Chord Electronics Qutest DAC - Official Thread
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GreenBow

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I have encountered this issue quite some times and contacted Chord. The response was that the fpga can sometimes be confused if you switch inputs or turn off and on your pc, so the easiest way is to just unplug the usb or whatever you are connecting it with and plug it back in.
I will try explain what happened for me.

When it first happened I rebooted the Qutest and it was OK. The it happened very quickly again. I tried Qutest reboots and was thinking I had been sold a faulty Qutest. However I figured try another device on the USB input. I have a Sony DAP, and I an connect it to my Hugo 2, via an OTG cable. I connected it to the Qutest and the Qutest was immediately fine. Going back to PC there was still no sound. This sort of assured me that the Qutest was fine, probably.

On my PC in Sound control panel, I noticed something a bit odd. Since I have two DACS on my desktop, I can often see two Chord entries in the Sound panel. For the entry that runs my TT2, it's just Digital Output - Chord Async etc. The entry for the Qutest or Hugo 2 or Mojo, says Digital Output - 5 Chord Async. (The second entry started of as 2 Chord Async, but then not known why jumped to 5.)

However those entries got swapped over somehow. That seemed to be the problem. Whether it was or not, I don't know. Clicking make one or the other default, for a while didn't fix the Qutest issue. After a couple of 'Default resets' and a couple of reboots, I had the Qutest back.

I think the PC gets confused by having two Chord products, when one get unplugged. Like the TT2 entry in Sound Control Panel, is always there, whether the TT2 is on or off. The TT2 is only ever in stand-by or on, if it is plugged in. It talks to the PC even when in stand-by.


I'd like to think that it's what you say, though, that Chord said. However unplugging the USB and plugging it back in, didn't work.
 
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Qute Beats

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Have a question though please. I normally unplug the Qutest overnight, but left it plugged in for maybe two days. It runs on my PC.

Today I started up my PC twice. The second time (after I had been out for a walk) the Qutest did not register the PC. I could not get sound, and after looking at settings and whatever I could think of. I looked in the port window and noticed that there was no sampling rate light. I restarted the Qutest and all was good.

However I think this is incorrect behaviour. I know Rob has said that you can leave the Qutest on all the time. I was not expecting to have to restart the Qutest. I was not expecting the sampling rate light to go out.

Normally when I start up the PC and maybe go to YouTube it will play anything I send to it. Today not the case. Does anyone know if this is a fault? Or is this OK.


It might be a one off. It could be something that I have done. The TT2 does still have an effect on my PC even when on stand-by. It's because the processor is still running, while it's on stand-by.
Saw that you fixed it :) For info I leave my Qutest on 24/7. There have been a few occasions when on booting PC I cannot play music until Qutest is restarted (on optical so PC doesn't 'see' Qutest), then It's fine for months again (maybe happened 3-4 times over 18 months so quite impressive really). The chip must lock-up or something, has never happened when listening so no big deal.
 
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Started testing my Qutest with Sbooster MK2 5-6V linear PSU. On the manual it says that it needs at least 100 hours to "burn in". So I'll do my full comment later, but in short - it definitely better. And no RF noise , dead silent, even better than from anker Power bank 26800

IMG_8731.jpg
 
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Started testing my Qutest with Sbooster MK2 5-6V linear PSU. On the manual it says that it needs at least 100 hours to "burn in". So I'll do my full comment later, but in short - it definitely better. And no RF noise , dead silent, even better than from anker Power bank 26800


That looks great.

Just one point though and to clarify, when we are taking about RF noise effects, this is not something that is audible on its own. It causes intermodulation distortion of the musical signal leading to a certain brightness of the music and even to a slight less accurate bass or even fatigue. You need to have music playing in order to observe the effect. If one hears noises from a power supply without music playing then that is just plain old EMI or other issues.
 
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dinus777

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That looks great.

Just one point though and to clarify, when we are taking about RF noise effects, this is not something that is audible on its own. It causes intermodulation distortion of the musical signal leading to a certain brightness of the music and even to a slight less accurate bass or even fatigue. You need to have music playing in order to observe the effect. If one hears noises from a power supply without music playing then that is just plain old EMI or other issues.
You're right, i was referring to noise without music. With Chord Qutest stock PSU , if i set amp volume at 10-11-12 o'clock i can hear it clearly and it is annoying. With Anker PowerCore 26800 and with Sbooster it is both dead silent.
 
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GreenBow

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You're right, i was referring to noise without music. With Chord Qutest stock PSU , if i set amp volume at 10-11-12 o'clock i can hear it clearly and it is annoying. With Anker PowerCore 26800 and with Sbooster it is both dead silent.
That's interesting.

I just tried that and I only have the stock PSU running. Over my amp and speakers it's silent all the way up to full volume.
 
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That's interesting.

I just tried that and I only have the stock PSU running. Over my amp and speakers it's silent all the way up to full volume.
On headphones with both on stock PSUs I have silence to max volume of head amp. On speakers a bit of hiss from the pre-amp is all.
 
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This is my first post here but I'm after a bit of advice. Every now and then when passing a signal through the unit ie watching tv/listening to music the qutest seems to become distorted, like a crackle. Best way i can describe it, is like a badly setup microphone clipping or rubbing against clothing. Also when flicking through the input selector the unit pops while flicking between the inputs, where its normally silent. I guess some how it got overloaded, static? Now when i turn off the tv/or computer and restart the music/program the crackle disappears but the pop between inputs remains. The only way i can get rid of the pop is to restart the qutest. No great hassle. It can sit there for weeks and not be a problem only happens now and again but I’ve only owned it 2-3 months Is it normal that it needs a little restart every now and then?
 
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Qute Beats

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This is my first post here but I'm after a bit of advice. Every now and then when passing a signal through the unit ie watching tv/listening to music the qutest seems to become distorted, like a crackle. Best way i can describe it, is like a badly setup microphone clipping or rubbing against clothing. Also when flicking through the input selector the unit pops while flicking between the inputs, where its normally silent. I guess some how it got overloaded, static? Now when i turn off the tv/or computer and restart the music/program the crackle disappears but the pop between inputs remains. The only way i can get rid of the pop is to restart the qutest. No great hassle. It can sit there for weeks and not be a problem only happens now and again but I’ve only owned it 2-3 months Is it normal that it needs a little restart every now and then?
Welcome! Strange behaviour, never had those issues and doesn't sound right, if you bought from a store maybe go back and see what they think.
edit: I made comment above re restarting mine on odd occasions, but in those instances it was silent, just seemed to have locked up and needed reboot.
 
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twinkletoes

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Welcome! Strange behaviour, never had those issues and doesn't sound right, if you bought from a store maybe go back and see what they think.
edit: I made comment above re restarting mine on odd occasions, but in those instances it was silent, just seemed to have locked up and needed reboot.
Thank you for the warm welcome, im a little different to you guys in that I mostly listen to mine through a standalone hifi into speakers, a nice sugden a21 sig class A (21 watt monster LOL) and klipsch heresy 3s and really enjoy the sound of it. I'm currently in talks with Ed at chord but i thought i'd come here and pick a few brains to see if there where anybody else encountering the same thing or something similar I have the worst luck with electronic equipment. Im guessing it maybe a static issue as i have to ground myself before touching my equipment and on occasion even after grounding my self i can stick shock the amp.

It does seem after reading through that most have to restart the qutest at some point for what ever reason. Hopefully its just the FPGA getting little confused and causing some feedback on occasion. If anyone else has any thought i would love to hear them.
 
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You're right, i was referring to noise without music. With Chord Qutest stock PSU , if i set amp volume at 10-11-12 o'clock i can hear it clearly and it is annoying. With Anker PowerCore 26800 and with Sbooster it is both dead silent.
This sounds like ground loop.Mine is silent like others'.

Please post your outcome for the Sbooster!
 
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I have iFi Nano USB. I used it with 5V power output only to the Qutest, meaning not cleaning the USB data cable. In the few minutes I tried that, I heard no difference.

Additionally though, I tried the iFi Nano USB on my Mojo once, for cleaning the USB lines. The result was horrific. The sound was so bright I didn't even run it more than a few seconds. No idea what that is all about, and maybe I did something wrong. However there's not really anything to get wrong. It might be something to do with the iFi re-clocking the signal, since Chord sent for data asynchronously.

I have also heard other people say the same, that iFi on the USB data line is very bright.

On the power only line I hear no difference with the 5V power with Qutest. Neither when I tried it on my Mojo ages ago, for just power.
Same results here, in the past I've tried Ifi Micro iUSB 3.0 with Hugo 2 and DAVE, it made both of them sound exactly like you are describing. And sure usb cables make a difference, but even with better cables it was still horrible. With other DAC's the micro iUSB 3.0 is amazing, but not with Chord, at least not in my system.

Also not all battery power banks sound the same powering Qutest, tried with a Asus one, while amazing for charging devices, for Qutest it sounded worse then stock psu, sound was so much brighter. So I've got another brand, Promate, and sound was closer to stock psu, but still too bright for my taste.

Right now I'm using USB port from PC to power the Qutest, and optical for audio, wondering if going to a galvanic solution, like Intona, or maybe a PCI express card like Matrix Element H will improve sound.

After trying several optical sources to Qutest found that all of them sound different, no clue how thats even possible, maybe the optical connector, or extra jitter added. Will test further once Diamond Optical arrives, but with the cables I have atm I prefer the smsl x-usb xmos u208 to xmos u8 (much brighter) and pc optical port last.
 
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@linearly I have heard some criticism of PCI-E cards on PC that convert to optical. However I can't see how there could be a problem. Optical is clean, and needs no more 'sorting out'. At least or rather I should say, with chord DACs, since Chord clock the incoming samples accurately.

Someone even recently posted on the M-Scaler thread about this very process. That's going from perceived noisy coaxial from M-Scaler, to optical to cure noise and brightness. Then clean coaxial to go on to the DAC.(Claimed brightness coming from the M-Scaler.)

Optical out from PC should be top-notch. For my most recent PC build, I absolutely made sure I bought a motherboard with optical. Although I am generally using USB from PC. (I still have an optical cable from my PC to TT2 connected all the time.)

Something else occurred to me just recently. We use Jitterbugs on our PC output port. However it would make more sense to put the Jitterbug at the DAC end. E.g. use a USB cable into jitterbug, and then a very short UBS extension, from Jitterbug to DAC. That way, most of the noise picked up by the USB cable will be removed. …. The alternative I think is iFi products. Or at least they make power cable cleaners.

You do raise an point though. Noise is supposed to be filtered on the Hugo 2 USB input, according to Rob Watts. However you're saying that noise is present in the Hugo 2 after using iFi to clean the USB lines. I only noticed it on the Mojo, and never even bothered to try it on the Hugo 2.
 
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I used in the past ISO Regen, then tried for a very short period of time iFi nano iUSB3.0 and now and from now on JCAT. If you have a desktop or a PCIex port, this is the best solution. The first 2 were sold.
 
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Question: 2 months ago I purchased new Qutest and now got brand new M-Scaler as well.
I did dual BNC connection and with OP SR white(max) I had GREEN INPUT light on my BNC1 or BNC2.
The colour in the window seems to be right(cyan). Is it ok colour for Qutest bnc INPUTS with scaler?
I had no blue colour at all but my Qutest manual didn't mention it (by online manual of Chord website - the colour must be blue) .
If I change OP SR(not max sampling) my bnc inputs change to white.
 
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