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Review and Measurements of CHORD Qutest DAC

Music1969

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#61
First, big EDIT: It's Hi-fi WORLD who measured the Qutest, not Hi-Fi Choice! I'm confused with all these HI-FI UK mags... :D

Regarding Hi-Fi News, the test was published in November 2018 issue. This one:


I will take a look once at home to see if I can share here only measurements part.
Thanks! Ahh, I have the November edition but haven't read it yet.
 

Music1969

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#64
HiFi News notes Hugo2 has lower distortion at higher frequencies than Qutest.

HiFi News also comments that the stock SMPS with Qutest is noisy (affecting measurements). This is something both Amir and Stereophile said was NOT an issue.

For those looking for state of the art DAC/headphone amp, I'd still love a re-test of Hugo2 with the APX-555. It may be better than initial measurements showed (with previous gear/setup). Or maybe not of course.
 
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#68
... And Rob Watts himself!!! He said tons and tons of times to DON'T upgrade the PSU on Head-Fi... No one listened. Everybody still "hear" night and day things by upgrading Qutest with a 1K$ PSU... :facepalm:
I think at some point he said that the main problem was that the PSU was generating issues with other components. So the problem was the PSU of the other components that were letting noise in.
 

Music1969

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#69
... And Rob Watts himself!!! He said tons and tons of times to DON'T upgrade the PSU on Head-Fi... No one listened. Everybody still "hear" night and day things by upgrading Qutest with a 1K$ PSU... :facepalm:
Right. So my point is, can I trust HFN’s measurements at all? Maybe they were unlucky with a noisy stock PSU.
Or maybe it was their setup? Hard to know.
 

amirm

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#71
Why does this DAC cost so much $1895 with no balanced?

How much is the profit? Gosh.....
It is more expensive to build than other DACs that use dedicated DAC chips. It is also sold through dealer channel so requires higher margins.
 
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#73
It is more expensive to build than other DACs that use dedicated DAC chips. It is also sold through dealer channel so requires higher margins.
I wonder how many people buy through dealers, compared to buying direct through internet?
My guess is majority of people buy through internet.
 

amirm

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#74
I wonder how many people buy through dealers, compared to buying direct through internet?
My guess is majority of people buy through internet.
I think it is price controlled so even if you buy through the INternet, you are buying at full price.
 

maxxevv

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#76
Most of that so called profit goes into maintaining a robust distribution and service network.
 

Vovgan

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#77
For the benefit of those considering the purchase: I own a Qutest, it had replaced Audiolab M-DAC plus and the sound quality improvement was quite appreciable. I use it with B&W 703 floorstanders and a Denon x4500 amp.
As a side note: following the review of the TXH headphone amp on this website I’ve purchased it and paired it with Qutest to drive (also newly purchased) Sennheiser 6xx headphones. There the sound quality was almost indistinguishable from using MacBook Pro’s headphone jack instead of Qutest+ThX+$800 Acrolink cables, but then the issue must be with the headphones I guess - they sound pleasant in both setups but are frankly dull compared to my B&W speakers.
 

Veri

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#78
As a side note: following the review of the TXH headphone amp on this website I’ve purchased it and paired it with Qutest to drive (also newly purchased) Sennheiser 6xx headphones. There the sound quality was almost indistinguishable from using MacBook Pro’s headphone jack
Not unexpected. All my macbooks I've listen to (work or personal) had great (transparent?) sound. It's basically a well implemented Cirrus Logic DAC and headamp set-up which Apple has down to a T. No one would ever believe you though ;)

Maybe, a really solving headphone would sound better with your set-up, like the HD800(S). But even then, I wouldn't be sure since the HD650 makes no difference between your extreme set-up and a good laptop one.
 
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