Chord Qutest - DAC
The Chord Qutest is a market leading Digital to Analogue Converter ( DAC ) that is unmatched at this price point. Utilizing their customized FPGA chip and stripping out other excess functionality gives you detail, depth and life-like tonality without that digital harshness that you simply don't find in this price bracket.
For me this DAC is where diminishing returns starts to kick in and unless your HiFi system is in the 5 figure mark this should be your choice. Sure you will get better performance out of the more expensive DACS in the line but it is all about balancing the budget effectively.
Chord Qutest FAQ:
Chord Qutest vs Mojo - The Qutest against the Mojo is the largest step-up in quality you will hear in the Chord line in my honest opinion. The sound of the Chord Mojo is shallower, less resolving and warmer. The Chord Qutest has a larger and deeper soundstage which you will hear far deeper into the details of the music.
Chord Qutest vs Hugo2 - This one is VERY close and to my ears I hear a very slight edge with the Qutest in a HiFi application, but its very very tight. For me, this comparison is more about the use case. The Hugo 2 is better for its portability and functionality. Different horses for different courses.
Chord Qutest vs TT2 - You aren't getting as substantial a rise in performance here as you are getting with the Chord Qutest vs Mojo BUT there are still some marked improvements. The main improvement when it comes to my listening enjoyment is the TT2 provides a far better center image focus and body to the sound and makes the Qutest seem a bit hollow in comparison. You will also get greater resolution, more depth and a wider sounstage.
Materials: Precision machined aluminium casing with polycarbonate buttons and glass viewing portal. Available in black.
Device Power Supply: 5v 2amp Micro USB
Connectivity (input): USB Type B (White): 44.1kHz – 768kHz – 16bit – 32bit
2x BNC Coax (Red): 44.1kHz – 384kHz – 16bit – 32bit
1x Dual data mode input (using both BNC coax inputs together): 44.1kHz – 768kHz – 16bit – 32bit
Optical (Green): 44.1kHz – 192kHz – 16bit – 24bit
Connectivity (output): 1x stereo pair of RCA (Left and Right)
PCM support: 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, 96kHz, 176.4kHz, 192kHz, 358.8kHz, 384kHz, 717.6kHz, and 768kHz.
DSD support: Native playback supported. DSD64 (Single) to DSD512 (Octa-DSD)
Variable output: Fixed, but selectable between 3v (blue), 2v (green), and 1v (red) via dual press of ‘Filter’ + ‘Input’ upon startup
Driver support: Driverless with Mac OS X and Linux, driver required for Windows OS
Digital designer: Rob Watts
Mechanical Designer: John Franks
Country of manufacture: England
Chipset: Chord Electronics custom coded Xilinx Artix 7 (XC7A15T) FPGA
Pulse array: 10 element pulse array design
Frequency response: 20Hz – 20kHz +/- 0.2dB
Output stage: Class A
THD: <0.0001% 1kHz 3v RMS 300Ω
THD and noise at 3v RMS: 117dB at 1kHz 300ohms ‘A’ wighted (reference 2.5v)
Noise 2.6 uV ‘A’ weighted: No measurable noise floor modulation
Channel separation: 138dB at 1kHz 300Ω
Dimensions: 41mm (H) x 160mm (W) x 72mm (D)
Boxed Weight: 1500g
If you are here in Malta come visit for a demo to listen to the Chord Qutest in Malta!