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Chord Electronics Qutest DAC - Official Thread

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  1. linearly
    So since I have the Qutest I had a problem with powering it. The stock psu is a EMI/RFI generating monster, like all swithing power supplies. Noise was coming through my PC, monitors, amp and even headphone wires. No idea if this extra noise has any effect on sound or not, but for me it was annoying. Powering directly from PC's usb port everything was silent. Didn't have this issue with DAVE, everything was silent. I see some had some complaints on the TT2 forum aswell with feeling tingling by touching the case.

    I got an Ifi iPower 5v to see if its better then the stock psu, but it had the same noise. I even considered buying a hifi pci e card to power Qutest, since this issue bothered me so much.

    Even the power bank battery had EMI/RFI injected into Qutest. Until, by random testing, I introduced the battery with charing usb to PC's port, and behold, all the noise was gone. I guess it all went to the ground. That got me thinking that if I can somehow ground Qutest all the noise will go away.

    And I've found the solution, it's called iFi Audio- Groundhog. Connected to the Ifi iPower 5v all the EMI/RFI is gone. Everything is silent as it was with DAVE. Don't know if this will work with stock PSU, needs an adapter, or if this will also work with TT2.

    Such a cheap solution to a problem that I don't know if it affects sound quality or not, but for me it was bothersome. Will attach a picture to see how its connected, Ifi iPower 5v comes with an adapter DC jack to micro, the groundhog is between DC in and the adapter.

    Last edited: Jul 23, 2019
  2. linearly
    The Audioquest Diamond Optical Toslink arrived. I got gobsmacked so hard... I can't even... Will post a comparison with Diamond USB and other optical cables later. Need to recover from this awe.
  3. Baten
    Insert L.A. Noire "Doubt" meme here
  4. odessamarin
    yea, after you move out from USB with good SPDIF realization (source and cable), you will never look back. USB in the present realization for HiFi.. is a real compromise (to not say worse)
    linearly likes this.
  5. gadgetman67
    Quick search am i correct £500 for a audio quest optical cable, wow £10 cable will do its digital i'm sure even Robb Watts would agree.
    Baten and Deftone like this.
  6. Qute Beats
    curious, does the grounding cable plug direct to wall socket? I use iFi AC purifier, which has a ground socket (takes banana plug) , I have a ground from RCA shield between Qutest and amp to the iFi. sounds fine, though hard to tell the difference when ground lead removed.
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2019
  7. Qute Beats
    must be real diamond fibre in there in there for that price..
    Zzt231gr likes this.
  8. Zzt231gr
    IMO Audioquest is waaay over priced!
  9. gadgetman67
    yea you could knock a zero of the price and i would still not pay that for an optical cable. Maybe best we stop talking about this now otherwise will get into a cable war :)
  10. Qute Beats
    though was a shame they moved out o the headphone market, the Nighthawk's great sounding and against the competition not overpriced. Maybe they weren't making big enough profits on them..
  11. ra990
    I've been using an Anker power bank rated at some 26800mah. It sounds great, no noise or interference at all. I actually tried a cheaper batter back and noticed the highs started to bother me. Switched back to the Anker and it has been sounding perfect. It also lasts a really long time. I just unplug it from the battery side when I'm done using it. Will last me several days before I need to recharge it.
    linearly likes this.
  12. linearly
    Yes it plugs into the wall socket, I guess iFi AC purifier does the same thing and even more. No clue if it will sound different but I'm happy the emi/rfi noise is gone now.
    Qute Beats likes this.
  13. linearly
    Ok so before I share my impressions I don't want to offend anyone, everybody's system is different, others prefer a sound signature or another, but from personal experience cables do matter, analog, digital and it seems optical too. Before knocking a cable just by its price alone a person ought to try it first and see if its worth for them or not. After today I'm sorry I didn't try this cable sooner and lost two years of pure music joy with an inferior sounding solution. This is my personal opinion and take it as is.

    After trying different cheaper usb cables, I've found Audioquest Diamond USB sounded the best for the sound signature I like, analog sounding, no veil to the music, details and a lot less harsh then other usb's. I used it a while with Jitterbug's, sure they help, but the sound was still harsh with some tracks.

    Going to optical with Hugo 2 stock toslink for Qutest, harshness was almost gone, but a veil was added to the music and it lost its character. Sounded less alive. No body at all. The magic was gone. So I had a Wireworld NOVA optical laying around, lets see if it sounds different. And it did. The veil was lifted, details were back, but it started to sound harsh again, not like the usb, but still annoying with some tracks. Also in the past I had a glass optical from QED and that was brighter then USB, thats why I was scared to try the Diamond Optical until now. And what a mistake that was.

    Come today I did not expect much, less harsh sound then usb, like with other optical cables, and maybe the veil to be lifted, with cheap plastic ones. And I have to say first song I played shocked me so much that I could not believe it. Everything that bothered me about music was gone, mainly harshness on some tracks, but not masking it with a veil, no, every detail was there, even more, I hear things I never did with USB, I also raised the volume even higher since harshness was completly gone. I was in awe, I had to force myself to go away and take a break, music was so addictive, never had this feeling before.

    USB Diamond is a great cable, I'm sure a lot use it, I did for years now. My source is my PC so I guess it adds a lot of unwanted noise. I'm not saying usb is bad, its different for everybody, but for me there is no contest between USB Diamond and Optical Diamond. You can't even say they are in the same league. I did not try other glass toslink besides the QED one, not sure if other sound close to the Diamond, I understand it uses fused silica, a glass that is 100% pure. But frankly I don't care, it sounds so good, I don't even want to try different usb>toslink adapters anymore, it just sounds amazing straight from PC's optical port.

    I can understand how some doubt the value with such an expensive cable, but for me USB Diamond is roughly the same price as Optical, and the differences are so big, that I'm happy to pay this amount to be able to enjoy my music. And if I think about the amount I've spent on usb filters/ other cables, and never was happy with the sound, I'd rather be where I am now. As I said, other may find different results depending on personal preference, system, etc. The only thing I can say is try it, I regret not trying it sooner.
  14. kerisabe

    Glad to hear youve found the optical that suits your listening style. I was in the same boat tossing out the usb for optical, but it was a lifatec glass toslink. I wonder how the lifatec compared to the diamond toslink in terms of music character. Please do a comparison if you have the time/cable. Thanks
    linearly and Zzt231gr like this.
  15. linearly
    I'm sorry, unfortunately it's very difficult to buy Lifatec in Europe, that's the reason I went with Audioquest. The only glass cable I had was a glass QED and that one was very bright, almost usb like, so if your current cable is softer sounding then usb with no veil added then it should be close to Diamond Optical, but again, its different for everyone, all you can do is test for yourself and see if its worth it.
    kerisabe likes this.
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