4Sevens Quark AA-R5 Comparison Review

UnknownVT

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Yes, I have already done a 4Sevens Quark AA Comparison Review -
but that was the original version with the Cree XP-E R2 - recently 4Sevens upgraded the Quark series using the Cree XP-G R5 - this ups the maximum output from the original 90 lumens to 109 lumens in the R5 edition for the single AA light.

Is there any noticeable increase in brightness?

Sizes
QuarkAAr5Sz.jpg


Heads -
QuarkAAr5Hd.jpg


vs. 4Sevens Quark AA R2 edition - both max and NiMH
QuarkAAr5_R2.jpg
QuarkAAr5_R2U2.jpg

answer: yes - noticeably, when compared side-by-side.
well the upgrade does seem worthwhile - although I note the XP-G R5 seems to be bluer/cooler in tint - this of course could well be due to simple sample variations - but I notice that the more the output is pushed the cooler the light - at least in the earlier batches..... (but that could just be me).

The Quark's nearest rivals are the Fenix series - the LD10 in this case - I do not have an actual LD10 at hand - but do have the PD20 head and L1D body - this basically makes up a Frankenstein "LD10" - since the heads on the LD10, LD20 and PD20 are the same/interchangeable - last time the Fenix was brighter than the R2 Quark AA - how does it fare this time in its R5 form?

vs. Fenix LD10 - Q5 both on Max ("Turbo") and NiMH -
QuarkAAr5_LD10.jpg
QuarkAAr5_LD10U2.jpg

I would say the R5 Quark AA is brighter - I do know the beam intensities seem in the same ball park - but the Quark has a noticeably wider beam and its hotspot is brighter and larger......

But what is going on? the Fenix LD10 is rated at 120 lumens but the Quark AA-R5 is only 109 lumens.

Well 4Sevens explains it - 4Sevens flashlights are rated actual OTF (Out The Front) lumens whereas other manufacturers often just quote the spec'd lumens at whatever drive current they are using - so those are potenial LED lumens - and there are always some losses due to the reflector and front glass etc.....

Best is to read the blurb on the 4Sevens website about OTF lumens
 
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JaguarDave-in-Oz

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Thanks for that important (to me) review. I have a couple of Quark R2's (AA2 and 123-2) and I've already ordered an R5 AA turbo but have been holding off on one of the smaller R5 ones until I see how people react to the R5 in them. A fair bit brighter you say? You might have just tipped me over the edge.......
 

swrdply400mrelay

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An advantage of the Quark AA over the Fenix is the compatibility with 14500's. With the Quark AA, a 14500 increases the turbo mode even more to about what the 123 version puts out, BUT all the other modes are retained.

With the Fenix, you lose your low modes :(
 

UnknownVT

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An advantage of the Quark AA over the Fenix is the compatibility with 14500's. With the Quark AA, a 14500 increases the turbo mode even more to about what the 123 version puts out, BUT all the other modes are retained.
With the Fenix, you lose your low modes :(

This is quite correct -
but actually with a 14500 in the Fenix LD10 it will crank out more than the single 123 version......

Why?
in the Fenix is a Boost circuit - to boost the 1.5-3V up to the Vf (forward voltage) of the LED - however when the battery or source voltage exceeds the Vf - the circuit is in effect by passed - so the light becomes directly driven from the battery.

Ah, one might think - ah-ha free lunch!
Not so fast read the bit about why the regulation circuit is by-passed - so by definition the direct battery voltage supplied to the LED is higher than the Vf......

We mostly get away with this because the voltage of the Li-Ion rechargeable like the 14500 is only relatively slightly above that of the Vf and a load will drop the voltage somewhat -

However the evidence is that while all the lower modes are basically high the battery voltage must be exceeding the Vf.

This should be a warning - electronic devices are sensitive and if they don't die suddenly they can still suffer and be degraded over time.....
evidence? I have a Fenix L1D-Q5 that eventually turned a very obvious violet/blue tint - enough that I could no longer use it for my comparisons and had to get another - please look at Look at Post #17 (link) in Fenix LD10 Comparison Review.

Now the 3V Quarks (ie: AA AA2 and 123) are different in that they have a Buck/Boost circuit - pretty rare for now - Boost we already understand - but Buck? it bucks or regulate/lowers the voltage DOWN to the Vf - why buck when we are dealing with 1.5V in single AA, 3V in 2x AA and 1x CR123? - why just for people like you and me who'd put a 3.7V rechargeable Li-Ion 14500 into the Quark AA (or a Li-Ion RCR123 into the Quark 123) to boost the output.

So in a Quark we can kind of have our cake and eat it too.....
although the higher output "only" reaches the same level as the 1x123 or 2xAA max outputs - but I feel it's better than playing dice and having the light eventually go bad.......
 

timbo114

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...

Now the 3V Quarks (ie: AA AA2 and 123) are different in that they have a Buck/Boost circuit - pretty rare for now - Boost we already understand - but Buck? it bucks or regulate/lowers the voltage DOWN to the Vf - why buck when we are dealing with 1.5V in single AA, 3V in 2x AA and 1x CR123? - why just for people like you and me who'd put a 3.7V rechargeable Li-Ion 14500 into the Quark AA (or a Li-Ion RCR123 into the Quark 123) to boost the output.

So in a Quark we can kind of have our cake and eat it too.....
although the higher output "only" reaches the same level as the 1x123 or 2xAA max outputs - but I feel it's better than playing dice and having the light eventually go bad.......

THIS is a great explanation!
I just learned my 'something new' for today.

Thank you UnknownVT
 

DM51

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Very useful update - many thanks! It is particularly interesting to see the actual difference between the R2 and R5. Excellent explanatory follow-up post also (#6)

I'm moving this to the Reviews section.
 

I Know Nothing

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Trying to judge it from those pics, the "LD10" seems to have a brighter spill area in the beam with less difference to the hotspot which makes it more pleasant to my eyes and more useful. Is that noticeable in real world outdoor use?
 

kts

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Trying to judge it from those pics, the "LD10" seems to have a brighter spill area in the beam with less difference to the hotspot which makes it more pleasant to my eyes and more useful. Is that noticeable in real world outdoor use?

+1
The LD10 looks brighter to me too, with a much better tint.

But its not really a fair contest, Q5 Vs R5, wait until Fenix updates their lights to R5 and then compare them :whistle:
 

LED_Thrift

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Thanks again for another review of an interesting light, and also the explanation of the different circuits used in the Quark and Fenix.
 

UnknownVT

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Trying to judge it from those pics, the "LD10" seems to have a brighter spill area in the beam with less difference to the hotspot which makes it more pleasant to my eyes and more useful. Is that noticeable in real world outdoor use?

+1
The LD10 looks brighter to me too, with a much better tint.

As for which is brighter - please re-read my comments under the relevant beamshot - the Quark covers a lot more area and its hotspot is larger and brighter - a silly example- a laser beam is very intense in a minute spot - is it brighter, or even useful as a general flashlight?

Dunno about outdoors it's bright outside right now.

But indoors the Quark's larger hotspot is much more useful to me - I tend to use the hotspot for actually looking at things - whereas the side-spill is more for periphery vision so wider the better - can't explain it better than that.

Another point that bears repeating is how good/smooth the Quark beam is due to the self-centering mechanism in all 4Sevens flashlights.

It may seem minor and I also used to dismiss the notorious Cree dark halo - well in comparison if one moves the light from the hotspot to cover with the side-spill that Cree dark halo is definitely noticed (and Fenix is actually very good a minimizing the dark halo) - it's not just the transition from bright to less bright - whereas on the Quark there isn't a dark halo - and there is only the transition from bright to less bright - if you get what I mean -

However let's put all this in context - in the dark ANY light is better then no light (even patchy/lumpy beam like an AA MiniMag is "good")

BUT like I have said before - any incremental improvement is always welcome and close to flawless beam is about as good as one can get for now.......

But its not really a fair contest, Q5 Vs R5, wait until Fenix updates their lights to R5 and then compare them :whistle:

What contest?

Sure.... when?
and I certainly will compare.

However I have also said this in this thread - the 3V Quarks have Buck/Boost circuit - whereas the Fenix only boost - so in Fenix the use of 3.7v Li-Ion rechargeables loses all the lower levels (and eventually the emitter will be damaged - see above for an explanation)

Whereas the Quarks are actually designed to use Li-Ion.

Buck/Boost circuit due to their extra duties are intrinsically less efficient than pure boost - so when Fenix use the XP-G R5 they probably will be brighter -
\unless of course they also start using Buck/Boost (to protect ourselves from ourselves :eek:)
 
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I Know Nothing

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But indoors the Quark's larger hotspot is much more useful to me - I tend to use the hotspot for actually looking at things - whereas the side-spill is more for periphery vision so wider the better - can't explain it better than that.)

Using a light for looking at specific things like roof leaks in a dark loft it doesn't really matter much what the beam pattern is like to me so long as it's bright enough for the job. But if I'm using a light for walking, biking or running with I'm more picky. I want to be able to shine it up the trail some distance ahead and still have enough light just in front of my feet/wheels. That's where the brightness of the spill in relation to the hotspot is important. And it's that more than ultimate central spot brightness that determines whether I can get away with a lower mode for a longer run time.

Just looked up some figures on Light Reviews.com which seems to bear out what my eyes were getting from interpreting your beamshots. Fenix brighter spill... Quark not so bright but larger area. Take your pick.

Quark AA XPE Spot 2041 lux Fenix L1D XRE Spot 1960 lux
Quark AA XPE Spill 36 lux Fenix L1D XRE Spill 69 lux
 

UnknownVT

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But if I'm using a light for walking, biking or running with I'm more picky. I want to be able to shine it up the trail some distance ahead and still have enough light just in front of my feet/wheels. That's where the brightness of the spill in relation to the hotspot is important. And it's that more than ultimate central spot brightness that determines whether I can get away with a lower mode for a longer run time.
Just looked up some figures on Light Reviews.com
Quark AA XPE Spot 2041 lux Fenix L1D XRE Spot 1960 lux
Quark AA XPE Spill 36 lux Fenix L1D XRE Spill 69 lux

Thanks for your input - very useful to know what people look for in their lights

However not to take anything away from anyone - especially any other review (always worthwhile to me to see another point of view).

There is one intrinsic problem with figures which somehow always look more quantitative and objective....

Please look back at the comparison beamshots between the Quark AA-R5 and then LD10 - an intensity Lux reading has to be at a spot in the beam somewhere - now on the Quark it seems fairly easy since its side-spill looks pretty even -
whereas where would the Lux reading be taken on the LD10?
Notice it's patchy (relatively speaking of course) -
was the meter moved around and an average taken (if so, how many readings and where?)
or just found a peak and took that, or just a random point?

OK now look at the -2 Stop underexposed beamshot - I'll paste it in here -
QuarkAAr5_LD10U2.jpg

look at the lower edges of the beams - they look close, maybe even about the same intensity to me - which means the Quark AA-R5's hotspot can be further ahead while maintaining the same brightness intensity by your wheels/feet
- does that seem about right?
 
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think2x

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I currently carry a Quark AA2 R2 regular everyday on my belt. It's my first "real" multi-mode light. I really like this light alot but sometimes I need less than turbo but more than moonlight and would like not cycling though the modes. (also dislike strobes)
I was thinking of ordering a Quark 1-AA tactical R5 so I can trade barrels between the two. I would then have the tactical R5 (two modes would be great) on my belt and the R2 regular in my pocket. My question is with the bigger hot spot not shining as far. How reduced is the throw? It is used mostly on construction sites and around the house (feeding/walking the dogs)

Any help would be GREATLY appreciated.

Thanks in advance, Jamie
 

UnknownVT

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My question is with the bigger hot spot not shining as far. How reduced is the throw? It is used mostly on construction sites and around the house (feeding/walking the dogs)

Good idea having both the tactical and regular heads and the AA and 2AA bodies - so in effect you can have 4 flashlights.......

OK the beauty of having the R5 is that the hotspot is larger (to me a good thing - as I tend to look at things in the hotspot) but its intensity in the the hotspot is at least as bright as the smaller spot of the Q5 of the Fenix LD10 - so in theory it ought to throw as far as the Fenix and cover more area?

You have the Quark AA2-R5 - do you really find the throw inadequate?
compared to what? -

The Quark AA2-R5 is 206 OTF lumens -
that is almost TWICE as bright as the one time monster SureFire 9P - 3x CR123 xenon light -
(which in turn was almost twice as bright as the SureFire 6P and G2, and Streamlight Scorpions of this world....)
and people used to think that SureFire 9P was ridiculously bright.....
 

think2x

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My AA2 is the original R2 not the R5. I am concerned with the R5 nor throwing as far as the R2 I currently have. Thanks for the quick reply.
 

UnknownVT

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My AA2 is the original R2 not the R5. I am concerned with the R5 nor throwing as far as the R2 I currently have. Thanks for the quick reply.

That one is easy - the R5 is brighter so in a comparison beamshot its hotspot shows larger in the photo (since it is brighter) -
so the basically the R5 has a brighter hotspot -
hopefully that answers your question?
 
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