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Need some insight on importing Q Acoustics 3020

Mar 5, 2016
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I've recently purchased the Yamaha HS5 Studio monitors on a whim because of a great deal, but I am beginning to second guess my decision because I am no longer mixing and would rather have a pair of hifi speakers around the same price range to just listen and enjoy music. My search has brought me to the Q Acoustics 3020, and every review I've read has been beaming with praise, especially at its relatively cheap price point. However, I noticed that Q Acoustics is a UK based brand, and there doesn't seem to be any major suppliers that ship to the US (besides Ebay). While I was extremely close to purchasing these and just paying the import fees, the thought occured to me that there may be a reason why they don't ship to America.

With all of that said, I wanted to ask if anyone hear can possibly give me any insight on this matter? Could it be that since the electrical output standards in the US vary from the European standards, it is possible that I would not be able to supply enough power to these speakers using traditional US outlets? I don't want to jump the gun and pay shipping and import fees on a product that won't even turn on when I plug it in. Could there be other reasons why Q Acoustics doesn't ship any of their products to the U.S?

If it's only wishful thinking for me to acquire a pair of the 3020's, could anyone point me in the direction of a pair of hifi speakers they would recommend in America? My HS5's sound great and all but my interests are geared more towards having a pair that makes music sound amazing, versus a pair that is flat and allows one to easily identify flaws and unbalances in the music (as all great studio monitors are designed to do). Any insight or help is appreciated!
 

davedotco

New member
Apr 24, 2013
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For some reason Q Acoustics are not marketed in the USA. No idea why...*unknw*

However they are conventional passive speakers and will work off any amplifier, naturally better amps will sound better, some will work better than others, usual hi-fi differences.

Regarding your HS5s, I do not know what you have compared then to, but set up on good stands and positioned properly, as you would any decent hi-fi speaker, they can sound pretty amazing. (Personall viewpoint here, I like my music reproduced with punch and presence, something the HS5s do rather better than most budget hi-fi speakers.)

One tip for the HS5s, use the adjustments on the rear, for hi-fi use I reduce the HF (-2dB) and the bass slightly too. That works for me, you might be different but they do make a difference.
 
Mar 5, 2016
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However they are conventional passive speakers and will work off any amplifier, naturally better amps will sound better, some will work better than others, usual hi-fi differences.
Thanks for the input. So I understand that any appropriate amp can power the Q Acoustics, but can I be sure I won't have any issues plugging them into a U.S. standard outlet (120V, 60HZ on a US outlet vs 240V, 50HZ on a UK outlet)? Will I probably need a converter to plug them into U.S. outlets?

Are there any hi-fi speakers compariable to the Q Acoustics 3020 in the same price range? Thanks again.
 

DougK

Well-known member
Dec 8, 2013
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Jason Tan said:
However they are conventional passive speakers and will work off any amplifier, naturally better amps will sound better, some will work better than others, usual hi-fi differences.
Thanks for the input. So I understand that any appropriate amp can power the Q Acoustics, but can I be sure I won't have any issues plugging them into a U.S. standard outlet (120V, 60HZ on a US outlet vs 240V, 50HZ on a UK outlet)? Will I probably need a converter to plug them into U.S. outlets?

Are there any hi-fi speakers compariable to the Q Acoustics 3020 in the same price range? Thanks again.
Jason, these aren't active speakers, they are passive, so why would you want to plug them into a mains outlet?
 
Mar 5, 2016
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Jason, these aren't active speakers, they are passive, so why would you want to plug them into a mains outlet?
Ah.. my mistake. So being passive, that means it connects to the amp, which is then plugged into a main outlet? And I can connect a laptop/phone/tv/whatever to that amp as input? Sorry, I'm a bit new to hifi so I might be a little slow..

With that said, if I don't want to go through the trouble of importing the Q Acoustics, are there comparable, or even better options for around the same price point (lets say $400 or less)? I'd also like a pair that have a a compatible wall mount because I'm sort of lacking space on my desk for them.
 

DougK

Well-known member
Dec 8, 2013
764
455
11,270
Jason Tan said:
Jason, these aren't active speakers, they are passive, so why would you want to plug them into a mains outlet?
Ah.. my mistake. So being passive, that means it connects to the amp, which is then plugged into a main outlet? And I can connect a laptop/phone/tv/whatever to that amp as input? Sorry, I'm a bit new to hifi so I might be a little slow..

With that said, if I don't want to go through the trouble of importing the Q Acoustics, are there comparable, or even better options for around the same price point (lets say $400 or less)? I'd also like a pair that have a a compatible wall mount because I'm sort of lacking space on my desk for them.
Yep, with passive you'll need an amp to drive them. You're not slow Jason, just a newbie, we all have to start somewhere *smile*

Being in the UK I have very little knowledge of what is available in the US, but there are plenty of guys on here who are very knowledgeable. Give them some time, say a day or so, and I'm sure they'll be able to point you in a good direction. Sorry I can't be of any more assistance to you.

PS. Are Boston Acoustics available Stateside?
 

Benedict_Arnold

New member
Jan 16, 2013
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Let's start with some basics.

Anything for hi-fi you import into the US from overseas is going to cost you 35% import duty. Don't bother.

There are good speakers from the likes of Polk, Klipsch and Martin Logan, and yes, Boston Accoustics (the hint to where they originally came from is in the name) that are made in the US, and brands like Monitor Audio, B&W, etc. that originated in the UK, but are probably imported from China just like everything else these days. You can shop at Bestbuy or on line at Crutchfield, Amazon, etc. and find a pair of speakers within your budget. If you look around you can extend your buying power significantly by buying open box, ex-demonstrator or just plain second hand on EBay.

Now. If you want a "proper stereo" not a surround sound system, you need a source, an amplifier and a pair of speakers, plus the wires to connect them all together.

Your source can be a turntable for vinyl (old school but catching back on with the Millenials, I'm told), a CD player (or a DVD player of a Blu-Ray player with audio and / or ditigal outputs in addition to the HDMI feed for your TV), an i-something or other, a laptop or desktop.

Entry level turntables from Pro-Ject or Rega would be a good starting point. CD players are two a penny, as are DVD and Blu-Ray players. Just go to Bestbuy and pick one you like - they won't sound all that different in reality.

As a basic entry level amplifier I would suggest something like an Onkyo A-9050 ($400), Cambridge Azur A-351 (very i-pod / i-phone pad compatible) ($350) or something from the Yamaha R-S range ($150 to $500 depending on model). I would suggest you buy one with a built-in digital to analogue converter (DAC) to handle digital sources.

If you want FM radio as well, buy a Receiver, not an amplifier. The receiver has a radio tuner built into it.

If you want to play vinyl you need a turntable with a built-in phono pre-amp (not very common), a USB or digitial output (quite common these days), a separate phone pre-amp (I would look at Pro-Ject models starting at around $100) or an amplifier / receiver with a dedicated "Phono" channel input. The output from turntables is very low power compared to CD players, etc. and needs to be boosted, or "amplified" before you can feed it into an amplifier or receiver without a dedicated "Phono" or "turntable" input - which will have the necessary additional pre-amplifier built in.

I would then add some fair speakers from Polk or Klipsch (or, yes, Boston Accosutics), either bookshelf speakers or floor standers, say between $300 and $600 a pair. Watch out though - Bestbuy and other price a lot of their stereo speakers per item, and you need TWO speakers, remember.

Start off with some basic interconnect cables bought from Amazon (not inside Bestbuy -they're a rip-off). If in doubt, use the free ones that come with the units or some really cheap ones from Radioshack (or Target even) and some basic cheap speaker wire (Lowes, Home Depot, Radioshack, Target), get a buddy to help you hook everything up and test it, then upgrade your interconnect cables from there.

About $1000 should see you with a decent enough entry level CD player, amp and speakers.
 

Benedict_Arnold

New member
Jan 16, 2013
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PS most speakers don't require any mains electricity, unless they're "active" and have amplifiers built into them. The reason Q Accoustics aren't imported is probably because there's not enough profit in it for Q Accoustics to do so, or they don't make enough units to satisfy European demand, let alone the potential US demand. B&W and other "British" brands sold in the US are usually actually made in China or somewhere where labor is cheap, unless you move up to some of the high end (i.e. expensive) brands.
 
Mar 5, 2016
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Thanks for everyone's feedback! I found a PAIR of lightly used KEF Q-100 speakers for about $250 (seeing them retail $550 makes me believe this is a steal). Has anyone tried these out and thought they were good, especially at that price? I've seen mixed reviews but mainly because I've seen them compared to higher end speakers like it's own Q-300 counterpart. For budget speakers, are they on a different tier from the Q Acoustics 3020, or are they comparable?
 

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