Often, the factor you count on to speak about most on the launch of a brand new pair of audio system is the audio system themselves; however after Q Acoustics revealed the Idea 300 audio system to Digital Tendencies and a collection of different journalists, we spoke to the group at size concerning the stand. Uncommon-looking and crowd pleasing in a means that stands normally aren’t, they’re a bit particular.
Earlier than we go into them, let’s take a look at these lovely audio system. It has been 5 years since Q Acoustics launched the Idea line, and most not too long ago added the Idea 500 floorstanders to the vary. The brand new Idea 300 might appear to be bookshelf-style audio system, however at 33 kilos you’d want a severe bookshelf to take the burden. Contained in the beautiful cupboards — try the dual-finish actual wooden veneer, which is as stylish because it will get in particular person — is a 6.5-inch mid-bass driver, and a 1.1-inch tweeter, each mounted utilizing inside retaining bolts so nothing exhibits on the surface.
Warfare on undesirable vibration
There’s purpose for the shortage of bolts aside from a cleaner aesthetic, because it means the audio system don’t want a canopy on the surface to cover the bolt heads. That is only a tiny a part of Q Acoustics unerring mission to take away as many undesirable vibrations that have an effect on sound high quality as doable, and that is the place the stand is available in. The Q Acoustics Tensegrity stand (named after the structural precept itself) is made up of three chrome steel tubes organized in a tripod form for max stability, and supported by metal cables to maintain every thing collectively.
Andy Boxall/Digital Tendencies
This design was chosen after a brainstorming session on the perfect speaker stand the corporate might make, when one ironic reply was to isolate the speaker totally and levitate it from the bottom. Tensegrity’s tiny floor space helps take away the vibrations Q Acoustics had declared struggle upon. It’s then mated to an isolation base plate — basically a suspension system for a speaker, relatively than a automotive — made up of 4 springs hooked up to a plate manufactured from Sylodamp, a polyurethane elastomer, that minimizes power from the audio system going to the bottom and stand. It finally ends up transducing vibrations into warmth, for improved bass response and a wider stereo picture.
Has this been efficient? A white paper on the Tensegrity stand exhibits the way it compares to extra conventional stands, and the warmth maps present how sonically isolating the Tensegrity stand is, permitting the audio system to carry out at their very best. It’s not simply the stand and isolation plate both. The engineering group exactly laid out the interior bracing to withstand cupboard wall motion, relatively than randomly putting them for comfort or value causes, after which crammed cavities with two layers of a non-setting gel, referred to as Twin Gelcore, which just like the isolation plate turns vibration into shortly dissipated warmth.
Not an possibility
From an engineering point-of-view, that is all very geeky and thrilling, but it surely’s actually nice to see the ensuing system work from an aesthetic point-of-view as nicely. The Tensegrity stands look wonderful, catching our consideration in the identical means as a fancy, mathematically-precise suspension bridge does. The precept behind the Tensegrity stand has been round for many years, and even used to showcase progressive architectural artwork design within the 1950s.
Q Acoustics has put a lot work into matching the audio system with their stands, to make sure the sound is the perfect it may be, the audio system and the stands are offered as a package deal. There’s no have to assemble something, they arrive pre-built and tensioned, eradicating any probability of setting them up incorrectly. Q Acoustics is conscious some purists could also be disenchanted at having a stand pressured on them; however after they go collectively like this, to make use of them individually can be like splitting up twins at delivery.
Heat sound you’ll need to share
All of the speak of stands, isolation platforms, and a seemingly pathological hatred of vibrations meant listening to the Idea 300s had taken a again seat. We had been in Cornflake, the London-based dwelling automation and cinema specialists, and the Idea 300s had been arrange in an genuine lounge surroundings for our listening pleasure. The audio system had been pushed by Cambridge Audio’s Edge collection energy amp and pre-amp; however we had been advised the audio system don’t really want such severe firepower to drive them, with Q Acoustics recommending between 25 and 200 watts. Nevertheless, with a minimum of $10,000-worth of apparatus in entrance of us, there was loads of expectation.
Q Acoustics designed the Idea 300s to provide a large stereo picture, so even these not sitting within the speaker’s sweet-spot might benefit from the sound. We sat off to 1 facet and within the middle of the listening room and located little distinction between the 2 factors. The sound is splendidly pure, heat, and intimate. We’ve beforehand loved how musical Q Acoustics audio system are, and it’s the identical right here. It’s like they need to play, and are unhappy when the music stops.
Andy Boxall/Digital Tendencies
Listening was a nice, communal expertise that we needed to share. Even with extra raucous songs, the audio system maintained composure, and by no means let the raucousness of the observe turn into an disagreeable musical expertise. The bass wasn’t so sturdy that it overpowered, however was all the time there in precisely the correct amount, emphasizing the Idea 300’s heat. The Cambridge Audio amps meant room-filling quantity was by no means distant both.
What was fascinating, and what we imply by a communal listening expertise, was how wealthy and mellow the sound was introduced at mid-volume. You may maintain a dialog, and by no means really feel the audio system had been attempting to make themselves identified. As an alternative, they needed to sing alongside and complement the dialog. They’re not audio system that can fade into the background although, not least due to the fabulous design and intriguingly-shaped Tensegrity stand: Whack the quantity up, they usually’ll make themselves identified in a means that doesn’t tire.
Take a stand
Out there in March 2019, the Idea 300 audio system will are available three shade combos, the basic gloss black and rosewood, a gloss white and oak, and the brand new and particularly engaging silver and ebony. Matched with the chrome steel stand, all three look very particular. To safe a set you’ll want $four,500 or three,000 British kilos, which isn’t far off the value of the $6,000 Idea 500 floorstanders. The corporate expects room decor and out there area in your house to affect the shopping for choice.
We’ll add one thing to this, as most likely for the primary time ever, we’d really count on the stand to play an element in any shopping for choice too; the Idea 300’s Tensegrity stands are as a lot part of the audio system’ enchantment because the pleasant sound.