The QR series for Audiovector is the entry level, and the new QR5 model is the highest in it. And these speakers look more impressive than many top projects from other manufacturers. The systems were manufactured in Denmark at the Nordhavn factory, although the cases are made to order by other companies. The finish is impeccable: the veneer is embossed, even under the bright light of photo spotlights it is impossible to detect any defects – the joints of the cases are perfect, the edges are absolutely flat. Even an experienced cabinetmaker would envy such work.
And besides, it can be considered the quintessence of the most modern solutions in the field of electroacoustics. Branded Q-port bass reflex, planar Gold Leaf AMT 2 tweeter, bass drivers with an aluminum-damping sandwich cone, impeccable external finish…
All QR models are equipped with tweeters with ribbon emitters – this is Dr. Hale’s invention, known as the Air Motion Transformer (AMT), i.e. air movement converter. Unlike other planar tweeters, they create a sound wave by compressing and stretching a thin fluoroplastic tape coated with aluminum, which is folded like an accordion. With a tiny mass of about 15 – 20 mg, the radiation area is very large. When the folds contract, they literally shoot out air—the AMT’s flow rate is five times higher than the flat diaphragm of a conventional ribbon tweeter. Hence – an instant response to an incoming signal, an ideal attack and the ability to reproduce frequencies up to hundreds of kilohertz. In Audiovector QR5, the upper range is artificially limited to 45 kilohertz – this is enough for any sound formats.
But a high response speed also has a downside: shortcomings in the phonogram, the not-too-transparent “top” of a DAC or amplifier can manifest itself in the form of an emphasis on hissing and explosive consonants. In studios, when recording, this effect is eliminated by installing a so-called microphone in front of the microphone. pop filter – a fabric partition that slows down a sharp air flow front. The developers of the QR series followed the same path – they covered the tweeter with a thick metal mesh, and they got the proprietary S-Stop filter. To prevent the mesh from oxidizing, it was gilded, hence the name – Gold Leaf. The tweeter itself is mounted on a thick aluminum flange that absorbs vibrations.
The front panel of the Audiovector QR5 has three 6-inch speakers – a pair of woofers and a midrange driver. In appearance they are all the same, but what the bass and midrange have in common is only in the structure of the diffusers; this is an experimentally found sandwich of two thin sheets of aircraft-grade aluminum with a damping layer between them. Such a membrane has an optimal ratio between mass and rigidity, allowing it not to leave the piston mode in several frequency octaves. Let me remind you that in this mode the hemispherical surface works as a single whole and does not have areas that perform their own, uncontrolled oscillations. Nonlinear distortions, manifested in the form of extraneous sounds, are minimal.
The difference between midrange and bass heads is that the latter have powerful double magnets, a lower resonant frequency and suspensions designed for increased diffuser travel. The midrange driver is placed in an isolated chamber of an asymmetrical shape – this prevents the occurrence of internal standing waves. The bass tandem operates in a bass reflex design, with the proprietary slotted Q-port placed in the gap between the bottom of the body and the support platform. Accordingly, the speakers can (although not recommended) be placed close to the wall. The lower operating limit is stated to be very low – at 25 hertz, like a reputable subwoofer.
The bands are divided into 300 Hz and 3 kHz, and the filters are optimized so that the signal from the amplifier can be connected to only two terminals. With a sensitivity of 91 dB, the speakers will not be too demanding on the amplifier power – for full drive, a decent integrated circuit with an output of 2 x 75 watts will be quite enough. Like other models in the series, the new flagships are available in three colors: white silk, black piano lacquer and dark walnut veneer. Black fabric grills are attached with magnets.
The dynamics of the Audiovector QR5 are very impressive – six diffusers really pump a small room without the slightest effort. On provocative recordings with tight bass and powerful lower mids, the speakers controlled every note with confidence. And what has always impressed me about the acoustics of this brand is that both the models in the initial line and the most senior ones demonstrate one common principle of the developers: the desire to get the fastest possible response in all bands. The company’s chief ideologist, Ole Kleefot, considers this aspect to be almost the most important. Hence the similarity in the sound of systems of different classes – fast bass, soft but detailed mids and a polished upper range. Moreover, the speed and drive are maintained even near the lower operating limit, so according to subjective feelings, the QR5 clearly overplays its dimensions.
The second signature feature of the speakers is their large stereo effect area. The AMT 2 tweeters are distinguished by an expanded polar pattern, and this is immediately noticeable – in order to appreciate the three-dimensional spatial picture, it is not necessary to sit at an equal distance from the speakers. Let me remind you that the bass reflex ports are directed downward, and we have much greater freedom to place systems in the room. But the most spectacular scene is obtained when they are installed in more or less free space – then some of the instruments may appear noticeably behind the front line.
There are several advantages to having small speakers. Firstly, they draw space no worse than shelf monitors, while simultaneously delivering quite mature bass. Secondly, the rigid body does not have noticeable resonances even at high volumes, so the purity of the tone is preserved in its original form. And thirdly, such speakers can be placed in a small room and get a truly adult sound with a minimum of side effects. And this, you see, is not an extra opportunity at all.
Characteristics of Audiovector QR5
Configuration: 4 emitters, 3 bands
Acoustic design: bass reflex
Frequency range: 25 – 45000 Hz
Sensitivity: 91 dB (2.83 V/1 m)
Nominal/minimum impedance: 8/4 Ohm
Crossover frequencies: 400, 3000 Hz
Power input (max): 280 W
Finish: black lacquer, dark walnut, matt white
Dimensions with tenons: 210 x 106 x 270 mm
Weight 1 piece: 22.9 kg