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Chord Electronics Qutest DAC - Official Thread

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  1. linearly
    So sad that we don't have a true desktop DAC/amp for headphones. I'm sure most of us started with Mojo and went with Hugo 2 after, but they bring a lot of negatives, like wanting to listen more and seeing battery is getting low, charging and getting too hot, etc. The next option is Hugo TT2, but it has a new chip, extra power, more suited for a high end device. Nothing in between. Qutest is great, BUT it needs a great headphone amp and interconnects.

    Wish there was a simple device, a Qutest with headphone out and a remote. No bluetooth, no batteries, no extra features. Keep it simple. Call it QuteTT maybe, price it between Qutest and Hugo 2. I would buy it right away, and I'm sure a lot more would.
    blueninjasix likes this.
  2. dolphy007
    TBH I have no idea what your complaint is about, the Hugo 2 is perfect. I'm asuming the headphone amp will be fixed, I've had the original Hugo for five years and it has never gotten hot and I always leave it powered on. If I could justify buyiing the Hugo 2 I would in a heart beat!!!
    Joe-Siow likes this.
  3. linearly
    I really have no complaints, I have owned both Mojo and Hugo 2, and while great devices, for both home and away use, at some point batteries will fail, and when that does happen an extra cost is added. I'm saying that now, for me, I'm looking for a plug and forget option, and the cheapest one is a TT2, that has a lot of features I don't really need. Sure DAC part is far superior to Qutest, but you have to start somewhere, and later, if I feel like it I can upgrade to a TT2.
  4. Joe-Siow
    I would consider the Qutest the starting point for a desktop DAC before the TT2
    If u are looking for a headphone amp with a DAC, what exactly is wrong with a Hugo2?

    Think about it, Chord has the Mojo and Hugo2 for the portable crowd; while there are Qutest, TT2 and Dave for the desktop crowd.
    Each of these 5 products cater to users at different price points

    For a company the size of Chord, it does not make any business sense to have 4 DAC for the desktop segment
    3 is the sweet spot; entry, mid-range and flagship
  5. linearly
    I've been reading this forum for a very long time, long before making my account. While searching for answers in this hobby I've found a thread here where a head-fier was comparing some headphone amps with audio samples. Between those amps there was a Mojo too.

    After listening to those samples I knew right away that I did audio wrong until then. And so it began. I got a Mojo right away. And was very happy with it. A few months passed by and I got the itch to audition the Hugo 2. And what a revelation that was. I couldn't get back to Mojo. So Hugo 2 gave me months of audio happiness.

    Naturally I had to listen to DAVE to see what I'm missing, and oh boy it was a LOT. After months and months of savings finally was able to buy DAVE. And lets just say I really couldn't want more. Sure a good power cable made a difference, but was happy.

    Unfortunately, after having some personal problems, I had to sell the DAVE. And that was my biggest mistake in this hobby ever. After things settled down, I even spoke to the person I had sold it to and made him a better offer and he refused to give it back to me.

    Got the Qutest, and I can't really say anything bad about it, its amazing, but I mainly listen to music via headphones, and a lot is lost between the DAC and amp/interconnects. And here is where the Chord magic is, fewer parts between DAC- headphones that degrade sound.

    As a Chord customer I want something and I voice it on this forum. Its a discussion not an argument. I'm not saying anything bad about any Chord products I've had. All gave me happiness. But everyone has their moments in life, and today you want a portable device, tomorrow you upgrade to a TT2, who knows. At the moment I'm not using anything Chord since a product that fits my needs today doesn't exist.

    If it makes sense or not to add another product to their range that's for them to decide, we as customers can only hope a new product ticks our boxes and we decide to acquire it or not.
    Qute Beats, Christer and OctavianH like this.
  6. OctavianH
    A very nice story you have there. In my case, Chord does not make tube amplifiers so Qutest was the only thing I needed: the DAC. Of course, TT2 or Dave are for sure much better but yes, I am not affording Dave and also the costs involved in amplifier part. And the ability to roll some interconnects might be fun, sometimes.
    Baten, blueninjasix, Nik74 and 2 others like this.
  7. rudy49
    has anyone compared the Qutest to the NAD D1050?
  8. GreenBow
    EISA Awards are in.

    The Qutest won EISA DAC 2019 - 2020.
    Ivodam and Zzt231gr like this.
  9. lhau
    What is EISA?
  10. lhau
    Has anyone tried a Audioquest Jitterbug on Qutest? was there any good effect?
  11. hornytoad
    I tried one on my computer and it had ZERO effect.
  12. JezR
  13. Arniesb
    Worst thing ever. Some delusional folks will say that rolled of top end is result of redused emi, but it is because of added resistance. If you want reduced resolution go ahead, but i would suggest better buy decent usb cable or Usb decrapifier.
    BlakeT and HumanMedia like this.
  14. BlakeT
    Jitterbugs suck and as noted by @Arniesb they roll off the top end. Try two at a time as suggested by Audioquest and you can double your misery. I suppose if your system is bright/harsh sounding, they may serve as a band-aid.

    IMHO of course.
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2019
    Deftone and HumanMedia like this.
  15. Qute Beats
    I ran my HD650s direct for a while using volume control on software, no issues at all, but watch to voltage - start at 1V. You get more transparency without amp, but in the end I went back to amp for convenience.
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