Chord Electronics at Audio46
Qutest is a standalone DAC whose performance belies its compact dimensions.
With DAC architecture based on the award-winning Hugo 2, Qutest offers class-leading digital conversion.
Chord - Qutest DAC
The Qutest is a replacement of the popular 2Qute DAC. Qutest uses the same award-winning internal DAC architecture and proprietary software coding as the new Hugo 2, giving it proven class-leading technical and sonic performance.
Chord’s latest FPGA and advanced WTA (Watts Transient Aligned) filters have been implemented in the Qutest, bringing a wide variety of performance improvements over the 2Qute in a number of areas. Performance gains have been made in timing accuracy, noise reduction and dynamic range and tap length, the technical indicator of how complex the interpolation filter is, has more than doubled compared to its predecessor, to 49,152.
As with Hugo 2, the Qutest has a new filter switch which allows users to adjust the frequency-shaping to suit their listening preferences or to achieve ideal synergy with their existing components. There are four levels of filtering from warm and soft to transparent and incisive.
Qutest features a galvanically isolated USB-B, optical and dual coaxial digital inputs, giving an instant upgrade to everyday audio devices plus the ability to modernize ageing digital source components. It also features RCA analog outputs for connection to integrated amplifiers, preamps and headphone amps.
The Qutest chassis is all-new too. It has significantly greater mass than its predecessor and has been precision-machined from solid aircraft-grade aluminium billet. The Qutest PCB nestles within a shallow cavity in the chassis, giving the circuit board greater protection within the casework and additional isolation from external vibration compared to previous designs.
Qutest’s control spheres (for user-selectable filters and input) illuminate with useful color-coding information denoting sample frequency and filter used and the brightness settings are user-adjustable.
A further new feature is a user-selectable output voltage available in 1, 2 and 3V RMS outputs for flexible connectivity with partnering devices.
Inputs and Outputs
Qutest has three digital inputs and one set of analog outputs. Inputs include: one Optical TOSLink 24-bit/192kHz-capable, two BNC coaxial input 24-bit/384kHz-capable (with dual data mode up to 768kHz) and one HD galvanically isolated USB-B input 32-bit/768kHz and DSD512-capable. Outputs are one stereo pair of RCA phono outputs adjustable to 1,2 and 3V RMS.
Qutest is available in black only.
- Materials: Precision machined aluminium casing with polycarbonate buttons and glass viewing portal
- Power Supply: 5v 2amp Micro USB
- USB Type B (White): 44.1kHz – 768kHz – 16bit – 32bit
- 2x BNC Coax (Red): 44.1kHz – 768kHz – 16bit – 32bit
- Optical (Green): 44.1kHz – 192kHz – 16bit – 24bit
- Outputs: 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
- Made in England
- Galvanically isolated USB
- No measurable noise floor modulation
- THD and noise at 2.5v RMS ref 3V: -117dB 300 ohms AWt
- Channel sep 138 dB at 1kHz 300 ohms
Frequency response: 20-20 kHz +/- 0.2 dB
Dynamic Range: 124 dB AWt
THD: 0.0001% 1 kHz 2.5V RMS 300 Ω
Weight: 1.7 lbs
Dimensions (H x W x D): 1.6 x 6.3 x 2.8 in.