Chord Electronics Qutest DAC - Official Thread

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  1. ChordElectronics

    Chord Electronics Qutest DAC

    Chord Electronics is proud to announce to the Head-Fi community Qutest, a UK-made standalone digital-to-analogue converter based on our multi-award-winning Hugo 2 technology.

    Qutest doesn’t follow the norm, it sets the standard with a brand new compact chassis design by John Franks with a stunning black finish, making it ideal for desktop environments. It benefits from a huge 49,152-tap filter, 10-element Pulse Array design by forum regular Rob Watts and features over 750x the processing power of DAC-chip rivals.

    The new Qutest greatly improves on the previous 2Qute and user comments on the forum have helped shape its development. New filter options just like on Hugo 2 are now available, helping to tailor the sound. A front-mounted input selector switch makes source swapping simple: multiple sources can connect with seamlessly transition between devices. Plus, press both the ‘Filter’ and ‘Source’ buttons together at start-up and select from a variable output voltage of 1V, 2V, or 3V!

    Pair Qutest with your headphone amplifier to tailor the sound to your liking, or connect to your amplifier for the purest audio experience, you can also upgrade streamers, CD transports/players and most digitally connected devices. Plus, there’s no discriminating against DAPs - Qutest supports Android, iOS, Windows, Apple OS X and Linux devices.

    Qutest supports all major commercially available file formats up to 768kHz PCM and native DSD tracks to 512 (Octa-DSD).

    Availability: Available for pre-order now

    Price: £1195.00


    Materials: Precision machined aluminium, anodised, with polycarbonate buttons and glass lens

    Colour availability: Black only

    Power input: 5v 2amp Micro USB (supplied)

    Connectivity (Input): 1x High Speed Galvanically Isolated USB Type B, 2x BNC Coax, 1x Optical

    Connectivity (Output): 1x Stereo RCA

    Volume Control: Fixed but selectable between 3v (blue), 2v (green), and 1v (red) via dual press of ‘Filter’ + ‘Input’ upon startup.

    Selectable Filter Options: Incisive neutral (White), Incisive neutral HF roll-off (Green), Warm (Orange), Warm HF roll-off (Red)

    Technical specifications:

    Chipset: Chord Electronics custom coded Xilinx Art 7 (XC7A15T) FPGA

    Tap length: 49,152

    Pulse array: 10-element design

    PCM Sample Rates: 44.1kHz - 768kHz

    DSD Support: Native DSD support DSD 64 - DSD 512 (8x)

    Frequency response: 20Hz - 20kHz +/- 0.2dB

    Output impedance: 0.025Ω

    THD: <0.0001% 1kHz 3v RMA 300Ω

    Noise 2.6 uV ‘A’ Weighted: No measurable noise floor modulation

    Weight: 770g

    Dimensions: 41mm (H) x 160mm (W) x 72mm (D)





    Visit the Chord Electronics website for more information
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2018
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  2. Bulbsofpassion
    £1995.00 ?!
    volly likes this.
  3. Music Alchemist
    No, £1195. (~$1,600 USD.)
  4. seeteeyou
    Just adding my 2 cents, it's OK to drive sensitive speakers (e.g. Omega and Voxativ) and headphones directly with the RCA outputs of Quetest
    Regarding volume control under Windows 10 etc.
  5. Bulbsofpassion
    Ritvik likes this.
  6. elviscaprice
    What is the minimum requirements for 5V or does it need the full power input? Not so excited about the micro power input, to be honest. Now I'm thinking Hugo 2 over this?? With the micro power input and no volume control.
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2018
  7. Music Alchemist
    The tap length is 49,152; same as the Hugo 2.
    nephilim32 likes this.
  8. iDesign
    If the Qutest had a headphone input, I suspect Chord would have had an even bigger success.
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2018
    tmaxx123 likes this.
  9. Bulbsofpassion
    Supplied charger is 5v 2A So I'd imagine it needs that. What's the problem with a Micro USB connection?
  10. elviscaprice
    Alot, it's not exactly an ideal setup for a low impedance source. Of course Rob is going to say that power supply doesn't matter, again.
    AlanYWM likes this.
  11. Bulbsofpassion
    I'm sure you could replace the power supply with whatever you want, the fact it would have to be terminated with a micro-USB connector really shouldn't make a difference should it?
  12. AndrewOld
    What are the dual BNC inputs for? Surely not a Blu2?
  13. elviscaprice
    Yes and no, concerning impedance.
    Really it makes sense that Chord uses this input, micro, for power. It alleviates the dummy error using improper power supply.
  14. seeteeyou
    Some of us already own UpTone Audio UltraCap LPS-1 and it's relatively easy to add an adapter for StarQuad DC power cables


    However, it's very important to find out whether Qutest is consuming more than 5 watts or otherwise. LPS-1 is only good enough for 5.5 watts.

    Regarding 2Qute, we're able to get away with two units of LPS-1 connected in parallel (7V + 5V = 12V) to provide up to 13.2 watts continuously. Actually the manual stated 0.5A @ 12V or 6 watts
    elviscaprice likes this.
  15. Music Alchemist
    Yep. :sunglasses:
    Alcophone likes this.
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