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Chord Electronics Qutest DAC - Official Thread

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  1. Focux
    so do u feel balanced adds little improvement if any at all?
  2. Deftone
    To the 650? with the 400i and Twelve yes it did tighten the bass a bit and add some needed speed and precision but nothing close to how much faster the 660S is even single ended direct from Mojo. I wasnt prepared to spend thousands on the 650 even though i do enjoy it.
    Focux likes this.
  3. Joe-Siow
    Took stock of some new toys yesterday. A special run of Black Cat Mini Stargate interconnect by Chris and a set of Audio Replas quartz footers from my recent trip to Tokyo.

    I was previously using Black Cat Lupo Mk II and was perfectly happy with it. But the moment I was offered an opportunity to get the Mini Stargate it was a no brainer.
    Plugged in the Mini Stargate and quartz footers and allowed the setup to settle before listening. Long story short, I'm quite surprised how well the setup now sounds. Wider and deeper soundstage with lower noise floor. Organic sounding while retaining excellent details. It invites me deeper into the music.

    Even more pleasantly surprised how well the Qutest is able to scale. It sounds perfectly good with affordable cabling and the stock power supply, but if you take the effort to match cabling and power supply it rewards you accordingly.
    It is nice to still be surprised even after a year of ownership.


  4. betula
    If this was car tuning, it would be the wildest one.
    Anaz likes this.
  5. betula
    I just love what the Qutest does to my headphones.
  6. Joe-Siow
    I know it's quite mad to use interconnects of this price point on the Qutest, but I'm really surprised how much it improved the sound quality compared to the Lupo Mk II I was using earlier.
    This just goes to show how much the Qutest have to give and what a gem it is a the current price.

    Oh, and the Audio Replas quartz footers work marvelously. I had difficulty hunting for a set of footers since Qutest has such a tiny footprint.
    betula likes this.
  7. Nik74
    What do they help with? I would have thought there s little need for vibration control in a headphone set up
  8. Staxaphone
    Follow-up. I did purchase a micro USB adapter so that I could use my LPS-1 to power my Qutest. The LPS-1 was only used in the 5V output position. After extensive listening and comparisons, I find that I prefer the Chord supplied wall wart. The LPS-1 does tighten up the bass but at the same time it appears more rolled off than with the supplied power supply. And the response lacks a measure of impact in the lower octaves which results in a less satisfying sound. The LPS-1 may have been a bit more transparent but I’m not even sure about that since it was so close between the two. This is, of course, with my headphone system and if I was doing this comparison on an in-room speaker system the results may be different. Maybe I’ll try the recommended battery power pack for an additional comparison. For those of you that are using one now, how would you compare the sound and impact in the lower octaves compared to the Chord PS? Are there differences in this regard between the available battery units when powering the Qutest? Thanks.
    Baten and MI five like this.
  9. Joe-Siow
    The sound has become more planted. Bass goes a bit deeper. Treble is a bit more open. Background is a bit blacker.
    Everything is improved ever so slightly, but they add up to be rather noticeable.
    Not bad at all for a tweak that costs around $100.

    Edit: I might have to add that I am mostly on a 2 channel speaker setup. I have an AKG K702 but I seldom use it with my Leben CS300XS.
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2019
    Nik74 likes this.
  10. Roybenz
    Im wondering about getting a qutest for my moon 430had. It has both balanced and unbalanced inputs. Since qutest only have unbalanced, will i get balanced out of my amp when connecting my hp to the 4 pin xlr? Will i loose anything with going unbalanced from qutest compared to using for example balanced from an yggy?
  11. dac64
    You amp will convert unbalanced input to balanced output.

    My pre a true differentiated design and the qutest works fine.
  12. Nik74
    It makes perfect sense in a 2 channel speaker system for sure. Something to think about for when I go that way
    At the moment my Qutest is perched on my Preamp. Did you say you got them in Japan or have I imagined that?
  13. Joe-Siow
    Yup, I got 3 sets of footers while I was at Yobadashi Akihabara earlier this week.
    Below is the link of the product from Rakuten. While they do not ship direct to UK, you can get Tenso to ship to you.

  14. Nik74
    I ll be in Tokyo in a few weeks and looking forward to checking out Akihabara, thank you for the info :)
  15. Joe-Siow
    Enjoy Yabadoshi man. I definitely did. So much stuff to look at.
    Nik74 likes this.
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