Quarks DIY Speaker Review

by admin
Summary
The quarks are a great pair of speakers if space is a huge constraint. The relatively balanced sounding speakers sound bigger than they look and provides flashes of hifi quality here and there; however, I would not call them audiophile quality speakers. If space is a huge issue and you won’t be doing a ton of critical listening, the quarks might fit the bill for you.

Build Notes

The cabinets are really tiny, so it can be a tough challenge to work with. Make sure you don’t glue on the front baffle since nothing will fit through the tiny driver hole afterward. I didn’t need a ton of stuffing to get them to sound the way I want to, so make sure you don’t overstuff the speakers.

Sound

The Quarks sound pretty balanced, but it does get a bit fatiguing for long listening sessions, and I think it’s due to the slightly brighter sound signature and lack of smoothness in certain frequencies.

Low extension is surprisingly decent if placed on a table near a wall. You’ll definitely hear certain lines if you pay attention to it, but it’s nowhere near satisfying if you want to enjoy the music, which shouldn’t be surprising.

The tweeters are the same as the ones in overnight sensations, and they perform very similarly, just tuned brighter. They’re reasonably fast and crisp, which is impressive for how cheap they are. I find them barely adequate and enough to put a smile on my face once in a while.

Midrange is also balanced when listening to vocals, but it doesn’t sound as smooth as a lot of other speakers, and details don’t come out as much as I’d like.

The speakers sound much bigger than they are, but they seriously suffer from a hollow and thin sound due to the lack of soundstage depth; however, the separation and soundstage width is decent enough on most layered music tracks.

I’ve had them for about a year as my main speakers before I couldn’t stand them built an actual pair of speakers. The quarks work well for a very specific purpose, which is when you need to build a tiny set of speakers for a budget. I use them as my portable pair, so it works great now; however, if you want to do any type of critical listening on a budget or want more bass without a subwoofer, you should be building the overnight sensations for just a little bit more.

Music section
Giorgio by Moroder – Daft Punk
  • 00:00 – 00:36 – His voice is clear, background chatter is present, and bass extension is surprisingly audible. Overall, the section sounds balanced, but the lack of soundstage depth is apparent.
  • 00:36 – 1:08 – Bass extension again is surprisingly audible, and the sound is overall balanced, being able to pick out the guitar line or the drums. There is enough separation to here all the instruments, and the speakers do sound bigger than they are. The tweeters are same as overnight sensations, so they’re adequately crisp and fast, but the silk dome lacks that sparkle, and there is minimal soundstage depth.
  • 6:58 – 7:30 – Tweeters perform well for how cheap they are, crisp and fast enough to enjoy and be impressed, but you’ll notice that they’re a clear step down from higher end tweeters. Low end is surprising audible, but it is a bit muddy and sluggish, albeit still enjoyable enough. The record spins balance well with the rest of the parts.
Tom Sawyer – Rush
  • 00:00 – 00:50 – Highs are very similar to the impression above, and the sound, again, is pretty balanced, allowing his voice to feel naturally balanced against the other instruments. Separation isn’t huge, but you’ll be able to pick out the bass line from the guitar line.
Come Away with Me – Norah Jones
  • 00:00 -1:00 – Her voice feels slightly thin, but it’s detailed enough, allowing you to focus on her sibilance or phrasing. Background instruments are balanced, but lack of soundstage is apparent in this track.
Four seasons L’estate III Presto – Vivaldi (Pavel)
  • 00:00 – 00:44 Violin attacks are reasonably sharp and fast, but lower strings are non-existent. It sounds very hollow due to the lack of soundstage depth.
  • 00:45 -1:04 Pavel’s aggressiveness does come through, but it sounds hollow again.
  • 1:05 – 1:20 While the instruments are balanced, the missing low-end extension is obvious here, and the sound is a bit thin.
Count Bubba – Gordon Goodwin
  • 00:00 – 00:41 Bass extension is fast and clear, Highs are fast and crisp enough, and the mids are balanced. Despite being densely orchestrated, you can hear the individual instruments, but it does feel a bit fatiguing for some reason at higher levels of listening. It might be the slightly bumped treble, lack of smoothness in mids, and hollow soundstage.
  • 1:10 – 1:39 This section also sounds balanced, but it does feel a tiny bit fatiguing for reasons above.
 Closing thoughts

I don’t think there are a ton of speakers at this size that sounds as good as the quarks, but I also don’t think size is an issue for most audiophiles, and I’d much rather make space than sacrifice sound quality if these are my main drivers.

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