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Quantec QRS/L Room Simulator

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Mark's Gear Emporium
Loveland, OH, United States
Joined Reverb

This is the original & classic (and in my opinion, still the best) room simulator, Quantec QRS/L.  I bought this new in 1983 and its been used in nearly all my mixes since then!

This unit sounds incredible; truly one of the classics!

This unit was recently serviced by Audio Rehab & is in full working order.

The Quantec Room Simulator – a computer technology based system for the generation of acoustical effects simulating variable sized rooms.

The Quantec Room Simulator is a new technical concept that enables emulating the acoustical behaviour common to spaces of any volume or size, so that acoustical impressions ranging from a tin can to a columned cathedral may be synthesised and created at fingertip command.

Contrary to standard reverberators, the Quantec Room Simulator enables the reproduction of the selected space’s inherent resonances, which are a function of it’s basic enclosed volume, in that their density and distribution are precisely established.

In conjunction with the legendary “first reflection” this is the effect which enables the ear to establish spatial volume and size of a percepted room.

Besides this, the Quantec Room Simulator has two additional built-in programmes: “FREEZE-Effect” and “ENHANCE-Effect”.
Quantec introduced their revolutionary QRS (Quantec Room Simulator) in 1982. This early digital reverb took the recording world by storm, adding a quality to recordings immediately identifiable by the huge, grainy halo it added to drums, backing vocals and electric guitars.

For eight years, the QRS featured in every leading studio’s racks and all producer’s wish list until the dawn of a new age saw it relegated to the ranks of ‘last year’s trick.’ Since then however, the QRS has gained the status of a legend, offering vintage style reverbs in an increasingly bland audio world. The QRS is now high on the list of desirable classic reverbs for engineers and producers seeking to stamp their individuality on a mix.


In the early 80s,  a man from the depths of the Black Forest of northern Germany (and without any formal education in the field) was at work producing the first real solution for those looking to re-create the effect of an instrument or voice resonating in a concert hall or (to quote the original user manual) a tin can.

Wolfgang Schwarz presented his Quantec Room Simulator to the audio industry at the Montreux AES show in 1982. Although the QRS didn’t boast the same depth of functionality as some of its competitors, Schwarz’s reverb produced fantastically realistic ambiences in seven sizes, producing reverb times of between 0.1 and 100 seconds (and up to four times that for frequencies around 40Hz) while utilising only eight basic parameters.

Nick Robbins, of Soundmastering, London, purchased a QRS in 1983 for Elephant Studios in Wapping Wall: “It was ridiculously easy to use to fantastic effect but cost a fortune – I think we paid around £8,000 for ours, which was a huge investment at the time but well worth it. We put it all over The Pogues’ first album; it was the perfect way to enhance the studio recording’s live feel.”

The sleek, 2U grey unit with its red LEDs and central rotary encoder looked like it would be at home on the deck of a spaceship as much as in the control room of a recording studio, and the lack of EQ options wasn’t necessarily a drawback: one of the key factors to the QRS’s natural sound was down to the gentle cut-off at around 8kHz. There’s not an awful lot above that even in the brightest of rooms anyway and it meant that the Quantec sound wouldn’t be defined by some of the brashness that was spawned from overuse of the newly available artificial top end now possible from some of Quantec’s competitors.

There were a couple of other tricks up the QRS’s sleeve too: Freeze or Enhance modes were also possible instead of room simulation. Freeze did exactly what it implied: it captured a signal in a unique ‘freeze room’ and – providing that the room’s walls were not parallel – allowed the signal to blend into continuous sound. Other sources could be superimposed and ‘frozen’, enabling you to build up tonal and sonic clusters. Enhance was essentially a spatial enhancer.

The accuracy of room simulation, though, was the QRS’s real selling point and it soon found itself in all of the major audio post-production studios. It was the perfect tool for matching acoustic environments, making it ideal for ADR work and sound design. Nick Robbins again: “I remember 3Mustapha3 coming to us with an album they’d recorded in an empty swimming pool somewhere in North London, on which they wanted some overdubs. We had a [Lexicon] 244 and a [Yamaha] REV 1 but it was only the Quantec that we could get sounding like the pool they’d recorded in.”

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