Neural DSP Quad Cortex

266 Customer ratings

4.7 / 5

You have to be logged in to rate products.

Note: To prevent ratings from being based on hearsay, smattering or surreptitious advertising we only allow ratings from real users on our website, who have bought the equipment from us.

After logging in you will also find all items you can rate under rate products in the customer centre.

handling

features

sound

quality

197 Reviews

Neural DSP Quad Cortex
$1,499
The shipping costs are calculated on the checkout page.
In stock
In stock

This product is in stock and can be shipped immediately.

Standard Delivery Times
1
lf
This is basically just a prototype... (and you can't direct monitor on Windows)
ligma fingaz 04.01.2022
Direct Monitoring feature still is unusable on Windows as of January 2022. I have tried every QC OS update/USB driver/windowsOS workaround on the PC of every bedroom producer I know and all with the same result. The entire signal gets bitcrushed when you record, fizzy unusable mush. Line-outs work just fine. Never had this issue occur on a Mac.

Side-note: I'm pretty disappointed that many teased features (such as being able to load Archetype plugins, having a desktop editor) have not been added and at this point never will be. I anticipate they'll put out a new unit with this feature in a few years and leave any early adopters in the dirt. This unit is rusting away, a waste of potential. The company's focus seems to have shifted almost entirely to their plug-in users. Not acceptable conduct at this price-point. I dare you Neural, prove me wrong in the next update

Lastly: flimsy unconditioned power supply, should come with something more reliable. USB 2.0 Type B is practically extinct why is it on this unit? Why doesn't the app have audio demos for user presets? Why is it so cluttered to navigate? Why is there so much latency switching presets?
handling
features
sound
quality
58
31
Report

Report

A
QC or Fractal Audio FM9
AlesT 04.09.2022
First impression – einfach genial!

I bought this product in hope for a good sounding and easy to use unit. I own a Fractal Audio FM3. QC is the most user friendly unit I have ever tried - einfach genail! This is something the FA should learn from Neural. QC is also very lighter compared to FM3 and has lot more DSP power, you be very creative. With FM3 you can use only 1 amp in the chain.

What is my main problem with FM3, there are so many options and parameters to tweak, I have this constant feeling that I could sound better with some fine adjustment? With QC I have managed to set up the unit and create a patch in 15 min without reading any manual or watching any video, this is pure advantage!

What about the sound?

Happy with the thought that I will sold the FM3 and keep the QC, I set the A/B test. Both units had the latest firmware. I play 40+ years, owned and tried many high end amps (Friedman, Marshall, Mesa, Fender etc), owned digital stuff like Kemper, Helix and currently FM3. I argue that if you really want to test a digital modeler of profiler, you have to test it with guitar cabinet using a linear power amp (no IR). The test signal chain, my favourite Gibson Les Paul, AB switch, one line into FM3 one into QC and into a Matrix GT 1000 FX to the Marshall 1960 AV cabinet. I compared all the amps (same models) that are in the both units (Friedman, Soldano, EVH, JCM 800, VH4, VOX, Fender etc.). I tested from the bedroom to the stage volume.

And the result…

I could not believe and I didn't want to believe what I'm hearing. I was shocked, the FM3 sounded so much better, more fresh, more dynamic, much more real compared to the real amp. Just for the record, I tested the real Friedman amp BE 100 Deluxe, so I know how the real amp compare to FM3. In the end I kept my FM3, because it was so very close considering the feel, response and sound. And the idea to have many other amps that I love and don’t need to spend 20K EURO just for amps, is a good feeling. So, back to the QC sound, with the high gain amps, the QC has some strange, annoying frequencies in mid-range. Even with lowering the minds and EQ cuts, there is this 'nasal' thing going on. With clean amps it' even worse, I felt like having a blanket over the speakers with the QC. I thought I'm doing something wrong, so I checked many videos any read the manual. Tried other settings, options, but the significant difference was always there. In the blind test I could guess 10 times in a row which one I'm playing.

I'm really disappointing, because I wanted to keep the QC for it's simplicity.

Neural marketing strategy?

Maybe the user friendly product that combines two worlds (modelling and profiling) is the USP for the Quad Cortex? I don’t know, but for me, the number one criteria is always the feel and the sound.

I wish Neural could do something to improve the sound quality. With the sound of the FM3, I would keep the QC for 100% even the FM3 feels more robust, but I will not deep into this topic. Simplicity would be the game changer for me.

Verdict

If the feel and sound is your main concern, I suggest you try Fractal FM9 (you are not limited with just one amp in the row and you have more switches compared to FM3) and QC. Make sure you test it with a quality linear power amp and the guitar cabinet and choose your winner.

If you are looking for a decent sounding product with an unbelievable simplicity and countless options including profiling, the QC is the choice for you.

I will send my QC back ASAP (I know there are many of you waiting for the stock), sell my FM3 and buy an FM9. The 400 EUR + for FM9 compared to QC is nothing if I consider the sound and feel quality from Fractal Audio.

Thank you Thomann, you are the best retailer in Europe, no wonder that all shop in the circle of 500 km around my home, closed their business or they are selling only super low costs instruments.
handling
features
sound
quality
36
8
Report

Report

DD
Frustration and disappointment
Develop Device Studio 18.12.2021
I bought my unit in April 2021. Now, in August 2023, basic features like a file manager, desktop editor, and others are still missing. The overall pace of updates and communication from NDSP is a bad joke.

In my studio, I have 10 other competitive units (a few from Fractal, Kemper, Helix, and more). All these are complete products where "day one" and other major updates come in regularly.

From NDSP, instead of updates, we get monthly development updates in the form of generic blog posts, where customers don't get specific details, just their typical "soon". This has been the case for at least a year straight now. No major improvements or delivery of features that were promised shortly after the QC launch. Instead, they constantly release new ampsim plugins to keep the money flowing.

In terms of sound quality, the number of effects, and amp simulations, the QC doesn't really stand out compared to its competitors. I'd even say it's somewhat lacking, with competitive units in a similar price range offering more.

The QC certainly has great potential, but this approach by NDSP and the ensuing frustration that has been ongoing for nearly 2.5 years, ruins it all.
handling
features
sound
quality
34
3
Report

Report

LA
Cheap hardware, broken promises, lots of troubleshooting time
Los Angeles Customer 24.11.2022
I switched from Kemper and spent hours and hours troubleshooting this thing. Some say that the CPU inside is less powerful than what Amazon puts in their Fire TV stick sold for $25. I believe that, because despite overly promised functionality you can mostly get constraints and spend your time troubleshooting noise, hiss, kinky user interface probably built by someone without a basic design degree.

Guitar is a joy time for me, I spend big buck for this hobby. And this product just is not good enough.

Also — many say that NeuralDSP plugins sound _better_(!) and you can buy them for 49$ on sales. They promised their plugins will work on this unit — but come on when I googled what CPU was inside I'm like what.... are you kidding me.... It's 25$ on Amazon in a great product, not only a processor inside. And this is like almost $2000.... a joke.

Greed, promises, unexperienced designers.
handling
features
sound
quality
12
2
Report

Report

s
sold it
sone 19.03.2023
i just sold it because of the politics of the company - e.g. support, forum threads shut down and long time promised features are still not there. if they will be released you will have to pay for it - i assume but i think it will be the case - also because in the end it is all about selling the company like it has been done with dark glass. the effects are not so good. it's still a green banana.
handling
features
sound
quality
5
0
Report

Report

B
It's still in "early access" mode
Bungle42 22.07.2021
The good stuff:
- It sounds amazing
- Interface is quite intuitive

The bad stuff:
- There's still no desktop/mobile editor which should be available since day one!
- a lot of people are experiencing wi-fi issues (device must be connected to wifi to update and most of the times it fails to connect)
- a lot of users are experiencing sound issues when using it as an USB interface (the last update fixed it for me, but not for everyone)
- DSP gets filled up very quickly (but they are optimizing it and it's getting better with updates)
- limited amps/cabs/effects

It's still early in development, so you're more or less buying a promise at this point. It has great potential for which I believe it will achieve, but for now, I can hardly recommend it.
handling
features
sound
quality
10
3
Report

Report

A
Random Distortion
Anonymous 05.07.2023
Ive had to stop using for gigs cause it started randomlyt clipping although everything was gain staged properly. Im also reluctant to use it for gigs now even when I get it repaired incase it happens again. Or at the very least im going to need a back up rig with me at all times.
handling
features
sound
quality
4
0
Report

Report

Neural DSP Quad Cortex