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Chord Electronics Qutest DAC - Official Thread

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  1. Gibson59
    i’ve had a chance to hear both, and to me the qutest with M scaler bested the TT2 on its own. However, I would say part of your decision depends on your amp needs. If you already own a great amp that’s one thing, but if you don’t own an amp already then maybe the TT2 make sense and would come at a lower overall cost. Not like the TT2 lacks for much. I tend to like switching gear up and trying out different amps, so for me the amp section of the TT2 would be a bit of a waste.
  2. betula
    It depends on your budget I guess.
    You must pair Qutest with an amp and add MScaler. That's more links in the chain. Chord's philosophy is about minimising the number of links. TT2 definitely gives a more transparent experience to any amps paired with Qutest. Not to mention the double amount of taps.

    The thing is, if you buy MScaler with your Qutest you would want to get the TT2 sooner or later anyway. I would say go for the TT2 and get the MScaler when you can.
    My TT2 absolutely slaughters any amps paired with my previous Qutest.
    Hooster likes this.
  3. Reactcore
    If u already have Qutest for HP use, i say try driving direct out. youll hear what happends shortening the chain.
  4. Gibson59
    we agree to disagree :)

    With all due respect to Chord, while appreciate their philosophy about minimizing the number of links, that doesn’t drive my decision... my ears do. I have a feeling plenty of people (including myself) would be more than content with Qutest + mscaler + high-end amp and not “have to” upgrade to TT2 unless they absolutely couldn’t shake their GAS. Especially if one already own an amp(s) they really like (and if they like tubes).
    Nik74 likes this.
  5. betula
    Sure, both upgrade routes are equally valid. To me the biggest question is what amp you put between Qutest and MScaler?
  6. BlakeT
    Sound quality preferences will vary greatly from user to user, but in terms of the upgrade question being discussed above, I think Torq's comments in this thread should be given a decent amount of weight (although he unfortunately doesn't specifically discuss the Qutest, but does discuss the TT2 and M-Scaler, etc.), as Torq has more experience with DAC's at all ends of the spectrum (affordable to cost-no-object TOTL), and Chord DAC's, M-Scaler, etc. in particular, than anyone else of which I am aware:


    I'm not sure if it is a consensus, but my impression from reading various reviews is that Qutest is generally considered to be sonically superior to the Hugo 2, so you could extrapolate Torq's comments vis a vis the Hugo 2 to the Qutest. I am very happy with my Qutest but would love to try the M-Scaler with it one day.
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2019
  7. kerisabe
    Guys much appreciated the inputs! Currently im running the qutest through the gryphon diablo 300, lovin the sound. I am thinking of selling the qutest to move up to TT2, or diablo 300’s optional internal dac (less cables, direct to amp), a mid level lampi or bartok. I havent heard all of the above except the bartok (but not in my system). Just dont want to take a step in the wrong direction cause its quite a big upgrade. And to me, the shorter the chain, the better the sq (no additional mods/cables). Decisions decisions. In the end, the idea of just adding an m scaler keeps coming back to my mind.
  8. Reactcore
    So i have done some voltage measuring on the power section inside Qutest.
    It appears the 5v is switched up to + and - 12v and then regulated to + an - 8v referred to signal ground before feeded into the final OP stage.

    I wonder if placing gold caps over these 8v lines give improvement for direct drive cause more current (peaks) are drawn by HP.

    I know with external amps this wouldnt matter cause of the input being 50kohm or so taking very low current.
    Zzt231gr likes this.
  9. Zzt231gr
    Interesting find!

    But wouldn't it be better if they used +- 12V from the start?

    I'd like to know the result of the added reservoir caps.
  10. Reactcore
    Im a little hesitant with this, it might damage the regulator during powerup cycles.
    Guess Rob wouldnt answer this since it would be tampering with the original design.
  11. Triode User
    But it would be fun for us to see the pictures especially if there was some magic smoke coming from the Qutest.

    Your guarantee is I presume already invalidated by your confession of opening it up. It is a wet afternoon here so a little video of something exploding might be fun.

    Go on, take one for the team. :laughing:
  12. Reactcore
    Nice comment T,
    If i would have your arsenal of gear i wouldnt have a need of modding them.

    In case of Qutest using a amp theres nothing to improve im not stupid.
    But driving HP direct.. it might be.

    I have my degree in electronics and am just curious. Have built or modified more gear in the past.

    I bought this unit 2nd hand so have no warranty anyway.
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2019
    Zzt231gr and Baten like this.
  13. Triode User
    Although I was having a bit of fun you are right that it is enjoyable to tinker and I am the worlds worst for giving in to temptation and taking the top off just to have a play. It will be interesting to see how you get on if you decide to have a go. (I am currently modding a 300B tube amp . . . )
    Reactcore likes this.
  14. Romi54
    Is it possible to take the BNC jacks from the Qutest from the outside?
  15. Reactcore
    So now had some time with the supra USB
    Must say it 'smoothens' the high end of the fq spectrum a bit. Very nice!
    Although with some soft recorded music eg DSD, i sometimes prefer the bite of a simpler cable.
    AC-12 likes this.
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