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Loudspeakers: Duntech Sovereign 2001
Electronics: Bruce Rosenblit Transcendent Sound The Beast 160-watt OTL tube monos; Alta Vista-remanufactured Counterpoint SA5 tube dual channel preamplifier
Sources: Thorens TD125 with SME 3009 tonearm extensively modified and fitted with Riggle Audio VTAF, Miyabi moving coil cartridge; Oppo BDP95/Krell KAV300 CD; Tandberg/Soundsmith10XD
Cables: Duntech interconnects to amps. MIT speaker interconnects biwired. Various Cardas.
Accessories: Shorting plugs on all unused preamp inputs, Sonex wall treatment and ASC tube traps as needed.

Loudspeakers: 1974 Klipschorns with ALK engineering extreme-slope crossovers, replacement Tractrix mid horns and Beyma CP25 tweeters positioned along the long wall corners
Electronics: Mastersound Caesar class A integrated 300B tube amp; Erno Borbely battery-powered FET phono stage for moving coil transducers
Sources: VPI MKIII/SDS with Panasonic 1000 ruby arm and Denon 103R moving coil cartridge or Oracle Delphi with Dynavector 505 arm and Dynavector KARAT 17D3; Sony SCD CE595, Genesis Digital Lens, Theta Digital Signal Processor; TEAC 7030GSL 7.5/15ips 2-track
Accessories: AT&T Digital fiber optic send/receive interconnects, OCOS biwired speaker interconnect system, Cardas interconnects for others.

Loudspeakers: Jordan JXR6HD line sources with Dick Sequerra MK1 5” ribbons and integral crossover/level and IMF Professional Monitor B139/B110 in transmission line loading for 200Hz down bass; external passive crossover
Electronics: KE50A Dehavilland Electric amplifiers by Kara Chaffee Engineering; Tim Paravicini designed E.A.R.864 full function balanced preamplifier
Sources: Linn Sondek with Cetec carbon fiber sub frame, Lingo and ET2 linear tracking arm (high-pressure version using Denon 100th anniversary DL-A100 moving coil cartridge); ASUS Windows, Vista, Musical Fidelity asynchronous USB DAC, Sony SCD CE595 CD changer; Dehavilland Electric Amplifier Model 222 Magnetic Tape Preamplifier by Kara Chaffee Engineering. Scully/Metrotec bi-directional 7.5/15ips 2track/4track playback
Cables: Ocos Cable system with Cardas hardware, Bybee quantum purifiers, Cardas interconnects
Accessories: Marigo Audio Labs power distribution system fitted with isolation and transient control for AC supply

Loudspeakers: Tannoy Westminster Royal Special Editions
Electronics: Sophia Electric Model 91-01 300B monos, Leben RS100 preamplifier, Leben RS-30EQ phono equalizer, New Valve Order SPA-II phono equalizer
Source: VPI Classic turntable, EMT TSD-15 phono cartridge, Auditorium 23 moving coil step-up transformer.
Cables: Auditorium 23 speaker cables; a combination of Sablon Audio Panatela, Acoustic Revive and Tom Evans Audio Design interconnects; Acoustic Revive USB cable (Mac to DAC), Sablon Audio The Robusto power cords on all electronics
Accessories: Acoustic Revive RST-38 Quartz Under-Board (under USB DAC), RAF-48 Air Floating Board (under amplifiers), TB-38 Quartz Under-Boards (under line preamplifier and phono stage), RCI-3 Cable Insulators (under speaker cables), RGC-24 Ground Conditioner (preamp), Shorting Plugs SIP-8F (preamp),  Pure Smokey Quartz Insulator RIQ-5010 (under equipment footers), Pure Quartz Insulator RIQ-5010W (under equipment footers), REM-8 EMF Canceller (on DAC), RPT-2 Ultimate Power Supply Box (digital components), RPT-4 Ultimate Power Supply Box (analog components), Power Reference power cables (all electronics),CS-2F Outlet Stabilizer (wall outlet), CB-1DB Receptacle Base Plate (wall outlet), CFRP-1F Carbon Fiber Receptacle Plate (wall outlet), Ultra Low-Frequency Pulse Generator R-77 (room), RIO-5II Negative Ion Generator, RD-3 Disc Demagnetizer (for cleaning and conditioning digital media) and Acoustic Conditioner RWL-3 (3 used in room). McKinnon Furniture Bellevue Symphony media cabinet (walnut); Shine Ola Optical Disc Cleaner; VPI HW 16.5 record cleaning machine.

Whew! So - what do we now know/think about the sound?
The first thing that everyone could not help but notice was the increase in perceived gain when the unit was switched from bypass to active. I found this conduct frustrating but eventually developed a means to diminish the disparity in gain when listening to digital in my system. I ended up using this option periodically but not exclusively. I guess bsg technologies had been reading my mind. Just as I was about to ask why this had to be so—honestly, it made me a bit suspicious—I found a previously unseen document on their site that discussed this very issue.

Q: Why does qøl™ technology cause a volume increase?
A: In the sense that is usually used by those in the audio community, our unit has no gain whatsoever. If two volts (2V) goes into it from a source such as a CD player or a preamp, electrical measurements will show that only two volts (2V) comes out of our unit. There is no gain in the sense of amplification. Yet we agree that to the ear or as measured by a Sound Pressure Level (SPL) meter, our unit increases volume. We have found that the amount of increase can vary from about 0.5dB to about 5.0dB depending on the recording*.

Because the inventors themselves concur that acoustic gain through their device is measurable up to 5dB, one has to presume additive phase boost where certain frequency bands are affected more than others. Purist would argue that any partial amplitude manipulation of the signal is an EQ function. In this case it's acknowledged to be quite unpredictable since its magnitude differs from recording to recording - Ed.

Q: How is this possible?
A: One must note that volume has more that one meaning. It can refer to amplification or it can refer to size or mass as the "volume" of a room can be expressed as the number of cubic meters of air it can hold (height x width x depth). That usage does not refer to amplification but to mass. Keeping that factor in mind, we must also note that our technology unmasks and reveals previously hidden and buried
acoustic information in all audio signals. Room acoustics (and even outdoor acoustics) dramatically affect the volume of sound. Thus one violinist playing loudly (say at 90dB) will not sound as loud as forty violinists playing softly but adding up to the same 90dB. It is this effect together with the overall doubling of signal information going through the audio system as a whole, which explains that our technology increases loudness despite not increasing gain or amplification in the usual sense. It is a natural acoustical byproduct of unlocking and opening up the hidden information in all audio signals. To take that away would require closing the signal, depriving the listeners of the unique naturalism and other improvements which our invention provides.

Depending on your system, the device may perform slightly differently inserted before or after your preamp if you have that option. Here experimentation is productive. Most of my listening placed it between preamp and amp. FYI, the manual cautions thusly with respect to headphones. Select mono, not stereo, regardless of whether your source material is stereo or mono. The qøl™ technology in stereo works with the air in your room and the speaker motion that excites it. In mono (which is not a summed signal or 'true' mono), qøl™ gives you stereo that is not coupled to the air in the room. If you do, the LED below the mono button will light. While the mono and stereo circuits in the qøl™ Signal Completion Stage share the power supply and signal routing provisions in the component, the circuits are otherwise quite different. The stereo circuit will not work with monaural source material or with headphones/earbuds. I do not own any audiophile grade headphones.

The sonic influence of the device varied from system to system. In both intensity and scope, each system seemed to display different reactions to the—one assumes—stable dosage of qøl™. One might question such inconsistency of results but in the world of audio this is far from unique. To keep things simple and not go into all of the electronics and cables, let’s just remind ourselves of the various speakers that were involved:
  • Altec 604 coaxial based
  • Beveridge Model 2A lens-loaded electrostats
  • Exponential, Tractrix and conical horns coupled to compression and dynamic drivers
  • Duntech Sovereign
  • Klipschorns with Al Klappenberger engineering extreme-slope crossovers, replacement Tractrix mid horns and compression bullet tweeter
  • Jordan JXR6HD line sources with Dick Sequerra MK1 5” ribbons and integral crossover/level and IMF Professional Monitor B139/B110 in transmission line loading for 200Hz down bass
  • Tannoy Westminster Royal Special Editions