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Chord Electronics Qutest DAC - Official Thread

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  1. linearly
    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.
    Zzt231gr likes this.
  2. GreenBow
    @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.
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2019
    linearly likes this.
  3. OctavianH
    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.
    linearly likes this.
  4. mmhifi
    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.
  5. Windseeker
    I'm not sure I understood your question, but when connected properly with M-Scaler, Qutest's "Input" LED color should be showing blue.
  6. mmhifi
    Yes - this was the question. In my (very new) Qutest input LED was green for max sampling rate and white for other. No blue at all.
    And blue colour wasn't documented in my user manual.
  7. Windseeker
    Perhaps you may want to recheck that you've properly connected BNC output 1 & 2 from the M-Scaler (as there are several BNC connectors on M-Scaler).

    If the connection is correct and you're looking at the right LED (on the input selector, NOT the colors shown in the viewing glass), you may want to contact your local dealer.
  8. Zzt231gr
    For guys using CDs:

    Are you using the green filter on CDs that are mainly late Japanese remasters or CDs that are 2000s and after?I find many of these sounding bright-among other sound quality problems...
  9. gadgetman67
    I recently purchased the hifiberry digi+ hooked up to the chord qutest with a optical cable.
    Now it plays 24bit 192khz, but what i do not understand i tried a dsd file which played back and the light on the qutest turned white.
    I thought the optical standard was only 24/196khz.
  10. Rob Watts
    Qutest, in common with all my DACs will decode DoP via SPDIF - so you can get DSD64 via optical if your source transmits it. DSD64 is the maximum via optical though.
    Chord Electronics Stay updated on Chord Electronics at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
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    onsionsi likes this.
  11. Windseeker
    If you're referring to the color shown in the viewing glass, white simply means it detected DSD file as an input (regardless of the sample rate).
  12. gadgetman67
    Thanks Rob did not know that.
  13. dac64
    For my case, the colour of the right-hand is mixture of blue + green for dual BNCs.

    If I removes any of the BNC, i.e. single BNC, the colour of the right-hand is light (tea + yellow) :wink:

    correct or not, I don't know! :wink:
  14. linearly
    So after further listening tests with same usb cable and Nova optical there are differences between optical sources, the xmos U8 with golden TCXO clocks, and the smsl x-usb u208. The differences are there, and frankly I don't know which one I like more.

    The question is what changes the sound between them, since cables are the same, what can it be? I see they have different clocks, do they influence the optical toslink in any way? Or are the clocks there for the coaxial out only? Maybe its just the different xmos chips that makes them not soundalike or optical connectors on each. If the clocks make the difference then its easy, we look for the best clocks to chose the best optical source, wonder if the PC motherboard has any clocks at all or if it needs any. If PC optical doesn't have any clocks maybe thats the best since anything in the path of audio adds its own noise.

    I know I'm nitpicking here, the differences are small and maybe unimportant for most, but I like to do tests and choose the sound I like best.
  15. Baten
    PC/mobo definitely has clocks lol :wink:
    linearly likes this.
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