Chord Qutest DAC
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 Features
- 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
Chord Qutest DAC Technical Specs
- Chipset: Chord Electronics custom coded Xilinx Artix 7 (XC7A15T) FPGA
- Tap-length: 49,152
- 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
- Weight: 770g
- Dimensions: 41mm (H) x 160mm (W) x 72mm (D)
- Boxed Weight: 1500g
So satisfied are we with the improvements accompanying the Qutest, we ask ourselves (as we did with the 2Qute): where next for Chord’s ‘budget’ powered DAC line?
We don’t know the answer, or even what such a successor would be called. Qutester doesn’t work. But, from experience, we reckon Chord might (in a year or two) find another way to hoist the benchmark another notch. No pressure.
Until then, or until a superior DAC from another brand comes along, the Qutest occupies the gap in the pecking order between the Chord Mojo and Chord Hugo 2 as the DAC which lesser rivals look up to at this price mark.