First of all, forgive my photos of the Qln Prestige 3 speakers in the Qln and Well Pleased Audio Vida room. The glossy wood finish, known as piano walnut, was so dark and yet so beautifully figured, and I truly wanted to capture it on my iPhone. With that angelic white backdrop, I couldn’t handle the contrast. No one else at PTA had decent photos, either. You know how bummed I was that I couldn’t get a good shot? I went out and bought a Leica so that this never happens again. (Yes, I know there’s more to good photography than a good camera, but I need all the help I can get at high-end audio shows.)
Words and Photos by Marc Phillips
But the focus here isn’t on my journeyman shortcomings as a show report photographer, but it’s whether or not the $12,000/pr USD Qln Prestige 3 loudspeakers, a diminutive two-way floorstander that always astonishes me with its deep bass and huge soundstage, could pass the Chocolate Chip Trip test. Mark Sossa of Well Pleased Audio Vida was more than happy to oblige.
In addition to the Qln Prestige 3s, Mark brought a system comprised mostly of the brands he represents–a Qualiton a75i integrated amplifier ($9,250), a Merason DAC1 Mk. II ($8,000), an Innuos ZENith Mk. III music server ($5,400) with Phoenix USB Re-Clocker ($3,750), plus Gigawatt power conditioning, cabling from Swisscables and a rack from SGR.
How did the Qln Prestige 3s perform with “Chocolate Chip Trip”? Actually, I totally dug it, so much so that I decided to create a new category in CCT testing, and the Qln Prestige 3s are currently the two-way Chocolate Chip Trip champions. This drum solo track wasn’t delivered with the same life-sized imaging and dynamics as the $218,000/pr Acora Acoustics VRC-1s, but dammit I was still impressed with the effortlessness of the Qln low frequencies.
Could I love Qln speakers even more than I already did? Yup, I do.
If you would like to hear even more coverage from AXPONA 2023, check out our recap report and highlights from our audiophile-oriented show The Occasional Podcast. You can stream the episode direct from the embed below, or from your favorite podcast platform including iTunes, Android, Google, Deezer, Spotify, iHeartRadio and more.
Also don’t forget to check out our collaboration to commemorate the event with our solid bronze record weight available only for a limited run. This 800 grams of solid bronze features the PTA roundel on the top with also acts as a 45 adapter. You can purchase direct from the PTA Approved Store here on the site.