AudioQuest Quartz X3 Speaker Cables

Quartz X3

Interconnect

User Reviews (16)

Showing 1-10 of 16  
stereoguy   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 03, 2009]

Not to be confused with Topaz! Years ago a friend of mine loaned me quartz, emerald and lapis Interconnects, another gave me topaz. I rememeber thinking I couldnt believe how expensive some of these wires were. That is when I first heard the blue jacket quartz wire. Topaz was very harsh and pointy, terrible really. Lapis was hyper detailed and bright and very 3D. Qartz was different though, it was relaxed, maybe a tad "muddy" but paradoxically at the same time very detailed and with a good soundstage. A couple years later I got 2 half meter pairs and a one meter pair, I've been using them on and off for 11 years. They are the only ones I had that long and never sold. I find them to be really good for source components, used between preamp and amp their effects are more pronounced. I dont find it bright or lean. It doesnt seem to warm things up either but may fool you into that since it comes across as relaxed, really I never heard anything like it before or since, I've returned to it time and again over the years (like the other reviewer here who calls it his "default interconnect"). One hi fi reveiwer (Dick Olhsher in the now defunt Fi magazine) said it had a "natural unforced presentation of musics harmonic tapestry", a view I agree with. Plus I like having a sheilded solid core cable that is relatively affordable and with slim plugs that can actually plug into your gear! It might not be "neutral" and it might not be warm, yet it has a sound of its own and for me that sound usually serves the music well. For people who believe cable has no sound, they need to try some of this.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Ho Kim Soon   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 01, 2003]
Strength:

good detail, produce very deep bass

Weakness:

very bright, lean mid range, sound very dead.

This is an all- round cable, very transparent and first class in detail, but lots of weak point. Even many of my friends who borrowed this cable never like the sound. I am not using it for the past 2 years. perhaps it might match some systems.

Similar Products Used: Cabletalk studio 2, Monster 400 mk2, AQ Ruby, Straightwire Chorus, DNM Reson,
OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
1
pbubny   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 14, 2002]
Strength:

Smooth response; excellent clarity and soundstaging

Weakness:

Can be edgy, especially in vocals; transients are often slow and dynamics often compressed

Since this cable was discontinued some time ago (although you can still find used pairs in the online classifieds), adding a review at this point might seem moot, but I''d like to clarify a complaint made by some other Quartz users. Since I''ve used the Quartz on and off for the past five or six years as kind of a "default" cable (I plug ''em back in on a temporary basis whenever a new purchase turns out to be unsatisfactory), I''ve experienced the "backward" soundstaging effect often enough to know that it''s temporary. In fact, while you''re breaking the cables in, the "backward" effect does kick in after about 120 hours of use, as one reviewer said--and then invariably clears up a few days later IF you keep running current through the cables (i.e., by leaving the source component turned on). Plainly, the Quartzes aren''t the last word in cabling as far as I''m concerned--otherwise I would just keep them in use. They''re a little on the bright, edgy sound of neutral; they sometimes squash dynamics; and they''re a tad slow. But they do render a nice wide, deep, airy soundstage and let in plenty of information. I''m using them right now until my latest and hopefully last attempt to find suitable cabling arrives: the little-known but raved-about Clearview Ultrathins from Mapleshade Records.

Similar Products Used: Kimber Hero and PBJ; AudioQuest Ruby, Monster M1000i, Alpha-Core Micro Purl, XLO
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Norm Wallace   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 15, 2000]
Strength:

Very Clear with very good highs

Weakness:

Soundstage pushed backward,lacks speed

I purchased this cable almost one year ago. At first it made my system (Audiolab 8000A, Marantz CD-80 player, Castle Avon speakers) sound great with good dynamics and very clear tight sound. But after about 120 hours the soundstage began to appear pushed toward th back and that resulted in weaker sound and lack of attack on the drums, bass and uneven high frequncies. This is not what I call depth. I even tried other CD-Players to make sure that it was not the player.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
GanjaTron   Audiophile [Sep 03, 2000]
Strength:

Wide soundstage

Weakness:

Overly smooth, exaggerated depth, poor focus

Tried this cable in my Musical Fidelity X-RAY / X-A100R / Mission 752 setup. After listening to the bloody awful QED Silver Spiral this cable was a relief! VERY easy on the ears. And while I tend towards laid back sound I found the Quartz dull in the long run; these guys were overdoing it.

What really struck me was the bizarre imaging; the soundstage was wide but ridiculously deep (and blurry). Seemed MILES behind the speakers. Singers were trying desperately to make themselves heard somewhere off in the distance. Boy, did they sound lost! Voices sounded compressed, as if trapped in little boxes, screaming "help, lemme out"!

Like I said, this is a weird cable. I'm sure it sounds "right" in SOME systems, but it's totally outta place in mine.

Similar Products Used: QED Silver Spiral, Kimber KS-1010, MIT sumptin', Clearaudio Trident
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
4
Matt   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 10, 2000]
Strength:

Sound is easy on the ears.

Weakness:

Sounds mushy.

A day after writing a positive review for this product, I discovered that once broken in (or re-broken in after a period of disuse, the Quartz cables start to sound rather mushy. Like a previous reviewer has said, the drums and highs lack attack. The bass also gets a bit blurry. The overall sound is still pretty, but far from detailed. Some of this could be my CD player, which I have never heard through really good cables, but even with the cheaper Turquoise, there was still some "whap" in the drums, which is gone with the Quartz. Amazing what a differene a day makes.

Similar Products Used: AQ Turquoise
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
3
Matthew   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 08, 2000]
Strength:

Clear, airy sound. No harshness.

Weakness:

Hard to say, since it sounds so much better than the previous cables.

I can't make an absolute judgement on these cables, because I have not done much cable listening, and most of my equipment is not super hi fi. I have the cable running from a Cambridge Audio D500 CD player to a Bryston B60. With the Turquoise interconnects, I found the sound from the CD player to be a bit thin and jumbled; the music lacked coherence--instruments seemed very isolated from each other. All of these problems are gone with the Quartz. Sound is more forward and 3 dimensional and the harshness is gone from the highs. When I get better speakers than my Krix Equinox, I may find some problems with the cables as well as the CD player, but for now, I have no complaints. For the record, these are a rather battered demo pair that I got at a substantial discount. Also, I don't think AQ makes the Quart anymore. They are not mentioned on their website, which is quite a fun place if you are any sort of stereo nerd.

Similar Products Used: AQ Turquoise
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Jeff   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 01, 1999]
Strength:

Excellent Sound stage and accuracy great connections

I purchased these interconnects about 3 months ago to replace my Jades. The difference was most apparent. The whole soundstage completly opened up with depth and clarity. The Quart X3 brought a wholoe new sound to my system. Far excedeing my expectations. Equipment used is Parasound P/HP 850 preamp, HCA-1000 amp, and HArman Kardon FL8450 Cd player, with Paradigm Studio 60 towers. Last word these thing are worth every penny, you wont belive the difference.

Similar Products Used: Audioquest Jade
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Art S.   Audiophile [Nov 13, 2001]
Strength:

•Doesn't have the "congestion" that some other's in it's price range have. Very good value.

Weakness:

•Tonal balance is tilted upward (but not harsh), so maybe not the best match for some brighter SS components.
•Fairly stiff.

I've used a pair of Quartz' on my turntable's outputs for quite awhile, and they make for a fine match there. Very smooth sound, articulate, clean, and a bit brighter and more revealing than AQ Ruby, but still has very good low-end response. Tonal balance is tilted upward, so it's a good cable for "darker" or "richer" sounding components.

Similar Products Used: •Too many to list.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Etane   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 13, 2001]

Using this to connect CD players to amp or preamp, this cable produces a very good but slightly unrealistic sound. The sound is very clear, yet it is rounded off at the same time. There is a hole in the midrange, and the sounstage is kinda quirky.

However, using this cable as a digital coax, the quartz is superb. Give it a try, your digital front end will have an extra sense of breath in its presence. Absolutely stunning.

No 5 stars because they are only average as audio interconnects.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
3
Showing 1-10 of 16  

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