Chord Electronics Qutest DAC - Official Thread
Dec 20, 2018 at 12:10 PM Post #2,644 of 5,788

GreenBow

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I am very sensitive to brightness and can safely say not fatiguing. I stayed up listening to music later than I should cause I enjoying it so much. A lot of classical sounded more natural and vivid to my ears. After 4 hours I switched off only cause I had to sleep.

Conversely on Tuesday night I switched from optical to usb to hear some 24/96 hi res stuff from Qobuz - because my chrome cast suffers drop outs with hi res from Qobuz which is very annoying - and I couldn’t handle the sound! It was exactly that fatiguing brightness that adds detail but irritated me within 10 mins. So much that I opted for streaming at 16/44 to use the optical connection. Mentioning this to give you en example of how much I avoid brightness.

Back to the Pilot , I ll need to experiment more but as a first encounter I think it was a great buy

If you get brightness on USB, maybe try the Audioquest Jitterbug. I did with Mojo, when connected to noisy PC. It warmed it up, made it smoother, and seemed to reduce soundstage. Thought to myself 'really'. (I had read others experienced the same, and they took the Jitterbug off.) Then thought OK, just give it time, and re-adjust. Never looked back. Matched optical performance.

Hugo 2 apparently has RFI filtering on USB in. Some others and myself, say they can't hear any difference between optical and USB. I would actually have thought Qutest the same. Must be. Maybe it was just Qobuz performance. They say you can hear differences in quality between online streamer.

Anyway totally lost in what I am saying here, because I never knew what you meant. Or why sound was bad. Therefor I will do the honourable thing and cease to rattle on, haha.
 
Dec 20, 2018 at 2:34 PM Post #2,645 of 5,788
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I am eagerly waiting for more news!Can you power Qutest while charging?Duration time?

As I said on PM Zzt231gr, you shouldn’t expect a battery pack to radically alter the sound of the Qutest otherwise you will only be setting yourself up for disappointment. As Nik74 attests, the Pilot power pack is a great device generally, but is not doing anything special in terms of the Quest.

It’s providing power like any other power pack. And unless you have noisy components in your chain or have noisy mains, you may notice no difference. I’d hate for you to waste money thinking it was a game changer. I and others have only reported our experiences. Yours may be completely different.
 
Dec 21, 2018 at 12:43 AM Post #2,647 of 5,788

Christer

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So Christer, do you feel the Qutest M Scaled now equals or exceeds the musicality of vinyl?

Hi max22,
Interesting question.
Well, to make things absolutely clear, my absolute refererence is how acoustic music actually sounds LIVE, and NOT as it sounds via even very good vinyl like direct cuts.
Vinyl is far from perfect.
And I will need to compare back home with an MScaler in my own home system via my electrostatic speakers to hear how M Scaler works in my system to answer your question.
But I suspect M Scaler could very well be, as Rob put it, "the final nail in the coffin of vinyl" for me too.
I am now much to my surprise discovering what has hitherto been hidden in well recorded 16/44.1 via all other way of playing rbcd I have heard and they are many.

Qutest on its own did not sound quite as realistic as the best direct cuts can do to me via my speakers.

But I can as before, safely say, that as far as the actual SQ leap and increase in realism is concerned with full m-scaling via my current travel setup consisting of my Qutest an M Scaler and a battery powered headphone amp connected via the best of two sets of rca cables I have with me, and into my HD 800,has taken my enjoyment of well made digital recordings in general and 16/44.1 in particular to new higher levels.

Levels I now realize I was not even close to with Qutest on its own.

It is almost as if the harshness and hardening and the colouration of both tonal and timbral information and general lack of resolution digital so often suffers from, has been "vacuum cleaned" away with my best recordings.
And acoustic space and soundstage is much more real with longer decay on recordings where that has been properly captured too.

Qutest on its own was definitely a clear improvement on HUGO 1 which I also have at hand, but would not even dream of using other than in an absolute emergency from now on.

And the increase in SQ is so big with M Scaler at full 1M mscaling that Qutest also lags far behind imho.
There is no going back.

Ps Sorry if the above takes away from some of the joy new Qutest owners may feel.
But I have to say again if you havent heard your well recorded acoustic music m-scaled "You aint heard nothing yet", imho.

Cheers Controversial Christer
 
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Dec 21, 2018 at 1:28 AM Post #2,648 of 5,788

Zzt231gr

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As I said on PM Zzt231gr, you shouldn’t expect a battery pack to radically alter the sound of the Qutest otherwise you will only be setting yourself up for disappointment. As Nik74 attests, the Pilot power pack is a great device generally, but is not doing anything special in terms of the Quest.

It’s providing power like any other power pack. And unless you have noisy components in your chain or have noisy mains, you may notice no difference. I’d hate for you to waste money thinking it was a game changer. I and others have only reported our experiences. Yours may be completely different.
Your post is very valuable!Thank you.
 
Dec 21, 2018 at 5:51 AM Post #2,649 of 5,788

dac64

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From Christer :wink:

Hi max22,
Interesting question.
Well, to make things absolutely clear, my absolute refererence is how acoustic music actually sounds LIVE, and NOT as it sounds via even very good vinyl like direct cuts.
Vinyl is far from perfect.
And I will need to compare back home with an MScaler in my own home system via my electrostatic speakers to hear how M Scaler works in my system to answer your question.
But I suspect M Scaler could very well be, as Rob put it, "the final nail in the coffin of vinyl" for me too.
I am now much to my surprise discovering what has hitherto been hidden in well recorded 16/44.1 via all other way of playing rbcd I have heard and they are many.

Qutest on its own did not sound quite as realistic as the best direct cuts can do to me via my speakers.

But I can as before, safely say, that as far as the actual SQ leap and increase in realism is concerned with full m-scaling via my current travel setup consisting of my Qutest an M Scaler and a battery powered headphone amp connected via the best of two sets of rca cables I have with me, and into my HD 800,has taken my enjoyment of well made digital recordings in general and 16/44.1 in particular to new higher levels.

Levels I now realize I was not even close to with Qutest on its own.

It is almost as if the harshness and hardening and the colouration of both tonal and timbral information and general lack of resolution digital so often suffers from, has been "vacuum cleaned" away with my best recordings.
And acoustic space and soundstage is much more real with longer decay on recordings where that has been properly captured too.

Qutest on its own was definitely a clear improvement on HUGO 1 which I also have at hand, but would not even dream of using other than in an absolute emergency from now on.

And the increase in SQ is so big with M Scaler at full 1M mscaling that Qutest also lags far behind imho.
There is no going back.

Ps Sorry if the above takes away from some of the joy new Qutest owners may feel.
But I have to say again if you havent heard your well recorded acoustic music m-scaled "You aint heard nothing yet", imho.

Cheers Controversial Christer
 
Dec 21, 2018 at 4:38 PM Post #2,651 of 5,788

HumanMedia

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Dec 21, 2018 at 5:58 PM Post #2,652 of 5,788

Nik74

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Further to the discussion of alternative power supplies and powerbanks, this evening I m trying something new. I have the feeling from reading others posts that maybe it is not the power supplied to the Qutest that makes a difference when I use the Pilot powerbank but rather the fact that there is one less switching power supply polluting my mains with noise... So I removed the switching supply of the chromecast from my PS Audio Dectet and connected it to a different outlet under the logic that since I m using optical out of the chromecast, any electrically transmitted artifacts and noise from the unfiltered mains won't find their way into the DAC. So now the only thing in my audio chain connected to the Dectet are my valve amp combo. Is there sense in me doing all this or am I now combining my lack of technical understanding with audio nervosa?
I m hearing more timbral variation and harmonic richness but it could totally be placebo. I don't know anymore !
 
Dec 21, 2018 at 10:02 PM Post #2,653 of 5,788

dac64

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Further to the discussion of alternative power supplies and powerbanks, this evening I m trying something new. I have the feeling from reading others posts that maybe it is not the power supplied to the Qutest that makes a difference when I use the Pilot powerbank but rather the fact that there is one less switching power supply polluting my mains with noise... So I removed the switching supply of the chromecast from my PS Audio Dectet and connected it to a different outlet under the logic that since I m using optical out of the chromecast, any electrically transmitted artifacts and noise from the unfiltered mains won't find their way into the DAC. So now the only thing in my audio chain connected to the Dectet are my valve amp combo. Is there sense in me doing all this or am I now combining my lack of technical understanding with audio nervosa?
I m hearing more timbral variation and harmonic richness but it could totally be placebo. I don't know anymore !

My system is simple, a sony hap-z1es (analogue transformer was disconnected therefore only digital circuitry is active) USB to qutest.
 
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Dec 22, 2018 at 2:17 AM Post #2,654 of 5,788

Christer

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Further to the discussion of alternative power supplies and powerbanks, this evening I m trying something new. I have the feeling from reading others posts that maybe it is not the power supplied to the Qutest that makes a difference when I use the Pilot powerbank but rather the fact that there is one less switching power supply polluting my mains with noise... So I removed the switching supply of the chromecast from my PS Audio Dectet and connected it to a different outlet under the logic that since I m using optical out of the chromecast, any electrically transmitted artifacts and noise from the unfiltered mains won't find their way into the DAC. So now the only thing in my audio chain connected to the Dectet are my valve amp combo. Is there sense in me doing all this or am I now combining my lack of technical understanding with audio nervosa?
I m hearing more timbral variation and harmonic richness but it could totally be placebo. I don't know anymore !

Hello again Nik 74,
well I for one don't think you are hearing only a placebo effect when you say you hear more timbral variation and harmonic richness off the grid.
Since buying my Qutest I had been using it with the supplied power unit,but when auditioning M Scaler with my Qutest one dealer had a linear battery powered unit called:
Musical Paradise MP-U1 USB Linear Power Supply which to my surprise seemed to clean up things a bit compared to using the supplied power unit plugged into the wall socket. Even under their imho too noisy
HI FI shop conditions I could hear a small difference.
I have now been using that unit together with Qutest and M Scaler with its supplied power plug for about a week and charged the battery unit for Qutest over night.
But last night in the middle of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring I ran out of battery power and had to plug in the supplied power unit from Chord to carry on my listening and could actually under very quiet late night conditions hear that some of the effortless natural almost completely noise free delivery from 16/44.1 I was hearing before was not quite there any longer. It simply did not sound as clean and enjoyable as before any longer.
String sound suffered most.
Having compared the two I must say that I very much doubt I am imagining things.
No placebo involved imho.
It could of course still partly be because wallpower here in Malaysia is not very clean that I like the battery unit better. But there is no doubt in my mind that battery powered via this unit my music sounds more relaxed and cleaner than without it.
And as noted before with one of my quite low res Yoga Nidra tracks there is also less sibilance on a female instructor's voice via the battery unit, than via the supplied unit from Chord.
I think HIFI News who were the first to mention this possible problem with the supplied unit,were correct in their review of Qutest.
Maybe only some supplied power units are sending noise back into the dac via the mains,but mine does.

Cheers Controversial Christer
 
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Dec 22, 2018 at 3:14 AM Post #2,655 of 5,788

Zzt231gr

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Further to the discussion of alternative power supplies and powerbanks, this evening I m trying something new. I have the feeling from reading others posts that maybe it is not the power supplied to the Qutest that makes a difference when I use the Pilot powerbank but rather the fact that there is one less switching power supply polluting my mains with noise... So I removed the switching supply of the chromecast from my PS Audio Dectet and connected it to a different outlet under the logic that since I m using optical out of the chromecast, any electrically transmitted artifacts and noise from the unfiltered mains won't find their way into the DAC. So now the only thing in my audio chain connected to the Dectet are my valve amp combo. Is there sense in me doing all this or am I now combining my lack of technical understanding with audio nervosa?
I m hearing more timbral variation and harmonic richness but it could totally be placebo. I don't know anymore !
Is Dectet a mains filter?If it is,you are probably right!

Hello again Nik 74,
well I for one don't think you are hearing only a placebo effect when you say you hear more timbral variation and harmonic richness off the grid.
Since buying my Qutest I had been using it with the supplied power unit,but when auditioning M Scaler with my Qutest one dealer had a linear battery powered unit called:
Musical Paradise MP-U1 USB Linear Power Supply which to my surprise seemed to clean up things a bit compared to using the supplied power unit plugged into the wall socket. Even under their imho too noisy
HI FI shop conditions I could hear a small difference.
I have now been using that unit together with Qutest and M Scaler with its supplied power plug for about a week and charged the battery unit for Qutest over night.
But last night in the middle of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring I ran out of battery power and had to plug in the supplied power unit from Chord to carry on my listening and could actually under very quiet late night conditions hear that some of the effortless natural almost completely noise free delivery from 16/44.1 I was hearing before was not quite there any longer. It simply did not sound as clean and enjoyable as before any longer.
String sound suffered most.
Having compared the two I must say that I very much doubt I am imagining things.
No placebo involved imho.
It could of course still partly be because wallpower here in Malaysia is not very clean that I like the battery unit better. But there is no doubt in my mind that battery powered via this unit my music sounds more relaxed and cleaner than without it.
And as noted before with one of my quite low res Yoga Nidra tracks there is also less sibilance on a female instructor's voice via the battery unit, than via the supplied unit from Chord.
I think HIFI News who were the first to mention this possible problem with the supplied unit,were correct in their review of Qutest.
Maybe only some supplied power units are sending noise back into the dac via the mains,but mine does.

Cheers Controversial Christer
That PSU seems interesting!Have you compared it to the mentioned powerbank?
 

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