At Friday, 4 Januari 2008, I received SMS from my friend Audio Lifestyle. He asked me to come and visit Audio Lifestyle office to test two floorstander speaker (Q-Acoustics 1030 and a local brand “Langsung Jadi The Piano”). I arrived at around 2pm and here was the equipments used.

You can see below the Audio Research CD7 (source), Minuet EL34 SE, Sonic Frontiers Push Pull amplifier, Blue Circle BC3 Pre-Amp, and local made “Suara Audio” 300B Push Pull integrated amplifier).


Below is some details of the equipments used. Photo below is the Audio Research CD7 top loading CD Player.


Below is BC3 Pre-Amplifier with Power Supply unit. Blue Circle always reminds me of the funny designer of this amplifier who uses the Mickey Mouse hat. Very detail Pre-Amplifier but it has out-of-phase output (I don’t know why!). So always reverse your speaker cable polarity.


Photo below shows the Sonic Frontiers SFS-80. A Push Pull Amplifier with around 80 RMS power output. Very powerful, a little bit bright sound.

Below is a 300B Push Pull Amplifier made by Arif Hidayat (Suara Audio). It uses 300B tube from China, 5AR4 rectifier (if I remember correctly), 6SN7 as driver, and input selection between 6SL7 or Brimar CV4024 (12AT7). We did some comparison between 6SL7 and CV4024. We chose the CV4024 option which has better sound (warm vocal, less sibilant, and good instruments separation).


Below is the final setup. The outside speaker is the “Langsung Jadi The Piano” while the inside is Q-Acoustics 1030.


“Langsung Jadi The Piano” clearly has better detail (because it uses more expensive driver, Vifa from Denmark), while Q-Acoustic has less detail. But, “The Piano” looked too dominant in mid-hi frequency (live, but tends to create ear fatigue). The overall tonal balance tend to the higher frequency (too aggressive in some condition). My suggestion, we have to use more “calm” and “warm” amplifier. Changing from Sonic Frontiers to Minuet EL34 SE produced better result for “The Piano”.

While the Q-Acoustics 1030 was more likely to have “British” sounds. The high frequency details was not as good as “The Piano” (we believed the driver used at 1030 was surely cheaper than the one used at “The Piano”), but the mid vocal when playing “Ingram Washington” was excellent. We could hear the good baritone from Ingram which we couldn’t get from “The Piano”. But the port located at the front might produce some “noise” though it might not be too significant. Both speakers could produce adequate low frequency, so I put them at same level.

Overall, I would say that Q-Acoustics 1030 has better tonal balance. From the low to high, it could produce at quite same level (though it might be considered not too “open” at high frequency). The mid vocal was the best from this speaker. I would suggest the owner of this speaker to upgrade the high pass capacitor with capacitor that has brighter sound (like Siemens Silver-In-Oil Capacitor, Bennic XPP, Dynamicap, Wondercap, or maybe Hovland) to have a better high frequency from the tweeter.

At the other side, “Langsung Jadi The Piano” has “live” sound but tend to create an ear fatigue (except if you could match it with amplifier with “warmer” sound). The metal dome tweeter used from Vifa at this speaker tend to have such “live” characteristic. If you couldn’t match it with correct crossover and amplifier, ear fatigue would be the punishment for the user. But it was very easy to say that this speaker has the potential to sound good (the driver’s quality was above average, above Q-Acoustics 1030 for sure), but it might need some time and work to make it sounded at it best.