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Thread: Quark: Design versus Marketing

  1. #1

    Default Quark: Design versus Marketing

    I've bought a handful of new lights over the past 6 months, the last of which was a Four Sevens Quark 2AA regular with an XP-G2. While shopping for a new light, I scoured the web pages of the manufacturers and read reviews here. I found myself romanced by the good looks of some lights. The numbers (lumens and runtime) were also something I paid a lot of attention to. Lights that looked good in pictures got more attention from me. I'm a guy and the marketers know who their audience is. We like sexy pictures of lights.

    I was attracted to the Quark line because of the interface on the Regular, always coming on in moonlight with the head loosened. Always turbo with the head tightened. I kept looking at the poor quality pictures on Four Seven's old site and new site thinking: "What a plain Jane light. The pictures don't show much detail."

    I think I wanted cuts and fluting or something to make the light visually stand out. Yes, this seems borderline ridiculous as I type it. Flashlights are a tool. But they're also a cool thing to have and we like our cool things to look cool...

    Well I had recently bought a Jetbeam light and thought it looked amazing in the marketing pictures. In person it was nice. The interface sucked. Nice and bright. Built well for the most part, but it had issues and wasn't anything special. Just decent.

    Then I got the Quark. It's a different world. I know now, after reading what the designer has to say, that every aspect of the Quark has been purposefully designed. From the plain looks to the driver, it's all purposeful. Those plain looks? In person it just looks "right". It feels amazing. Just the right knurling. Just the right size diameter. It's the little things: The clip is perfect. Perfect pocket tension, so it stays in place, but it's easy to remove and doesn't tear up my pockets. Perfect depth so it's easy to retrieve.

    The mode spacing is the best I've ever seen on any light. I find myself using just the right amount of light for every task. Which is making the batteries last for WAY longer than I expected.

    The key point I'm trying to make here is that the Quark is a flashlight purpose built for flashlight enthusiasts. It reminds me of HDS in terms of the ideas and execution; it's amazingly well engineered. It's got a different approach than HDS and I really, really like it! This light is so superior to all of the lights with pretty marketing pictures, it's hard to put into words. This is good engineering. This is wonderfully usable. It's design, not marketing. Those other lights are the other way around.

    If you, like me, were kind of lukewarm about the Quark because it doesn't look exciting, think again. This is an amazing product.

    Brian.

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* AnAppleSnail's Avatar
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    Default Re: Quark: Design versus Marketing

    Their new photography is itself a work of art: Every gnurl, bevel, and chamfer is lovingly shown with painstaking light-tent work.
    My biggest light-hog is my camera.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Quark: Design versus Marketing

    points to criticize regarding the Quarks are:
    • the soft unprotected threads. all unanodized threads s*ck. they wear down with visible aluminum powder dust. anodized threads would be much better.
    • the anodization is thin and cheap. it definitely wears down fast. most easily seen at the knurling. but also how it chips easily at exposed extremities. ask cpf people to post photos of their often carried Quarks. you'll . Klarus, Sunwayman, Fenix, Jetbeam all have thicker, more wear-resistant anodization
    • tint is questionable. if you like the tint of your sample, then no comments here . there was a cpf poll and the majority of voters admitted that the tint was problematic on their samples.
    • sloppy machining tolerances, see the boring, the threads. far from precise. actually the tolerances are horrible. not up to my standards
    • to me, overall feels cheap, it really does ymmv. imo this is nothing subjective. a Klarus or Fenix simply feels superior in quality, build quality, whatever. a Quark in my hands omg i really cant get over it how cheap this product feels. and after a while of carrying, edc, it becomes even more apparent .. this feeling. well, i didnt have that feeling when it was brand new .. i overlooked this so to speak subconsciously. the longer i owned it, the longer i used it, the thought and feeling grew on me: "dang, this is cheap stuff!!"
    • at 78$ they are overpriced. i think. but even at 30$ shipped (Goinggear blowout sale) i wouldnt buy a Quark again .. if it had a greenish tint. to me, even a non-greenish Quark at 30$ isnt a keeper. after a couple of months i would still get the feeling "dang, this is cheap stuff!!". Flashlights which dont fade like that in their feeling are imo xeno, Klarus, Fenix. Also Jetbeam and Sunwayman.


    other than that Quarks are great!!
    Dont feed the trolls.
    ©2012 Got Lumens?

  4. #4
    Flashaholic* AnAppleSnail's Avatar
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    Default Re: Quark: Design versus Marketing

    We get it, David personally kicks you in the shin every time a Quark thread is started. That said, I've had great experiences with every one of the FourSevens lights I've bought. The only lights that don't still run are those that got lost. The main anodizing wear I've seen is when I dropped it a few dozen feet onto a concrete curb.

    Edit: wording
    Last edited by AnAppleSnail; 12-02-2012 at 01:28 PM.
    My biggest light-hog is my camera.

  5. #5
    Flashaholic* Jash's Avatar
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    Default Re: Quark: Design versus Marketing

    A Quark tactical is probably one of the best all round lights for the money. I've used them for a few years now and they've never let me down. The quality is a bit hit and miss though, eg. My very first Quark AA2 Tactical (XP-E version) has a flawless beam and a lovely tint, but there's something on the inside of the lens that looks like maybe some dried glue and the threads were sloppy out of the box.

    However my Quark AA2 Regular NW seems like it came from a different factory. The threads are perfect, the lens is crystal clear and it's performed perfectly since I got it.

    Then there's my most recent edition in the form of a QTL2. It has an awful preflash, rough threads and the anno can be scratched off with your fingernail (I am not kidding!). Still, I bought it as an EDC to be abused. It's the one I don't care if it gets mashed up and scratched.

    My Quark 123 Tactical has no preflash, it has buttery smooth threads and has worked perfect for over two years. If only they could match Fenix's quality they'd be just about perfect.
    There can never be too much honey to lick off your fingers.

  6. #6

    Default Quark: Design versus Marketing

    Quote Originally Posted by shelm View Post
    points to criticize regarding the Quarks are:

    (snip)

    other than that Quarks are great!!
    I gotta say its amazing how much sample variation and personal preference skew our opinions - but more opinions are always good.

    I like the same class of light as shelm does - bright, small, 1xAA, 14500 maybe, multi-mode clickies, with ultra efficient low lows - and that really limits the playing field to a small handful of lights. I'm not going to argue that Quark is the highest quality light, I own a half dozen and am well aware of every Quark "quirk" (tint, pre-flash, threads, whine, reset time, etc.) but for me, on balance, it's still top dog in this class.

    I know shelm likes the D25A clicky Ti, and I own three of those too, but each have had more serious QC issues than any Quark I've owned (pinched o-rings, unfinished threads (loose too), various levels of PWM, a missing lens!). But on balance, it's a great light and I love it too, it runs #2 for me.

    Now there's a third major player in this class, that really doesn't have the QC issues mentioned above, but for some reason the company just rubs me the wrong way with its bait-and-switch marketing tactics and lack of warranty/CS (with questionable reliability reputation). I'll still buy their lights - they are great lights - but they won't get my repeat or recommendation business (I gift to, and buy for, others a lot more than myself)... #3 for me.

    On balance, they're all about equal, with personal preference and sample experience skewing things one way or another.

    Just my $0.02.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Quark: Design versus Marketing

    I have bought 2 Quark lights, and I had good results with both. They were both bought a few years ago. I avoided the models with pre-flash and the editions with the known tint problems. I had a Maelstrom G5 XPG-R5 and a Mini-2AA XPG-R5. Liked them both for what they were.
    I sold them both, and have moved on to other lights since then.
    Brawndo. It's got what plants crave!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Quark: Design versus Marketing

    Quote Originally Posted by reppans View Post
    Now there's a third major player in this class, that really doesn't have the QC issues mentioned above, but for some reason the company just rubs me the wrong way with its bait-and-switch marketing tactics and lack of warranty/CS (with questionable reliability reputation). I'll still buy their lights - they are great lights - but they won't get my repeat or recommendation business (I gift to, and buy for, others a lot more than myself)... #3 for me.
    Who?
    Oveready Boss 35 & 70; Quark MKIII QK16L; LensLight Mini; HDS Rotary 325 XP-L, Clicky 170W; ZebraLight SC 600 MK III HI, SC600W, SC62W, SC60W, SC52W, SC51C, SC5W; EagleTac NW D25LC2 Tactical, NW D25LC2, NW D25A, NW D25C, DX30LC2 Clicky, DX3B Mini; Nitecore D10R2; Elzetta Alpha; Jaxman E3; Reylight Ti

  9. #9

    Default Re: Quark: Design versus Marketing

    Quote Originally Posted by hatman View Post
    Who?
    cebra

  10. #10

    Default Re: Quark: Design versus Marketing

    Sounds like you have an old or bad Quark. Mine is well-made, the machining and anodizing is fine, slight green tint on lower settings but hardly noticeable on high, and no preflash unless I've just turned the light off then on again. It's an AA2 XML I got on last year's sale for $40 and it's my most used and useful light. It's certainly close in fit and finish to my Fenix lights (incl. the TK41 which seems to be a favorite here). Maybe you should get a current Quark and see if there is a difference.
    Last edited by dusty99; 12-07-2012 at 12:28 PM.

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