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Chord QuteHD DAC - 'Pulse-Array' Teconology Discusion Thread - Page 3

post #31 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by FortisFlyer75 View Post

Will be interesting as to whether this model is or not but chord do not use the traditional method of buying the standard chips every other company use but instead chord build around a circuit board of their own and is all software tweaked from there so would be interesting to hear chord on the benefits the design process they implement has to other conventional dacs.

Most DAC chips used these days are software controllable via I2C or SPI. Many DACs make use of these software functions. So it is not that Chord has some sort of advantage over the rest of the DAC market. Don't believe the marketing hype.

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post #32 of 54
I've read elsewhere that Chord creates and maintains their own FPGAs, although I lack the technical knowledge to say whether this is apropos.
post #33 of 54

It's actually quite interesting if you look at it from the other angle...

 

Looking at redbook, Cyrus have implemented their own transport that is touted as retrieving 20% more error-free data than that of the likes of the Philips CD Pro2...  The proof is in the pudding, and - with the CD6SE2 that I have (yes, to those who've known me for a few years, finally my CD spinner is bang up to date!!), there is a helluva lot of eating - even though this is only their budget entry (at £750 not exactly 'budget'... but, I digress!) - Anyhow, to drag this back to point - if the average CD player transmits only 80% of the data to the DAC (whether onboard or external) then you have to do a whole lot of manipulation of those bits that are received to get them to sound good...

 

As luck would have it, this player sounds great out of the line out, however - I can personally attest that my little Micromega DAC also has a bit of a kick up the rear end when plugged into the Cyrus, sounding much more authorative!

post #34 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baxide View Post

Most DAC chips used these days are software controllable via I2C or SPI. Many DACs make use of these software functions. So it is not that Chord has some sort of advantage over the rest of the DAC market. Don't believe the marketing hype.

I try not to (with the hype), I let my ears decide ultimately regardless of the intricate technical specs of each company trying to out do each other with spell binding words persuaveness but will not be looking at a nice dedicated headphone dac until next year now so I am trying to find out what makes these things tick in the mean time as mind boggling as it is! 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Duncan View Post

It's actually quite interesting if you look at it from the other angle...

 

Looking at redbook, Cyrus have implemented their own transport that is touted as retrieving 20% more error-free data than that of the likes of the Philips CD Pro2...  The proof is in the pudding, and - with the CD6SE2 that I have (yes, to those who've known me for a few years, finally my CD spinner is bang up to date!!), there is a helluva lot of eating - even though this is only their budget entry (at £750 not exactly 'budget'... but, I digress!) - Anyhow, to drag this back to point - if the average CD player transmits only 80% of the data to the DAC (whether onboard or external) then you have to do a whole lot of manipulation of those bits that are received to get them to sound good...

 

As luck would have it, this player sounds great out of the line out, however - I can personally attest that my little Micromega DAC also has a bit of a kick up the rear end when plugged into the Cyrus, sounding much more authorative!

Interesting pick with the Cyrus, Quite an analytical player from memory... would of toyed with a second hand last gen Meridian's possibly with 750 notes but then again a bargain can be had with the Tag Mclaren DVD32R top loaders which several years ago where £4K and now do the rounds for £300-500 if you can find the later reliable drive and loading door fix issue sorted then you have a machine that still competes with today's disc spinners. 

 

How old is your Micromega dac Duncan?  I had the Micromega DVD player back in 98-2001 and my Dad had the Micromega stage 6 cd player and both where the most unreliable machines like the Alfa or Lancia's of the Hi-fi world hence why Micromegea pulled their distribution in the UK back then.   They made some good sounding kit but was dogged with them not working for longer than five minutes.

 

 Not contemplating a new dac like the QuteHD or a Cyrus dac to pair with your new Cyrus cd player? 

So many to look at in this price range though although I can only assume the QuteHD is on the top end of that pile of dacs...?

post #35 of 54

Fortis...

 

For me, it was all about system matching, the LCD2s are on the warmer side of neutral, and the Cyrus is clean / analytical enough to balance that out...

 

Of course, if I end up using my DT880s, or go back to the Senn HD800 then I could be in trouble, but for now couldn't be happier :)

 

Re the Micromega, it is their current little DAC - only retails at about £270, but with separate clocks for 44.1x and 48x keeps things clean...  Definitely not the last word in refinement (despite the reviews touting this as being able to beat multi thousand dollar DACs) but is a cheap replacement to the DAC inside my Burson, which my setup has exceeded.

 

My ultimate game plan is to upgrade the 6SE2 to the 8SE2, add a PSX-R, and - then, like you say - probably get a Cyrus DAC - whether my renaissance with CD will last that long I do not know, but - am happy that the Cyrus outperforms my PC / DAC combination - so, all is looking good! (I like Cyrus' modular approach - good for people like me that have expectations bigger than their wallets!)

 

;)

post #36 of 54

System matching the ultimate crucial key which is why as i am not contemplating a dac until next year now I might get more of an idea at the October London meet as I have not got a clue which way to go on dacs with tso many been out there plus the gear I have now and possibly might be going for in the next year coming up that it would be hooked up to in terms of synergy. 

 

All I know is I am looking at a pair of cans that can match my JH16's for detail and need a head amp and dac that will be good enough to feed those cans also so the Chord (if book balancing all goes well!) will be on the cards if I can stretch to this price band for a dac.  Just a question on what those three bits of kit will be that match the signature I have been used to with portable gear in recent years.  

 

At least your still happy with your LCD2's then,....

Does you Micromega dac do 192 from usb at all as that would have to tick the box for me whilst spending £xxx on a dac.

 

p.s. I recently just got on the back of the April London meet from listening to one the Vorzuge Duo amp which is a little box of dynamite and surprised it does not get more recognition round these parts on Head-fi.  Pairs well with my Heir 5.0's, Jh16's and Sony X.   

post #37 of 54

Fortis,

 

That amp looks interesting, if I change my mind re the October meet (sat on the very big fence still) then I might just have to grab a listen!

 

Yes, the MyDac does 24/192 so is relatively future proof (I know there is talk of a 384khz format coming out, but if most people already struggle to hear the difference between 96 and 192, I cannot really see that hitting off!)...

 

Oh, btw - the PM I sent you the other day, you must've wondered what on earth I was on about - I misread your signature!!

 

;o)

 

I'm looking forward to Chord eventually chiming in on this thread - I want to know more about the real world benefits of what their DAC brings to the table!

post #38 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Duncan View Post

Fortis,

 

That amp looks interesting, if I change my mind re the October meet (sat on the very big fence still) then I might just have to grab a listen!

 

Yes, the MyDac does 24/192 so is relatively future proof (I know there is talk of a 384khz format coming out, but if most people already struggle to hear the difference between 96 and 192, I cannot really see that hitting off!)...

 

Oh, btw - the PM I sent you the other day, you must've wondered what on earth I was on about - I misread your signature!!

 

;o)

 

I'm looking forward to Chord eventually chiming in on this thread - I want to know more about the real world benefits of what their DAC brings to the table!

My search for a portable amp has ended despite already having a capable amp in the TTVJ Slim this Vorzuge has a wow factor to listening, unless I hear better at the October London meet of course!  On that subject I would not bother sitting on the big fence and not worry about who paints what side of that fence and just go and enjoy for your self like a majority going will be doing.  forget the XY&Z's.

 

Cannot see why there is going to be a push for 384khz stuff as 192 is not a mass market accepted media presence for material and like you said will anyone hear the difference at all regardless of how good the hardware is or source material?  This is where we need educating by the over long arrival of Chord to guide us with their knowledge on such matters.....

 

not sure which pm? are you talking about the other week rather than days, if so cannot remember!  : )

post #39 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by FortisFlyer75 View Post
Cannot see why there is going to be a push for 384khz stuff as 192 is not a mass market accepted media presence for material and like you said will anyone hear the difference at all regardless of how good the hardware is or source material?

Most DAC buyers are easily convinced that higher specifications mean a better something. So the marketing people are quick to dream up ways to get you to buy the latest trick in the book. As an old female friend of mine once pointed out: she could catch more men if she used lipstick, even though the lipstick made no difference to any aspect of her life. The same applies to the DAC market in a heavy handed way.

post #40 of 54

Not to prempt Chord, but the major achievement here is proper capture of transients via the Watts Transient aligned filter with the 10,240 taps. Chord builds their own Dac (delta-sigma type Pulse Array) and their own filter whose coefficients they protect from extraction and duplication by pirates.

 

The Qute's 2 biggest compromises are the cheap but decent SMPS and the mediocre USB implementation. These are causualties of cost cutting, but perhaps the USB can be uncrippled with a firmware update. One could also say that the lack of a Ram buffer is a big compromise, but actual listening says otherwise. It is by no means bad, but just not as curring edge as the rest of the DAC. Any decent afte rmarket Linear PSU will make the Qute really sing. A firmware update to DSD128 would make this cookie fly even faster off the shelves.

 

The bass is huge and powerful and when tweaked up with LPSU and quality USB/SPDIF converter, the Qute makes RBCD sound like HiRez!

 

Read about their Dac technology here:  http://www.chordelectronics.co.uk/chord-dac-technology.asp

 

"WTA Filter: It solves the question as to why higher sampling rates sound better. It is well known that 96 kHz (DVD Audio) recordings sound better than 44.1 kHz (CD) recordings. Most people believe that this is due to the presence of ultrasonic information being audible even though the best human hearing is limited to 20kHz. What is not well known is that 768 kHz recordings sound better than 384 kHz and that the sound quality limit for sampling lies in the MHz region.

 

768 kHz recordings cannot sound better because of information above 200 kHz being important - simply because musical instruments, microphones, amplifiers and loudspeakers do not work at these frequencies nor can we hear them. So if it is not the extra bandwidth that is important, why do higher sampling rates sound better?

 

The answer is not being able to hear inaudible supersonic information, but the ability to hear the timing of transients more clearly. It has long been known that the human ear and brain can detect differences in the phase of sound between the ears to the order of microseconds This timing difference between the ears is used for localising high frequency sound. Since transients can be detected down to microseconds, the recording system needs to be able to resolve timing of one microsecond. A sampling rate of 1 MHz is needed to achieve this!

 

However, 44.1 kHz sampling can be capable of accurately resolving transients by the use of digital filtering. Digital filtering can go some way towards improving resolution without the need for higher sampling rates........

.....................

..............................

All of the above innovations are implemented in Xilinx Virtex series FPGA's. These FPGA's offer 200,000 gates per device, and merely updating the EPROM memory chip can easily change the design, thus future proofing is assured

"


Edited by wisnon - 7/8/13 at 4:03am
post #41 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baxide View Post

Most DAC buyers are easily convinced that higher specifications mean a better something. So the marketing people are quick to dream up ways to get you to buy the latest trick in the book. As an old female friend of mine once pointed out: she could catch more men if she used lipstick, even though the lipstick made no difference to any aspect of her life. The same applies to the DAC market in a heavy handed way.

At the same time, putting lipstick on a pig is not normally a winning strategy. Too superficial and thus easily spotted.

post #42 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by wisnon View Post

At the same time, putting lipstick on a pig is not normally a winning strategy. Too superficial and thus easily spotted.

You have obviously not seen or heard of miss Piggy from the muppet show. THE most famous pig in the world, and she uses lipstick.

post #43 of 54

LoL

 

Very true...

post #44 of 54

Seems like this DAC is not receiving the attention it truely deserves :confused:

 

I recently acquired this little gem and it's been quite a love affair (on speaker setup, at least). I use a MCRU linear power supply with it.

 

In terms of technicalities, it compares favorably with the Ciunas and Eximus DP1 and only falls short of the NFB-27, which is a beast in that department thanks to its ES9018 chip, excellent output stage and beefy power supply.

That's when used either through optical (WD TV as a transport) or the built-in USB (win7 x64 laptop + JRiver MC18). I'm yet to try it with the Ciunas Converter, which should arrive in a week or two. It might well catch up with the NFB-27, then.

 

In terms of sheer musically, it comes ahead of the bunch by a good margin. It has the best PRaT I heard from any of the DACs above, slightly ahead of the NFB-27 which is the next most dynamic DAC in the list (but the most effortless/muscular).

It doesn't have the bass definition and extension of either the Ciunas or the NFB-27 when using headphones, but when listening to speakers, it is not much of a concern (the impact and timing make it up for it and the speaker won't go <45Hz anyway). The bass thing is a bit strange and differs from many opinions I read -> I'll report back once I get to try it with a better transport.

The QuteHD is very transparent, and the voices have a very realistic tonality to them. This remains me of the Metrum Quad I used to own and love for this particular aspect, as well as the sense of flow in the music (which the Chord also displays). I cannot feel the digital aspect of the reproduction, like with the Metrum.

The soundstage is big, on par with the NFB-27 (especially the width) but with a better depth and height.

 

 

Highly recommended!

post #45 of 54

Interesting... How does it compare with the Eximus(which I have) and you mention. You dont really give any descripting comparisons...

How much is this puppy?

Thx

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