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Resonance Synchronizer


Price (in Poland): 3190 PLN

Contact: NORDOST
93 Bartzak Dr.
Holliston, MA 01746 | USA


Provided for test by: AUDIO CENTER POLAND

am sometimes ashamed of how little we know about audio, how little we understand about it. We fly to the Moon, we are getting ready to fly to Mars, we have quite good knowledge of how the universe is changing and what its structure is, we have found thousands of planets that are similar to the Earth and we have finally “seen” a black hole, but we still cannot comprehend what (often) negative or (sometimes) positive impact a little wire, a piece of wood or aluminum foil, etc., have on the sound of recordings.

Perhaps the problem lies in our pride. Engineers “know” exactly what has impact on sound and scientists perfectly “understand” how an audio circuit works. So, they do not have to make any more effort, as the knowledge that has been delivered to them is enough. Audiophiles look down on both, as only they really “know”. Fortunately, there are still both engineers and scientists who have decided to confront the knowledge with reality. What is more, when confronted with such unbelievably rich spectrum of possibilities offered by the world of perfectionist audio, they look for new ways and fresh solutions. Many of them finally find jobs with the best companies offering high-end products.


There are quite a lot of such companies in the market, although it is not instantly noticeable how they differ from other firms that are equally reliable but use rather proven or, one might say, conventional solutions. Nordost is a shining star among them, attracting our attention by a fantastic match of reliable scientific knowledge with equally reliable knowledge of audio.

So, from time to time it comes up with solutions that would never cross the minds of other people and that seem weird even to seasoned audiophiles. The company’s latest product is the QPoint, a small device placed under or on top of an audio device, designed to eliminate electromagnetic noise:

The QPOINT Resonance Synchronizer emits a subtle field which manipulates all electromechanical resonances within its immediate proximity so that they resonate in unison with each other. By syncing these resonances, the QPOINT eliminates internal electrical noise, enhancing the coherency and timing that is typically lacking in even the most high-end audio systems.

What is the QPoint? | To cut a long story short, it is an electromagnetic wave generator, although the company name is “Resonance Synchronizer”. Wave frequency, intensity and distribution have been selected on the basis of measurement and then listening sessions. The theoretical basis is scarcely given by the manufacturer and, as I understand it, it is part of “knowledge protected” from copying. However, it would be useful to have something like a white paper that would give us more information. We can find a few tips online at the company’s FAQ page, but it is not the same as a scientific paper.

Anyway, the QPoint is a small (127 mm D x 26 mm H) aluminum cylinder with an acrylic top, powered by an 5 V DC external wall power supply. It is not the first device of this type available in the market. Let me remind you that the Acoustic Revive company has for many years been offering the REM-8 model (2,390 PLN), a battery-powered generator that is placed under the transformer. It has been used for many years by Janusz, the host of Krakow Sonic Society meetings. The Synergistic Research company also offers its own version of an active circuit of this type, the Tranquility Base platform.

The QPoint is a more complex product, however. In order to make it possible to use it in all commercially proposed audio devices, including transistor, tube, digital and analogue ones, and even to match the effect to the needs of an individual user, the system has two operational modes – I and II – emitting unique types of an electromagnetic field, lowering the noise level in different ways and thus emphasizing different elements in sound. The company describes it in the following way: “these modes make it possible to emit fields of two slightly different kinds (bpms)”. A user can switch between them and have influence on sound in this way. In Mode I, a blue micro LED light is illuminated at the front, while in Mode II – a green one.

Workmanship | The device is beautifully made of sandblasted anodized aluminum and nicely packed. Attention has been paid to such details as the connection between the power supply unit cable and the device itself – it is an excellent, probably the best connection (plug and socket) available in the market, manufactured by the Swiss LEMO company. Taking the QPoint out of the box is a real pleasure – as it can be seen, some audio companies have done their homework “thrown” into the audio world by Steve Jobs and know how important it is what the product looks like, as well as are aware of the fact that we, clients, want to feel special, as if we were being given a gift.

The QPoint belongs to a family of products that has been called QRT by the Nordost company – it is a modular system. It means that we can start with one product, e.g. the QPoint, and then add more of the elements to the system. The first step towards reaching this aim might be buying one, two or even three more QPoint devices. The next step will consist in replacing the included inexpensive power supply units with the QSource, a line power supply unit designed for six receivers. Next, we can connect artificial ground, a product called the QKore, to the ground terminal in the QSource, using special QLine ground wires. Finally, we can place the QSource and QKore on Sort Kone anti-vibration feet. Such a system was used during the High End 2019 exhibition in Munich (a photo below).


The device is perfectly made. A round leather mat is included. We can place the device on it, if we do not want to scratch the surface below. I did not want to, so I used it during the test.

We can read in the user manual that the company suggests we first place the device on or under a preamp (or an integrated amplifier). Going down the hierarchy, there are digital sources, then an analogue source and, finally, an integrated amplifier. Attention is paid to the fact that the effects may differ depending on the specific system, so it needs to be experimentally tested. One can also use a few QPoint devices under one product – the effects will add up.

As we are testing the Nordost device as part of our special edition devoted to CD players, I investigated how it works with my digital source, the SACD Ayon Audio CD-35 HF Edition (№ 1/50) player placed on the pneumatic Acoustic Revive RAF-48H platform, the platform standing on the upper shelf of the Finite Elemente Pagode Edition rack. I checked how the QPoint operates in both modes.

NORDOST in “High Fidelity”
  • TEST: Nordost LS PURPLE FLARE | speaker cable
  • TEST: Nordost WHITE LIGHTNING | analogue RCA interconnect

  • Recordings used for the test (a selec- tion)

    • Bogdan Hołownia, Chwile, Sony Music Polska 5052882, „Pre-Mastering Version”, Master CD-R (2000)
    • Chet Baker, Baker’s Holiday, Verve Records B0003279-16/SUHD 009960, Test Press SACD (1965/2004)
    • Depeche Mode, Construction Time Again, Mute/Rhino Records | Reprise Records | Sire, “Collectors Edition”, Promo CD-R+DVD-R (1983/2007)
    • Nat ‘King’ Cole, The Nat King Cole Love Songs, Master Tape Audio Lab AAD-245A, „Almost Analogue Digital”, Master CD-R (2015);
    • Polish Jazz Quartet, Polish Jazz Quartet, Polskie Nagrania „Muza”/Warner Music Poland, „Polish Jazz | vol. 3”, Master CD-R (1965/2016);

    The impact that this small device has on sound is obvious, in the sense that one can hear quite well that sound changes. However, it is less obvious how the QPoint does it. It is neither a product that introduces dramatic changes, nor one that transforms a system with problems into one without problems.

    According to what I hear, it is a product designed to complement and give the finishing touch to what is already good. If we approach it this way, the QPoint may appear to be one of the most valuable improvements to our system, even something indispensable.

    When I placed it under the Ayon player, sound became more noble. Not that I had missed anything in this respect before – on the contrary, I think that nobility is something that my system does not lack at all. However, with the blue (I will return to this later) Nordost LED light shining from under the player, the sound of the piano from Bogdan Hołownia’s Chwile… album was much deeper and softer. It was softness resulting from the natural sound of the piano played with strong emphasis on the pedal and suppressed – the QPoint showed it better than it was shown when the device was not in the system.

    The nobility that I have recalled is born where sounds come into contact with each other, not within sounds themselves. The QPoint does not change sound as such, i.e. we will not get more bass, treble, dynamics or space (name anything that your system lacks) with it. The device has impact on how sounds sound together, how they interact. However, because of this, it seems that there is more of everything and that everything is more ordered than before. When I got used to the sound of my player with the QPoint, each time I switched it off, the sound became more chaotic, smaller and brighter.

    After I had placed the device under the player, the sound of the system was more mature and tranquil. I am not talking about tranquility that is devoid of emotions, but tranquility that is full of anticipation. I was sitting in front of the speakers and listening to music, and it was simply a more pleasant and nicer experience with the QPoint. It seems to me that this is mainly about quieting something that had earlier been present “under” sound – some “anxiety” that had made the background a little blurred and dominated by the events in front of me. The American device changed it in a way that enabled me to hear better what was behind the instruments – reverberation on Hołownia’s album or the orchestra behind Nat ‘King’ Cole’s large vocal from the Love Songs album.

    The most interesting modification, however, pertains to tone color. I have just said that the QPoint does not change sound – and it is really so. However, it changes the way we perceive sound. It is perfectly audible that the musical message with the Nordost device in the system is darker, but at the same time clearer. “But what does that mean?” – you will ask. Well, it means that sound becomes deeper and the sound attack is less emphasized, yet differentiation is better. So, on the one hand, sound becomes darker and, on the other hand, more open.

    I would say this is an effect similar to what we get when we replace an ordinary power cable with a better one, with a good conductor material, screened, with decent plugs. Everything becomes instantly darker and denser with a specialized cable. It may seem to us for some time that we have lost the dynamics somewhere, as the new sound seems to be calmed down and to lack sparkle. After some time, when the detox starts having an effect, we will notice that what we had regarded to be dynamics was simplistic battering, while what we had thought of as detail was simple clamor.

    Very similar changes, though on a slightly smaller scale, take place in a system where the QPoint is placed. Sound becomes more serious, deeper and more nuanced. The treble is more fluid, darker, but much better articulated – we do not have to listen too carefully to distinguish small elements in the musical message. It was like this with the beautiful recording of the Baker’s Holliday album and with the music that, as it may seem, does not recognize such nuances, i.e. Depeche Mode’s Construction Time Again. In both cases, I could hear the role of reverberations applied onto the vocals better, while instruments in the treble sounded silkier.

    Finally, there is space. It is a thing that we will probably pay our attention to at the end, but it is one of the most important areas for this product. It is because the QPoint brings order into the world of recordings, introduces some kind of tranquility into them, but this is tranquility based on certainty and not on being asleep. What is shown on the sound planes further away from us, like the orchestra behind Cole’s vocal, Gahan’s and Gore’s voices, or the percussion from Hołownia’s album – it was all yet further away with the QPoint, but at the same time more distinct and clearer. As the Nordost device also improves bass focus, the sound stage seems larger and more solid.

    Mode I vs Mode II

    The QPoint offers two operational modes, intended to help us adjust it to a given device. One can hear the difference between them – after hearing what the QPoint did to the sound of my player, I have not doubted that even for a moment. Despite that, I was surprised with the scale of these differences. It is because (beware!) in Mode II, i.e. with the green LED light on, the sound became more subdued, as if someone had put a compressor on the whole thing. It is obvious that I am exaggerating, but only because these differences were enormous for me.

    The sound was even darker then, even more elegant, but not dynamic enough. So, the whole test was carried out in Mode I. However, it may be exactly the opposite with you – there is no “good” or “bad” setup here. There is setup that is “compatible” with our device and setup that is “incompatible” – outside the domain of good and bad.

    | Conclusions

    A little over 3,000 PLN for a product that belongs to the “accessories” category is a lot of money. We could buy a very decent integrated amplifier, a nice turntable or cool loudspeakers for it. However, if we all thought this way, there would be no progress and we would still deal with the basic problems, being afraid of “what people would say”. Fortunately (I am being honest here), there are companies such as Nordost that risk and show us new ways – paths that we can follow to escape such vicious circles.

    So, I treat the QPoint as a fully fledged device, as valuable as anti-vibration feet, a power strip, platforms, etc. These are not “additions”, but as important elements of the audio system as any other ones. If we think about the Nordost generator in this way, it will appear that life is not possible without it. I have got used to it and to what it does to the sound of my player so fast and so strongly that I experienced physical pain when I was putting the device back into the box.

    Do not do it – if you have a really great system, borrow one QPoint with a strong resolution to buy it. And then buy yourselves another and yet another one. Finally, replace their power supply unit with the QSource. In this way, you will build a parallel system that will “condition” your devices – one that will survive each and every change to your main system. It is a beautiful example of rational engineering serving music and for that, it gets the red (as red as the passion that constitutes the driving force for these activities) REDFingerprint.


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