Deconstructing the QRT Qx2/Qx4 for the masses
by Jon Baker
Perhaps the most troublesome component of any audio system is the power grid. It’s a problem not easily understood, and as a matter of fact, the problems seem to be getting much worse. Why? With new technologies such as wireless and cellular, the electrical grid has become polluted and distorted, rearing its ugly-head at the most sensitive point, your home. It’s frequently hard to recognize these issues – think of it like pollution in our urban cities. It’s usually difficult to comprehend the problem until a storm rolls through and either washes or blows the muck away. The QRT technology has a similar effect riding your audio solution’s pollution.
Historically, the provided solutions have been to use filters. However, these solutions can choke a system and add some unwanted, nasty side-effects, such as decreased dynamics or a picture quality which is flat and two-dimensional. Nordost’s power management solutions employ three fundamental concepts to cure power inconsistencies from the outlets in your home, one mechanical and the others using the power of field generators to influence the power coming out of your wall receptacles. The initial R&D was developed for the celebrated, award-winning Thor, and over the years the technology has been refined and expanded upon.
I’ll begin with the chassis – all QRT power solutions (Qx4 and Qx2) use simple mechanics. The chassis for the QRT products are mechanically tuned, meaning the Qx2/Qx4 are designed and tooled to specific dimensions with the end caps being made from high quality billet aluminum. The tuning and shear weight of the Qx2 and Qx4 create a mechanically grounded environment which is extremely important for the QRT system to work properly.
The foundation of the Qx4 technology employs the use of field generators— two for the Qx2 and four for the Qx4. The QRT field generators don’t impede the power line, and therefore, unlike many other currently available solutions, the Qx2 and Qx4 don’t limit either the source impedance or peak current. Rather, the field generators act at the source of the problem, reducing negative EMF and RFI effects, as well as improving the consistency and regularity of the AC waveform. The QRT system does all this without limiting the voltage swing or altering the impedance of the AC supply. QRT allows energy to change from one state to the next in a more orderly and coherent manner. The result is a reduction in the total error of a little over 5%, or in other words, a reduction of 50% in the error value!
The last of the primary benefits the QRT system offers is related to an element of the chassis design. Remember those billet end-caps I mentioned a bit ago? Well, they contribute beyond mechanical tuning and resonance control. Because of their heft, they act as a “book end” for the QRT field generators, limiting the directionality of the field generators vertically. This is why QRT placement in your entertainment system is extremely important. When placed in the center of the rack system (meaning- middle of the rack) the Qx2 or Qx4 field generators also influence the components around the system in the same way they do the AC waveform. The components’ power supplies are cleared of undesirable, EMF and RFI. You could consider this a QRT “ecosystem” so to speak, and when using multiple QRT products in your entertainment system, a multiplying effect is created.