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Chord Electronics Qutest DAC - Official Thread

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  1. dac64
    I've the same experiences. Just a little movement to the USB plug, the sound stage was changed. I suspect the USB interface wasn't reliable as compared optical.
  2. Deftone
    You should let the Qutest do all the upsampling anyway so feed native files.
    Ragnar-BY and Baten like this.
  3. kerisabe
    Ok well noted will do your suggestion. Thank you
  4. Ragnar-BY
    Also, if you use Tidal - enable an MQA passthrough and disable software "first unfold" option. Somehow, Qutest without MQA support sounds better on it`s own..
  5. kerisabe
    Can u post some shots of the menu option on audirvana? Thanks
  6. kerisabe
    The connection I use from macbook pro (running tidal on audirvana), optical to dac. I turned off auto mqa detection, then set dac as mqa renderer. Is that the correct way to set mqa passthrough from the mbp’s optical output to the qutest?
  7. kerisabe
    @Ragnar-BY figured it out! Optical should be set to integer 24-96 which is the max output of the mbp toslink output. The previous settings ive posted created alot of noise setting the mbp’s built in output as mqa renderer, now sound is back to clean. The previous settings made it sound like usb connection from the mbp to the qutest
  8. kerisabe
    Another thing that i just did some A/B testing, wifi/lan connection streaming tidal via audirvana. LAN is way cleaner, music is more solid. My room is far from the main airport extreme so im using an airport express and some generic lan cable with both ends covered with stillpoints ers.
  9. kerisabe
    Found this interesting article regarding A/B testing of ethernet cables (connection between airport express to streamer).

    EE88D502-83D6-445A-88B0-2DCED850C641.png 1EF4CE3E-EDF3-405B-A0C0-0CA6CC86259A.png
  10. MagnusH
    Ethernet cables transport electronic noise as well, which will affect the sound. So that "theory" they keep talking about is not very accurate. Unlike USBAudio or SPDIF, there is no audio-jitter in ethernet though (the information transported is not tied to a clock), which means that the quality of ethernet cables is not as important as for USB.
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2019
    Baten likes this.
  11. kerisabe
    Im actually running generic ethernet cable from my airport express to macbook pro and that gives better fuller sound compared to using wifi. Im eager to try a better ethernet cable like the wireworld starlight cat8 or wireworld platinum, sotm, purist?

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. The current setup of network is (cable modem)
    —> generic ethernet cable —> airport extreme —> airport express (audio room) —> generic ethernet cable (covered the ends with stillpoints ers) —> macbook pro.
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2019
    maxh22 likes this.
  12. kerisabe
    Also I thought the use of optical connection to the chord qutest eliminated ground loop which translates to clean sound. But to my surprise, the addition of ground box line to one of the mbp’s usb cleaned the sound more. Ive also carefully eliminated the standard hdd drive and replaced it with an ssd drive fully covered w stillpoints ers, also added small cuts on top of the chips inside the logicboard and that gave even cleaner sound on top of everything. And disconnecting the power adaptor (running off the internal battery) also give cleaner sound. This must have something to do with the cleaner data/signal conversion in the mbp before it got translated into the toslink signal. I will try to add another line from the ground box to the other usb input on the mbp and see if that will further improve the sound.
  13. kerisabe
    Btw thanks for the suggestion. After been listening to upconverted music through audirvana (24/96), ive deactivated the upconversion and it sounds cleaner/tighter/more air now (even with down converted mqa files to 24/96 from 24/192; old mbp toslink limit) . Thanks again.
    Deftone likes this.
  14. HumanMedia
    And dont forget the noise generated by the tranceivers, which have to do the work in that incredibly complex PHY layer to convert those analog pulses into digital data. In USB tranceivers this can add 20db+ of noise in the 8hkz region. In ethernet?
  15. kerisabe
    You might find the answer in this article, https://kenrockwell.com/apple/airport-express-audio-quality-2014.htm

    Ive changed around the connection today in my system. Took out the wifi/bluetooth module and put more sp ers on the other side of logic board.


    Then from the main fiber optic model, ive changed the generic ethernet cable with a cat7 cable w 4 separated lines design connected to the airport extreme. Then from the airport extreme using the same cat7 cable direct to my 2010 mbp, mini toslink - toslink lifatec glass cable to qutest. It seems like there is more air in the sound, but ive also notice its not as black? Maybe its the noise?

    Im thinking about changing the setup next time to: airport extreme via ethernet to mbp. Then mbp output set to “airplay”’to another airport extreme in my audio room, then from that airport extreme to qutest via its mini toslink output to qutest. Will post how it turns out. I will be adding another grounding box line to my mbp’s usb input. Currently installed 2 bnc grounding lines on the qutest and it really reduced the noise in the sound by a mile. (Also installed sp ers inside the top/bottom cover of qutest)
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2019
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