Horrible experience with Q Acoustics 2020i

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BigH

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Dec 29, 2012
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I put Chris Robinson in Deezer for that album and it also came up with Little Feat, now Little Feat track Long DIstance Love is a test track I used for demos as some speakers can't handle the bass guitar intro. Try that on your system, don't play it too loud.
 

Vladimir

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Dec 26, 2013
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Interesting thing is that the woofers died and not the tweeters as usual when speakers are overloaded. I see on Q Acoustics website the tweeters have ferro-fluid cooling so the woofers are the weak link apparently. My guess is cheap OEM car drivers, nothing else would make sense at this price.
 

MaxD

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Jun 15, 2014
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BigH said:
I put Chris Robinson in Deezer for that album and it also came up with Little Feat, now Little Feat track Long DIstance Love is a test track I used for demos as some speakers can't handle the bass guitar intro. Try that on your system, don't play it too loud.

Ohhh Lowell George (RIP) is/was one of my favourite singer of all time! So much memory, I can even play a lot of Feat stuff, starting from Willin', people said I can do it very well with my bottleneck guitar :)

Well, just get the LP from my library, 1975, The Last Record album, Long Distance Love is playing just now: 87 db from SPL Meter, the bass line is great and it sound sooo tight and controlled over the MA BX2. NAD D 3020 is fixed at like - 10 db, sound is so good.

I want to try play the same song using my Spotify account and APTX Bluetooth over the NAD D 3020, it had APTX server in the firmware and I sometimes use it with so much satisfaction.

Here we listen together: heeee LPs always sound better than the Spotify sound is not bad, the sound is a bit lighter compared to the LP, then it is still pretty much hi-fi.

Thankx to bring those Little Feat memories to me. One of my regret is I didn't had the time to see Lowell George live, I had just listen million times Waiting For Columbus when I was 16. And I remember I was playin my radio show when Lowell was found dead.
 

steve_1979

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Jul 14, 2010
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MaxD said:
Read my previous post: 2020i were fried using D 3020 INTERNAL DAC, DragonFly was bought AFTER for the laptop and then used also with the NAD D 3020

Ahhh sorry I misread it. :)

The other points still stand though:

+ an underpowered amp turned up to full volume

+ difficult(ish) to drive budget speakers

= excessive clipping and burned out voice coils

MaxD said:
About the clipping: as a recording technician too, for me clipping means when I turn out too much some mic on the board, voice clips. I correct this in the studio, like I think every engineer in this world do! I never heard the same clip noise on a cd or LP becouse they are corrected before, usually the clip I say can destroy tweeters not woofers and BTW I never heard such a sound on my stereos, I mean my hi-fi. Never ever with the 2020i, they just cranked the bass (1st pair, exchanged and now working in a new home, like seller said to me); the failing pair simply stopped to play and woofer were gone.

With the amp turned up full it would almost certainly be clipping. As a recording technician I'm suprised that you wouldn't already know that.

I'm also suprised it didn't kill the tweeters first though. Hay ho.
 

steve_1979

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Jul 14, 2010
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lindsayt said:
Does that mean you're willing to take on my sporting bet?

No because "Your 300 watt amp won't be clipping so it's much less likely to damage speakers than a 30 watt amp that is clipping." :read: :)

lindsayt said:
I suspect that the Q Acoustics 75 watt power handling specification may be over-optimistic. I suspect 10 watts may be enough to blow them.

There are other variables to consider. Very short peaks of 10 watts would probably be fine. But a clipping amplifier that has long clipped (DC) peaks is much more likely to kill them.
 

MaxD

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Jun 15, 2014
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steve_1979 said:
With the amp turned up full it would almost certainly be clipping. As a recording technician I'm suprised that you wouldn't already know that.

I'm also suprised it didn't kill the tweeters first though. Hay ho.

I agree usually tweeters gone in this situations, NOT woofers. They have to be a lot weak to go. Read Vladimir post: tweeters in 2020i seems fine piece of hardware, and I can confirm they sounded really well when I got my 2020i: the weak part is the midrange/voice coul/woofer, I'm pretty sucre about it.

And it makes sense: for 150 £ and considering the tweeter is the less expensive component, they surely but a cheap woofer in it.

Q Acoustics to me sound like a very very small company, making margins becouse the speakers are decent sounding then probably they are a small bunch of people and they do not concentrate a lot on research and support. It makes sense, maybe them expensive spakers are better engineered, I can't say I just had this 2020i and it is enough.

PS: and on this I blame Whahifi reviewer: before go 5 stars, he should open the box and look inside. You can give 5 stars to a cheap speakers just listen them for - say - two hours and simply writing ohhh 96K Kate Bosh recordings sound so vivid, OST track drums so present. Come on, watch inside the box before and write: they sound good, then they are made of cheap components, be carefull.
 

Cypher

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Jun 8, 2007
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So we all are assuming now that Q Acoustics uses cheap components because one guy abused the speakers ?

That makes absolutely no sense at all.
 

steve_1979

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Jul 14, 2010
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Cypher said:
So we all are assuming now that Q Acoustics uses cheap components because one guy abused the speakers ?

That makes absolutely no sense at all.

I assume that Q Acoustics use cheap components because they only cost £150. The same could be said for most other £150 speakers too.

I used to own a pair of Q Acoustics 1010i speakers. For the very cheap price I liked them a lot. They lacked a bit of sparkle and detail and didn't go particularly loud but they're very pleasant and easy to listen to.
 

Cypher

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Jun 8, 2007
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steve_1979 said:
I assume that Q Acoustics use cheap components because they only cost £150. The same could be said for most other £150 speakers too.

Of course, I agree. But even if they use cheap components (which they do) it doesn't mean you can do everything you want with them (by turning the volume up way too loud).

How can somebody buy a NAD D3020 and listen at 95% of the volume ? It's just crazy ;)
 

Vladimir

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Dec 26, 2013
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Considering it's typical for drivers in mass produced speakers to cost 10% or less of the total retail price, I presume the woofers of the Q Acoustics 2020i cost £5 each for large quantity from Shenzhen OEM manufacturers.
 

steve_1979

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Jul 14, 2010
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Cypher said:
steve_1979 said:
I assume that Q Acoustics use cheap components because they only cost £150. The same could be said for most other £150 speakers too.

Of course, I agree. But even if they use cheap components (which they do) it doesn't mean you can do everything you want with them (by turning the volume up way too loud).

How can somebody buy a NAD D3020 and listen at 95% of the volume ? It's just crazy ;)

I agree. Turning an underpowered amplifier up to maximum volume is blatent misuse. It would damage a lot of speakers.
 

Cypher

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Jun 8, 2007
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Vladimir said:
Considering it's typical for drivers in mass produced speakers to cost 10% or less of the total retail price, I presume the woofers of the Q Acoustics 2020i cost £5 each for large quantity from Shenzhen OEM manufacturers.

You could be right, I don't know. But as long as you treat your speakers with care, nothing bad will happen ;)
 

davedotco

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Apr 24, 2013
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Vladimir said:
Considering it's typical for drivers in mass produced speakers to cost 10% or less of the total retail price, I presume the woofers of the Q Acoustics 2020i cost £5 each for large quantity from Shenzhen OEM manufacturers.

This is quite normal.

Modern manufacturing methods mean that the material cost of such products are a very small part of the cost of the finished article.

I can remember the fuss when speakers, branded to a highly respected british hi-fi company and sold in the british marketplace for several hundred pounds were revealed to have a FOB price of just £14. And these retailed for more than twice the price of the 2020i.

Trying to make a value judgement by estimating the cost of constituent components is pointless, at the end of the day you make a judgement on the price of the product in your paricular market and compare that to whatever else is available.

In this case the OP bought the wrong speaker for the application he was going to put it too, tried to make it work but the speaker failed as it was unable to handle what was asked of it.

Wrong speaker, wrong place, wrong appliction. Return the speaker ans swap it for something more appropriate for the application. Move on.

The need to blame someone, in this case the speaker manufacturer, is misguided.
 

Covenanter

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Jul 20, 2012
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£150 speaker - retailer margin £75 - manufacturer margin £25 - cost of components, manufacturing, marketing, packaging, shipping, VAT, etc £50.

Chris

PS I'm guessing never having worked in that industry but I was an FD until we sold the company and I won't be too far wrong.

PPS I used to work on the audit of a German car company. I won't tell you the name but it starts with B and the cost of the components in those cars are a very small percentage of what you the customer pay for them.
 

Neptune_Twilight

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Apr 14, 2014
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Long ago What Hi-Fi used to open speakers they tested up & marked down speakers which had tags on the drivers rather than soldered, though crimp tags seem to be on most speakers now, they also used to check how tight the drivers were (+ whether T-Bolts or wood screws were used) & mention what the cabling was like internally too - The BX's have another 50 notes a box more spent on them - Though I did open a pair of BX2;s up once and was surprised how well they were finished inside, they are hard to fault internally with thick neat cabling, the bass driver was quite heavy with a largish magnet.
 

davedotco

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Apr 24, 2013
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As I said above, material costs are a surprisingly small part of the cost of any manufactured item.

Mostly you are paying for the need of everyone involved in their production, transport sales and marketing etc to make a living.

It is how the economy works.

I have had a look around the web, Q Acoustcs have an excellent reputation with most people commenting positively on the quality of the product, their performance etc. I could find no negative comment on the 2020i whatsoever.

Soundwise, the concensus is that they are remarkable refined for their price, low distortion, very neutral and well balanced. The price you pay is a reletively low sensitivity device that will not go particular loud, though loud enough for many users.

In direct comparisons to the MAs, they show the them, the MAs, to be 'hyped', (boosted bass and treble), not particularly neutral and a bit unruly.

Fine on some kinds of music, less so on others. You pay your money..........
 

davedotco

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Covenanter said:
I've not heard all the MAs but the ones I have heard were more suitable for "pop" than classical music.

Chris

Which is pretty much what I tried to say in more diplomatic language....... ;)

I could explain at some length why I think this is the case, but the answer to questions of this type cost one trillion stars.
 

hifikrazy

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Aug 9, 2007
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steve_1979 said:
Cypher said:
steve_1979 said:
I assume that Q Acoustics use cheap components because they only cost £150. The same could be said for most other £150 speakers too.

Of course, I agree. But even if they use cheap components (which they do) it doesn't mean you can do everything you want with them (by turning the volume up way too loud).

How can somebody buy a NAD D3020 and listen at 95% of the volume ? It's just crazy ;)

I agree. Turning an underpowered amplifier up to maximum volume is blatent misuse. It would damage a lot of speakers.

Actually I'm more puzzled by why the NAD D3020 has to be turned up to 95% of the volume knob just to develop reasonable listening levels. From what the OP has described quite a few times already, he usually listens in the 80+ db range which is not excessive head banging meth head levels. I regularly listen in that range and I've never had an amp that needed to be turned up to more than 50% of its volume control to generate that kind of level regardless of the speakers' sensitivity. Neither is he sitting 50ft away trying to generate 85db at the listening position since he also mentioned that he sits only a short distance away.

MaxD, are you sure that after the reading goes from -100 to -20 and 0, that it doesn't then continue up the positive range with +20, +40 and so on? I've had AV amps that have that kind of volume reading. (Update: Just had a look at the NAD D3020 pics and my suspicion doesn't seem likely since there's only one range of numbers from -100 to 0, so I'm still at a loss why you have to turn up the volume control so high just to get decent listening level.)
 

lindsayt

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Apr 8, 2011
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steve_1979 said:
lindsayt said:
Does that mean you're willing to take on my sporting bet?

No because "Your 300 watt amp won't be clipping so it's much less likely to damage speakers than a 30 watt amp that is clipping." :read: :)

lindsayt said:
I suspect that the Q Acoustics 75 watt power handling specification may be over-optimistic. I suspect 10 watts may be enough to blow them.

There are other variables to consider. Very short peaks of 10 watts would probably be fine. But a clipping amplifier that has long clipped (DC) peaks is much more likely to kill them.
Would you like to re-read my earlier posts where I made the offer of my sporting bet?

I am betting that my totally non-clipping amp will break one or both of a new pair of 2020i's when playing music where I keep the peak power levels below 75.00000001 watts. When carrying out this test I will start at peaks of 1 watt and gradually increase the power levels over time to see at what point, if any, they do break at.

If the speakers break then I win the bet and the loser pays me £200 to cover me for the cost of the speakers and my time. If the speakers don't break then I am the loser of the bet and the winner gets £50 plus the speakers to compensate him for the risk he took in taking the bet. Is that clear?

So if you think my non-clipping amp is less likely to damage the speakers than an amp that would clip at somewhere between 40 and 65 watts (which makes a lot of sense to me) then surely that is more reason for you to take the bet?
 

lindsayt

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Apr 8, 2011
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Cypher said:
So we all are assuming now that Q Acoustics uses cheap components because one guy abused the speakers ?

That makes absolutely no sense at all.
I am making the hypothesis that a pair bought at random of 2020i's would not take 75 watts (peak) of clean unclipped musical signal without failing.

I am willing to test this hypothesis with a real life test if I think it will be worth my while.

Does that make sense to you?

If you are confident that someone using the 2020i's within the parameters recommended and specified by the manufacturer will not break them, then you might like to take me on for my bet.
 

Vladimir

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Dec 26, 2013
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Clipping is a form of waveform distortion that occurs when an amplifier is overdriven and attempts to deliver an output voltage or current beyond its maximum capability. Driving an amplifier into clipping may cause it to output power in excess of its published ratings.

...

Because the clipped waveform has more area underneath it than the smaller maximum unclipped waveform, the amplifier produces more output power. (See the waveform to the right for an example.) This extra power can cause damage to loudspeaker components, including the woofer, tweeter, or crossover, via overheating.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clipping_(audio)

400px-Clipping_1KHz_10V_DIV_clip_A_5ohms-1-.jpg
 

Neptune_Twilight

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Apr 14, 2014
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NAD used to use soft clipping' to prevent damage to speakers, according to these reviews they still do ~

http://www.techgoondu.com/2013/10/28/review-nad-d-3020-hybrid-digital-amplifier/

http://www.crutchfield.ca/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=745D3020&Show=ExtInfo
 

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