Chord Electronics QUTEST DAC

Qutest is a standalone DAC whose performance belies its compact dimensions.

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Even though just about everything digital contains its own DAC (digital to analog converter), sometimes these individual digital kits are just not enough for the sound quality experience that is wanted in a home. A separate DAC has the ability to deliver a crisper, cleaner, and more high quality sound than what might be heard without one. A DAC also increases the amount of supported file data rates than what might be previously offered before using a DAC.

The Chord Qutest is the newest in the Chord lineup and is a 'pure' DAC, meaning that it does not come with the capability of a headphone jack, but it still brings with it the ability to improve the sound quality within your home. The Qutest is the next step in sound quality evolution from the 2Qute. Qutest has even made it as a What Hi-Fi?Star of CES 2018. It has been built based on Chord's proprietary FPGA technology which has won many awards proving that it has become a leader in sonic and technical performance. 

Even with its small size (41mm x 160mm x 72mm), it features coaxial digital input, optical input, and a galvanically isolated USB-B. Since the Qutest is able to support so many components, it will immediately modernize older sources while giving an instant boost to performance. With this new model, a different kind of flexibility is introduced with its input controllable inputs and user-selectable frequency shaping filters. The Qutest also includes input connections for Chord Electronics products that will be coming down the line. This pure DAC also has RCA analogue output connections to headphone amps, integrated amplifiers, and preamps.

With the Qutest, came a brand new kind of chassis as well. It has a bit larger mass and is now made from a solid piece of aluminum that is declared aircraft-grade material. If the new Qutest model is compared to previous designs, this new chassis design offers greater protection for the circuit board and gives an additional amount of isolation from external vibrations which will help eliminate the pesky jitters as the analog feedback is being played.
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  • 1.5m 5v 2a Switching Micro USB Power Supply
  • 2m Type A to Type B USB Cable
  • Qutest Owners Overview Manual
  • Raw Silk Drawstring Bag

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 – 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

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