Quadraspire QPLUS Home Demo Case – a very Interesting Concept
An Interesting Concept
At the end of March 2020 with Britain going into Lockdown amid the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic it created an extremely difficult time for many industries with the HiFi and AV industries being affected the same. Some manufacturers made the decision to be proactive and look to turn a negative situation into a positive one. One of those manufacturers Quadraspire contacted me to discuss what I thought was a very interesting concept the QPLUS Home Demo Case
My first exposure to the Quadraspire QPLUS HiFi Supports in an early production form was back in 2018 at the Bristol Sound and Vision show. I visited the Quadraspire room to shoot a video in there and also managed to shoot and record a quick demo of the QPLUS, that video can be found here.
Three models for Three reasons
There are three different models in the QPLUS range and at a first glance they all look like your stereotypical HiFi isolation products that you place underneath your components to reduce vibration and that is correct and that is how you use them.
There is the EVO, the Advanced and the Reference each sharing similar important design principles of shape, materials and pressure. They have been three years in development with the Quadraspire design team working hard to try and achieve certain design goals and what they created is a stand alone HiFi Isolation product range to suit different audiophiles with different systems and budgets.
More interesting Quadraspire set out to create a range of stand alone HiFi Supports that would closely mimic their range of HiFi racks and this is what really caught my attention. I have home demonstrated a lot of different HiFi products over the years amplifiers DAC’s, speakers, cables but I have never had a home demonstration of a HiFi Rack, the logistics making it extremely difficult. I would guess a HiFi rack is the last thing an Audiophile will change in their system so its important to get it right and I wonder how many audiophiles consider the HiFi Rack as part of the system. I bought my main HiFi Rack over ten years ago blind from photos and reviews alone, in hindsight I would have loved to have had the opportunity to home demonstrate it before hand.
Quadraspire have designed each QPLUS to offer a large percentage of what their equivalent racks offer in terms of sound quality improvements.
What about audiophiles who don’t use HiFi racks and who use furniture instead, a choice I would assume is made for aesthetic and maybe practical reasons rather than thinking about the effects on sound quality on the HiFi or AV system. The QPLUS in this instance offer a slim line alternative to a HiFi rack by bringing the benefits of a rack to the user of other furniture and when you consider how critical turntable isolation is this is a very cool thing.
The Importance of Installation
The QPLUS are very easy products to install you place the HiFi component down on top of them using the components existing feet like you would with any HiFi rack, this is different to a lot of other isolation products where its often recommended to bypass the components exiting feet.
I would guess in a lot of cases this process might take care of itself, or maybe it will not depending on the component and how large its feet are. It makes sense to want to put each QPLUS central to each foot on the HiFi component and that is how I would advise you to do it, which the exception of a situation where this causes the HiFi component to not sit solid on the QPLUS. In my testing of them I found it very important for the HiFi component to sit completely solid without rocking even the slightest amount and taking time in the installation process yielded the best results from the QPLUS.
QPLUS EVO (£120 for a set of 4)
The QPLUS EVO are the entry level product in the range and are designed to mimic the Quadraspire Q4 EVO rack
The QPLUS EVO consists of
2 bamboo discs with grooves cut in
Phosphor bronze nut and bolt with a hole through the centre
Aluminium outer ring
Internal separating washer
The QPLUS EVO are an interesting product that are a nice introduction to the range because of their price and form factor. I can see a lot of audiophiles liking these under turntables acting as that extra layer between a piece of furniture and that all important platter. I generally use these types products on the least obvious obvious components in a HiFi sytem to see what the effects might be.
Used under a solid state amplifier the Chord Electronics TToby I was surprised by the effects, the QPLUS EVO helped to tighten the sound presentation and bring more focus to the sound with some improved clarity and depth that I enjoyed.
Quadraspire say the EVO will give you 90% of the benefits of their Q4 EVO Rack.
QPLUS ADVANCED (£300 for a set of 4)
The QPLUS Advanced are a visual and physical step up in terms of a product and you can see where the extra cost is in terms of its build. The Advanced is a fair amount larger than the EVO which is important to know if you are tight on space with your furniture. The QPLUS Advanced are designed to mimic the Quadraspire SVT Rack.
The Advanced consists of
Aluminium carrier shaped for performance
2 bamboo discs with grooves in and a centre hole on each side
Phosphor bronze and brass bolts set to specific torque with holes through them
I paid particular attention to the installation of the QPLUS Advanced because in my first testing of them I could hear what they was doing for the better but they also tipped the balance of the system a little too much in one way. The Advanced under the TToby amplifier helped to improve mid range clarity and helped with the overall sound stage clarity which I enjoyed. The sound was also faster and with more air to the presentation and less digital tension, but leaner in the perceived bass. There was definitely more upper frequency region energy to the presentation.
Quadraspire say the Advanced will give you 90% of the benefits of their SVT Rack.
QPLUS REFERENCE (£900 for a set of 4)
The QPLUS REFERENCE are a serious step up in cost and they look a lot like the Advanced in terms of the design but in your hands there is a serious difference in their weight. The Reference has a lot more mass to it and I wonder how much this alone effects the sound. There are quite different materials involved and a lot of them are taken from Quadrapires flagship rack the X Reference.
A heavier phosphor bronze carrier
2 bamboo discs with grooves in and a centre hole on each side
Phosphor bronze and aluminium bolts set to specific torque with holes through them
I started my testing of the QPLUS with the Reference and I installed them during the running in period of the Boenicke W5 speakers for their review. I just wanted to see what they might do and it was a surprise, they helped to relax the sound from the amplifier and open up the sound stage with improved clarity. This improvement did come with some perceived reduction in bass but I liked what Reference were doing and they are still installed under the TToby amplifier as I write this review
I have enjoyed my time playing with the Quadraspire QPLUS because products like this intrigue me and I find them fun to play around with and interesting. This is a very different type of HiFi isolation product to what I normally use and recommend and that is why they interested me. The idea of having a HiFi Rack in the palm of your hand is very cool and the idea of being able to home demonstrate a HiFi rack by using a very small and simple product like the QPLUS is even cooler.
I think, in fact I know there is a large amount of scepticism around products like this, how can they possibly make a difference to a HiFi systems sound. How do HiFi Racks make a difference to the sound of systems but they do and if Quadrapsire have managed to achieve a large chunk of what their HiFi racks do to improve sound then its a significant achievement.
There is one major factor here, when you buy a HiFi Rack and you specify it for your system and I guess you likely install your whole system on to it, the whole system gets equally isolated at one time. With the QPLUS home demo case you only have one set of each so its impossible fully mimic the whole racks effects and expectations need to be managed in that regard.
With the home demo case you can at least try each of the different QPLUS and make sure you only buy the product that suits your needs, budget and kit to make sure any money spent is done so in the best way and I really like that.
As a result I have given the QPLUS, all of them, the award of Essential Audition because I think that sums this product range up in every way. Try them to make sure you buy the right HiFi rack, try them to see which of them works best for you and your system, try them to see what they can do. and maybe be surprised and worst ways have some fun.
An Essential Audition Award is granted in recognition of a products high performance but with a certain uniqueness that makes auditioning even more essential