Studio out to Chord Qutest

Does anyone use the Chord Qutest as a DAC with Studio

Win10 PC with Studio considering Qutest DAC via USB

If so what issues have you had


I use a Chord Qutest with Audirvanaā€¦ I have used it directly from a MacBook via a USB cable and now using a Lumin U1 mini streamer via Wifi Upnpā€¦ Could not be happier with the ease of use and soundā€¦ A few things to keep in mindā€¦ The Qutest does a great job of upsampling internally so there is really no reason to upsample in Audirvanaā€¦ Feed it native resolution files and/or streamsā€¦ Stay away from MQA and DSD with this DACā€¦ Issues none in 3+ yearsā€¦ This DAC is clean, crisp and incisiveā€¦

However Qutest is PCM-centricā€¦ DSD playback will not be unfettered, as it is biased to PCM by nature of the Rob Watts WTA-1 digital filter up-sampling architecture (Watts Transient Aligned) that converts DSD to PCM for outputā€¦ However, many DACs do not provide an unfettered 1-bit PDM (DSD) data-path to the output circuitryā€¦ DACs utilizing the ESS chipsets are a good example.

:notes: :eye: :headphones: :eye: :notes:

1 Like

Wondering about the size of native PCM vs DSD music cataloguesā€¦ In other words, how much music content is actually recorded, mixed, mastered and produced (the full signal chain) in native PCM vs DSD?

And yes, Rob Watts believes that DSD as well as MQA breaks small signalsā€¦ His DAC designs are not the best platforms to play DSD or MQA onā€¦

Quantity does not define Qualityā€¦ This statement being a subjective interpretation, beholding to several cognitive-biasesā€¦

The technical discussion involves the validity of the number of filter taps needed to achieve the target result and the design of the D/A output circuit architectureā€¦ If one does not find the catalog of native DSD product appealing, this is one thingā€¦ However, many find the potentials of PCMxxx sample-rate files being modulated to DSDxxx sample-rates in software, provides a very satisfying juxtaposition to the WTA and PGGB algorithms, (Wherein the comparison of PCMxxx up-sampling algorithms, some find PGGB to be superior to WTA and other hardware sample-rate conversion platforms.)ā€¦ I believe it boils down to a subjective interpretation of the final audition on ones playback system and the focus of that amalgamation of components by designā€¦ (As you may already know) I am in the DSD camp, where all PCMxxx is modulated to DSD128 via r8Brain in Audirvana Studio and my system amalgamation is biased for DSD playback, including unfettered binaural native DSDxxx.

There is also a hack to SOX, outside of Audirvana, that allows MM+ tapsā€¦ I find that superior to PGGB as there is more user control over filteringā€¦

I think I have this in the Trax SACD ISO to PCMxxx conversion program using the SoX advanced algorithm that I use to convert DSDxxx to DXD 352.8kHz so I can apply HRTF DSP prior to modulating back to DSD128ā€¦

1 Like