Generic terminal cups are routinely far too small to accommodate barrel-terminated spades like our Kinki Studio Earth leashes. Either barrels don't fit at all or bind up to kink the exiting cable at a right angle. Having moulded their own heavy-duty ABS cup, our Qualio designers built in the necessary clearance as shown. Many speaker houses mount their terminals straight to the box. That works fine but with factory-direct sales covering most their transactions, Qualio didn't want stick-out posts to insure happy deliveries even where shippers cause injury to packaging materials. Whilst cup size is a most mundane matter unless you're a breast-obsessed adolescent, it's worth pointing out that for all its rectilinear simplicity of construction, Quantum licks the little details. Whilst my delivery was still in a single Nenuphar wooden crate because Quantum packing bits hadn't arrived at Qualio yet, I'm certain that shipping its plexi baffles unattached will continue with the final packaging. That too eliminates potential shipping damage and mounting each baffle is a simple matter of just tightening four hex bolts with the provided key.

Super basic too is why despite physical shrinkum, Quantum can't shave off much coin. Four of the six drivers are identical to IQ. So is the quality of xover parts. Smaller woofers from the same supplier, a bit less MDF for the box, a bit less plexi for the open baffle and no tweeter-trim resistors simply don't save a lot. It's why when I originally asked Qualio whether a smaller model was on their R&D map, they thought it unlikely. Who'd be interested in a baby IQ without serious price drop? The eventual answer is obvious. Quantum can play rooms too small for IQ whilst offering very similar sound; and in fact better sound because its bass won't overload. It's the two-door IQ version for a smaller parking space in the same upscale 'hood. How about fuel efficiency so cost of ownership? My now subwoofin' Gold Note amps downstairs were originally slated to replace a long-discontinued Crayon Audio CFA-1.2 with something current on the upstairs speakers. With those micro monitors chosen for their quick high-resolution widebander-ish sound which I find ace at low SPL typical for my secondary rig, Gold Note's OEM Pascal class D amps had disappointed on colour, tone and dynamics. That put them on a personal no-fly list so into the utility closet. Whilst looking for a proper upstairs amp, I'd borrowed the downstairs Kinki stereo sub amp. That embedded superbly. Making it permanent relied on the class D monos doing well on the big sub. Only covering the lowest 2½ octaves there proved to be a keeper for high-feedback switch-mode outputs. Now my question was, could I downgrade the upstairs $2'798 2.5MHz class AB Kinki amp on Quantum to a single €1'390 Gold Note stereo amp without revoking the latter's pilot license? If so, I'd duplicate Grzegorz's affordable class D recipe.

Mission accomplished? I'd be lying if I said that suddenly this generic Pascal amp sounded as good as the Kinki. Its overdamped mien from what I guess is way too much NFB in the upper frequencies remained. However—and this was a Hoover Dam-sized however—Quantum's innate tonefulness, image density and slightly darkish tint proved ideal complements to the leaner, brisker more clipped attributes of the Italian shoe-box amp. Whilst Quantum did sound lighter now, it had far from tipped over into spot-lit prickliness. In short, just as Grzegorz loves to remind Qualio buyers, more affordable class D really is a perfectly valid approach to drive Quantum or IQ on regular unleaded, not some high-octane posh petrol.

Since we're in Q-landia, a quaalude—a hypnotic barbiturate-like synthetic sedative—makes for a fitting closure interlude. Quantum is a quite hypnotic accomplishment. It really exceeds its modest looks and easily lifted weight. Even narrow spiral stairs won't keep it out should your listening den live in a loft or attic. It adapts IQ's proven recipe with surprisingly few sonic concessions whilst it cuts the foot print in half. It packs the same or equivalent big-game drivers and filter parts into more gazelle than gorilla threads to suit repurposed bed rooms and other smaller listening spaces. There it will produce the full bandwidth. Its ancillary appetites are unfussy to allow a shopper to stick to Cambridge and NAD type kit without risking to put retreads on a sports car. If that was the brief—how could it not have been?—mission accomplished. Pass it around like a chill pill in these days of audiophile excess. Before you dismissively apply the e-word to Quantum's €6K sticker, remember how different reviewers all rated IQ¹. That's the requisite context. By that metric Quantum is a roaring success. It's also credit to IQ which must have signalled sufficient make-it-smaller demand for Grzegorz & Marek to develop Quantum. It doesn't seem to have been on their books at first. So if you'd been hoping for a half-width IQ but never spoke up, thank those would-be fellow shoppers who did make their voices heard to prompt today's Quantum of Qualio!

IQ's bigger derrière for contrast with the equivalent earlier photo of Quantum.

¹ For more competitive context from a forum thread and actual buyer feedback, "I've a friend who's getting rid of his Rockport Mira after having demoed the Qualio IQ in his system". In the same thread, "IQ is replacing Audiovector R6 Avantgarde". Looking up their pricing, the Rockport sell for $13'000/pr, the Audiovector for $24'000/pr.