Review: Nordost QX4 AC filter
Here is a funny one...a phenomenal piece of equipment and really hard to describe. But i thought i would share this one because the Nordost QX4 would not necessarily jump out on many people's 'must have' lists. but it has been on mine since i first heard it, and now i am glad to say i own one.
i would not think of trying to enter into a debate on the technical merits of the technology that sits behind this. i know what i hear...that is all i am sharing. and frankly, that is what i care most about.
The Nordost Thor (QX1 inside) and this QX4 (which has 4 units inside) basically makes it much, much, much easier to understand musical passages. To my ear, this is not primarily due to greater clarity, or soundstaging, or detail retreival or lower noise floor...there are many products which DO actually perform these important things. And possibly better than the Qx4 which does do each of these things but it is not these things which makes the qx4 stand out in my mind.
What the QX4 DOES do is take multiple themes within any given piece...and suddenly when listening to them...you understand it all much better.
Example: you find it easier to listen to the words in a song. normally, even without qx4 if you try, you can hear every word clearly...but normally you never bothered. With the Qx4, now suddenly, you could be typing emails...and it seems so easy to follow the words in the back of your mind without even trying.
Another example: take whisper-quiet taps or rhythms...whereas before they were just that...taps. With the Qx4, it becomes obvious that the composer was creating a secondary rhythm in the music.
Another example: say a violin is playing 1,3,5,7,9...and a piano is playing 2,4,6,8,10. Without Qx4 it sounds fine...2 instruments each playing their own thing. WITH the Qx4, it suddenly becomes obvious that the music is actually 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10...just played by 2 instruments in a contrapuntal ensemble.
Somehow, this component delivers a greater understanding of musical patterns...musicality...naturalness and ease to listening to music through an approach that i have not come across ever before. again, i could find lower noise floors, or better detail retrieval elsewhere...but i have never found something which makes music more intelligible and enjoyable. weird.
Is it expensive? hey...such is a hobby like this one where the pursuit of music is endless.
Is it worth it? to me, totally...it is one of the few things you probably never see me sell/trade in. And i am blessed to have some pretty good components which i have managed to buy second hand.
Many thanks to Roy Gregory who first played one for me and who has been exceptionally responsive. And thanks to Arif at KJ West One who ordered and secured one for me...in 24 hours and 2 days before Christmas!!! Talk about service!
Hope that is useful to someone who is interested in reading about this product.
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