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Design Features

• All analog
• Reveals information that, until now, has remained hidden and buried in all audio signals
• No processing or synthesizing of "fake" sound
• Reproduction of sonic information that previously was locked inside signals and could not be reproduced
• Built to "high-end" audio standards
• Rigid custom chassis
• Thick, brushed aluminum faceplate
• Operates in both stereo and mono
• World-wide, user adjustable voltage settings
• Four sets of analog inputs, each both single-ended RCA and balanced XLR
• Two sets of analog outputs, each both single-ended RCA and balanced XLR
• Equipped with remote control and bypass for A/B comparisons
• Low power consumption

Sounds qøl™, huh? Here’s the abstract from the patent application.
The present invention relates to an apparatus and method for redeeming otherwise closed and concealed information contained in audio signals. An active circuit balances the ratio between in-phase and out-of-phase signals through the application of sum and difference signals and adjusts the ratio of gain in stereophonic signals as well as in monophonic and multichannel signal applications. This includes both the primary reference signal, and a plurality of redundant duplicate signals, substantially identical in all respects to the primary reference signal except in relation to magnitude and phase, for the purpose of unfolding, or opening the audio signal content. A pair of output signal levels approximates the golden ratio where the golden ratio is one plus the square root of five divided by two which gives an irrational number 1.618.

Here’s the block diagram from the same application. Inasmuch as a block diagram is not the component itself, let’s take another peek inside the real thing.

So now that we’re done with a brief introduction to the what (plenty more to read here), let’s move on to how it was deployed for testing. A cursory search of the web showed remarks that ran the gamut from "potentially groundbreaking technology" to "meh." Some of the skeptics were plainly in the purist camp. They were rapidly rebuffed by others who pointed out that stereo is also "just an effect." A slew of stabs at how it works were to be found as well. Those ranged from "the kind of stereo-effects processing from which one quickly tires" and comparisons to the FM Acoustics Harmonic Linearizer to "this is the real thing, a serious technological breakthrough." An absence of convergence for certain. One recording/mastering engineer noted that for half the price you could install a Rupert Neve Portico 5014 Stereo Field Editor and have a console of controls that would allow you to customize the effects for your setup/preferences.* And yet others confidently asserted—based on their first-hand experiences—the product is unique and truly adds to the music listening experience. One dealer went so far as to state "… if you are thinking about upgrading components, one should first consider adding a qøl signal completion stage as it may be much more cost effective and simplistic than going the upgrade route."

* Given that there are no EQ facilities on the device, just basic controls for on/off, input selection, active/bypass and mono, I am led to believe that we are getting the designer's best/favorite voicing. In the world of audio this is far from unique. As bsg technologies themselves say, "The result is an audio experience with fullness and richness beyond comparison and one which carries essentially all the dynamic, tonal and spatial content of a real sonic event." At the risk of being accused of parsing language, they did say "a real sonic event," not "the real sonic event." And someone had to determine which original event or experience fit that bill to model all playback on. Or as Srajan put it in an email to me... "as the inventor said elsewhere in an interview, reproduced music to him lacked the enveloping fullness and closer-to-omni ambiance he hears live. He found a way to manipulate the signal to arrive at something that to him more closely approximates that missing sensation. I think you put it well about the ‘a’ rather than ‘the’ real sonic event. It's not so much about 'sounding' like the real thing but 'feeling' like it. That becomes less about the absolute sound and the 'truth' of the signal and more about emotional truthiness (can we better suspend disbelief that it's just canned and not real)."

To me all of that was interesting. Yet I was even more eager to see what would happen when the rubber hit the road. After exercising the device for a week or so, we …uhmm, hit the road. In the end I heard the device in seven systems. These were as follows (mine was already listed in the reviewer’s associated equipment list on top of the previous page):

Loudspeakers: Beveridge Model 2A self-powered lens-loaded electrostats without Model 2A subs operating down to 100 Hz; single-horn exponential subwoofer, 29 feet long, 10' wide x 6' high mouth,with two Altec Lansing 15-inch model 415A drivers wired in parallel for 4 ohms driven by Parts Express plate amplifier operating up to 160Hz
Electronics: Kara Chaffee Engineering Model 222 tape preamplifier with EI 12AX7 tubes through added RIAA playback circuit
Source: The String Theory™ 12-inch Woody™ Tonearm from Pete Riggle Engineering and Audio, Garrard 301 cartridge, Thorens TD124 turntable, Teac Model 501 4-track 7.5ips tape transport; Ampex Model 350 2-track 15ips tape transport
Cables: XTC aka DIY WalMart Yardmaster or White Lightnin’ speaker cables; various interconnects, primarily Monster Studiopro and Studiolink 500

Loudspeakers: Midbass horns  - Po' Boy (DIY) exponential horns (8' long with 60 x 31" mouth), two 8" 8-ohm drivers per channel wired in series for 16 ohms, B&C 8PE21-8 paper cones; midrange horns - conical horns modeled after Bill Woods Acoustic Horn product (29" diameter at mouth), RCA 9584A theater compression driver, 16 ohms, phenolic dome with phase plug; tweeters - JBL Tractrix-style molded composition horn, BMS 4540-16 compression driver, 16 ohms, mylar diaphragm; single horn subwoofer -  exponential, 29' long, 10' wide x 6' high mouth with two Altec Lansing 15" model 415A drivers wired in parallel for 4 ohms operating up to 160Hz.
Electronics: Mapletree Audio Design Ultra 4A SE Audio preamplifier; digital equalizer/crossover, original DEQX (on loan from owner);  midbass power amp - modified Antique Sound Labs AQ 1002 with Psvane KT88; midrange power amps -  Wright Model 4.5 2A3 SE monos with Shuguang 2A3C and 5Y3G rectifiers; tweeter power amp - Antique Sound Labs (the American company) K2003 SE stereo amp with Amperex Bugle Boy 6BQ5 and EI 12AX7
Source: iMac computer, Musical Fidelity VDAC II
Cables: XTC aka DIY WalMart Yardmaster or White Lightnin’ speaker cables; various interconnects, primarily Monster Studiopro and Studiolink 500