QSA : My take on their expensive products

auricgoldfinger

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Dec 8, 2019
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Colour me curious about the QSA fuses.

I have long felt that fuses can contribute towards better sound quality however recent experiences with a couple of recalcitrant pieces of equipment and serial blowing brands put this investigation on the backburner for me.

Watching as the reviews and private recommendations emerge, it struck me that there was somewhat of a no man’s land for feedback on their middle tier models so I chatted with Steve at QSA and he kindly sent me a examples of most models to evaluate and report on here for others. There isn’t any commercial agenda on my part, I’m not going to be reselling this brand and all of my purchases from QSA are on regular industry terms.

As you can see in the photo below, there are 6 fuses. The top two are Silver models for my @Taiko Audio Extreme and Lampizator Baltic dac, which I bought purely on the strength of endorsements from trusted users. What might however be more interesting for others is how the less expensive models compare and where the performance / value sweet-spot might lie. Since I feel there are already quite a few comparative reports on the yellow model, Steve has sent me crystal Blue / Purple / Red / Red-Black models.

Unfortunately time is limited before I leave for a family break, so I will give the fuses each an initial first impression report over the weekend and repeat again later after each has had two days of burn in. I’ll use the Baltic dac for this test as it is very responsive to power and can be rebooted immediately, unlike the Extreme.

Later in July, I will revisit after each fuse has had some proper burn in time and attempt to comment on the notable differences whilst going in both direction, up and down, the model hierarchy.

View attachment 95109

This comparison will be very interesting. I'm wondering why you decided on the Crystal rather than the QSA line.
 
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Sablon Audio

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This comparison will be very interesting. I'm wondering why you decided on the Crystal rather than the QSA line.
I didn’t, it’s what he chose to send to me :)
 
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Willgolf

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Jul 22, 2019
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Thank you for your future reviews. I have yellow in all of my equipment now. Previously SR orange. I am thinking Red for my Lampi Horizon when it finally comes and maybe Violet for my Lucas Audio MS. Did Steve talk to you at all about Duplex boxes? I am a believer in Fuses but the price point of Red/ Black and Silver are beyond my budget this year. Thank you crashing stock market/.
 

Willgolf

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Jul 22, 2019
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@Willgolf - I totally understand your concern about value. I already have a Silver duplex feeding my system.
I have the SR orange duplex outlets. I wonder how much better the QSA would be? Can you discern which provides more value...the fuses or the outlets?
 

Barry2013

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Oct 12, 2013
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Colour me curious about the QSA fuses.

I have long felt that fuses can contribute towards better sound quality however recent experiences with a couple of recalcitrant pieces of equipment and serial blowing brands put this investigation on the backburner for me.

Watching as the reviews and private recommendations emerge, it struck me that there was somewhat of a no man’s land for feedback on their middle tier models so I chatted with Steve at QSA and he kindly sent me a examples of most models to evaluate and report on here for others. There isn’t any commercial agenda on my part, I’m not going to be reselling this brand and all of my purchases from QSA are on regular industry terms.

As you can see in the photo below, there are 6 fuses. The top two are Silver models for my @Taiko Audio Extreme and Lampizator Baltic dac, which I bought purely on the strength of endorsements from trusted users. What might however be more interesting for others is how the less expensive models compare and where the performance / value sweet-spot might lie. Since I feel there are already quite a few comparative reports on the yellow model, Steve has sent me crystal Blue / Purple / Red / Red-Black models.

Unfortunately time is limited before I leave for a family break, so I will give the fuses each an initial first impression report over the weekend and repeat again later after each has had two days of burn in. I’ll use the Baltic dac for this test as it is very responsive to power and can be rebooted immediately, unlike the Extreme.

Later in July, I will revisit after each fuse has had some proper burn in time and attempt to comment on the notable differences whilst going in both direction, up and down, the model hierarchy.

View attachment 95109
That is good news so thank you for your efforts to date and I will look forward to reading the outcome of the planned further work.
 
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highstream

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Nov 16, 2013
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I didn’t, it’s what he chose to send to me :)

It would help to know what the differences between the series are, other than the price. The Crystal series ranges from four times the price for Black to 50% more at the top.
 

auricgoldfinger

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Dec 8, 2019
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It would help to know what the differences between the series are, other than the price. The Crystal series ranges from four times the price for Black to 50% more at the top.

The crystal series is designed to be more transparent, based on what I have been told by several friends with both crystal and QSA silver fuses in their systems.
 
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highstream

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The crystal series is designed to be more transparent, based on what I have been told by several friends with both crystal and QSA silver fuses in their systems.

Thanks. I've found that an emphasis on transparency is typically coupled with, or achieved with, a cooler ("neutral") tonality. I wouldn't call the QSA line neutral in that sense.
 

Sablon Audio

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May 22, 2015
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I have the SR orange duplex outlets. I wonder how much better the QSA would be? Can you discern which provides more value...the fuses or the outlets?
Hmmm, that might be a difficult one for me to predict. Not only do I not know the STO duplex but my entire system is driven off a single wall duplex which isn’t easy to access.

Unfortunately, UPS have now delayed delivery until Monday.
 

Sablon Audio

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May 22, 2015
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Any word on the QSA shipment?
The fuses arrived late on Monday and I have had the Silvers percolating over the last couple of days. I’ll give a report on these later but am unlikely to have more time for the other models before I leave on Saturday.
 
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scotty7x17

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Jul 16, 2022
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New to this forum, nice to see an alternative to the 'Gon. I am an avid tweaker...so, very curious to other fellow tweakers looking to improve their listening experience. I have tried the SR fuses, and upgraded over time, but have not tried the purple. A few months ago, I demo'd a QSA Red fuse, here are my impressions...
It took longer than anticipated for break in...and it was rather 'wonky' - going from dark to bright, to finally settling in...I liked it and kept it - I would give it at least two weeks to a month. While natural and relaxed, still detailed, very airy, open and expansive soundstage, it does lean a tad toward the warm side in my system. Overall very relaxed musical and enjoyable, but on some recordings it may be a bit too much, but in general and most recordings I liked what it did, so I kept it. in other words, in recordings that leaned heavier in the mid bass, it may lean a little more to that side than you may like...

But overall, it was an overall improvement worth keeping. Overall impressions - definitely worth auditioning, but to the end user it is system dependent and perhaps the leaning of your recordings. I listen to acoustic Jazz, classical (large scale) and various female jazz/folk, etc.
 

Willgolf

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Jul 22, 2019
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New to this forum, nice to see an alternative to the 'Gon. I am an avid tweaker...so, very curious to other fellow tweakers looking to improve their listening experience. I have tried the SR fuses, and upgraded over time, but have not tried the purple. A few months ago, I demo'd a QSA Red fuse, here are my impressions...
It took longer than anticipated for break in...and it was rather 'wonky' - going from dark to bright, to finally settling in...I liked it and kept it - I would give it at least two weeks to a month. While natural and relaxed, still detailed, very airy, open and expansive soundstage, it does lean a tad toward the warm side in my system. Overall very relaxed musical and enjoyable, but on some recordings it may be a bit too much, but in general and most recordings I liked what it did, so I kept it. in other words, in recordings that leaned heavier in the mid bass, it may lean a little more to that side than you may like...

But overall, it was an overall improvement worth keeping. Overall impressions - definitely worth auditioning, but to the end user it is system dependent and perhaps the leaning of your recordings. I listen to acoustic Jazz, classical (large scale) and various female jazz/folk, etc.
First off, welcome to WBF. I was a long-time proponent of Agon until I found this site. The level of information and nonarrogant people is enjoyable compared to Agon.

Even though you kept the QSA Red do you think it was worth the $1100 increase vs the SR? I had every SR fuse except purple and now have QSA yellow, My plan when I get my Lampi HoriZon is to put a QSA red into it.
 

highstream

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Nov 16, 2013
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scotty, Welcome. I would agree that the QSA Reds are a little on the warm side, which is as the pro reviews have suggested (I like a bit warm). However, which SR's are/were you using? Unlike the Blue's, the Orange's are on the warm side (as are the Purples), so you may have created an additive effect.

Until three weeks ago, I'd been using Reds in my Lampi dac and Supratek preamp, with a Purple in the PS Audio P15 regenerator, Audio Magic Ultimate Premier's in ATC SCM 50 active towers and SR Orange's in my JL Audio subs. Holding tubes constant, the sound with that configuration is best described as "alive" (not the same as "live"), excitingly so in the best of senses, although sometimes too much depending on the recording. Barely warm, but not the stereotypical neutral, which I can't stand. After awhile, I began to wonder if this is for real tonally or maybe playing to hearing proclivities, in the way radio stations and commercial sound engineers do with an emphasized upper midrange. So I swapped SR Purples into the ATCs and gave them two weeks plus to burn in. With them, the sound became warm, pleasantly so and very listenable, but that previous sense of life had been lost. A little too comfortable. Maybe I had been spoiled. Just yesterday morning, I took the next experimental step and put a previously used Ultimate Premier in the regenerator, replacing the Purple. After 12 hours -- perhaps not enough -- there was more life and clearer bass, but an edginess that I didn't like. Will have to see in the next day or so. Given the change in economic conditions, I've been holding back with going on with more QSA's.
 
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Huy Hoang

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Jan 5, 2019
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Threre has been another WBF thread on QSA fuses for some weeks already, but I still want to share with WBF brothers my personal audition/comparison experience.

Disclaimer : I am NOT in anyway in the music/hifi industry in Hong Kong.
I am only an audiophile and consumer.

All WBF brothers who have real audition experience in QSA products are most welcome to share their experience in this thread.
Many thanks in advance!

Let's start by giving a concise summary of my views :
(1) Are QSA products expensive? Yes, they are ridulously expensive, particularly their higher models.

(2) Is the comapny's expalnations of how QSA products work believable? No, I don't think so.

(3) Do they work? Yes, they deliver! They offer very audible sonic improvements, not merely changes.

(4) Are they worth their high prices? This is personal judgement. Very subjective.
For example, I myself am willing to buy their power receptacles but not their fuses.

Let me describe my audition of them and my views by the several following posts.
Dear Mr. CKKeung, do you have any comment when compare Brown Brimar Graphene Fuse versus QSA fuses?
Currently I'm own a set of Brimar Graphene fuses and it's out perform all the SR fuses line at a different level of sound quality.
Thank you very much.
 
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highstream

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Nov 16, 2013
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Where does one even find Brimar fuses. The brimar.net site is no longer.
 

CKKeung

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Jun 18, 2011
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Where does one even find Brimar fuses. The brimar.net site is no longer.
Hi highstream,

The Brimar Huy Hoang is referring to is not the old UK brand Brimar.
IMG_20220918_074712.jpg
There is actually currently a Brimar brand selling hi-end audiophile accessories in Hong Kong, Mainland China and South Korea.
They are most famous for their audiophile fuses.
However I an not sure how they got/registered the brand name of Brimar.
 

highstream

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Nov 16, 2013
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I knew that and found a 2017 review in Mono & Stereo, but the link given is no more.
 
Last edited:

Cellcbern

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Jul 31, 2015
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Hi highstream,

The Brimar Huy Hoang is referring to is not the old UK brand Brimar.
View attachment 98017
There is actually currently a Brimar brand selling hi-end audiophile accessories in Hong Kong, Mainland China and South Korea.
They are most famous for their audiophile fuses.
However I an not sure how they got/registered the brand name of Brimar.
I have some of these “Brimar” fuses which I purchased online. Very good quality for the price. They are Asian made and supposedly treated (by Telos) with the same process as the more expensive Telos fuses.
 

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