WHAT goes into a passive power distributor unit, more commonly known in unsophisticated and non-audiophile circles as the multi-gang power strip (albeit of simpler construction and ambition)? Nordost says its QBASE Mark III, like previous iterations of the product, addresses “the noise-inducing, conflicting flows of signal and ground paths by using a unique method for the benefit of your hi-fi system” … the sonically curious will want to know more about this.
The first QBASE came out some 14 years ago; it was, as Nordost puts it, “an elegant yet simple concept that provided the solid foundation that audio components require, in order to improve upon any high-performing, two-channel system”.
The second-generation product, launched in 2015, brought about improvements all around, and the latest iteration of the QBASE is touted to sport the most current technological advancements available.
Like its predecessors, the Mark III has a mechanically tuned and extruded aluminium body, durable contact points, and internal mono-filament wiring. It similarly addresses the “noise-inducing, conflicting flows of signal and ground paths within a hi-fi system by using a unique method called ‘star-earth topology’ which connects all outlets from one central point (or outlet) to the input.”
“In the QBASE, we do this while additionally lifting the impedance level on every outlet, except for the one deemed primary earth. Elevating the ground in this passive manner achieves three indispensable effects: it creates an uninterrupted, straight-line AC distribution path from the wall to each individual component, isolates each component by deterring the ground flow between them, and eliminates conflicting flow between signal and ground paths all without any form of in-line filtering or active circuitry.”
The Mark III upgrades include a newly designed, dual PC-board configuration; increased separation of all ground connections from the line and neutral traces; minimised interference/crosstalk between live/neutral and ground currents; enhanced trace sizes to maximise current flow; and a revised resistance “sink” to add protection and effectively damp eddy currents.
Various configurations of the QBASE Mark II are offered globally, with retail prices given below:
- Eight-outlet QB8 (available in US-NEMA, EUR-Schuko, and AUS) – US$2,299.99 for the IEC C-14 (15/10A) model / US$2,599.99 for the IEC C-20 (20/16A) model
- Four-outlet QB4 (available in US-NEMA, EUR-Schuko, and AUS) – US$1,399.99 for the IEC C-14 (15/10A) model
- Six-outlet QB6 (available in UK only) – US$2,299.99 for the IEC-C 14 (13A) model / US$2,599.99 for the IEC C-20 (16A) model