Questions & Answers: QBASE Mark III

The QBASE was first released to the audio world in 2009. Almost 15 years and two iterations later, the QBASE is still as sought after as when it was launched. However, over those 15 years, much has been improved. The QBASE Mark III made its debut at AXPONA this past spring, and a new version brings new questions. We decided to address some of the most asked questions we have been receiving here, so you can find your answers in one place! 

Q: What’s the difference between the QBASE Mark II and Mark III?

A: Both the QBASE Mark II and Mark III are passive, distribution blocks that use Star Earth topology to address the conflicting flows of signal and ground paths which create noise. However, there have been several upgrades and changes to the QBASE Mark III which have had a massive impact on its audible performance, which are as follows: 

  • Newly designed, dual PC-board 
  • Increased separation of all ground connections from the line and neutral traces
  • Minimized interference/crosstalk between live/neutral and ground currents 
  • Enhanced trace sizes to maximize current flow 
  • Revised resistance sink to add protection and effectively damp eddy currents

Q: Do certain components benefit from being plugged into specific outlets on the QBASE Mark III? 

A: Like with the QBASE Mark II, all outlets on the QBASE Mark III are identical, except for the outlet labeled Primary Earth. To get the best results from any QBASE, you should plug whichever component has the most connections to it into the Primary Earth outlet. In many systems, this is either the preamp or the integrated amp. However, in digitally run systems, you should plug whichever device your volume is featured on into primary earth. 

Q: What sonic improvements can you expect from the QBASE Mark III? 

A: The QBASE Mark III offers a big step up in performance over the QBASE Mark II. Some sonic improvements you can expect are: 

  • A much quieter background
  • Improved instrument and vocal separation
  • Improved 3D imaging 
  • Longer decays and extension 
  • A pronounced sense of effortlessness and calm
  • More power behind the sound 

Q: Can you still use the QRT Stand Mount with the QBASE Mark III? 

A: Yes, the QBASE Mark III is still compatible with the QRT Stand Mount, which not only helps with the stability of the product (especially when it’s being used with heavier, reference-level audio cables), but also allows for easy support with Sort Kones. Using the QBASE with Sort Kones essentially wicks it of all internal vibrations, making a massive audible improvement. 

GY8 Reviews the QBASE Mark III AC Distribution Unit

Since the launch of our new QBASE Mark III AC Distribution Unit, we have been inundated with positive feedback from our retailers and customers; so we are excited to share the first official QB8 MK III review. After using the QBASE Mark III at the High End show in Munich, Roy Gregory was excited to take it home to experiment further in his home system. He has since determined that the newest iteration of the QB8 remains “in the front rank of audiophile distribution blocks”, so I think it’s safe to say he was pleased with the results as well. 

In the listening comparisons that Roy conducted with both the new and old QBASE units, he found several “clear musical and sonic advantages” to the Mark III, including “increased presence from a crisper and more clearly defined sound-stage” and an ability for the music to breathe and really express emotion. 

“The latest QB8 should open the window on your recordings wider than ever before, not least because its benefits spread across every component in your system, allowing every single one to work better.” – Roy Gregory, Gy8

You can now find Roy’s review on the Reviews Page of the Nordost website, or read it in its entirety here: STAR QUALITY – THE NORDOST QB8 MK. III DISTRIBUTION BLOCK

Nordost Playlist – July 2023

Nordost products are designed to allow you to enjoy your favorite performances as they were intended to be heard. All of us here are passionate about great music, and want to share our passion with you. Each one of us has our own style… We listen to a wide variety of artists and genres but, in a way, we appreciate them all. We thought that we would share a few of the songs on our own personal playlists with you each month. Some may be classics, some may be brand new, some may not even be to your tastes, but we hope that there is something here for everyone.

Here are some of the songs that we will have on rotation this July.

You can now listen to our monthly playlist here:  TIDAL  | SPOTIFY  |  QOBUZ

  1. September Song—Eartha Kitt—The Collection
  2. Rise—Dominique Fils-Aimé—Nameless
  3. Napule Canta E More—Donatella Viggiano—Napoli Segreta 
  4. Alone Again, Naturally—Vulfmon, Vulf, Monica Martin, Hailey Niswanger—Here We Go Jack
  5. Liberty—Anette Askvik—Liberty 
  6. Secret Love Affair—Delfeayo Marsalis—Kalamazoo (an Evening with Delfeayo Marsalis 
  7. Water Flowing Downward—Andrea von Kampen—That Spell
  8. Duende—Bozzio Levin Stevens—Black Light Syndrome
  9. When She Sings to Me—Jeff Cascaro—Mother and Brother 
  10. The Show Goes On—Bruce Hornsby, The Range—Scenes From The Southside