To segue back at what my eyes call main attraction, despite reducing IQ's 9½" woofer Ø by only ~1" with its 2½-way labour spread, Quantum manages to cut visual cabinet width in half. That vertical chainsaw slash right down IQ's middle really does open up a lot of places which remained closed to IQ even if only for cosmetic reasons.

Skinny is popular and looks do influence speaker buying decisions at least as much as sonics. That's as it should be. We look at our speakers more than we ever get to play them. Also, many speakers end up not in dedicated listening temples but shared-use rooms. Now being compact yet sufficiently full-range to not require an extra subwoofer box is the winning ticket.

Also of note in Qualio's Warsaw demo system is the Danish Primare kit. It's no off-kilter example of unfair ancillary goosing where we'd expect a €5K speaker preceded by €100K worth of gear to turn heads and take no prisoners. The implied subtext—and this mirrors my own experience with IQ—is that it doesn't take very deep pockets to make a Qualio sing. To test this, I had a €1'390 OEM Pascal class D amp called PA-10 Evo from Gold Note on hand.

"Quantum is rear-ported just like IQ but without the tweeter-trim resistor adjustment. That's because in this design the AMT must cover more bandwidth. That would make adjustments too broad. With all the feedback on which resistor value virtually all IQ users pick, we're very comfortable that Quantum needs no trim feature when our tastes and those of our current clients so clearly align. ±3dB response is 35Hz-31kHz, efficiency 88dB." At left you see Cube & Qualio's Grzegorz Rulka and Marek Kostrznski. Marek started at Tonsil, a company founded by Polish Radio's management in 1945 which made its own drivers. He subsequently became chief designer at speaker house Pylon who OEM cabinets for many big players. The two met at the Poznan University of Technology where Grzegorz was a graduate of the Physics faculty. Marek also met Lukasz Fikus of LampizatOr who at the time experimented with dipole drivers from German Saba radios. A 15" open-baffle design became a formative experience for Marek. From's interview with him, "the hardest thing in any sector is developing a project in your head. You must know who it's for, how it will be used and as a result, what it should look like."

That segues neatly back at Quantum, a high-performance design aimed at smaller flats everywhere. Unlike Cube, it uses off-the-shelf drivers. They're simply drivers from the very top shelf. They require even less ideal-amp consideration than Cube Audio's widebanders which already are uncommonly flexible in that regard. We might say that Quantum is a very 'normal' speaker yet still informed by the same sonic aesthetics of two experienced designers who favour no crossovers and their very own designed-from-scratch widebanders. As Qualio's now 2nd model, Quantum also benefits from IQ owner and show feedback, all of Cube's prior expertise and in parallel, Marek's ongoing work at Pylon. It seems no stretch to call it the distillate of a lot of experience despite being from a new brand with a very short portfolio.

That the Cube/Qualio connection works as hive mind not one-way street Warsaw 2023 showgoers could appreciate in the Cube/Tektron exhibit. It had Marek's prototype 1½-way model combining their 8" widebander with their very own sidefiring woofer "to make matching exotic low-power amps as easy as possible. However, we really want to pioneer this new concept first with our 10" widebander". A laptop, LampizatOr DAC and Sicilian Tektron 211 integrated amp kept things simple again. Whilst widebanders and SET amps are exotic, this system emphasized a real-world not 'fussy audiophile' context. No over-the-top Aries Cerat placement here. It's likely also why in their cover shot, Grzegorz and Marek don working men's stubble and T-shirts not starched shirts and ties or, God forbid, tails.

Shoppers inundated by escalating performance claims—heroic cabinet constructions, 130dB SPL stability, 18Hz extension etc—must always backtrack to actual use. How loud do we really play? How big is our room? How much if any of our music contains sub bass; and is 35Hz perfectly adequate for our needs? A close hard look at our real-world situation vs overkill propositions can save money, size and complexity. It also exploits our speaker's potential rather than parks half of it in the standby of eventualities which never come like that unused nicely fitted guest room. It's how I view most ÜberFi. It can do things I'll never do. It's for the dragstrip dudes, mansion mavens and regular ravers. I know my place. It's far more pedestrian. I simply like my zebra stripes in crisp fresh paint and well lit to stop all oncoming traffic when I cross. About which, where do these drivers cross? With IQ the zebra stripes sit at 8kHz/2nd-order for the AMT, 600Hz/2nd-order for the woofer and shallow 1st-order for the Satori mid. Pushing the latter's upper hinge two octaves above the central presence region is IQ's nod at widebander behaviour. How does Quantum do its thing with the Satori as monopole?

This small NRX woofer's free-air resonance is 36.5Hz. Norex is a proprietary mix of wood pulp and randomly oriented natural fibres. If Norex is also a word play on Norsorex, that'd be a polymer with high vibration-absorptive properties.