Qualio IQ Speakers with Isoacoustics Gaia IIs

djbnh

New Member
Feb 24, 2023
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I've had these speakers that are made in Poland in our rural northern NE home for about five months and have been trying to put together some sort of review that aptly captures many of the superlatives these speakers offer - but I'm failing miserably to capture all they offer. Srajan of 6moons has a review far more articulate than what I feel I can compose; however, my finding are as equally effusive in praise of the Qualio IQ team, their efforts, and their kick-a@@ product.

The IQ speakers offer the following: Mundorf AMT dipole super tweeter, SB Acoustic Satori midrange and woofer, Mundorf, Jantzen, WBT crossover parts and terminals. Color coded two-point (stock) or 5-point (optional) resistor regulation of the Mundorf AMT tweeter. Price: 5,500 euro. Add some hundreds more for eight Isoacoustics Gaia II footers. I coupled the speakers with the following gear: McIntosh MAC7200 receiver, Denafrips Pontus II DAC, NuPrime Audio CDT-10 transport, Allnic cable loom (Allnic ZL 5000 PC, Mu-7R Digital Cable, Mu-7R XLR Cables, ZL 5000 Speaker Cables), plus an older Rega P25 turntable that’s waiting for a new partner. We have a dedicated music room, as well as two 20A dedicated circuits (one feeding the digital side, the other for the analog). The music room has various treatments and is carpeted.

The following warranty and technical information is excerpted from the Qualio IQ site:

“All Qualio speakers are covered by a 3-year warranty.

Technical specification
Height: 102 cm / 40.2”
Width: 38,5 cm / 15.2”
Depth: 31,5 cm / 12.4”
Weight: 32 kg / 70 lbs
Impedance: 4 ?
Bandwidth: 30 Hz – 31 kHz
Efficiency: 89 dB"

We had a fretful, lengthy time with FedEx delivery and customs, about three weeks of travel time to the NE US with lengthy inexplicable custom stops and FedEx tracking information that made no sense for almost the entire journey to the US. Thankfully, each speaker is carefully packed in a sturdy and well-made plywood box with metal corner braces and internal bracing, copiously stickered with “Fragile”. Between FedEx and customs, the boxes arrived with BOTH screwed down tops askew and the screws sheared; the FedEx driver also ignored the signature requirement (due to easily seen unsecured box tops) and left the boxes in front of our garage. We feared the worst, especially when we initially saw one of the internal plastic wrapping surround a speaker was punctured. However, further unpacking showed that the Qualio’s team’s thoughtful packing system ably protected the speaker components from even such harsh treatment. Alas, a final insult was the customs duty charge that came a week later.

Unboxing and assembly was unproblematic, providing that you’re able on your own (or have a companion / friend) that can help you tote the speaker coffins inside and help remove the contents. You’ll have to do a bit of assembly – per speaker you’ll need to 1) mount a thickish acrylic baffle (containing both the AMT dipole super tweeter and SB Acoustic Satori midrange) by installing four hex bolts (tool included), 2) connect a gold plated balanced cable, 3) screw in the supplied footers (in our case we opted for Isoacoustics Gaia II footers), 4) insert the ends of one of the Mundorf resistors into a pair of WBT speaker connectors marked “Resistor”, 5) give the speakers a little toe-in (the IQs seems somewhat unparticular to exact toe-in, but be the audiophile you are and adjust as your ears / eyes require) and few inches from the back wall, 6) connect your speaker cables to the bottom set of WBT speaker connectors (Because the IQs are rated as 4 ? speakers, we used the McIntosh’s 4 ? taps; this might have been a great synergy for the IQs, given Srajan’s “current cunt” description of the IQs, the McInstosh’s autoformers also probably had a role in making this a non-issue during our listening sessions.), and 7) determine whether you want to use the speakers port plugs. Keeping the modest price of the IQs in mind, we felt it slight effort in light of what the Qualio team provides for your $/Euros/etc.

The modern fit and finish of the speakers are sound and pleasing to the eyes; we opted for a light veneer to mix with our music room (see Srajan’s review for a good facsimile); there are a wide range of color and wood options to suit your tastes and wallet, the Qualio team is willing to please. The sound, which was pleasant from day one, quickly became riveting and exceptional. The IQs deliver first class soundstaging and imaging, all the more impressive with the IQs being so unfussy about placement. The speakers easily breath, disappear, and produce a naturally airy, organic, uncolored presentation. Great texture, detail, speed, depth: the words “realism”, “holographic” and “dynamic” come to mind. All these combine to effortlessly up the pleasure of your listening experience. Anything we threw at it via DAC or turntable resulted in an enveloping and highly pleasurable listening experience. If you like bass, the IQs seem to go well below their listed 30 Hz. With the McIntosh’s effortless 200 W/channel, we chose to overpressurize the room past what we would ever want to listen at, and tried the speaker’s port plugs that brought down the bass to a manageable level – bass heads take note. At our normal listening levels, and with all types of music, we never felt the need to plug the ports as the bass was taut, natural, and in keeping with the rest of the speakers excellent presentation. Did I say these speakers disappear, present realistically / holographically / dynamically, image with gobs of texture / detail / speed / depth? And at 5,500 Euro? Holy crap!

Some words about the persons behind the scenes: I requested the Qualio team to consider if they could somehow customize our speakers to memorialize my dad’s passing; it was the the 1st year anniversary of his passing that led me to order from Qualio. (My dad is second generation Polish, didn’t speak English until he was five, graduated from college, with an uncle donated $$$ sufficient for a Polish village to build a church, and with my mom gave to me and my brothers a love of music and so much more). To the Qualio team I put together the words and picture, and Qualio did the rest in a way in which I’ll remember my dad for years to come – we’re forever indebted to the Qualio team for their thoughtfulness and willingness to aid the customer. Also, it seemed that that ?wi?ty Miko?aj, Gwiazdor, and Dziadek Mróz worked their collective magic with Qualio to provide another sophisticated enhancement for which we are humbled and deeply thankful.

If you’re in the market for speakers that have a thoughtful design, sound otherworldly, and won’t break the bank, the Qualio IQs aptly fit your needs. The Qualio team is dedicated to customer service and perfection – don’t you deserve that in your gear? Happy listening!
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qualiorules

New Member
Nov 18, 2023
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Nice review!

Minor tip:
You are using the 4 Ohm tab. (4 Ohm Qualio and 4 Ohm Mac) I did the same, but after a while I tried the 8 Ohm tab. I read about it on the Mac forum. It improves overall sound quality.

Regards, Peter
 

djbnh

New Member
Feb 24, 2023
12
5
3
67
Nice review!

Minor tip:
You are using the 4 Ohm tab. (4 Ohm Qualio and 4 Ohm Mac) I did the same, but after a while I tried the 8 Ohm tab. I read about it on the Mac forum. It improves overall sound quality.

Regards, Peter
We tried the 8 Ohm taps per your suggestion; to our ears, the 4 Ohm taps sounded better. YMMV
 

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