do that very much.

Thats the problem with the QX4, you have to place it right by the equipment. You didnt have to with the Symphony Pro. Although Nordost claims there unit is twice as powerful it certainly doesn't perform that way. There is no doubt it does enhance the listening experience as I said, but at almost $3K it still cant beat a $500 dollar Symphony Pro. No wonder they are to find, no one wants to sell them!

The bottom line is Nordost has been designing their gear with cost is the object guidelines but at cost is no object prices. Thats B.S., and I wont stand for it. You will never see a Nordost product in my system again. Its about their business ethics and the lack of them.

I spent a grand total of $30 dollars my cost, not the huge discounts manufacturers get when they buy thousands of bits at a time, and built one of my one.
Dcizmok, why not take a video and post it on youtube? Would be even better if you filmed your making your version. thanks.
The QBASE models have the star grounding - not the QX4. If you knew what a star ground does you would know how badly you just discredited yourself. And you are telling me I should read more? You've just proven that you could not possibly have opened a QX4.

From Quantum's description of the QBASE: "The essence of the QBASE concept is a straight-line AC distribution path, combined with a star-earthed topology for connection to a clean ground. By eliminating any form of in-line filtering or active circuitry we maintain the lowest possible AC supply impedance, while a tiny lift in the earth impedance of all but one of the output sockets routes the signal grounds directly to the centre of the star and the clean earth terminal."

You see, it makes perfect sense to have a star ground in a power strip, as it keeps the ground from one component from injecting noise into another. You can't have a star ground when there is only a single outlet, as on the QX4.

So who knows what the heck you opened, if you opened anything at all.

And no, not all these types of products are based on Schumann resonance theory. You just make stuff up, don't you? Amazing. Just when you think you've seen it all.

I'm laughing out loud. Thank you for that. :-)
Apologies to Dcizmok. I went back and read what he wrote. He was talking about the QB4 and not the QX4 when he mentioned the star ground. My mistake.
I tried my QB4 with components plugged in. The results were nothing more than subtle. I get much better results with it up front near the wall receptacle. But it is not a game-changer by any means.

I have never had more than subtle results from the 4 Schumanns in my system. I am now experimenting by placing them higher off the floor. My 2 Symphonies give anything but subtle results. They site on top of my Pulsars with Steins on top of them.
It can't be a QB4 @ 3K. They are 1399.00 for the QB8 and 849.00 for the QB4. I was lucky to find a QB4 for 600.00 You plug in the preamp to the Primary Earth and the QB4 box into the wall or dedicated line and the unit works just fine. The QX boxes are the costlier ones.
Dcizmok, Have you had a chance to look inside a Schumann with a PCB and see if it's similar to the QX4?
I got my QB4 for about $600 right here.
I got mine new thru a dealer and the very next day (Thanksgiving Day) there was a used QB8 for 650.00 on here.
I get much better results with Symphonies about 6 feet off the floor.
Right On! Dcizmiok,

unless other conditioner(s) were hidden into the demo room walls, I did not see any other evidence.
Happy Listening!
Ldworet, I dont think I will be posting a video of a "how to build an economy QX4", but will be making them for a priveleged few for now. Who knows maybe a board and parts kit, or a complete unit might be something that could be cooking?? ;)

The way I see it is I spent almost $3K for a schematic and pictures. So I would like to show Nordost my appeciation for their business conduct and the let the audio community know just how wonderful they are.

I have seen the inside of the Symphony Pro and it is very similar to the QX4, power supply differences mostly.

This why forums suck sometimes. At least you apologized and admitted your mistake, thank you.

Yeah I know, I'm sure there are some that are worse but dollar for dollar value, this is one which will won't slide by me. The Lexicon Bluray player that was literally an OPPO player inside with a Lexicon designed chassis really made me sick being a Lexi fan.

Come on Polkeyman, get with the chat. We are talking about the QX4.

Did the QB wonder box blow you away? ;)
Thats what I loved about the Symphonies, placement was very widespread. It was certainly capable of emmitting its field effect very widely and strongly. I really think they are on the top of the list for these types of devices but they are hoarded and seldom up for sale and snatched up quickly. Sadly I sold mine to acquire a shiny aluminum box. Did I mention I hate Nordost??

I just use a Shunyata Hydra 4 with, EMM CDSA-SE, Martin Logan Monolith 3's, and BAT VK50-SE pre. The BAT VK60 amp has its own conditioner. I had demo'd both the QB8 and Shunyata Hydra and heard much more difference with the Hydra. This was also very expensive gear it was demo'd with, sometimes the results are easier to hear with very transparent gear.

As far as the Symphonies, I had the Pro and thought it did a very good job. When it was off, I would notice an immediate difference. Almost as if my ears were plugged a little and couldnt hear everything the same way. I guess everyone has different expectations and results. Sometimes I have found that you have to settle in with the unit for a while and then turn it off. This might be a better approach to finding the best place to put it. Find the best recorded music you can, it can help to pickup on things easier. Complex music might be difficult to initially judge from as you have to know what the unit is enhancing.
I have one Symphony on top of each speaker with Steinmusic Harmonizers on top and 2 Schumann resonance devices on the very top. Amazing sound.
I daisy chain my front end:

isolation transformer > QB4 > power conditioner > power regenerator.

Stunning results. I just started a new thread:

Daisy Chain Your Front End
Deizmok, no the QB4 did not blow me away, it does work fine though. You paid 2400.00 for a QX4? How lame can you be?

Any pics to look at?
Talking percentages -- in your opinion, how much of the Qx4 is in the Symphony Pro?
Right On! Dcizmok. Keep us posted on your 'project'.

Happy Listening!

From what I recall the symphony had a wall wart power supply, the QX4 has a board mounted transformer. The rest of it was similar in design but different enough to accomodate larger parts and more of them. The parts are different but do the same job in the end.
Thanks for your comments. Do you mean that one Symphony Pro does about the same job as one Qx4. Or would it be more realistic to say 2 Pros = 1 Qx4?
It would be more realistic to say 2 Symphony pros but the performance of one Symphony pro was way more obvious than one QX4 sadly. The QX4 when turned on is very subtle, one has to really observe the changes that are occurring. The one positive bonus the Qx4 has over the S pro is the it has a power out so you can attach it to other devices like a power conditioner like I did. This creates a secondary field effect through the AC path. But at end of the day I have say the Symphony pro was better at immediately providing its sonic benefits and more of them.
Thanks very much for your detailed assessment. Greatly appreciated. I have 2 Symphony Pros in my system with a third one on the way. I also noted the immediate sonic benefits when each one was added to the system. Do you have a preferred placement for the Pros? I have one on each speaker with a Steinmusic Harmonizer and a Schumann resonance device -- a triple-decker sandwich that is very effective.
I didnt really have a sweetspot for the Pro. It seemed to work very well alsmost anywhere it was put but generally it was in the center area of the gear. I only had one of them so it seem most appropriate. Mind you there is a point to where adding more of these units will not gain any more benefit. Three is probably plenty.
I have a third Pro on the way and will try it close to the center of my system. Thanks for the suggestion.

Where are you managing to find the Pros? Hard little guy to get a hold of. Wish I never sold mine.