Questions & Answers: QBASE Reference

The QBASE Reference is Nordost’s most sophisticated, all-encompassing power solution to date. This multi-faceted, reference-level AC distribution unit operates as a filter-less alternative to power conditioners, delivering clean, uncompromised power without imparting its own sonic characteristics on performance or limiting AC current. When any product of this caliber enters the scene, there are questions. We wanted to address some of the most frequently asked questions here so that you can find your answers in one place! 

Q: Is the QBASE REFERENCE an AC conditioner?

A: No. Unlike traditional power conditioners that may limit bandwidth and compress dynamics, the QBASE Reference uses parallel passive and active technologies to prevent distortion and reduce noise. This completely filter-less approach mitigates system noise while enhancing dynamics and maintaining bandwidth. 

Q: How does the QBASE Reference differ from the QBASE Mark III? 

A: Like the QBASE Mark III, the QBASE Reference is, at its core, a passive distribution component that uses star-earth topology to direct the signal and ground paths of system components to minimize the noise floor.  But it’s much more than that. 

In the QBASE Reference, we have added a dual primary earth design to our star earth topology, which is a first in our line. We have also upgraded the internal monofilament wiring and enhanced the board traces over those in the QB8, to allow the QBASE Reference to handle more current.  Another benefit to the QBASE Reference is the addition of more outlets, power cord connector supports, and even built-in, resonance control, Sort Supports.  However it is the internal enhancements that account for the extreme noise elimination accomplished by the QBASE Reference, and that is achieved through the addition of multiple internal QSINE and QWAVE devices and specifically optimized QPOINT technology. 

Q: How should I position the QBASE Reference in my sound system? 

A: Place the QBASE Reference on a stable, solid surface, ideally on a dedicated shelf of an audio rack or an amp stand. From there, you can easily adjust its Sort Supports to ensure that the component is level during use.

Q: What can I expect to hear when auditioning the QBASE Reference? 

A: • Overall frequency response from bass to unrestricted upper frequencies

— • Enhanced dynamic response 

— • Improved tonal balance

— • Increased dimensionality of the soundstage 

— • Massive reduction of background noise 

How to Upgrade Your Loudspeakers

For most people, loudspeakers are one of the biggest investments they’ll make in their hifi system. When making a purchase of this size, there are many things to consider, not least of which is how they actually sound in your space! When you land on a decision, you are no doubt happy with the performance, but did you know that you can get even more out of your loudspeakers with just two simple upgrades?  

Upgrading your loudspeaker cables is an easy enhancement that makes a huge impact in terms of performance quality. Nordost is renowned for its commitment to the precision and quality build of its audio cables, and its loudspeaker cable design and performance are what put it on the map. 

Nordost’s unique, flat speaker cable design has the following benefits: 

  • Minimized Strand Interaction
  • Optimized Mechanical Resonances 
  • Decreased Skin Effect 
  • Reduction in Physical Surface Contact 

This is the perfect equation to yield a low capacitance, low inductance speaker cable with incredibly fast transmission speeds (aka exactly what your loudspeakers need)! 

Resonance control is another simple, yet impactful upgrade that can be a total game changer for loudspeakers. Internal vibration is an unavoidable byproduct of loudspeakers; Sort Füt is the solution. Nordost’s Sort Füt is a mechanically tuned resonance control device that eliminates the unwanted internal vibrations that loudspeakers generate, by providing a direct path for extraneous energy to escape from speaker chassis.

What audible improvements can you expect using Nordost’s Sort Füt? 

  • Reduction of Intermodulation Distortion 
  • Increase in Tonal and Textural Details 
  • Expanded System Dynamics 

Whether you choose to enhance your loudspeakers with Nordost speaker cables, Sort Füt, or both, you will be investing in a significant upgrade that will truly impact how you interact with your music for the better. Why not get the most out of the speakers you already own and love? 

2023 Blog Round-Up

What better way to start off the new year than by giving the people what they “liked” most throughout the past year, all in one spot! This 2023 blog round-up includes our posts from last year that received the most engagement, whether that be likes, shares, comments, retweets, Instagram reactions, or however you feel like measuring nowadays. Here are your favorite blogs of 2023!  

Questions and Answers: Grounding

Recently, the idea and means of artificial grounding have been a hot topic in the audio industry. Effective electrical grounding in a hifi audio system can mean the difference between enjoying your music and falling in love with it. System noise is a complicated and incessant problem for so many, so why not answer all of your questions in one place?   

Audio Cable Looms Explained

What is a loom of cables, and why does it matter in the context of a sound system? This blog explores the idea of cable signatures, mixing cable brands, and shows you how to get the most cohesive sound from your hifi equipment. 

Questions and Answers: QSINE and QWAVE

Since their launch in May at the High End in Munich, people have been very curious about our new QRT Plug-Ins. With every new technology and new product there will be questions that need to be answered. We want to make sure that you get all your answers as easily as possible, so we have put some of our most frequently asked and answered questions together here!

Questions and 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. In this blog, we answer your questions about the QBASE Mark III, including how it compares to the QBASE Mark II.

The Perfect Turntable Upgrades

The resurgence of vinyl has taken the audio market by storm. Just like any hifi lover, vinyl junkies are sure to want to make the most out of their purchases. If you’re looking for an easy upgrade to elevate your listening experience switching out your standard tonearm cable and power cord is where to start. This blog lets you know what to expect from those very upgrades.  

QRT Family Explained 

Nordost’s QRT family consists of several impressive audio enhancers. Each of these offerings works as an individually contained solution, with unique objectives for alleviating the poor power quality that impacts audio systems. We understand that sometimes it’s hard to keep all of these QRT products straight, so in this blog, we briefly explain each QRT solution on the market and the distinctive benefits that they bring to a system. 

How to Upgrade your Amplifier

As hifi enthusiasts, we shell out big money to purchase the components that will give us the best possible sound. A lot of deliberation goes into our purchases to determine the right fit for our systems. But did you know that your consideration shouldn’t stop there? In this blog we show you how Nordost products can ensure you maximize the potential of your amplifier. 

Music to Help Set-Up and Understand Your Hifi System

Evaluating your system can be a daunting task. At Nordost, we understand your frustration, and we’re here to help! In this blog, we will take you through several tracks that you can use to help fine-tune your speakers, assess how your components interact, and just see if you are getting the most out of your system.

Dealer Spotlight: HiFi Hub

By Bjorn Bengtsson

Join me in welcoming one of the newest high-end stores in the world, HiFi Hub! But don’t be fooled by its recent November launch date, there are definitely no newbies behind this massive undertaking!  

Henning Morken and Øystein Hasnes are two incredibly well-seasoned HiFi professionals with 30 years in the game between them. As with many in this industry, their journey into hifi started with a genuine interest in music: Henning’s interest relates to his background in the music industry; for Øystein, this means years of actively playing in various big bands and marching bands. The two met at one of Scandinavia’s biggest HiFi stores, where they worked together for 13 years. Recently, however, they decided to fulfill their hifi dreams– opening an establishment of their own. 

True to form, the duo fulfilled their dream with an “all or nothing” attitude and started HiFi Hub with a BANG! When you visit HiFi Hub, you’re met with a three-story villa, outfitted with five, beautifully furnished and fully equipped listening rooms. One of the great things about having five listening rooms at your disposal is that you can listen to various levels of components so that you can match your desired sound experience with your preferred price point.  

HiFi Hub is conveniently located 10 minutes from the Oslo Airport and 20 minutes from the Oslo city center, so it is easy to visit. However, Henning and Øystein completely understand the importance of auditioning audio gear in your own listening environment. To aid in that, they offer extensive opportunities for home visits to ensure well-educated equipment purchases.

Nordost Playlist – January 2024

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 January.

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

  1. I Want You–Moloko–Statues 
  2. Other People–Beach House–Bloom
  3. Lazarus–David Bowie–Blackstar
  4. Raise Your Weapon–deadmau5, Greta Svabo Bech–5 Years of mau5
  5. Anchor–Novo Amor–Bathing Beach
  6. Angel from Montgomery-Live–Susan Tedeschi–Live From Austin, TX
  7. Sway–Diana Krall–Turn Up The Quiet 
  8. Fare Thee Well, Miss Carousel–Townes Van Zandt–Townes Van Zandt
  9. Wondering Why–The Red Clay Strays–Moment of Truth 
  10. Duplo Sentido–Tetê da Bahia–Mr Bongo Record Club, Vol. 5