Country of Origin



On Q. Today isn't about the quartermaster of James Bond, provider of concealed weapons to His Majesty's top Secret Service agents. Today we look farther North, in the real not cinematic world. We settle on Pandrup on the west coast of Denmark where Dantax Radio S/A ply their trade with sister brands Raidho and Scansonic. It's no secret that the latter is the former's trickle-down receiver to make Scanspeakers more attainable. Just prior to Munich HighEnd 2023 for which I'd assembled an 8-page pre-show report 145 entries deep, my contact Morten Nielsen dispatched the above three teaser photos for inclusion. They were accompanied by one brief sentence. "Scansonic will bow the new Q range with three striking new floorstanders and the most Raidho DNA ever, with bigger drivers than before." No matter how hard I shook our man from afar, he played lockjaw to divulge naught else. The photos too told a very slim story of unexpectedly curvaceous spine with muffler-style protruding port pipes. Vroom? We had to wait for Europe's biggest hifi tradeshow to open its door before we learnt more. Then…

… the brand's FB pages had this pictorial reveal. Rather than follow Raidho co-founder Michael Børresen's penchant for massively paralleled 4½" or 5¼" mid/woofers to muscle up enough cone surface for low-bass woofer duties, this larger Q simply goes with a bigger woofer like everyone else. Does this presage a similar rethink at today's Raidho? Time will tell. Does it mean a 3-way rather than the firm's long-standing 2½-way preference? If the latter, using two dissimilarly sized drivers for such purposes would share space with Albedo's new Agadia.

As the Italians write about it on their website, "using a larger transducer for the half way increased the radiating surface so sound pressure for the higher energy and dynamics typical of 3-ways. We could also use higher-impedance transducers with the advantage of offering a loudspeaker with a nominal impedance higher than the classic 8Ω and thus solve the weak point of all half-way designs."

The top Q doubles up on Scansonic's new 8-inch carbon driver. Raidho use their equivalent diamond-skin ceramic version in the below flagship. That showed in parallel at the Munich event also with gear from Moon by simaudio; and Nordost cabling which appears inside these speakers as hookup wiring.

Børresen's new M6 flagship at the same event meanwhile kept the faith with 4½" drivers grouped in series and parallel pairs for a rear-ported 2½-way array. Basic math knows that six 4½" drivers add up to the cone area of one 11" driver. The bigger Q's dual 8" drivers become one 11.3". A wash? The argument favouring multi-paralleled small drivers is that it concentrates far more motor flux on the same cone area, reduces excursion requirements on each which lowers membrane stress and concomitant distortion. Smaller drivers simply must multiply sufficiently for a given target of bandwidth and SPL. That increases overall height and soon mimics a line source for a more cylindrical wave launch.

With the Q10, this Scansonic range tops out at four drivers. A June 14th press release added that the Q3 works as 2½-way with dual 5¼" carbon drivers while the Q8/Q10 become proper single/dual woofer 3-ways. That's a decisive conceptual step change. And now that Dantax hire contract engineers for any given project, their era of 'celebrity' designers like Michael Børresen and Benno Baun Melgaard has given way to letting product speak for itself without being associated with a particular personality. As my factory contact Morten put it, "Denmark has no shortage of top-class hifi engineers". By mid November, my colleagues at had their review of the Q3 and Morten and I agreed. Rather than ship me another pair, why not simply syndicate the German review? So here I butt out and Michael Bruss in.