Audiovector QR1 loudspeaker

Audiovector QR1 loudspeaker


Audiovector QR1

Audiovector QR1 going through its paces

Having had no experience of Audiovector here at HF&MS it was with delight I accepted an invitation to listen to their QR range.  The QR1 is the bookshelf-style speaker in the range, characterised by Audiovector’s DNA that centres on technology-led attention to detail.

Design

The key to this QR range of loudspeakers from Audiovector is the tweeter which clearly has a considerable amount of technology in it. It flows through the range from the QR1 to the imposing QR7 floorstander.

The tweeter features AMT (Air Motion Technology) which isn’t quite a ribbon tweeter, despite its appearance. It is instead a gold leaf membrane.  This membrane is pleated, is low mass and the air is squeezed between the pleats. There is a super thin rose gold plated dispersion mesh over this leaf membrane. This mesh acts like a POP filter in a recording studio, removing unwanted sibilance. This thin mesh diaphragm is then mounted in a single piece of Aerospace Grade Aluminium that is “machined, glass blasted, brushed, and then anodized to a Tungsten Titanium Grey colour”.

The 15 cm woofer (6 inches in fact) in the QR1 is a piston design and it includes a new sandwich membrane, which “combines the strength of (more) Aerospace Grade Aluminium with the excellent inner damping properties of softer materials. The result is a 3-layer sandwich membrane with no sound of its own and very low distortion”.

Audiovector QR1

Audiovector QR1 solid, rear binding posts

There is front front-facing slot reflex port to move the air around the cabinet. The overall idea in the design, says Audiovector is to deliver “non-fatiguing and dynamic listening sessions”.

The quoted frequency response for the loudspeaker is 45 Hz – 45 kHz with an impedance quoted at 4 Ohms and sensitivity is claimed 86dB/W/m.

Quality

The loudspeakers are flawlessly finished with soft curves…

The loudspeakers are flawlessly (hand) finished with soft curves in this black gloss version.  There are in fact three finishes available, piano black, dark walnut and white silk.  The rear of the cabinets have a solid metal finish and the binding posts are solid and very satisfying.

Price – £1,300 at Renaissance Audio
Dimensions (H x W x D) – 32.5 x 19 x 23.2cm
Weight – TBA

Performance

Review Equipment

I’m using my reference an iFi Pro iDSD DAC with a Chord Electronics 2Go/2Yu streaming transport and my crispy brand new Audiolab 7000 CD transport. The loudspeakers are being driven by my Moor Amps Angel 6 power amplifier with the passive Angel preamplifier. I’m using Atlas Hyper interconnects, Atlas Mavros speaker cables with an Atlas Eos 2.5 power distribution block and Atlas power cables.

Latterly I’ve been listening with a Rega ELEX amplifier, a Naim Uniti Star all-in-one and a T+A PA 2000 R integrated amplifier.

Physically

Audiovector QR1

Audiovector QR1 tweeter has a gold leaf membrane

I have the loudspeakers on solid stands. I have found the cabinets easy to locate and generally unfussy to position. The binding posts are solid at the rear, mounted on the steel rear plate. There is no bi-wiring going on here. The grilles are nice, magnetic, and flush-fitting with a neat AudioVector logo at the bottom. Without the grille, the loudspeaker is better looking in my view with the Audiovector name emblazoned on the base driver rim.

Moor Amps Angel 6 Reference

Instrument separation can be heard clearly…

The high current Moor Amps Angel 6 is slightly over specced for these QR1s with a claimed 150W/ch into 8Ohms. However, I have a clear ear with this amplification and with the departure of the Kudos 505 Titans, I was prepared for a shift in presentation.

Happily, this shift did not occur unduly with a fine smooth, detailed and wide soundstage offered on the first listen. I left the speakers for a few hours with an Atlas burn-in disc and critical listening with a reference playlist revealed excellent detail and an impressively uncluttered delivery of Oasis’ Columbia (Qobuz, FLAC 24-bit, 44.1kHz).

Instrument separation can be heard clearly in Fleet Foxes’ Helplessness Blues (Qobuz, FLAC 24-bit, 96kHz). Switching to a slightly more subtle track like The Staves’ beautiful interpretation of Ray LaMontagne’s Jolene (Qobuz, FLAC 24-bit, 44.1kHz), you can hear from the QR1s huge amounts of detail, the vocal performance from this

Audiovector QR1

Audiovector QR1 playlist created in Qobuz

tweeter (the crossover is 3kHz) is very impressive. The potential as you look up the QR range is very enticing.

Musical Interlude

The playlist I have used for this review is here in Qobuz.

Rega ELEX

It is time to switch to the Rega ELEX (with a claimed 72W/ch into 8 Ohms); this is possibly a more suitable system match to these QR1s and it is a very pleasant experience indeed. The ELEX can be characterised as powerful and punchy, it is definitely musical with a nice balanced tone.

Again, there is plenty of detail in these loudspeakers, for example in Lana Del Rey’s ethereal Chemtrails over the Country Club (Qobuz FLAC, 24-bit, 48kHz). I’m having no trouble driving these loudspeakers despite the apparently low impedance.

Naim Uniti  Star

The Naim (offering 70W/ch) steps up and the response from the QR1s is impressive, they offer a decent partnership I have to say.  Interestingly, the Naim offers a touch more bass in the QR1s as Girl from Ipanema (Qobuz, FLAC 24-bit, 192kHz) demonstrates softly and clearly.

A slightly immature dip into Skrillex at this point with Bangarang (Qobuz, FLAC 16-bit, 44.1kHz) and KLF’s Last Train to Transcentral (Qobuz, FLAC 24-bit, 48kHz) reveals the speakers can go loud and punchy, though fractionally thumpy with the Uniti Star,  though I don’t think you’ll be using these for your next organised rave. The tweeter still delivers the cleanest range in this slight excursion. The same two tracks are a lot cleaner with the T+A amplifier.

T+A PA 2000 R

Audiovector QR1

Good looking without the grilles

This T+A amplification (claiming 100W/ch into 8 Ohms) can be more analytical and cleaner than the ELEX and the Naim, notwithstanding the price difference. There’s plenty of power on offer here too.

I hungrily search out Arooj Aftab’s Vulture Price album on Qobuz, a perfect acoustic jazz fusion of the Far and Middle East. Turning up Last Night (Qobuz FLAC, 24-bit, 96kHz) the double bass is wonderfully deep, and the resonant snare detail is very enticing. However, knowing this track very well, the low-end frequency response that forms a wonderful platform to the end of the track is limited, mainly, of course, due to the physics of this standmounted loudspeaker. Nonetheless, as I’ve intimated the higher end of this QR range feels like it may deliver this bass response (the QR3 claims a low-end response near 30Hz).

This is exactly the kind of low-frequency support I was referring to in the REL Carbon Special review a few weeks ago, though again the Carbon Special is not quite the right selection for these QR1s, price-wise,  if you do have/want a subwoofer.

Happily, I stumble across Led Zeppelin’s Gallows Pole (Qobuz FLAC, 24-bit, 96kHz) which encapsulates their third album and John Bonham’s cymbals crash cleanly through the QR1s. Speaking of which, listen to Reni’s cymbals in Waterfall (Qobuz FLAC, 16-bit, 44.1kHz), recorded when The Stone Roses were almost the biggest band in the world.

Remember; no Roses, no Oasis (comment below)!

Since I’m really enjoying the vigorous and energetic soundstage from these loudspeakers, it is time for a bit of Radiohead and Everything in Its Right Place (Qobuz FLAC, 16-bit, 44.1kHz), which makes me stop in my tracks. The electronica intro is very engaging and dynamic and it is a terrific soundstage. A peek into Pyramid Song (Qobuz FLAC, 16-bit, 44.1kHz), offers an insight into that wonderful keyboard staccato that is a feature of these two albums from Radiohead.

Thoughts

These are very vigorous and energetic loudspeakers…

These are very vigorous and energetic loudspeakers and I have had no problem driving these loudspeakers with these fairly different amplifiers. I’m reminded of the Dali Menuet SE loudspeakers that are similarly priced, finished, and brisk. We are also near the KEF LS50 Meta price point. I have not had these loudspeakers in their current form but this is the competition right here. At this time though I may prefer this QR tweeter presentation to the slightly metallic Uni-Q driver in the KEFs (and I personally own a pair of floorstanding KEF loudspeakers with Uni-Q).

Overall

My first experience with Audiovector is a very positive one. I am very impressed indeed, especially as I generally prefer a ‘heightened’ presentation as I’m more often than not listening to vocal-led pieces. I would be very interested to go up the range as this is a really admirable introduction to the brand.  I would happily recommend a good audition if this is your budget and, separately, it feels the rest of QR range should be competing up the price curve if you’re looking beyond this price point.

copyright HF&MS Ltd 2023

Love
Energetic and vibrant presentation
Build quality
Good looking without the grilles

Like
Binding Posts
Easy placement

Wish
To explore the range

Specification

Full details are on the company’s site.

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