When we embarked on getting Quiescent off the ground, our plan was always to take our experience of improving the performance of high-end audio systems inside the components themselves. So the obvious questions are why have we chosen to launch a component which sits outside the components and what is so special about the Peak Modules?
To answer this question, we first have to look at our heritage and what we have found when "fixing" problems in other manufacturers' setups. Vertex AQ has been successful at draining unwanted disruptive and damaging signals to bring overall improvements in soundstage, musicality and tonal accuracy. The Moncayo and its variants are being used worldwide by many happy enthusiasts and some reviewers have elected to keep these products in their reference systems. In designing our first power amplifier we decided to take the Moncayo inside the back of the component itself which brings obvious benefits. But we also wanted to see what we could do with a tried and tested product to provide a significant leap in performance.
From a product development perspective, the main difference between Quiescent and Vertex AQ is in our engineering and design capability. Whereas before we relied on selecting the best off-the-shelf sub components to make our products, we are now able to design and model components exactly as we want them. Just like when the group New Order wrote the track Blue Monday to test out their new drum machine, we decided to design the Peak Modules with our new-found freedom in applying our knowledge of mathematics and physics to the product form and behavior.
OK so the gloves were off. Any rules that we had to stick to could now be broken. The Peak Module, at its incept, was the rule-breaker. We wanted the module itself to become an acoustic labyrinth and we also wanted it to be beautiful to look and practical to use. From the carefully crafted circular pattern running down the side to the precision machining to create the ideal form for our internal absorption techniques, the Peak really is a first in so many ways.
Now we suspected that the Peak modules would be good and, indeed, our modeling led us to the same conclusions but we were astounded at the improvements over our current reference standard of the hi-Rez Moncayo. The ease of presentation, speed and bounce, imaging and soundstage and general overall improved accuracy of tonal expression are all instantly noticeable. But there is more to it. When I first put these into our test system of early Quiescent technology demonstrator components with some very fine loudspeakers, I could tell that our design hunches were to be proven correct. After two weeks from the date of manufacture, the Peak Modules improve considerably as the materials stabilize. It is at this time that I started to hear cymbals actually sound like large metal objects being struck. Bass lines are strong and rhythmic, vocal presence unnerving.
So now that we've tested our so-called "drum machine", is the Peak here to stay? In short, YES! What we have demonstrated to ourselves is that the technology going into our components will bring the benefits that we are expecting but more than this, we are proud to have a product which will bring significant benefits to many customers with systems of many different types and configuration. Early customers have expressed complete satisfaction with their purchases and I am sure our marketing gurus will not miss an opportunity to get their comments up on the web site soon. But I could not resist writing this blog to emphasize just how important we think the product is and the benefits it brings when used.
Happy Listening – Nigel Payne