Audio source
post-15706454
Thread Starter
Post #1 of 5

sinbarambam

New Head-Fier
Joined
Mar 21, 2009
Messages
6
Reaction score
0
Joined
Mar 21, 2009
Posts
6
Likes
0
Hi everyone,

I have a Stax SR009 and a Woo Audio GES (hoping to upgrade the latter at some point).

My source files (mostly FLAC) are on my NAS and on my laptop and I'm using a Cambridge Audio streammagic streamer.
I am hoping to upgrade my system by getting a Chord Qutest DAC

What would be the best setup
1) plug my laptop into the DAC via USB and into my headphone amp?
2) keep using the NAS and bypass the DAC in the Cambridge Audio (if that's possible) and use the Qutest DAC instead?
3) buy a new streamer?
4) something else?

I'd really appreciate your insights!
 
Last edited:
     Share This Post       
post-15706798
Post #2 of 5

bland125

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Mar 9, 2020
Messages
264
Reaction score
137
Location
Canada
Joined
Mar 9, 2020
Location
Canada
Posts
264
Likes
137
From your choices, 1 and 3 make the most sense to me. I have never heard the Qutest DAC but it is very much favored everywhere. Yes, your option 2 would work as the stream magic has digital outs so you can use an outboard DAC like the Qutest through optical but you are going to limit yourself between the digital out of the streamer and digital in of the Qutest and I am not a fan of that.

For option 4, you are most certainly aware of network bridges setup but I am not a fan either.

If you listen to music with your laptop next to you, option 1 is my fav. If not and you use a remote or app from a distance, option 3 makes more sense to me.
 
     Share This Post       
post-15707751
Post #3 of 5

sinbarambam

New Head-Fier
Joined
Mar 21, 2009
Messages
6
Reaction score
0
Joined
Mar 21, 2009
Posts
6
Likes
0
Hi @bland125 - thanks for your reply, really appreciate it. In order to get the cleanest USB signal out of the laptop and into the DAC, would you recommend adding a usb-sdif converter (like this one: https://www.stereophile.com/content/musical-fidelity-v-link-usb-spdif-converter-0) And as for the cable, my laptop only has usb-c ports (Dell XPS). Now, I do have a good Chord USB A cable that I could use a little adaptor for like I do with all my other (legacy) USB equipment, or would you recommend against that?
 
     Share This Post       
post-15707852
Post #4 of 5

bland125

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Mar 9, 2020
Messages
264
Reaction score
137
Location
Canada
Joined
Mar 9, 2020
Location
Canada
Posts
264
Likes
137
While I can understand the concerns about USB, I had them at some point and I remain aware that issue can exist, I am not buying into the attempt to fix issues that I am not hearing or that might not be present in all setups. I would certainly try without any cleaning, relocking, decrapifying dongles first and if issues need fixing, you can look into remedies. I would certainly trust in Chords USB implementation to begin with. The laptop less so but eh, you never know!

No worries about the adapter, it should be fine. It's always preferable not to use them as they could possibly make the connection flimsier but again, try it first and if it holds well, it's fine.

I'm using my PC connected with USB to my DAC with an entry WireWorld cable and it's all good. I benefit from the full capabilities of my DAC. The dongle you linked limits the signal to 24/96 and seems suited for legacy DAC that were not managing the USB like newer DAC are.
 
     Share This Post       
  • Like
Reactions: sinbarambam

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)

Top