Agile and authoritative, Quadral's beautifully built 10in subwoofer has a musical bent
German brand Quadral has been selling in the UK for some years now and its range of technically innovative speakers is designed to be as comfortable in multichannel as they are in stereo, hence the need for dedicated subwoofers. The Qube 10 is one of three new arrivals.
As the name suggests, the Qube 10 makes use of a single downward-firing 10in driver. This is augmented by a single rear slot port. The thinking behind the slot design is to try and avoid any audible activity from the port while giving the same tuning as a cylindrical one.
Amplification comes from a 200W Class D amp, but nothing about the Quadral’s specifications suggest that it is in any way underpowered, as the reasonably large ported cabinet seems to be able to get the most out of the driver. Controls are reasonably comprehensive as the Quadral has line-level and high-level inputs, crossover and phase controls. A switchable voltage means that if you're a bit of a globetrotter, this is the sub for you.
Like everything else I’ve ever seen by Quadral, the build is extremely solid and the quality of the lacquered finish is exceptional, with a deep shine and nothing in the way of visible imperfections. The brushed, Quadral-emblazoned steel on the front is also a nice touch and if a subwoofer can ever be called attractive, this is probably it.
The Qube 10 is a slightly deceptive performer in that it never feels as powerful as it actually is. Much of this stems from how much control it exhibits. The cabinet is completely inert even when driven hard, which means that all you hear, essentially, is the driver.
With The Impossible, the Qube 10 doesn’t match some of its competitors for absolute depth and impact but the performance is detailed and fast. Yes, it has impressive extension, but there is a sense that it is a little unwilling to truly let rip when you need it to – it's very hard to provoke it into misbehaving. The true ferocity of the tsunami, therefore, isn’t completely captured. Detailing is good though – the Quadral can differentiate between very subtle changes in pitch and tone.
This refinement it equally present with broadcast TV and the sequence in Elementary is handled with the same control and clarity that it shows with films.
This agility and poise means that the Quadral loves music and didn’t require any significant alteration to the settings to do so. The speed of the driver keeps bass happening at the right moment and the fine detail means that complex basslines are well handled. Once again, I got the slightest sense that the Quadral won’t completely unleash its power and give you some real gut-rattling bass, but if this is the trade-off for a subwoofer that stays so unruffled, it will be a compromise that many people will accept.
The Quadral Qube 10 is a big step forward from any previous woofer I’ve seen from the brand, but manages to mirror the qualities that make its speakers so well received. It's a beautifully built chunk of electronics that should fit into most lounges, the performance is equally polished and if you are looking for an all-rounder to give you some useful extra low-end extension across music and moves, it is well worth checking out. Only the slight lack of absolute excitement counts against it.
Quadral Qube 10
Price: £525 Approx
Highs: Controlled, detailed and civilised performance; excellent build quality; handsome design; affordable
Lows: Slight lack of low-end extension and sense of excitement; fairly large enclosure
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