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Chord Electronics Qutest DAC - Official Thread

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  1. JM1979
    This is a lot of hyperbole and please don’t take my opinion in making a buying decision, but wow the Qutest smokes Hugo 2. I’m blown away.
  2. Gibson59
    I had the same findings when I spent significant time demoing them against each other on two separate occasions. I may not say it “smoked” Hugo 2 but I strongly preferred it.
    JM1979 likes this.
  3. betula
    I also had a LP with the Qutest for a short time, it is a great sound but I personally prefer other amps with my Qutest.
    A couple of years ago I tried Hugo2 too, but I had different hps back then.
    I know, there is a big debate between two groups whether you need an external amp with the Hugo2 or the sound straight out of Hugo2 is superior to any amp connected.
    I am very happy with my present combo (Qutest+Taurus MKII) but I am wondering how the Hugo2 alone would compare. I keep getting totally controversial opinions and advice from the above mentioned two groups and really want to make up my own mind by trying a Hugo2 but it is not easy to get one for a short home audition.

    I don't want to trigger the same debate, I am purely interested in your experience and opinion on this matter. If you could briefly touch on the sound differences between Qutest+LP vs Hugo2 alone.
    Many thanks!
  4. hikaru12
    How do you find this pairing? I'm looking to get the same thing or the GSX Mini but the Taurus is cheaper. It's sligthly warm right, so it goes well with Qutests sometimes bright nature?
  5. betula
    The Taurus is pretty neutral with just a tiny hint of warmth to take of the edges.
    It is a very powerful, clean, clear and energetic combo. The clarity, 3D spaciousness (depth!) and instrument separation is superb.
    I am also very much enjoying the solid yet clear low-end.
    I was also wondering about the GSX Mini, but had a great deal for a new Taurus. Also heard that the GSX MKII can be a bit bright and I am not a fan of overly bright sound because of my treble sensitivity. The treble on the Taurus is very clean and clear, pretty much the highest level of brightness I can still enjoy. Pairing matters a lot though, I use this combo with Audeze which are perhaps the most recommended headphones with the Taurus.
  6. hikaru12
    That's why I'm still waiting for some impressions as the Mini has yet to be released to see if they've fixed the treble issue. I would be pairing the Qutest with a warmer amp as I'll be pairing it with AFO's which are warm but nowhere near as warm as the 650s, LCD2/3s etc. I'm not very treble sensitive but 6k is my hot spot.
  7. betula
    AFO is still pretty warm IMO. I think that would probably work well with the Taurus. If you decide to go for the Mini, make sure you share your impressions. :wink:
    hikaru12 likes this.
  8. hikaru12
    I can get the Taurus for $1k so I might just do that. Thanks for your impressions!
  9. Gibson59
    Anyone have a chance to demo Hugo TT2 against Qutest + Mscaler (and if so, what amp did you use for Qutest)? I assume the latter would “win” but just curious. Talking purely from a sound quality perspective, not taking into account device functionality of TT2 vs Qutest.

    With my current setup of Qutest + Amp I could sell both and get more than half way to the cost of a TT2. However it would be a lot more cash out of pocket to simply keep what I have and add an Mscaler to my chain. This is why I ask if the TT2 alone can compete with Qutest + Mscaler.

    One of these two options is my next step up the ladder.
    JM1979 likes this.
  10. betula
    That's an interesting question. These are the two potential routes ahead of me too, in the next year perhaps. I read that Qutest while improves a lot with the MScaler, it can't bring out all the benefits that 1M taps offer. For that you need at least the TT2 or Dave.
    Unfortunately I haven't heard the Qutest+MScaler or TT2 alone, but I heard TT2 with MScaler. While it was undeniably the best sound I have ever heard, made me question if I'd ever pay £7500 for it. The sound was delicate, smooth, extremely refined and high resolution, very coherent. The spaciousness was mesmerising and when I say it was highly resolving I am not talking about the usual HD vs 4K resolution in headphones kind of thing but lifelike resolution.

    That said, it is a lot of money and I imagine not everyone could appreciate the improvement.
    Since like yourself, I am only £1400-1800 away from the TT2 and the MScaler is £3500, upgrading to the TT2 will be the most likely scenario. At some point.
    I would highly recommend to audition all options before you pull the trigger.
    Last edited: May 3, 2019
    Deftone, OctavianH and Gibson59 like this.
  11. STR-1
    TT 2 (£3,995) and M Scaler (£3,495) are only £7,490 at list price. You might even get them for less if you buy both, and many authorised Chord dealers do very good trade-in deals.
  12. betula
    My bad. Numbers edited accordingly.
  13. Zzt231gr
    Guys,has anyone tried installing ferrite on the DC power cable?Before the usb input of the power supply?

    I don't remember anyone doing so in this thread...I am very curious!
  14. hikaru12
    Has anyone determined what the best source input is for the Qutest? Is it optical or BNC? The reason I'm asking is I'm thinking of upgrading to a Bel Canto E-One in the near future and want to see what connectors I should be getting with my new streamer to make the most use of the DAC.
  15. Zzt231gr
    It has been answered hundreds of times.

    Nik74 likes this.
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