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Chord Electronics Qutest DAC - Official Thread

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  1. Gibson59
    Another great explanation, thank you. Would you mind briefly explaining what jitter actually sounds like? I’ve heard references to jitter countless times, but I’ve never come across the explanation of how it sounds in any threads.
  2. Arniesb
    Cables make bigger difference than Decrapifiers actually when it comes to smoothnes. Was always getting fatigue from Aq usb cables on most dacs and Ifi Nano usb 3.0 amplified this harshness. With better made usb cables there is lot less brightness than with Aq cables. I dont think Aq designer make anything good for usb. cables suck, jitterbug suck too.
  3. Gibson59
    Actually I did a USB cable comparison last year between a bunch and the Audioquest Carbon truly outclassed the others. Not to say there aren't better USB cables out there, but I don't think the AQ Carbon USB is a slouch.
  4. Arniesb
    They only use great metals, but very poor design. Thats why they sound forward, bright, digital.
  5. Gibson59
    Interesting. Have you compared your Qutest with your USB cable of choice to the optical connection with a cable of equal quality? If so, I’d like to hear your findings.

    And what USB cable are you using? I’m certainly game for trying another one. I suppose what your suggesting re the AQ Carbon is that it has great metal but it has poor shielding? And therefore more RF noise and perceived brightness/hardness?
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2019
  6. betula
    Decrapifiers and cables are slippery slope on Head-Fi. The amount of difference they can bring is often overestimated and it deceives people who are new to the hobby.

    Sure they do make a difference, but must come last in the audio chain. Once you have got your prefect 1-2-3 headphones, best 1-2 amps and best DAC you can start to spend your money on cables.

    Also, these subtle improvements are very much system dependant. Some systems are more noisy, some are less noisy (even if someone doesn't realise the noise). Some might have grounding issues, some don't.

    Reading about the effect of upgrade cables and decrapifiers is very subjective and relative, therefore it must be taken with a grain of salt.

    Let me share my experience.
    I find the Jitterbug useful regardless the amps or DACs I own. Probably takes off the majority of my laptop noise. I have been using it for many years.

    I absolutely loved the iFi iPurifier 3 on my 2Qute. It just added a lot more clarity, it was an instant buy for me.
    With the Qutest however I couldn't hear a difference, so I sold the iPurifier 3.

    Regarding cables, it is even more complicated, more subtle. My QED Graphite USB cable was definitely better than any basic USB cable.
    In another setup I had also tried QED Reference and AQ Cinnamon cables.
    My current USB cable is the Wireworld Ultraviolet 7. To me this is the sweet spot of price to performance ratio at the moment. Definitely a cleaner and tighter sound with a blacker background, but it is all relative.

    I think even the best cables won't give you more than 5-10% overall improvement. Spending hundreds on cables and decrapifiers is purely insane. And a big mistake IMO.

    These extras should not worth more than 5-10% of your entire audio chain.
    musickid likes this.
  7. Gibson59
    I've demoed tons of cables over the years for various connections (USB, headphone cables, optical, speaker cables). I'm aware they are one of the final considerations, but to me an important one nonetheless that I always carefully consider. I'm not interested in any debate about the difference they make (spend three pages going back and forth about whether cables matter which happens too much around here). I simply want to hear from anyone who has a specific USB they like with Qutest that they've chosen over others they've auditioned.
  8. Arniesb
    I had tried On 2qute, but i have friends who tried Different cables and stuff on qutest. Optical always gonna sound smoother, but Good decrapifier + Great usb cable outperforms optical. Round cable design gonna sound harsher cause ground plane is not separeted well enough from signal wires. Wireworld flat desing, Curious outside ground plane desing and double sided cables Like IFi gemini, Jcat reference is what is great designs are.
    Gibson59 likes this.
  9. Arniesb
    Rabbit hole i think should be right word. It pushes you forward into abyss. +1 wireworld even cheap ones is good enough.
    betula likes this.
  10. betula
    Well, I prefer my Ultraviolet 7 to the AQ Cinnamon, QED Reference and QED Graphite. I would never spend more than £100 on a cable though. I found the Jitterbug helpful with all of these cables. Supra cables have a ginormous fan base, I have never tried them.

    Cinnamon was clean and bright but not necessarily pleasing or alive. QED Graphite is just not on the level of the 3 others. QED Reference is very clean and tight but physically so stiff I couldn't live with it. Ultraviolet 7 to my ears and needs in my system combines perfect value for price with the most possible clarity and black background while it still maintains a warm and alive nature, not suffocating the music in artificial cleanliness but letting it live in clarity.

    I would never spend more than £100 on a cable though or more than 10% of my entire system.
    Arniesb and Gibson59 like this.
  11. Arniesb
    For qutest i think from what i heard silver cable is not good... Too bright. Wireworld cheap ones or silver starlight is great or if you want costlier Jcat reference or Ifi gemini would be awesome.
    Personally I bought Wireworld starlight 7 platinum for potential Qutest pairing, but later got into some financial issues, so qutest buy have to wait for further evaluations.
  12. Arniesb
    What i realy like about Wireworld its that they are not shady company. They always show desing, Materials quality, have great warranty and support.
    betula likes this.
  13. Roybenz
    Cant hear any difference with or without the jitterbug on the heimdall usb. ifi ipower makes the qutest a tiny bit smoother than Stock power supply.
  14. Arniesb
    I think thats because you have imac. Gaming pc's have a lot more powerfull components which make more noise.
  15. Deftone
    Optical cant take away and make the sound darker from reference point you have to remember that, the sound you get from optical is what it is. USB adds to the sound so you can use many devices to reduce the noise and try to get it as low as possible to try to get as close to opitical, if perfect isolation is acheived with USB it will sound just like the optical, darker and smoother.

    If USB outperforms it to you then that is because of your preference for sound not because it actually gets lower noise than optical which inst technically possible.
    betula, Nik74, Gibson59 and 1 other person like this.
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