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Chord Electronics Qutest DAC - Official Thread

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  1. BlakeT
    My Qutest is used in my desktop system in my office at work. I am using it with an Aesthetix Calypso preamp and Blue Circle BC-28 power amp to Scansonic monitor speakers. It is bueno!
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2019
    Amberlamps likes this.
  2. Qute Beats
    never had any issues at all with the PSUs micro USB connection..
  3. Qute Beats
    I gave up on all the USB cleaners, no negatives I found, just no point them being there. They do work with lesser DACs, but Chord's don't benefit as so well designed in the first place.
  4. Qute Beats
    So a just Hugo2 without batteries, not sure there's much to gain there, Hugo2 can run on power plug fine and folk will still want to buy a better amps.. TT2 is more expensive, but amp stage is so good there's no need for the additional cost of amp.
    linearly likes this.
  5. Triode User
    But consider how they might be rolling off the top end. They are not altering the music signal so the rolled off top end you mention is more likely removal of RF noise. If you prefer it with that top end then are you are really saying is that you like the sound of RF noise? Just a thought.
    GreenBow and miketlse like this.
  6. Arniesb
    Guess what i have silver usb cable which have a lot more extension than Jitterbug and at the same time way lower noise floor.
    1 thing is bright and 1 is noise free.
    Ss amps are a lot more queit than tube amps and they are brighter.
    Almost all decrapifiers are brighter than Jitterbug too and way have much lower noise floor.
  7. linearly
    That would solve all my issues right now, how does one do that? I've the same headphones, do you need some kind of special adapter RCA to headphone jack female? And use digital volume in Windows? Is 1V a lot for 300ohm headphones? I mean is there a risk of blowing the drivers up if an app goes full volume? Thank you.
  8. Triode User
    Rob Watts has mentioned previously that some 'decrapifiers' can actually add noise into the digital chain due to their power supplies etc. Hence why they might sound brighter.
    Baten likes this.
  9. Qute Beats
    Two ways to do it. You can buy a RCA-headphone adaptor, which was what I did first to experiment - this was mine[​IMG]
    I then made up a headphone cable direct into RCA plugs to remove adaptor, relatively easy, soldering the wires into the small headphones plugs was the tricky part as not much room to work with. Just get some of these, cable and makke sure you get the +/- the right way around.
    I had no issues, but yeah just watch the volume on the software as otherwise can go quite loud. Using MusicBee I found ~50% volume OK and as far as I could work out at around this level there is no loss of sound quality, but technically not bit perfect. A couple of time I had accidentally played loud and had to quickly reduce volume, but no damage was done. Blasting at the max volume for a while could be another story though, as would using a much lower impedance headphone I imagine.
    But please do research it yourself first as I obviously wouldn't want to you do mess anything up based on what I've said here.
    linearly likes this.
  10. linearly
    Will look into this for sure, thanks so much for explaining it to me. I also saw there are digital volume controls with RCA in jack out, with potentiometer and remote. Now I have to buy Qutest again... Anyways I'm confident I will make this work somehow. Other option is buying a Mojo and replace the battery with super caps, there was someone that did it in the Mojo thread, but that sounds so much more complicated. 'Tinkering' about it.
    Qute Beats likes this.
  11. Romi54
    @Rob Watts

    How much power (A) does the Qutest use at most?
  12. linearly
    So this morning I decided to plug my 650's to direct RCA out of my current DAC, it has 2Vrms. Was so scared at first, got the volume lowest possible, expected to blow up my headphones. That didn't happen, had to get it at about 60% volume at 2v to sound about right. What struck me was how much better direct DAC was compared to the built in headphone amp.

    There are a few options for volume control, software, digital or analog. I guess the best one would be analog with a pot and nothing more. Digital ones have a remote control with RCA in RCA out.

    For now I've decided to go with Schiit SYS, I can have both headphones and active speakers plugged in and switch between them. Once I get everything will do some tests with Qutest RCA -> Hp direct with software volume control vs Schiit SYS.

    Also I have no idea what I'm doing and I did this at my own risk. Please be careful.

    Probably there are a lot of audio downsides to this option, that I'm not aware of, but this is what fits me best right now.
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2019
  13. mmhifi
    OK, micro-usb power port of my 4-month old Qutest failed to work properly... I had intermittent lost of power.
    My dealer replaces the unit for new one.
  14. Baten
    There is a pretty big downside. Most DACs are not meant for direct drive and have an impedance output sometimes up to hundreds of Ω. Not as bad with planars which don't care about impedance, or higher impedance headphones as HD600/HD800 etc, but this will likely sound BAD with sensitive headphones.

    For example, SDAC balanced on massdrop. It has a 3.5mm output meant for line-out to other device. If you plug a headphone into it, it actually has impedance output of 150Ω. This is not good to direct drive headphones ... what is the impedance output of Qutest over its RCA outputs? I've no idea.
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2019
    linearly likes this.
  15. linearly
    Yeah I know, I'm in uncharted waters here. Will use Qutest with Schiit SYS for volume control into my HD650's. On the first page on this thread it says Output impedance: 0.025Ω for Qutest. I really don't know what to do, if this will degrade the sound somehow that I'm not aware of. If that is the case I'm willing to forgo my battery bias and get the Hugo 2.
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