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Article: Qln to Debut the Flagship Reference 9 Loudspeaker at Axpona 2024

Qln to Debut the Flagship Reference 9 Loudspeaker at Axpona 2024

Qln to Debut the Flagship Reference 9 Loudspeaker at Axpona 2024

The new Reference 9 Loudspeakers are a 3-way floorstander with a custom designed 25mm tweeter, a proprietary 7” Kevlar cone midrange driver, and a 9″ coated, ultra-stiff carbon sandwich cone woofer. The company pegs the Reference 9’s low end reach down to 25Hz (-3dB) with a 91 dB (SPL 2.83) sensitivity and 4 Ohm load.

Pricing comes in at $42,000/pair and you can check them out in Room 1428 at AXPONA 2024.

Here’s the complete press release from QLN:


Gothenburg, Sweden – April 8, 2024 – Qln is proud to announce the release of the highly anticipated Reference 9 loudspeaker. The new, state of the art 3-way designed Reference 9 will make its world debut at AXPONA 2024 in room 1428.

Qln Reference 9
We at Qln prioritize designing speakers that faithfully reproduce the human voice and natural instruments. It is the balance between driver size, cone material and cone weight that determines how a speaker will sound and perform. The integration between all parts in a speaker is to us the most important thing in music reproduction. We don’t want to listen to any aspect of the speaker; we just want to listen to music and come as close to the original recording as we can. The Reference 9 embodies these principles better than any speaker we have ever made.

Key features:

  • 3-way bass reflex speaker with 6 dB crossover between midrange and tweeter.
  • Cabinet made off 40mm Qboard®, sandwich design with visco elastic damping layer.
  • Custom designed 9” coated, ultra-stiff carbon sandwich cone woofer.
  • Proprietary 7” Kevlar cone midrange driver designed by Qln featuring hexagonal copper voice coils for increased dynamic performance.
  • Custom designed 25mm tweeter featuring a unique air flow magnet system and new acoustic chamber design eliminating any compression, reflections, and resonances.
  • Crossover with copper foil capacitor, low loss copper foil coils and non-inductive high-power resistors. – Solid core internal cable with acoustic isolation material.
  • Adjustable de-coupling footers made of a non-resonant polymer material.
  • Sensitivity: 91 dB SPL 2,83V 1m, 100-10kHz
  • Low frequency performance: -3dB 25Hz
  • Impedance: 4 ohms
  • Amplifier requirements: 50-300 Watt RMS
  • Cabinet: 40mm Qboard® design
  • Terminal: WBT Single wire
  • Dimensions (HxWxD): 1050x300x650mm
  • Weight: 65,0 kg each
  • Standard finish: Walnut Matte, Rose Piano

Cabinet Design
A slanted baffle provides perfect time alignment between the drivers with focus on correct phase behavior.

The Cabinet is optimized for minimal baffle area that suppresses baffle effects with its truncated pyramid cabinet top and standing waves inside the structure. The result is a three-dimensional stereo image with life like depth and spatial cues of the recording environment even in a larger cabinet design.

The Reference 9 with 40mm thick walls, and heavily braced cabinet is fully constructed from Qln’s proprietary Qboard® technology, effectively eliminating structural resonances in the acoustic chamber.

The bass reflex port with its trumpet shape at both ends also further eliminates air turbulence. The Cabinet is supported by two strong, solid legs with adjustable feet that support both hard wood/stone flooring as well as floor with soft carpets.

Cone area, weight, and motor system (magnet) are the most important factors that influence how the speaker will sound in the lower frequencies. To achieve dynamic and airy bass performance a high precision 9-inch, thin carbon sandwich design driver with low cone weight was chosen.

This new custom designed 9-inch woofer is a state-of-the-art driver with an open, low compression basket allowing for high-speed air flow without reflection or compression. The cone is a coated, ultra stiff carbon sandwich design. Stronger and stiffer than aluminum or other commonly used cone materials. This woofer also possesses a unique balance between stiffness and low resonance at higher frequencies because of how the special thin carbon sandwich design is made. It can produce fast and well-defined bass over the whole frequency range with the lowest amount of distortion.

The tweeter we have chosen for Reference 9 takes the work we developed for the Signature and makes further advancements to the acoustic chamber, optimizing it to how the crossover is designed.

For the Reference 9 we developed a totally new driver based on the experience we acquired from the Kevlar mid-woofer used in the Signature. We still use our special Qln coated Kevlar cone material but with a new voice coil and magnet system, improving sensitivity and dynamics for this dedicated use as a midrange driver.

A 7” midrange was chosen as the best size to seamlessly bridge the tweeter and woofer.

The size of woofer and tweeter affect the size and role the midrange has. It should blend effortlessly to the woofer and tweeter. A smaller sized driver will lack body in the lower midrange, and any larger sized driver will lose dynamics and resolution at higher frequencies. Our custom designed 7” Kevlar midrange has both the low-end capability and the ability to resolve higher frequencies because of the controlled bended cone that decreases moving mass.

The new 25mm wide surround tweeter offers remarkable vocal reproduction and excellent imaging at all listening positions. Its large roll surround and textile dome diaphragm provides a flat frequency response above 30 KHz with outstanding off-axis dispersion. The unique air flow magnet system and its rear chamber eliminate any compression, reflections, and resonances.

The crossover is hardwired with non-inductive capacitors bypassed with large copper film capacitors for tweeter parts. 3-way with dedicated midrange we was able to use first order (6dB) between midrange and tweeter. For the mid and tweeter we only use flat foil air core inductors. All components are fastened with soft damping glue and remaining coils are baked to avoid any internal component and filter resonances. Precision metal film resistors with high power handling capabilities offering lower noise and temperature stable performance are used for the tweeter, and 20W resistors are used for the woofer. With these elements we achieve near perfect timing within the crossover coupled with low noise characteristics throughout the entire frequency range.

Cables, speaker connectors and internal damping.
Internal cabling is our own special design produced in Sweden. Solid pure copper core wrapped around a polypropylene inner layer with polypropylene isolation, bounded with a high damping acoustic shield to minimize acoustic feedback. All components are carefully hand selected and individually tested for any deviances.

Speaker terminals are WBT Nextgen® connectors made of the highest-grade silver-plated copper with minimal copper mass for low energy storage, lowering distortion and offering the purest contact to the speaker cable.

For internal acoustic damping we use real wool. Wool is the best material for internal acoustic damping, but we use a small amount of synthetic fiber to get the right density.

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