Muso qb1 have I made a mistake?

Hi all,

First time poster / not an audiophile / listen to a lot of music / love music / like good quality sound.

I purchased a Muso at the start of the last year to replace some very old Marantz separates with Tannoy speakers which I loved. I was sceptical at first but became (and still am) totally blown away by it’s the sound of the Muso.

As a result late last year I purchased a Muso qb from a friend for my home office (16ft x 13ft). Unfortunately I just can’t find the same level of love for it and if I am honest with myself regret the purchase.

What with working from home full time and with listening to way too much music during the day I have decided I need to solve the issue. One cheapish option I was thinking was upgrading to Tidal Hi-Fi. I have rejected the idea of constantly moving the Muso into the office.

So to Q1 - would an upgrade from Spotify Premium to Tidal Hi-Fi give my qb an noticeable improvement?

Q2 - Is there anything else I could do to the qb to improve performance?

Q3 - I have promised myself a lockdown lifting gift and was thinking of Uniti but as a can’t go anywhere to listen I was wondering if this would be the suitable for such a room? From what I have read Focal or Kef bookshelf speakers.

Any help will be greatly appreciated.
Many Thanks
Trem.

I would say for a Qb:

  1. Make sure that Loudness is switched off in the app.

  2. In Room Position in the app, select the close to wall setting even if it isn’t, but especially if it is.

Now it should sound very good.

Best

David

3 Likes

Hi David.

That’s interesting - for info I can confirm Loudness was set to ‘On’ and room position was set to ‘More than 25cm’. Will have a listen tonight and play with both.

Many thanks for taking the time to reply.

Regards
Trem

Hi Trem and welcome to the forum.

I cannot help with Spotify vs Tidal as I use neither but I do have a Qb1. It does duty playing background music in our bedroom, but it would not be my first choice if I wanted to sit down and listen to music. I also have an Atom in my (much smaller) office, in addition to the main system in the lounge. The price ratio is roughly 5:1 for both main to office and office to Qb, but the jump in sound quality from Qb1 to Atom is significantly greater than from Atom to main setup. Although it sits near the bottom of Naim’s range the Atom is true hifi IMHO. This is a roundabout way of saying that I think an Atom with suitable speakers would transform your listening experience. If your budget extends that far, a Nova would be even better.

As for speakers, there are some financially attractive Naim/Focal deals around (I assume they’re still current) but there’s several threads on speaker choice for the Atom, which could be worth exploring.

Roger

Hi Trem

With those settings you would get a woolly over-blown lower mid range/high bass and spiky treble.

I hope you can sort it out because the Qb series 1 sounds great to me.

Best

David

Thanks David,

I have just had a few hours listening and playing around.

I could not tell much of a difference if I just amended the room setting but I could with turning loudness off at the lower volumes. I thought it was clearer and crisper and felt like I could hear more detail.

When I went up the volume levels (7+ bars on the QB dial) I could not tell any difference and I was struggling to hear any difference. However a good improvement and at no cost - so thankyou.

The only thing which is irritating me is how good the Muso sounds in the living room. Given it’s size it literally blows me away and I sometimes shake my head at how it manages it. I would just like to replicate a bit of that with the QB.

Thankyou for your help.
Regards
Trem.

Your office is bigger than our living room! I wouldn’t feel it was up to filling the living room with great sound but when in the kitchen it’s great, and fine for background music anywhere. For what it is it’s brilliant but it has its limits.

Hi PeakMan,

Thankyou so much for taking the time to respond. Your response has given me serious food for thought - especially your price ratios from main to office - gulp!

I do wonder if I am just expecting too much of the QB and it’s unfair comparing it to the Muso?

It’s interesting to hear your thoughts on the Uniti / Nova and in normal times I would just go out and listen to it but in these times it would be a big leap of faith to spend so much without relying on my ears. Especially given I am not flush with cash and it would be a choice between a Uniti or vehicle!

Although I don’t need a vehicle at the moment.

Thanks
Trem.

Hi HungryHalibut,

Yes the office is big. Well it was not even an office pre-pandemic but a store room but now it’s become an office.

The living room where the Muso sits is bigger square feet terms but longish and thinner and in my usual spot I sit cross ways if that makes sense.

I am now wondering if I should just swap them over or just bite the bullet and tell my wife we no longer have a car :wink:

Thanks
Trem

The loudness setting basically boosts the bass and treble at low volume settings, so you shouldn’t hear any difference at higher volumes.

The room position setting boosts the bass if you set it to the more than 25 cm position. I always think it just too boomy if you use that setting at all.

You will get a whole different experience if you try an Atom and a pair of loudspeakers, let alone a Nova. Personally I wouldn’t buy Focal speakers because I don’t like their strident sound at all, but there are others here who have a different perspective.

Best

David

You could try putting the QB on some small “rubber” pucks…wether it is the isolation or improving how the speakers fire downwards…it improved mine no end.

1 Like

I suppose you should also just consider buying a second Muso. It has similar footprint to an Atom + bookshelf speakers, and you know you like the sound. Plus it’s a lot cheaper !

I had to cancel a couple of holidays in Lockdown 1 and decided to spend the money on an Atom and Neat Iotas for my small office. Normally I would audition, but it just wasn’t possible so I took the plunge and ordered ex demo units online. Fortunately it worked out well. I’ve been really impressed with what the Atom can do.

As for speakers, please note I was not recommending Focal. Indeed, I share the view of @davidhendon on how they sound, but if budget is tight the package deals may appeal. Alternatives include Neat which play very well with Naim, Dynaudio Emit (I’ve heard these making great music with an Atom) and Proac’s Tablette 10, which I’ve not heard but are used by some here whose judgement I respect.

Roger

First thing I would do is compare the Qb and Muso in the same room, - or rather both rooms (same position) That would tell how different they are, and how much effect the room is having, if the room seems to be the issue next I would try as big a range of position options as possible, if Qb is the problem you know what to do.

I have only heard Muso1. It was surprisingly good for what it was, though still very limited and not for me even as a basic machine. I was never tempted to try the mono Qb.

Thank you to everyone for the help. I think I am going to try the following:

In the short term I am going to buy some isolation pads and try different positions. If no luck I will swap the units over when embarking on a lengthy session. Although I do fear with this option I will end up never using the QB.

In the longer term I think I am going to plan for a Uniti upgrade (maybe even research a Nova but hand on heart way over my budget). Maybe I can cut some corners on the speaker front or get ex-demo units to make it viable. I can then use the QB for the bedroom.

@PeakMan - Can I ask where you purchased your ex-demo units from?

Many Thanks
Tremly.

Whenever I listened to both, the Qb sounded fine to me for what it is. But the bigger Mu-so always made me ask “is this really coming from the Mu-so?”
So, to me not a surprise that you experience it this way. (And else, what would be the point of the Mu-so …)

The Atom came from Audio T. A couple of their branches had ex demo units for sale and they were also offering a further 5% discount on sale items at the time. The Neat Iotas were from Doug Brady in Warrington. They weren’t actually ex-demo, rather returns from someone who had bought a job lot (to use in some establishment, I think) but decided not to use them because of the lockdown. You’ll likely not find these exact deals now but it would be worth searching the internet if a Uniti model appeals.

Interestingly, the Qb1 was bought when John Lewis were having a sale! It was only my main system where I paid full price, but I thought that was reasonable since the dealer allowed an extended home demo entailing him making three rather lengthy trips and installing a pair of speakers weighing (together) more than I do.

Roger

Thank you all who responded. Just to give a final update. I (with the help of my wife!) have reluctantly come to the conclusion that a Uniti Atom plus speakers is just out of my budget and to say I was getting carried away was an understatement.

I have decided to look for something cheaper £1.5k max and was mulling over Audiolab 6000 range. What with lockdown it’s all going to be a leap of faith and will have to buy blind. Any thoughts on the Audiolab or alternatives?

Thanks
T

Have a chat with James at tom tom audio. Your budget would likely get you a very nice older set of naim kit eg 72/hicap/140.
Or indeed a unitiqute which is the predecessor to the atom, and still very good. Currently (as of today) offered with 15% discount on their prices. Partner with a pair of neat iotas. Should be well under 1.5k budget. £590 for the UQ2.

Thanks Robert. Will definately have a look along with Audio T who seem to offer part ex so was thinking I might see what I can get for the QB1 to help on the cost front.

Thanks
T.