Chord Electronics Qutest DAC - Official Thread
Dec 22, 2018 at 4:08 AM Post #2,656 of 5,824

Triode User

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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.

Can you elaborate on what you mean by the noise free delivery not being there any more. Could you hear some noise with the stock supply?

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

I have heard whispers of doubt about the conclusions of HiFi News on this matter so maybe take their conclusions with a pinch of salt.
 
Dec 22, 2018 at 5:36 AM Post #2,657 of 5,824

Christer

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Can you elaborate on what you mean by the noise free delivery not being there any more. Could you hear some noise with the stock supply?



I have heard whispers of doubt about the conclusions of HiFi News on this matter so maybe take their conclusions with a pinch of salt.

Hi Triode User,
I am relying on my own ears and repeated comparisons in my observations.My quoting HI FI News was only because they mentioned similar observations in their review of Qutest.
I don't really need HIFI Mags to tell me what sounds better.

Please read my post above again where I mentioned some differences I can hear between on or off grid connection of Qutest.
I am not stating that it is the power unit as such that makes a difference, but I know what I hear.
If it helps RF interference through the mains,might be what is causing the differences?
As someone having had big problems with HUGO and RF or whatever contaminations there might have been that sometimes made it absolutely unlistenable in my home system,I am not imagining things.
But while I am observing things. Both good and bad.
Let me also mention that in spite of my recent very high praise of M Scaler with Qutest the usb cables supplied with both are of inferior quality imho.
The one supplied with M Scaler sometimes completely lost connection with my computer so I have used a better one since four days.
I started using the supplied one because it was much longer than the one I normally use and I needed that in my hotel room.
The first time it happened I was very worried and first thought, is M Scaler already malfunctioning after less than a week of using it?

It happened three times in a row within five minutes and then I switched to the cable I normally use with Qutest on its own and since then I have had no such problems with the usb connection to my laptop.

That cable is NOT the one supplied with Qutest by the way.
That was also a flimsy one.

I could even feel by touching it that the fitting was not good with the M Scaler supplied usb cable into my laptop.
Very loose and not the tight fit I am used to with a good USB cable.
I would not be surprised if sturdier BNC cables with tighter connections would as Rob put it could make things "a tad smoother" either.
I also know that a limiting factor so far,could also be Qutest having quite extensively auditioned both DAVE/BLU2 and TT2/M Scaler.
But what I have now while travelling is simply soo much better than Qutest on its own also using Chord's supplied power unit!
But I also know quite well, what is smoother and more realistic sound when I hear it.

I will eventually experiment with both other BNC cables than the ones supplied by Chord and maybe also try M Scaler off the grid if I can get hold of the Power Add Pilot Pro 2.
I also have my reference rca cables from another company by the name Chord back home. I did not bring those for my travels. And the difference between for example the Chord Company Clearway rca cables that I bought just to be able to use Qutest when I bought it and the better Audioquest rca cable I also have with me, are clearly audible to me even via my HD 800.Smoother,more realistic.

Cheers Controversial Christer
 
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Dec 22, 2018 at 5:42 AM Post #2,658 of 5,824

Christer

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Is Dectet a mains filter?If it is,you are probably right!

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

No I haven't tried any power banks at all .I am still confused which one to try.
I would like to get the Power Add Pilot Pro 2. But it seems unavailable here in Asia.
I would have bought one already if I could have bought one off the shelf somewhere.
Cheers Controversial Christer
 
Dec 22, 2018 at 5:51 AM Post #2,659 of 5,824

Nik74

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@Zzt231gr The PS Audio Dectet is a very decent mains filter/ power centre, entry level but in my system very effective. MAins quality in London is not optimal and I live in rented accomodation so I don't have a dedicated power circuit for my audio needs so as you can imagine the difference with this is significant, plus it offers protection from power surges and the like.
 
Dec 22, 2018 at 6:02 AM Post #2,660 of 5,824

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Hi Triode User,
I am relying on my own ears and repeated comparisons in my observations.My quoting HI FI News was only because they mentioned similar observations in their review of Qutest.
I don't really need HIFI Mags to tell me what sounds better.

Please read my post above again where I mentioned some differences I can hear between on or off grid connection of Qutest.
I am not stating that it is the power unit as such that makes a difference, but I know what I hear.
If it helps RF interference through the mains,might be what is causing the differences?
As someone having had big problems with HUGO and RF or whatever contaminations there might have been that sometimes made it absolutely unlistenable in my home system,I am not imagining things.
But while I am observing things. Both good and bad.
Let me also mention that in spite of my recent very high praise of M Scaler with Qutest the usb cables supplied with both are of inferior quality imho.
The one supplied with M Scaler sometimes completely lost connection with my computer so I have used a better one since four days.
I started using the supplied one because it was much longer than the one I normally use and I needed that in my hotel room.
The first time it happened I was very worried and first thought, is M Scaler already malfunctioning after less than a week of using it?

It happened three times in a row within five minutes and then I switched to the cable I normally use with Qutest on its own and since then I have had no such problems with the usb connection to my laptop.

That cable is NOT the one supplied with Qutest by the way.
That was also a flimsy one.

I could even feel by touching it that the fitting was not good with the M Scaler supplied usb cable into my laptop.
Very loose and not the tight fit I am used to with a good USB cable.
I would not be surprised if sturdier BNC cables with tighter connections would as Rob put it could make things "a tad smoother" either.
I also know that a limiting factor so far,could also be Qutest having quite extensively auditioned both DAVE/BLU2 and TT2/M Scaler.
But what I have now while travelling is simply soo much better than Qutest on its own also using Chord's supplied power unit!
But I also know quite well, what is smoother and more realistic sound when I hear it.

I will eventually experiment with both other BNC cables than the ones supplied by Chord and maybe also try M Scaler off the grid if I can get hold of the Power Add Pilot Pro 2.
I also have my reference rca cables from another company by the name Chord back home. I did not bring those for my travels. And the difference between for example the Chord Company Clearway rca cables that I bought just to be able to use Qutest when I bought it and the better Audioquest rca cable I also have with me, are clearly audible to me even via my HD 800.Smoother,more realistic.

Cheers Controversial Christer

Thanks, I was not doubting you, just wanted to draw out what differences you heard because others read this forum and get to form opinions based on what is said.

"I would not be surprised if sturdier BNC cables with tighter connections would as Rob put it could make things "a tad smoother" either." I don't think that was what he was talking about with his 'tad smother' comment.
 
Dec 22, 2018 at 6:15 AM Post #2,661 of 5,824

Christer

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Thanks, I was not doubting you, just wanted to draw out what differences you heard because others read this forum and get to form opinions based on what is said.

"I would not be surprised if sturdier BNC cables with tighter connections would as Rob put it could make things "a tad smoother" either." I don't think that was what he was talking about with his 'tad smother' comment.
As far as personal comments go they can be useful sometimes but the best thing is always to listen yourself imho.
Cheers Controversial Christer
 
Dec 22, 2018 at 7:25 AM Post #2,662 of 5,824

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As far as personal comments go they can be useful sometimes but the best thing is always to listen yourself imho.
Cheers Controversial Christer

Agreed, listen for yourself. There is only one person to please that way!
 
Dec 22, 2018 at 2:04 PM Post #2,663 of 5,824

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I also have my reference rca cables from another company by the name Chord back home. I did not bring those for my travels. And the difference between for example the Chord Company Clearway rca cables that I bought just to be able to use Qutest when I bought it and the better Audioquest rca cable I also have with me, are clearly audible to me even via my HD 800.Smoother,more realistic.
Which ones are better, the Chord or the Audioquest?
 
Dec 22, 2018 at 3:54 PM Post #2,664 of 5,824

maxh22

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No I haven't tried any power banks at all .I am still confused which one to try.
I would like to get the Power Add Pilot Pro 2. But it seems unavailable here in Asia.
I would have bought one already if I could have bought one off the shelf somewhere.
Cheers Controversial Christer

Hello Christer and others, from experience I have found that not all power banks sound the same, some sound more smooth and rich than others. After trying half a dozen I had at hand I would like to recommend my favorite so far.

https://www.amazon.com/Heloideo-100...ne+Lightning+Cable,+Micro+USB+Cable+and+USB+C

The closest thing I have to a Pilot Pro 2 is a Cectdigi Laptop Power Bank but sadly I found it inferior to the power bank I linked above, it sounds much brighter in comparison but with overly warm gear it might be a good match...
 
Dec 22, 2018 at 8:29 PM Post #2,665 of 5,824

Ragnar-BY

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And the difference between for example the Chord Company Clearway rca cables that I bought just to be able to use Qutest when I bought it and the better Audioquest rca cable I also have with me, are clearly audible to me even via my HD 800.Smoother,more realistic.
You have Chord Clearway Analogue RCA, like this one, reviewed by What Hi-Fi? And what type of Audioquest? I have Audioquest Golden Gate RCA. After reading this review, was thinking to give Chord Clearway a try. But maybe it would be better just to buy a higher line of Audioquest RCAs.
 
Dec 23, 2018 at 3:46 AM Post #2,666 of 5,824

Christer

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Which ones are better, the Chord or the Audioquest?

The Audioquest Colorado.

I don't think it is available any longer. HIFI companies keep changing names of things to entice buyers to buy the newer not necessarily reallly better or different sounding stuff all the time.

But it was one of Audioquest's better rca cables when I bought it.
Weird name for a cable that is not very coloured at all.

I guess they did not even think of what Colorado actually means when they named it?
The guys at Audioquest were probably only thinking of that beautiful state in the USA when they named it.

But I also have a Chord Signature back home.
One of their reference cables which is even better and more resolving than the Audioquest Colorado.
I did not want to bring such an expensive cable on my travels.

The cheap Chord Clearway is ok for its price. But if you listen to well recorded acoustic music you might/should? be able to hear improvements with better rca cables provided your system is resolving enough.

In the test in the HI FI mag quoted in the other post they mentioned synths sounding better with Clearway than the other cable they used.
Personally I NEVER listen to synths and electronica. Besides, those genres have no actual references points in HI FI terms anyway so whatever tests like that one say I would not put much trust in them.

One of the most amusing things I have seen here recently was the video Triode User posted in the M Scaler thread I believe?of Rob demoing the M Scaler somewhere where he was asked by one person how M Scaler would sound with live band and amplified music since many probably listen to that type of music?

I very much enjoyed Rob's honesty in his response to the question asked.

He basically said amplified band music generally sounds flat and "awful or dreadful" and apart from clearer starting and stopping of notes you could not expect M Scaler to perform any other kind of miracle than this with those genres.
I could not agree more!
Spot on imho!

Rob's response reminded me of the first time I heard the new M Scaler/TT2 without any music of my own with me and with something by AC/DC playing via LCD4 headphones.
It sounded absolutely dreadful to me.
I still honestly don't understand why people who listen to that type of music ever bother to buy anything ,more expensive than a smartphone and a pair of IEMs?
What is there really to gain?

But M Scaler and suitable quality equipment to support it, and well recorded acoustic music now that can be quite something imo.

But everything matters. Cables, connections ,analogue parts, power supplies speakers and headphones each and all in one way or other influence the final sound.
Cheers Controversial Christer
 
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Dec 23, 2018 at 4:49 AM Post #2,667 of 5,824

Christer

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Hello Christer and others, from experience I have found that not all power banks sound the same, some sound more smooth and rich than others. After trying half a dozen I had at hand I would like to recommend my favorite so far.

https://www.amazon.com/Heloideo-10000mAh-Portable-External-Cellphone(Black)/dp/B07GZP75XD/ref=sr_1_fkmr1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1545511660&sr=8-2-fkmr1&keywords=10000mAh+All+in+One+Power+Bank+with+Built-in+AC+Wall+Plug+Prong,+Built-in+iPhone+Lightning+Cable,+Micro+USB+Cable+and+USB+C

The closest thing I have to a Pilot Pro 2 is a Cectdigi Laptop Power Bank but sadly I found it inferior to the power bank I linked above, it sounds much brighter in comparison but with overly warm gear it might be a good match...

Thanks for your input and thoughts.
I have no experience at all with any powerbanks.
But reading the possibly hyped and for marketing purposes written things said online relating to powerbanks in comparison with linear power supplies like the one I just bought for my Qutest it may be that most powerbanks can not really improve on supplied power units for technical reasons I don't quite understand.

But the possible only hyped "tech talk" for the MPU1 claims to bring better USB isolation than most powerbanks which according to them do the same thing as all switching power units anyway.

And that in itself is according to them a problem they have solved by going linear and using a battery to avoid any possible mains pollution to reach the dac.

I leave this discussion to those who understand the "tech talk" better than I do.

But the MPU1 I am currently using with Qutest/M Scaler makes my music sound more relaxed and cleaner than the supplied power unit does .
That is something I can actually confirm simply by comparing the two with the same tracks.

And it is also my experience that if things sound bright in digital that is most often a distortion.
Not an improvement in SQ.
Live acoustic music never sounds as overbright as most digital has a tendency to make it sound.

One of several advantages of M Scaler is that it tamed/removed, cleaned up, overbrightness and sibilance on female voices.
Cheers Controversial Christer
 
Dec 23, 2018 at 6:47 AM Post #2,668 of 5,824

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I still honestly don't understand why people who listen to that type of music ever bother to buy anything ,more expensive than a smartphone and a pair of IEMs?
What is there really to gain?

Hi Christer,

I must say I find that kind of statement a bit odd and somewhat closeminded.
Not trying to be rude or anything but I really don't understand your view on that.

I listen to a lot of different music. Classical, more chamber / violin + piano than large scale orchestral though, jazz, folk etc.
But I grew up listening to rock / hard rock and I still like a lot of it today and listen to modern rock / hard rock occasionally too.

In my opinion all sounds that are to be converted from digital to analogue benefits from a good system.
It's, as you know, about getting the scale of the music right. Digging out as much details as possible
while presenting it in a natural non-fatiguing way.

So all the things you normally do to improve a system: chosing good equipment, finding the right cables, speaker positioning,
acoustical treatment etc really improves my listening experience for all kinds of music.
If it didn't something would be wrong IMO.

Unlike you the better my system gets the more I start to listen to new music. Even music that I have not really cared for before.
The reason I think is that the intention of the artist becomes more obvious, it is more present and emotional
and therefore easier to understand and appreciate.
Adding an M-Scaler I might even be able to listen to rap. Unlikely but not impossible :)

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone!
 

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