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Chord Electronics Qutest DAC - Official Thread

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  1. jeremya
    Thanks, @Rob Watts!

    By the way, I'm loving the Qutest. Lovely piece of kit. =^)
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2019
    Hooster likes this.
  2. Reactcore

    Hi ppl.
    Recently joined the Qutest team!
    Acquired myself one used for 1025 euros.
    And tried feeding my HD800 straight out using digital volume in foobar. Have A-B with Mojo. And i can confirm that the analog stage of Qutest is more than capable of driving a 300ohm load.
    And oh i like the transparency over Mojo!
    I do guess adding an extra cap close to the 5v power inlet would give benefit cause of the more current being drawn specially for the peaks.
    I'm also sure it works better with high impedance HP over low ones, its just the law of ohm: power is voltage x current and higher impedance use less current for the same power, so better for the op stage.
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2019
    AC-12, betula and jwbrent like this.
  3. jwbrent
    Love the Qutest! I took a more conventional path by using a Headamp Pico Power as my amp to drive my D8000/Utopia. Both of these headphones easily reveal the resolution and transparency of the Qutest. One day, I’d love to buy a Hugo TT 2, but for now, I’m all grins when I listen to my headphones. :L3000:
  4. Baten
    Nice set-up!
  5. Reactcore
    Thx B, this is as easy as it gets. And the less parts in the chain.. the less signal loss. I have a Questyle CMA400i current mode HP amp which is rated DC-600khz frequency response which gives sublime result too. But somehow direct drive out of Qutest squeezes just the last detail out.
    I tried really bassy tracks also shortly on ear splitting level and the sound stays very clear and won't get muddy. I believe the op stage is just like Mojo's one.
  6. nwavesailor
    I will apologize in advance. In 282 pages I am sure this has been covered. I just bought a Qutest and want to use a 7th gen iPod or iPhone 11 for my source.

    I understand that I need a Apple CCK cable. What is the female USB end of that CCK cable, is it USB C?
    I think also need a USB B (?) cable end for the Qutest input. So what USB cable ends (male C and male B ?) do I need to connect to the CCK? I see that Moon audio has an Silver Dragon option but there must be another option.

    There are tons of 'how to connect a Mojo using iPhone / iPod' but it's not as easy to find the correct cables for the Qutest connection.
    When the Qutest arrives, I want to be sure I am set with the proper cables for this setup!
  7. Reactcore
    Any cck has usb a female connection. So with the supplied stock usb a male to usb b male cable youre set.

    I did notice the cutest does draw some current for the connection up signalling, draining a source's battery faster than neccessary.
    nwavesailor likes this.
  8. Jon L
    Can't see the back side. What is that Y splitter that goes from Qutest RCA output jacks to the headphone?
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2019
  9. Clemmaster
    A female 1/4 jack.
  10. Ivodam
    Using some passive volume control will degrade things a bit, this is true, but digital volume control, for example with Foobar, you can use only with PCM format, not with DSD native! I have tried it all and it sounds best when you put the signal from the Qutest through a decent real preamplifier and power amp for floorstanders, or through an earphones amp for earphones.
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2019
  11. nwavesailor
    Thanks for that, Reactcore!
    It looks like I may just need to snag an official Apple CCK adapter and I should be set.
  12. Baten
    Chord DACs don't do real DSD native, they convert internally to PCM.
  13. Reactcore
    Ah you have a point there. I havent tried true DSD yet in foobar, theres no control over native, at least until some clever guy comes with a plugin somehow.
    Have to let f2k convert those to PCM then.
    Does'nt that actually happen inside the dac first anyway since the wta process is applied to pcm waveforms:thinking:
    Or use my amp. Will try to hear the differences in Q.
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2019
  14. Ivodam
    I think this is not true, where did you read it? The manual states in a very clear way:
    native DSD via ASIO.

    Anyway, I would like to warn once again: the software players digital volume control does not work in DSD mode and the signal is output to its maximum. If somebody listens to some wav file through the Foobar, using direct output to the earphones, and downloads a DSD file and decides curiously to check how it plays, when switching over in the Foobar to DSD output mode and if having the earphones on, one might blow up his own ear-drums, no joke about it. I have had similar experience once, luckily with floorstanders, I nearly blew out the windows... :angry:
  15. Baten
    This is because the foobar dsd/sacd plug-in will not use digital volume control since that would lose the bit-perfectness.

    Anyway I'm on mobile so someone else will have to provide the reference, but DSD converts to PCM in Chord, otherwise their high-tap digital filter cannot work yeah.
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