Chord Electronics Qutest DAC - Official Thread
Dec 6, 2021 at 9:19 AM Post #5,866 of 6,752
Using software up-sampling like HQPlayer and PGGB will give you no idea at all of the performance of the M scaler. Millions, or billions of taps using the wrong algorithm simply gives you the wrong result. The WTA algorithm is the only one that is designed (from theory and optimised with thousands of listening tests) to reconstruct the timing of transients with the minimum error. And the SQ and musicality of a filter is all down to the successful reconstruction of the timing of transients.
Why can’t the WTA algorithm be implemented such that it can run on a PC or Mac?
 
Dec 6, 2021 at 10:38 AM Post #5,867 of 6,752
Hey everyone. Has anyone compared the Qutest to the DAC function of the iFi iDSD Micro Black Label? I am thinking of upgrading, but is the Qutest really worth the price difference? I have never owned a Chord product before.
@Hello kitty Qutest needs amp and is desktop solution. Micro BL is a transportable dac/amp combo, quite powerful and musical. If you like ifi micro bl sound signature Qutest may not be your best bet but it may depend on amp pairing too. Haven't heard Chord Anni yet so can't help you there.

For me Qutest has been more sterile, dry and analytical than micro bl or ifi idac2+iCan SE and while I just love Mojo sound signature Hugo 2/Qutest signature is not what I've been looking for in music. Only TT2 have came close but obviously this is my private opinion and YMMV.
 
Dec 6, 2021 at 10:42 AM Post #5,868 of 6,752
Using software up-sampling like HQPlayer and PGGB will give you no idea at all of the performance of the M scaler. Millions, or billions of taps using the wrong algorithm simply gives you the wrong result. The WTA algorithm is the only one that is designed (from theory and optimised with thousands of listening tests) to reconstruct the timing of transients with the minimum error. And the SQ and musicality of a filter is all down to the successful reconstruction of the timing of transients.

Would it be possible to do a WTA version of PGGB? Pre-upsample tracks to millions or billions of taps but with the WTA algorithm? That would surely be interesting :)
 
Dec 7, 2021 at 7:17 AM Post #5,871 of 6,752
It can, but it would consume a lot of resources and have high latency.

Why can’t the WTA algorithm be implemented such that it can run on a PC or Mac?
Would you rather have your life's work safely embedded in a hardware solution or open to attack in a software package?
 
Dec 7, 2021 at 9:50 AM Post #5,874 of 6,752
An FPGA based up-sampler has innate advantages - lower RF noise than a PC (FPGA solutions are much more power efficient), direct control of the clocks and data outputs (again minimizing noise) and the freedom to choose the DSP design. 64 bit floating point is not accurate enough for transparency - it creates noise floor modulation innately. Designing your own DSP means that noise floor modulation can be eliminated.
 
Dec 7, 2021 at 10:57 AM Post #5,876 of 6,752
Imagine on the release of the Dave Rob built in a facility to “update” his software, which was I’m guessing optimised for transparency within the constraints of available FPGA’s over many months (years ? ) what would be the use of such an option ?
Spend more time tweaking to make it a more pleasing sound for some critics while making it less transparent, or doing all the hard work of porting his own algorithms to various software platforms and then supporting the end users,
If that was started when the Dave was released we’d still be waiting for the MScaler ….
 
Dec 7, 2021 at 11:18 AM Post #5,877 of 6,752
There is https://www.psaudio.com/products/directstream-dac/, it is FPGA based and updatable. Reports over the years were that with new firmware(s), almost every time it sounds like a brand new DAC. I'm not sure WTA based DACs owners want what they love and used to, to be replaced with some new sound. Of course it would be their choice and is the initial sentiment that it could. Then we'd have reports how the previous firmware was fantastic and a new one "doesn't do it for me" and a link to classifieds :lol

These are just different philosophies, constraints and choices.
 
Dec 7, 2021 at 12:03 PM Post #5,878 of 6,752
...sometimes (almost always, actually) you learn things after the release of a software or hardware product. Users are doing things QA sweeps didn't envision. And goofs (my camp) take things apart, or develop ancillary devices, submerge it in banana cream...it's endless.

Sometimes there's an incremental improvement you could push out, if the distributed products can communicate with mother.

Sometimes there is a middle path, wherein you could "grab" an update online, and apply it via USB, for example.

Absent options above, the new knowledge may get applied to a new product. Sometimes people prefer the old product. That's the game.

Some folks treat Dave like a museum piece, never to be touched or improved upon, just to be admired. Ah, the Mona Lisa's smile.

I admire the Dave. I still own one. And an MScaler. I had a Qutest too. All fab stuff. But perfect? I don't think so. But excellent? Oh yes!

My point (if I have one): treat the Dave like the excellent product it is, instead of a holy relic. It's as perfect as it needed to be...
 
Dec 9, 2021 at 10:58 AM Post #5,879 of 6,752
Wow so I just received my new Chord Qutest and right out of the box the Filter button keeps getting stuck! This is what almost $2000 buys nowadays!?!? What a joke. Unit sound great but having a button get stuck over and over again is unacceptable at this price range. I am pissed.
 
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Dec 9, 2021 at 11:43 AM Post #5,880 of 6,752
As I have posted above I am impressed with the Qutest. However I do not like the aesthetics of it. I am trying to overcome this as it does sound great:relaxed:
Has anyone any ideas how I can raise the Qutest off the ground , so I cant see the wires behind the back of it. I really dislike seeing a lot of wires and cables and the Qutest is that small that I can see them . My OCDs kick in :relaxed:
So are there any reasonable platforms or bases out there that will raise this off the ground and at a reasonable cost? I know there is the Qutest stand but again I am not keen on this.
 

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