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Chord Electronics Qutest DAC - Official Thread

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  1. Zzt231gr
    It was around €120 for me and it was well worth!
  2. Qute Beats
    Useful info on the QED. I'm now thinking about moving to a glass cable as well, current cheap plastic one gives no issues, but if there's gains to be made then of course would like to try. Yes seems the Lifatec only available in US, so I'm not sure what else to go for as the price of the Lifetac would be about the most I'd be happy spending.
  3. kerisabe
    Ask a friend who is doing a trip to the states to help bring the lifatec back for you.
  4. Deftone
    QED reference optical quartz isnt bright sounding imo.
    linearly and blueninjasix like this.
  5. linearly
    As I said, it was for me, but as audio is, with everyone's system, source, gear etc the results may be different or the same. The QED cable is much much better then plastic ones, but I found it a bit too bright for my liking. So the best thing to do is to try it in your system.
  6. Deftone
    Yes of course and that's why I was giving my findings from my system as it's not going to apply to everyone. With QED cable and HD660S/800S I got more treble air but not brightness or harshness and with Lifatech I get improved sub bass extension. With that said these are not night and day but very subtle differences.
    blueninjasix and linearly like this.
  7. linearly
    So I've decided to sell the Qutest since I mainly listen to music via headphones, and was spoiled in the past by DAVE. With the cost of a good external amp and great interconnects figured might as well go for the Hugo TT2. Qutest was amazing sounding but with headphones a lot was lost between DAC and amp. So the choise was obvious.

    Now listening to other DAC's until I get funds for TT2 I noticed something odd. Music sounds like it's playing at 0.8 speed, Chord DAC's sounded just right, other DAC's sound slow in comparison. Wonder if anyone else noticed this, funny thing is that Chord doesn't sound faster, other DAC's sound slower.
    GreenBow likes this.
  8. x RELIC x Contributor
    Yes, exactly, and I thought I was the only one! I noticed it first with the iDAC2 in comparison to the Mojo, but then I picked up the same 'slow' perception from other gear as well.
    linearly likes this.
  9. Zzt231gr
    Doesn't slower mean better timing?I noticed my Qutest being slower than my CD player and it was pretty noticeable.
  10. x RELIC x Contributor
    I would think slower meant worse transients. There's also the phenomenon where the perception of 'faster' can be a side effect of a brighter sound. At the end of the day we all perceive things differently so I reckon that how I might describe something would be different from others. Still, it's interesting to read that someone else has had the same reaction as myself between Rob's DAC design and other DACs.
    linearly likes this.
  11. Rob Watts
    The perception of tempo is subjective, and can be modified by a number of factors - one of which @x RELIC x correctly identifies - frequency response, as a bright sound sounds faster, and a warmer sound is slower.

    But if you improve the perception of transients - by making transient timing more accurate - then tempo increases - as one can perceive the leading edge better. On the other hand, if you improve instrument separation and focus, and reduce the dominance effect (where one's attention constantly shifts too the loudest instrument) then it actually sounds slower. Curiously, the M scaler can have both benefits at the same time, although an M scaler on a Qutest will have a biggest effect with dominance, so on balance it sounds slower and more measured, with a more natural sense of flow.

    Comparing my DACs to conventional ones will give both improvements - better perception of the starting and stopping of notes (faster), and much reduced dominance effect (slower) - which aspect wins out will depend upon the existing DAC, the rest of your system, and the bit between your ear lobes!
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  12. Deftone
    Feeding the THX with Hugo2 and Cobalt they sound about the same speed but if I connect Mojo it sounded the slowest with the thickest bass.

    I think the treble of Hugo and Cobalt are contributing to the perception of faster sound.
  13. Masterwarzombie
    Hi ,sorry for my english
    I am a happy owner of a chord quest
    it is associated via usb to my audio streamer sotm 200 ultra neo.
    my amp is an arcam avr 850.
    I do not know what voltage to choose on my chord quest in association with that of my arcam
    I can choose on my entries rca of my arcam a voltage input of 1, 2 and 4 volts
    on the chord, 1.2 and 3 volts output
    I put 2 volts for the moment on both devices but I would like to try 3 volts on my amp.
    is this risk? I'm afraid to make a mistake
    thank you Laurent
  14. Baten
    2V seems like the most compatible option.

    3V will only make DAC output louder. Do you need it to be louder? If no, keep 2V :)
  15. Masterwarzombie
    Thanks for your precisions
    I would like to see what gives 3 volts. if i want to try, i have to put what voltage in input? I leave 2 volts or I rock on 4 volts on my arcam?
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