Q Acoustics Concept 30 Standmount Speaker Review & Comments

MaryWhitehouse

Well-known Member
Whatever the sound they certainly don’t photograph like, what is to many, an expensive speaker.
 

FootHealer

Active Member
I have been waiting for a review of this speaker since they arrived on the market, as I have been tempted to give them a go. While I liked the review, it missed an obvious comparison: the Concept 20. These are still available and selling for £230 new. With a £670 price difference, how much better are they really? I own the Concept 20s, and they are very good...I'd be happy paying even twice their current price. While I am tempted to try the Concept 30s, I am concerned that the improvement over the 20s may be small, and not worth £670.
 

acgingersnaps

Well-known Member
While I am tempted to try the Concept 30s, I am concerned that the improvement over the 20s may be small, and not worth £670
Diminishing returns is always going to be a problem here, but given the review suggests that the Concept 30 are a happy compromise between two very accomplished speakers, that don't have their value questioned and yet is still 10% cheaper than both, it sounds like you should definitely give them the benefit of the doubt at this point. Go and have a listen!

If I had £1000 to spend on stand mounts these would be my first audition.
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
I have been waiting for a review of this speaker since they arrived on the market, as I have been tempted to give them a go. While I liked the review, it missed an obvious comparison: the Concept 20. These are still available and selling for £230 new. With a £670 price difference, how much better are they really? I own the Concept 20s, and they are very good...I'd be happy paying even twice their current price. While I am tempted to try the Concept 30s, I am concerned that the improvement over the 20s may be small, and not worth £670.

The price hikes are massive over old range. There must be big changes for this to happen. The drivers are brand new where as the old Concept range used 2000i range drivers with better crossover components and the Gelcore cabinet. Driver cost alone won´t explain this so everything needs to be lot better than in old range.

If we compare the Concept 40 price 699£/pair to new Concept 50 price 1999£/pair it`s like talking about different class speakers. Even if we would forget that it´s old model and now on sale, when it was announced Concept 40 cost 999£/pair so the new version cost twice as much! 😱 That is Kef R5 territory.
 

acgingersnaps

Well-known Member
The price hikes are massive over old range. There must be big changes for this to happen. The drivers are brand new where as the old Concept range used 2000i range drivers with better crossover components and the Gelcore cabinet. Driver cost alone won´t explain this so everything needs to be lot better than in old range.

If we compare the Concept 40 price 699£/pair to new Concept 50 price 1999£/pair it`s like talking about different class speakers. Even if we would forget that it´s old model and now on sale, when it was announced Concept 40 cost 999£/pair so the new version cost twice as much! 😱 That is Kef R5 territory.
That assumes they're direect replacements. I don't think they're supposed to be.
 

Ed Selley

AVF Reviewer
Diminishing returns is always going to be a problem here, but given the review suggests that the Concept 30 are a happy compromise between two very accomplished speakers, that don't have their value questioned and yet is still 10% cheaper than both, it sounds like you should definitely give them the benefit of the doubt at this point. Go and have a listen!

If I had £1000 to spend on stand mounts these would be my first audition.

This basically. Different people have different expectations but the Concept 30 feels exactly in keeping with £1k rivals.

It's also a completely clean sheet design. The Concept 20 (and to a slightly lesser extent, the Concept 40) was a 2000 Series in a new cabinet. Everything about the drivers and crossover were interchangeable with the cheaper speaker. This is not the case with the Concept 30.
 

FootHealer

Active Member
This basically. Different people have different expectations but the Concept 30 feels exactly in keeping with £1k rivals.

It's also a completely clean sheet design. The Concept 20 (and to a slightly lesser extent, the Concept 40) was a 2000 Series in a new cabinet. Everything about the drivers and crossover were interchangeable with the cheaper speaker. This is not the case with the Concept 30.
Thanks, Ed. I feel an upgrade in my near future ;)
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
The Concept 20 (and to a slightly lesser extent, the Concept 40) was a 2000 Series in a new cabinet. Everything about the drivers and crossover were interchangeable with the cheaper speaker.

Concept 20 & 40 crossovers were not taken from 2000i range. They have higher quality parts vs. outgoing 3000i as confirmed by Q Acoustics. So not just a cabinet change.
 

Ed Selley

AVF Reviewer
Concept 20 & 40 crossovers were not taken from 2000i range. They have higher quality parts vs. outgoing 3000i as confirmed by Q Acoustics. So not just a cabinet change.

I'm happy to take your word for it but that runs directly counter to the briefing I was given when I reviewed them in 2013. Was there a refresh?
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
I'm happy to take your word for it but that runs directly counter to the briefing I was given when I reviewed them in 2013. Was there a refresh?

No refresh that i know of. That was the answer from QA tech side person directly i got via email as i many small things in detail and got answered in a way that i know wasn´t customer service guy reading from paper. I wouldn´t otherwise share/claim that type of information here.

I feel an upgrade in my near future ;)

Make sure you get them for home trial before you buy anything so you can compare side by side at home to C20s. There is always lot of hype with these subjective reviews and one shouldn´t make expensive blind buys just cause something got "Best in Class" award.
 

password1

Distinguished Member
The price hikes are massive over old range. There must be big changes for this to happen. The drivers are brand new where as the old Concept range used 2000i range drivers with better crossover components and the Gelcore cabinet. Driver cost alone won´t explain this so everything needs to be lot better than in old range.

If we compare the Concept 40 price 699£/pair to new Concept 50 price 1999£/pair it`s like talking about different class speakers. Even if we would forget that it´s old model and now on sale, when it was announced Concept 40 cost 999£/pair so the new version cost twice as much! 😱 That is Kef R5 territory.
The only thing that is interchangeable between the 2000i and concept 20/40 are the tweeters.

Everything else is different or improved. Better crossovers, better cabinets, better build quality all round, better woofers. The woofers are not the same, the concept 20 woofer is an improved version of the 2020i woofer with a coating. The twin woofers of the concept 40 are bespoke for the concept 40 and feature improved/larger more powerful magnet motor system than the concept 20/2020i.

Interestingly, the Q Active 200 are now on offer with a big discount and the same price as the concept 30 or less overall if one does not need to spend money on an amp.

 

FootHealer

Active Member
Make sure you get them for home trial before you buy anything so you can compare side by side at home to C20s. There is always lot of hype with these subjective reviews and one shouldn´t make expensive blind buys just cause something got "Best in Class" award.
Definitely. I'd be interested to give them a go, but if I don't hear a significant improvement, then I'll probably return them. For £230, even £430, the Concept 20s are just what I'm after. But, if the 30s are a big improvement, I may keep them. Will give it some thought. Will probably not be buying for a few weeks anyway.
 

Ed Selley

AVF Reviewer
Interestingly, the Q Active 200 are now on offer with a big discount and the same price as the concept 30 or less overall if one does not need to spend money on an amp.

These devices aren't really comparable. The Active 200 is an interesting alternative to something like a Naim Mu-so 2nd Gen. It's basically an all in one but split. The Concept 30 does indeed need an amp but, suitably equipped, it does things that the Active 200 can't get near. I say this having tested both devices in the same space.
 

FootHealer

Active Member
The only thing that is interchangeable between the 2000i and concept 20/40 are the tweeters.

Everything else is different or improved. Better crossovers, better cabinets, better build quality all round, better woofers. The woofers are not the same, the concept 20 woofer is an improved version of the 2020i woofer with a coating. The twin woofers of the concept 40 are bespoke for the concept 40 and feature improved/larger more powerful magnet motor system than the concept 20/2020i.

Interestingly, the Q Active 200 are now on offer with a big discount and the same price as the concept 30 or less overall if one does not need to spend money on an amp.

Out of curiosity, I was looking on EEk-Bay for an used 2020i to buy, open up and compare with the Concept 20s. Sadly, not much is available at the moment, but I'll keep an eye on them. What I immediately noticed is that the woofers look different. The Concepts look less "papery"...at least from the photos.
 

password1

Distinguished Member
Out of curiosity, I was looking on EEk-Bay for an used 2020i to buy, open up and compare with the Concept 20s. Sadly, not much is available at the moment, but I'll keep an eye on them. What I immediately noticed is that the woofers look different. The Concepts look less "papery"...at least from the photos.
That's because the woofers on the concept 20 and 40 are bespoke. They are improved versions of the 2020i drivers and have a coating on them. All the woofers throughout QA speakers look similar but they're all actually bespoke to the range.
 

Devil On Your S

Well-known Member

pressure

Well-known Member
They look jolly nice. Idly wondering if a pair of these and the Q90 centre might be an interesting, more domestically acceptable alternative to my Genelecs for the AV system…
 

Onlythesound

Active Member
How excited I have been to read this review and your comments and comparisons. As a Concept 20 owner, I will now start saving for a big step up and also solve the tensegrity issue re stands, by popping my Concept 20 stands underneath the C 30s, should I buy a pair. I’m sure they’ll work nicely.
Many thanks Ed Selley.
 

Whatamada

Standard Member
My first speakers from QA was the 3020i's, brilliant set of speakers, which prompted me to get the 3050i's.
After moving to a new place, with a smaller living room, I sold the 3050i's and got the Concept 20's with the dedicated stand. I LOVED these speakers. Not the biggest sound, but they were snappy, transparent, a great midrange and just a lot of fun.
After some time, the Active 200 came along and I got those instead. A couple of months in, I realized I hadn't got a better sound. Just bigger.
So when the Concept 30's finally arrived on scene, I sold the Actives and got the C30's so fast they got sent directly from the retailer.
I can't speak highly enough about them. They are everything I loved about the C20's but waaay more. In a short comparison I would say that the Concept 20's are more of a "pro version" of the 2020/3020's, but the Concept 30's are more of a "Concept 300 light".
For me, the price difference is truly justified. It's just in a different league than the 20's, and that really shows, both in build and sound quality. To me they sound that much better than the C20's, and I really like the 20's.
 

robdmarsh

Active Member
There's something about Q acoustics, I just don't like their aesthetics, the whole deeper than they are taller thing, quite frankly I think looks pretty ugly. Then as for the sound I've only heard I think it was the 3020i and thought they were ok but nothing remarkable. The reviewer raves about them here saying they have bridge the gap between neutrality and warmth while the Audiophiliac says they have very little in the way of warmth. Who's telling porky pies?
 

acgingersnaps

Well-known Member
There's something about Q acoustics, I just don't like their aesthetics, the whole deeper than they are taller thing, quite frankly I think looks pretty ugly. Then as for the sound I've only heard I think it was the 3020i and thought they were ok but nothing remarkable. The reviewer raves about them here saying they have bridge the gap between neutrality and warmth while the Audiophiliac says they have very little in the way of warmth. Who's telling porky pies?
Potentially neither. It's subjective. I used to own a pair of 2020i and thought that they were superb for the money, as an example.
 

gava

Active Member
There's something about Q acoustics, I just don't like their aesthetics, the whole deeper than they are taller thing, quite frankly I think looks pretty ugly. Then as for the sound I've only heard I think it was the 3020i and thought they were ok but nothing remarkable. The reviewer raves about them here saying they have bridge the gap between neutrality and warmth while the Audiophiliac says they have very little in the way of warmth. Who's telling porky pies?

Fortunately aesthetics is a subjective thing. I find them quite pleasant to look at compared to most speakers.

I was quite surprised that the Audiophiliac found them to be brighter than the LS50M.

My C300s certainly have plenty of detail but I find them less sharp, certainly less fatiguing than my LS50s.

I also had some 3020s that were pretty smooth too.
 

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