Qualio IQ Review

Carnelian

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Nov 18, 2020
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I wonder how these would do with Pass Labs INT-25 Class A integrated...
 
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gryphongryph

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Oct 12, 2017
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As I have understood it, they need a bit of power, or at least a amp with a strong power supply to make them sing
 

djbnh

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Feb 24, 2023
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I already owned the ii so that's what I'm using. Part of me wants to try the 3 but it's not that cheap to do so and really, it's at the max of the specs but within spec so I'm sure it's dandy. I'm sure isoacoustics puts the range ending as performance starts to drop not after it's already dropped.
I'd like to know what length M8 Gaia II stud you're using with your IQs - the 1", or the 1.25" LONG? Want to make sure to order the right ones.
 

djbnh

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Regarding the hifi pig review...I bought these speakers and am very happy with these speakers specifically because I'm not a soft jazz guy, and I know they intended them to be able to rock, rave, and rap. And they do, very much so.

Regarding volume levels, I think I agree, that there is a sweet spot and it's a bit louder. I care about volume as I listen to my music after my wife goes to bed most of the time, and her bedroom is right above. I need to keep it around 75db ..maybe 78. I found this was the case with my new amp more, but it does sound it's best when I get up into that 75-78db at the chair. It's not loud, but it's not quiet.

Regarding current...I ran it with a variety of amps as I put in my review. My guess is the 25wpc Vinnie rossie has the most current delivery.

They all sounded great. The 25wpc kt150 lab12 didn't have enough for the bass. But it wasn't that far off. Would depend on your music style. The 50wpc mastersound has no issues whatsoever
Got my pair delivered late last week. Still breaking them in, and early indications are these speakers are the real deal, revelatory (all the more so at their price point). Bought / installed the Gaia II footers as well, thanks for the tip Superchunk. So far these speakers have capably handled all we've given them - rock, jazz, classical, opera, country, blues, bluegrass. Fantastic imaging, micro/macro detail, bass depth and definition, etc. HUGE sweet spot, remarkably unfussy about set up. More to come. Great job, Qualio!
 

Ron Resnick

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Jan 24, 2015
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This is a thorough review of the new Qualio IQ speakers by the cube audio team. Since there's no user reviews on the internet I decided to do a full review even though I'm not really experienced or knowledgeable enough to usually write a review. But, I'm getting the first pair so I thought it would be valuable for others to have some thoughts about them to read.

For professional reviews, Srajan has a very thorough review up that really helped me make my decision to try them.

Context:

I definitely think it's valuable to have context for a review, so a little about me and what I'm looking for and what I listen to.

I've been using Harbeth shl5 with lab12 pre1 and suono (25wpc class A single ended kt150) for many years. The Lab12 isn't the most detailed but it is extremely pleasant, flowing...musical. Combined with the harbeth the mid range and particularly vocals were truly amazing. Friends would have goosebumps and hair on back of the neck stand up.

Despite these very strong strengths, I grew a bit bored eventually. I tried a Dartzeel lhc 208 to see if more power would wake up the harbeth but it didn't entirely do it for me.

I decided to try some Reference 3A Grand Veena. They did bring more excitement, dynamics and more sparkling highs, as well as tighter bass. But...while very good they didn't entirely move me. So I kept shopping.

What am I looking for:
- dynamics
- wide deep soundstage
- fun, sparkly highs
- excellent midrange, if not as good as harbeth
- fun. Toe tapping, engrossing and engaging

What I care less about:
- bass. Im just not picky with it really. Obviously it matters it's just not something I focus on
- perfect tonality. Again, obviously it matters but I'm focused more on the overall presentation right now

Musical tastes:
I listen to a wide variety and almost none of it is audiophile. I'm 45 and grew up on indie rock, hip hop and punk.

A bit of a cross section if certainly not comprehensive to the variety I like:
Dinosaur Jr
Andrew Bird
Superchunk
Low
Television
Alabama 3
Air
Decemberists
Weakerthans
Smog
Blake Mills
The Halluci-nation
Sampa the Great
Jim White
Jimbo Mathus

Feel free to listen to any of those to get an idea. Again, it's not audiophile music which is probably why perfect tonality doesn't matter as much to me as it would to some.

So why the Qualio? Well, I think the open baffle mid and high will give me the open, free presentation that wraps me up and engrossed me. I think the woofer will give the bass I need to fill in the body. I think the amt will give me that sparkle I find fun. I think the Cube team knows good midrange and will deliver on that. Overall, I think it's going to give the general presentation that I need.

I almost bought the Wolf Von Langa Son. These cost a fair bit less than half as much and I think will offer much of the same, and I'm hoping for better.

Qualio is direct to consumer in an attempt to keep costs low. Communication with Grzegorz was fantastic, he's a great guy. They are certainly very busy with two audio companies, one brand new, shows to do etc...but I was happy with the whole process. I got in on the first run and was told mine were the first to ship. Took about 6 weeks from order to shipping which is very fair considering this is the very first run, you can't expect everything to go perfectly.

Equipment I'll be using:
Kuzma Stabi/stogi s
My sonic labs eminent ex cartridge
Sutherland Little Loco current mode phono stage

Amplifier options in the house:
Dartzeel lhc 208
Vinnie Rossi lio DHT with amp and dac2
Lab 12 Pre1
Lab12 Suono
VTL S200

I will be trying them all and mix and matching the two preamps (vr and Pre1) with the two power amps along with the two integrated (dart and vr).

I will also be home auditioning Angela Gilbert Yeung c318 and a120, which I dealer demo's and really liked.

So we will see who ends up staying and who goes. It's a nice variety of ss, tube, high watt and low for both.

Thus ends part 1: the leadup
The speakers are scheduled to arrive Monday (hopefully). I will post part 2: unboxing and setup shortly after.
Hi!

Would you please give us your detailed impressions between the S200 and the Suono?
 

Superchunk

Member
Feb 19, 2023
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Hi!

Would you please give us your detailed impressions between the S200 and the Suono?
That's a bit of a rough one now as I didn't have the s200 for all that long and was a good 7-8 months ago but...

The s200 I thought had wonderful grip and authority and power. The timing felt right. As far as I can recall it did nothing wrong and had heaps of positive qualities. But at the end of the day I wasn't fully engaged by it.

My criteria is less about the details than most other people's, it is "how deeply and how quickly does nothing else exist but the music". The s200 did nothing wrong other than not fully transporting me into the music world.

The suono, on the other hand, just keeps doing that for me. There is a ephemeral holography (but not to the point of seeming unrealistic to real music) that draws me in like no other amp I've had. It presents the music as being in the room with you, not presented to you.

The suono + lab12 pre1 with nos Telefunken is still the best I've had. It lacks some spacial specificity and that bugs me sometimes. With these speakers the low end could be better. But it both rocks distorted guitars by yo la Tengo and gives goose bumps on female vocals and guitar plucks...and nothing else I've tried does so many things so well.

I've settled on the suono but not 100% on the pre1. I'm close to buying an Angela Gilbert yeung (blue circle) c312 or c316 preamp as I auditioned the 312 and it was truly fantastic.
 

QualioAudio

Industry Expert
Jan 4, 2023
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www.qualioaudio.com
Yesterday I visited Koris a local HiFi store in Pozna? Poland and Qualio IQ got connected to Gryphon Diablo 300 and Auralic DAC and Streamer. The sound is stunning. And the diffusers are looking amazing
 
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Hyperion

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Oct 3, 2011
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Qualtio IQ-5.jpg

We've had the Qualio IQ playing here for about two weeks now. This is a truly wonderful speaker which brakes new ground in terms of clarity, openness and tonality in this price range at <€8.000/$8.000.

Worth mentioning is that the AMT tweeter is very resolving and that they also need some power behind them where proper matching is key.

The best result so far has been with the new B.Audio Alpha One integrated amp (A/B) with internal streaming and DAC. This combination gives you a truly organic, fluid and well balanced presentation.

/ Marcus, www.perfect-sense.se


alpha_one_front_view-uai-2880x1023.jpg
 

QualioAudio

Industry Expert
Jan 4, 2023
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www.qualioaudio.com
I just published a new video comparing Kinki Studio EX-M1+ and Naim Supernait 3 on Qualio IQ.

Kinki definitely has great value and sounds right, but I would go for Naim for the midrange and turbo Bass ;)


Nevertheless, Kinki is half the price of the Naim, so ...

 
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Vhond

New Member
Nov 25, 2023
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View attachment 118123

We've had the Qualio IQ playing here for about two weeks now. This is a truly wonderful speaker which brakes new ground in terms of clarity, openness and tonality in this price range at <€8.000/$8.000.

Worth mentioning is that the AMT tweeter is very resolving and that they also need some power behind them where proper matching is key.

The best result so far has been with the new B.Audio Alpha One integrated amp (A/B) with internal streaming and DAC. This combination gives you a truly organic, fluid and well balanced presentation.

/ Marcus, www.perfect-sense.se


View attachment 118124
What spikes/feet are you using? Not the 'default' Qualio spikes
 
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Hyperion

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Oct 3, 2011
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What spikes/feet are you using? Not the 'default' Quail spikes

We're using Arya Audio Labs Revopods:
 
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QualioAudio

Industry Expert
Jan 4, 2023
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www.qualioaudio.com
I be done few changes to my system and I absolutely happy with it. Listen to 3 tracks in this video. Truly stunning
 

Vhond

New Member
Nov 25, 2023
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I just bought the Iso Acoustics Gaia II. What a difference! I think these have to be standard for the Qualio IQ's ;)
- Tighter bass
- Quieter. Bigger difference between loud and soft sound (not the same as more dynamics!)
- Mids are better / clearer determined (also as result of tighter bass)
- 'Deeper' sound (so not the stereo image but the depth of the music)
 

djbnh

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Feb 24, 2023
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Vhond, when I purchased my IQs, I also ordered the Gaia IIs - they synergize so well with the IQs. Your idea about them being a stock item (or perhaps an add-on /same-time purchase) for the IQs is interesting. However, I feel that by stockpiling Gaia inventory for future purchases, Qualio incurs costs that it wouldn't with its current business model. That being said, Qualio providing a link to the IsoAcoustics site re: Gaia II footers might be profitable for both companies, n'est pas?
 

Hyperion

Well-Known Member
Oct 3, 2011
441
231
950
Stockholm/Sweden
I just bought the Iso Acoustics Gaia II. What a difference! I think these have to be standard for the Qualio IQ's ;)
- Tighter bass
- Quieter. Bigger difference between loud and soft sound (not the same as more dynamics!)
- Mids are better / clearer determined (also as result of tighter bass)
- 'Deeper' sound (so not the stereo image but the depth of the music)

We're using the Arya Audio Labs RevoPods which have so far been superior to all other options under our Cube and Qualio speakers.

/ Marcus, www.perfect-sense.se
 
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djbnh

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Feb 24, 2023
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I recently paired the Qualio IQ speakers with a Mola Mola Tambaqui DAC. Otherworldly realism, even though the DAC is still breaking in. I'm convinced the IQs are the real deal, and ably / realistically pass through whatever they're fed. It's not surprising that better upstream components make these speakers shine even more.
 

Superchunk

Member
Feb 19, 2023
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I recently paired the Qualio IQ speakers with a Mola Mola Tambaqui DAC. Otherworldly realism, even though the DAC is still breaking in. I'm convinced the IQs are the real deal, and ably / realistically pass through whatever they're fed. It's not surprising that better upstream components make these speakers shine even more.
They absolutely disappear. They will do what you ask of them. It doesn't matter what kind of music you like, you can cater the sound to your taste using other components. They can be soft, warm and delicate. They can be hard driving, intense and dynamic. They can find the line between the two, which is exactly what I was after as someone with a huge variety of musical tastes.

When driven with mastersound 845 tubes they were the most nuanced, textural and intimate speakers I've ever heard.

When paired with solid state like Dartzeel, Mark Levinson they would pound the room with hip hop.

I finally settled where I started my amplifier journey, with lab12 Suono 25wpc single ended. Nothing could beat it for what I wanted. I had Angela Gilbert Yeung modify it for 10x the capacitance, and we have more mods to do in the future.

I'm in my happy place and won't be changing speakers for a long time if ever. There's just no weaknesses so why would I?
 
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Superchunk

Member
Feb 19, 2023
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I just bought the Iso Acoustics Gaia II. What a difference! I think these have to be standard for the Qualio IQ's ;)
- Tighter bass
- Quieter. Bigger difference between loud and soft sound (not the same as more dynamics!)
- Mids are better / clearer determined (also as result of tighter bass)
- 'Deeper' sound (so not the stereo image but the depth of the music)
I already had the giai 3 so that's what I'm using. The dividing line between the 2 and 3 is basically the exact weight of the qualio. I can't help but want to try the 2 and see if they suite better.
 

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