Schiit Bifrost 2 vs. Chord Qutest
May 4, 2021 at 8:38 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 30

Crowbar44

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Hello all...

So I have a Bifrost 2 on backorder (probably a long backorder unfortunately) and am thinking of going with the Chord Qutest instead.

I'm picking up a McIntosh MHA-200 tomorrow (tubes - push/pull topology) that I will use with the new DAC. Headphones are Focal Clears/Audeze LCD-2f/Senn HD660S.

Would appreciate some input from anyone with experience with both DACs.

Big downside for me on the Chord is the lack of balanced outputs, as I was hoping to convert my whole signal path to XLR.

I'm upgrading from an Asgard 3 MB.

Many thanks in advance for the posts.
 
May 5, 2021 at 4:22 PM Post #2 of 30

NA Blur

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I really the DAC's from Chord. They measure and sound awesome. Due to the lack of balanced outputs I would suggest the Schiit Modius. I use it everyday at work and it is an excellent DAC especially in balanced mode. The Bifrost products have always sounded nice from Schiit, but measure noisier than the Modius and Chord. If that's a concern for you stick with something that measures better like the Modius.
 
May 6, 2021 at 11:34 AM Post #3 of 30

Crowbar44

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I really the DAC's from Chord. They measure and sound awesome. Due to the lack of balanced outputs I would suggest the Schiit Modius. I use it everyday at work and it is an excellent DAC especially in balanced mode. The Bifrost products have always sounded nice from Schiit, but measure noisier than the Modius and Chord. If that's a concern for you stick with something that measures better like the Modius.
Thanks...the more I think on it...I definitely want the balanced outs. If anyone has a rec for a good balanced DAC in the ~$1000 range I'd appreciate a post...

Modius is nice - I haven't heard it, but I do love the Multibit sound from other Schiit DACs...the DS DACs I have heard are a touch too clinical sounding for my ears - though it's true that they measure extremely well...
 
Jul 12, 2021 at 11:33 PM Post #4 of 30

CT007

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It seems BF2 is indeed the sub-$1000 DAC to get. Mine took 8 weeks to get here. It's a huge jump in quality up even from a Mojo, which I thought was pretty damn good!! Now Mojo sounds congested and muddy, and BF2 basically sounds real. Fantastic detail, dynamic range, extension, separation, space, bass impact, everything. I have not heard any Chord besides Mojo so far, but I can only see my next upgrade from Bifrost + G111 being a Hugo 2 / TT / Qutest. A far better Mojo, with no batteries to worry about..??! :astonished: :astonished: :astonished:
 
Jul 14, 2021 at 6:03 AM Post #5 of 30

EagleWings

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Both are quite different sounding DACs. Qutest is leaner, not a lot of meat on the bones, a touch sterile sounding and can’t hit hard in the bass. Bifrost2 on the other hand is denser and warmer in the mids, has a more burly presentation that is very dynamic and punchy, but the presentation will come across as having a bit of murkiness next to the Qutest. Bifrost2 has amazing macro and micro dynamic character with plenty of texture in the mids. Qutest is more of a high resolution DAC with great separation and imaging. Both are incisive in the lower treble, but the Bifrost 2 is smoother in the upper treble, whereas, the Qutest is going to be overall touch brighter in the entire treble region. I hear the Qutest can be made smoother with a good power supply and source. For me, Bifrost2 has a more analog-like timbre in the midrange over the Qutest. As for the soundstage, Qutest is going to be airier with blacker background and a more effortless separation. But the depth is going to be quite similar on both.

Overall, I find the Bifrost2 more engaging and to my liking than the Qutest. My only issue with the Bifrost2 is it’s lower treble incisiveness, which is a touch more evident on headphones than on speakers. On speakers, not only is this lower treble incisiveness less evident, but also the midrange comes across even more life like than on headphones.
 
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Jul 14, 2021 at 7:28 AM Post #6 of 30

CT007

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Qutest is leaner, not a lot of meat on the bones, a touch sterile sounding and can’t hit hard in the bass.
Ah, I was expecting it to be stronger and warmer, knowing the Mojo! Interesting... The huge dynamic range of BF2 is something I'm not sure that I like, with such volume variance. I suppose I could use some sort of EQ compressor to tighten things up a little.
 
Jul 15, 2021 at 1:05 PM Post #7 of 30

EagleWings

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Yea Mojo is kind of the odd one out in the family. Dave can come close to having a full sound, but still not full enough for me. Hugo2 and Qutest are def on the lean side. Haven’t heard the TT2 yet, but friends have confirmed that it is not a full sounding device either.
 
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Aug 11, 2021 at 8:09 AM Post #8 of 30

omniweltall

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Both are quite different sounding DACs. Qutest is leaner, not a lot of meat on the bones, a touch sterile sounding and can’t hit hard in the bass. Bifrost2 on the other hand is denser and warmer in the mids, has a more burly presentation that is very dynamic and punchy, but the presentation will come across as having a bit of murkiness next to the Qutest. Bifrost2 has amazing macro and micro dynamic character with plenty of texture in the mids. Qutest is more of a high resolution DAC with great separation and imaging. Both are incisive in the lower treble, but the Bifrost 2 is smoother in the upper treble, whereas, the Qutest is going to be overall touch brighter in the entire treble region. I hear the Qutest can be made smoother with a good power supply and source. For me, Bifrost2 has a more analog-like timbre in the midrange over the Qutest. As for the soundstage, Qutest is going to be airier with blacker background and a more effortless separation. But the depth is going to be quite similar on both.

Overall, I find the Bifrost2 more engaging and to my liking than the Qutest. My only issue with the Bifrost2 is it’s lower treble incisiveness, which is a touch more evident on headphones than on speakers. On speakers, not only is this lower treble incisiveness less evident, but also the midrange comes across even more life like than on headphones.
Great comparison. Don't think I can add/substract anything :)
 
Aug 11, 2021 at 11:06 AM Post #9 of 30

TheMiddleSky

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Both are quite different sounding DACs. Qutest is leaner, not a lot of meat on the bones, a touch sterile sounding and can’t hit hard in the bass. Bifrost2 on the other hand is denser and warmer in the mids, has a more burly presentation that is very dynamic and punchy, but the presentation will come across as having a bit of murkiness next to the Qutest. Bifrost2 has amazing macro and micro dynamic character with plenty of texture in the mids. Qutest is more of a high resolution DAC with great separation and imaging. Both are incisive in the lower treble, but the Bifrost 2 is smoother in the upper treble, whereas, the Qutest is going to be overall touch brighter in the entire treble region. I hear the Qutest can be made smoother with a good power supply and source. For me, Bifrost2 has a more analog-like timbre in the midrange over the Qutest. As for the soundstage, Qutest is going to be airier with blacker background and a more effortless separation. But the depth is going to be quite similar on both.

Overall, I find the Bifrost2 more engaging and to my liking than the Qutest. My only issue with the Bifrost2 is it’s lower treble incisiveness, which is a touch more evident on headphones than on speakers. On speakers, not only is this lower treble incisiveness less evident, but also the midrange comes across even more life like than on headphones.

Interesting, never heard bifrost 2, but very familiar with Qutest (and I own Hugo 2). These chord dac deliver bass punch more than any DACs from topping, smsl, questyle and cayin. Chifi is about being leaner and american being thicker in this case. Europe, well, as in map, in the middle.
 
Aug 13, 2021 at 11:05 PM Post #10 of 30

theveterans

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Both are quite different sounding DACs. Qutest is leaner, not a lot of meat on the bones, a touch sterile sounding and can’t hit hard in the bass. Bifrost2 on the other hand is denser and warmer in the mids, has a more burly presentation that is very dynamic and punchy, but the presentation will come across as having a bit of murkiness next to the Qutest. Bifrost2 has amazing macro and micro dynamic character with plenty of texture in the mids. Qutest is more of a high resolution DAC with great separation and imaging. Both are incisive in the lower treble, but the Bifrost 2 is smoother in the upper treble, whereas, the Qutest is going to be overall touch brighter in the entire treble region. I hear the Qutest can be made smoother with a good power supply and source. For me, Bifrost2 has a more analog-like timbre in the midrange over the Qutest. As for the soundstage, Qutest is going to be airier with blacker background and a more effortless separation. But the depth is going to be quite similar on both.

Overall, I find the Bifrost2 more engaging and to my liking than the Qutest. My only issue with the Bifrost2 is it’s lower treble incisiveness, which is a touch more evident on headphones than on speakers. On speakers, not only is this lower treble incisiveness less evident, but also the midrange comes across even more life like than on headphones.

Truly agree with this. IMO, Schiit's DSP filter implementation far better suit speaker system than headphones hence why I solely use my Bifrost 2 with speaker setup. With headphones, I actually prefer Chord DAVE than any of Schiit's MB DACs, but with speakers, Chord DAVE IMO lacks that tiny bit of Burrito+R2R vocal and instrument texture that really brings the best out of speaker's mid-range, but DAVE's bass performance is just so tactile while being well defined while Schiit's is a tiny bit blunt to my taste (less resolution)
 
Aug 16, 2021 at 6:31 PM Post #13 of 30

MacMan31

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Topping D70s No Brainer! I believe one of the best DAC under 1500 usd… much cleaner than Qutest ( <1.3uVrms vs <2.6uVrms)

I have been considering the Topping D70s as well as the Bifrost 2. The Modius would be good as well I'm sure. But the micro USB in 2021 turns me away. Everything with USB should be USB-C by now. Also at a lower price point I am considering the Topping E30.
 
Aug 16, 2021 at 9:32 PM Post #14 of 30

CT007

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as well as the Bifrost 2. The Modius would be good as well I'm sure. But the micro USB in 2021 turns me away. Everything with USB should be USB-C by now. Also at a lower price point I am considering the Topping E30.
I'm sure E30 will be good! I loved my D50s, before getting a Mojo, then Bifrost 2. To use Bifrost 2 on any version of Windows I want, I bought a Douk U2 Pro(USB to coax/optical), since Schiit doesn't care to support pre Windows 10, and I can't say how happy/amazed I am at the quality/fidelity level I'm hearing out of the BF2 with it. I did have to wait the full 8 weeks to get the BF2, however, but I have NO reason/desire to upgrade from here. Totally worth it.
 
Aug 17, 2021 at 2:12 AM Post #15 of 30

MacMan31

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I'm sure E30 will be good! I loved my D50s, before getting a Mojo, then Bifrost 2. To use Bifrost 2 on any version of Windows I want, I bought a Douk U2 Pro(USB to coax/optical), since Schiit doesn't care to support pre Windows 10, and I can't say how happy/amazed I am at the quality/fidelity level I'm hearing out of the BF2 with it. I did have to wait the full 8 weeks to get the BF2, however, but I have NO reason/desire to upgrade from here. Totally worth it.

One thing I forgot to mention is that I would be using this DAC with a Schiit Valhalla 2. Though I have also been considering the Asgard 3. Whichever DAC I get I pretty much want it to be "end game" so I am not changing it for quite a long time.
 

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