Chord Electronics Qutest DAC - Official Thread
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kumar402

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I wish he could have used few more DACs to see if he can tell any difference among anyone
 
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Nautrachkfriend

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Of similar entertainment value are the comments on that review. They make head fi feel like a parallel universe :)
People love to hate on what they don't understand or can't have. That's what I got out of those comments.

At the end of the day I'm quite satisfied with my Qutest and I can tell a difference between it any many other dacs that I've tried. :)
 
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Too bad all reviewers (and even forum posters like us!) aren't required to have a graph from a standardized hearing test posted with every review (or post - like a little sticky). So for the moment forget about all the problems in determining if posted hearing test results are actual, fabricated or messaged. Assume they are all factual. The result would be many reviewers out of a job. And most remaining reviewers would tend be younger with better hearing, but maybe lacking in listening experience (and wisdom). My point is: how can you believe what any reviewer says unless you know, first and foremost, what his hearing ability actually is? All other characteristics are secondary to that in my opinion.
 
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kumar402

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Too bad all reviewers (and even forum posters like us!) aren't required to have a graph from a standardized hearing test posted with every review (or post - like a little sticky). So for the moment forget about all the problems in determining if posted hearing test results are actual, fabricated or messaged. Assume they are all factual. The result would be many reviewers out of a job. And most remaining reviewers would tend be younger with better hearing, but maybe lacking in listening experience (and wisdom). My point is: how can you believe what any reviewer says unless you know, first and foremost, what his hearing ability actually is? All other characteristics are secondary to that in my opinion.
Exactly my point they have to substantiate their verdict with material like what song they heard and how DAC1 and DAC2 performed in a passage of song. A listener can go back to the same song and see for himself as to what the reviewer said makes sense for him or not.
 
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Windseeker

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I'd like to the add the M Scaler eventually. Did you listen with the Qutest for a while before adding the M Scaler? Curious if its addition would be merely a subtle improvement or more of a quantum leap when heard through the highly resolving Stax.
Yes, I'd used Qutest for a month before adding M Scaler to my audio chain. I decided to go ahead and add it precisely because I was extremely impressed with Qutest, and hence, with Rob Watts' approach to conversion of digital signal to analog music.

Concerning M Scaler's impact, the difference is subtle, for sure. However, to my ears, the difference in musicality -- improved naturalness, believability, intimacy -- is clear and non-trivial. I certainly wouldn't want to go back to a world without it. By the way, one arguably needs a reasonably revealing system to be able to enjoy its benefits, and I guess using high-end STAX earspeakers definitely helps in that regard.

Anyways, it isn't exactly cheap, so you may wanto ask around at M Scaler's thread (over at High-End Audio Forum) and eventually audition it extensively yourself. At the end of the day, only your ears (and brain) can dictate whether it's worth the investment.
 
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gwertheim

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What I liked about the review is he had it hooked up in a way where you didn't need to swap out cables or anything.

He had both DAC's receiving the exact same music file from the same computer, the exact same optical signal, using the same rca cables to the same thx 789 amp going to the exact same headphones.

I am no expert, according to my last hearing test 2 months ago, my hearing is above average for a 35 year old.

What I do know is that he eliminated any major margin for error by using the setup he has. I doubt anybody on here would bother going through that much effort to do an A/B test. His testing methodology is as close to perfect we could expect from someone outside of a lab environment.

I will never be able to afford a Chord product, but crap, if I can get something comparable for $200, why not. I am in this for the enjoyment of music, not to look at numbers and charts. As long as it sounds good, I don't care.

At least the guy is honest and transparent with his opinions and how he does things.
 
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Spareribs

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The Chord DAC is not for everybody. It's for the 1% people out there with the gifted sense of hearing that can hear the sound of splitting hairs.
 
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Deftone

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Zeos has reviewed the Qutest. He said he can't hear any difference between the Qutest and his £200 DAC. Lucky man. Can save a lot of cash.
Hes not a lucky man he's a moron, he doesnt know how to do a decent review so he tries to make up for it with quirky comments and jokes. In a video i watched a few years back he said all dacs over $100 sound the same, so why does he keep reviewing the high end equipment if he cant hear it. He does next to no research on what hes "reviewing" and just has a quick glance at their website for a bit of information.

He shows at the start of the video he doesn't care about the design of the dac or the designer and where does he explain about the reason for not needing balanced output? he doesnt and thats why tons of people in the comments are saying its over priced crap because some $100 dacs have it. Calls out bullschiit on things he doesn't understand, complains about $1900 dac with chinese power supply, further proof he does zero research about the technology and the power filtering going inside the Qutest.

To top it all off he tries to give other reviewers advice, the ones that can run rings around his entire channel in under 40 seconds. Its not just about Chord its about almost everything he gets his hands on and thinks repeating f*** f*** f*** is a good enough description of sound quality (when he likes something)

Rant over/
 
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kumar402

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Well I did my own A/B between Chord Mojo and Qutest.
In fact I didn’t even use LP and Empyrean or 800s. I used Schiit Valhalla 2 with JJ gold Pin with HD600 with Dekoni pads. it is the most humble yet very good sounding pair.
I used MacBook Pro late 2013 and connected Mojo via optical out and Chord Quetest Via USB out. Output of both DAC going into Schiit Sys, NO ATTENUATION, for switching. In Roon I created a zone for both the DAC so that same song can be played in both the DAC and I can do A/B with click of a button in SYS. Both are running at ~2v
I played the first song and I could definitely hear difference between Mojo and Qutest.
In the first listen itself it is clear that Mojo is warmer sounding of 2 and quetest has more air and hence more detail and separation in instrument. Definitely qutest provide more depth and is far more resolving compared to Mojo.Anyone looking to get every details extracted from music should look for Qutest.
I am not sure how can someone not find a difference among DAC. I don’t have the Gashelli Lab dac but I wanted to check if the difference between DAC can be heard easily and yes it can be. Definitely among Mojo and Qutest.
Also I find Qutest to have better extension in Bass as well as treble. But since Mojo doesn’t have great extension in Treble so it sounds warmer compared to Qutest.
 
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domho7

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Well I did my own A/B between Chord Mojo and Qutest.
In fact I didn’t even use LP and Empyrean or 800s. I used Schiit Valhalla 2 with JJ gold Pin with HD600 with Dekoni pads. it is the most humble yet very good sounding pair.
I used MacBook Pro late 2013 and connected Mojo via optical out and Chord Quetest Via USB out. Output of both DAC going into Schiit Sys, NO ATTENUATION, for switching. In Roon I created a zone for both the DAC so that same song can be played in both the DAC and I can do A/B with click of a button in SYS. Both are running at ~2v
I played the first song and I could definitely hear difference between Mojo and Qutest.
In the first listen itself it is clear that Mojo is warmer sounding of 2 and quetest has more air and hence more detail and separation in instrument. Definitely qutest provide more depth and is far more resolving compared to Mojo.Anyone looking to get every details extracted from music should look for Qutest.
I am not sure how can someone not find a difference among DAC. I don’t have the Gashelli Lab dac but I wanted to check if the difference between DAC can be heard easily and yes it can be. Definitely among Mojo and Qutest.
Also I find Qutest to have better extension in Bass as well as treble. But since Mojo doesn’t have great extension in Treble so it sounds warmer compared to Qutest.
Tks for your explanation. That's. How I felt when I hv the mojo & compared qutest..
The qutest simply brings out more details that I didn't hear in my mojo
 
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I'd like to the add the M Scaler eventually. Did you listen with the Qutest for a while before adding the M Scaler? Curious if its addition would be merely a subtle improvement or more of a quantum leap when heard through the highly resolving Stax.

I would say that with any good headphone it is a Quantum Leap!!

I bought my Qutest only after having heard it not only on its own, but also via BLU2 and with the knowledge that an M Scaler was around the corner.
I bought the Qutest primarily to pair it with an M Scaler.

Without an M Scaler Qutest is one of several good dacs in its price range imho.

I am using Q/HMS with my HD800 during my travels and would find it very difficult to live without the M Scaler.
With a high quality headphone amp and the HD800 the benefit of HMS is immediately obvious with well recorded acoustic music.

Cheers Controversial Christer
 
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Zeos has reviewed the Qutest. He said he can't hear any difference between the Qutest and his £200 DAC. Lucky man. Can save a lot of cash.
Only one problem with that, Zeos is a complete idiot.
 
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Hes not a lucky man he's a moron, he doesnt know how to do a decent review so he tries to make up for it with quirky comments and jokes. In a video i watched a few years back he said all dacs over $100 sound the same, so why does he keep reviewing the high end equipment if he cant hear it. He does next to no research on what hes "reviewing" and just has a quick glance at their website for a bit of information.

He shows at the start of the video he doesn't care about the design of the dac or the designer and where does he explain about the reason for not needing balanced output? he doesnt and thats why tons of people in the comments are saying its over priced crap because some $100 dacs have it. Calls out bullschiit on things he doesn't understand, complains about $1900 dac with chinese power supply, further proof he does zero research about the technology and the power filtering going inside the Qutest.

To top it all off he tries to give other reviewers advice, the ones that can run rings around his entire channel in under 40 seconds. Its not just about Chord its about almost everything he gets his hands on and thinks repeating f*** f*** f*** is a good enough description of sound quality (when he likes something)

Rant over/
Exactly he is deaf or paid to promote china cheap stuff. Wana impress zeos ? Send him cheap dac with over blown bass section - bam done .
Just no words
 
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betula

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Only one problem with that, Zeos is a complete idiot.
I don't hate the man, but also don't consider him a 'proper' reviewer. He is somewhere between stand up comedy and audio reviews. For that I quite like him and I do think he is saying his honest opinion.
The problem is his hearing definitely has limitations which is fine, all of our hearing has limits. Some can't hear a difference between DACs, some can't hear a difference between Qutest filters. Rob's hearing is probably as good as it gets for human beings and better than most of ours.

What the real problem with Zeos is, that several thousands of people listen to him and follow him which brings a responsibility of what one can say, even though it is his honest opinion which he is entitled to.

To me Qutest opened another world after Mojo and the 2Qute. The difference was immediate and obvious, there was no going back. The spaciousness, clarity, detail, resolution, soundstage depth speed, extension, naturalness all dramatically improved. I consider Qutest to be my best audio purchase in 2018 (I didn't pay full retail price though).
 

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