I've had the QuteHD for a month or so .. I'm very happy with it. There's a thread on CA (which I've participated in) that you may be interested in. http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f6-dac-digital-analog-conversion/new-chord-qutehd-dsd-and-384-32-capable-dac-12378/
There is a huge thread on the Mytek there as well with lots of good info. Good luck.
Thanks. I have no place locally to audition either. The guys at Acoustic Sounds carry both and recommend the Chord. After reading the thread I tried to find the alternate power supplies that were referenced - no luck but might not have used the proper bait in Google. If you should know of the power supply upgrades and could provide a link would be wonderful. They mentioned iFi USB power (not sure how that would connect to the Chord), Squeezebuster and Mainscables.
The only ones I've come across are European only. Here is a link to the one I can remember: http://www.mains-cables-r-us.co.uk/power-supplies/514-chord-qutehd-linear-power-supply.html
Take a look at your wall wart power supply and post what voltage it provides the dat. I'm wondering if these linear power supplies will work
If you are looking at DSD, the Chord only does 64x, whereas the Mytek does both 64x and 128x. Not much in either format, but worth noting.
Always something :)
I pulled the trigger on the Chord by the recommend of Acoustic Sounds. Mytek probably wouldn't need the PSU upgrade now I think about it. Oh well...the Chord will probably better than I need.
I emailed Chord a month ago about powering the QuteHD with a SOtM battery supply I own and here is the reply:
"Unfortunately the SOtM battery supply does not have enough voltage to drive the QuteHD. It needs to have at least a 12V output to work properly."
Good luck. Let us know how you like the DAC.
I've had the Chord in my system for a 30-day demo from Acoustic Sounds. It is a keeper, delivering a nice full sound with great detail.
Of course, I too wonder what a more robust PSU would bring to this dac, if anything. I did just email Dusty Vawter at Channel Island Audio asking if they have a product that would work (his PSU for an older MSB dac worked very well for me). If, as Wtf quoted above from Chord -`it needs at least a 12V output to work properly' - I wonder if the 14V PSU that CIA lists might be acceptable (VAC1). Just don't know enough about this sort of thing to know what is possible.
Check out the thread on SNA here in Australia where I am about the Chord DAC I recently got:
I just ordered a King Rex PSU MKii in the 13V option to try. Should be here in a couple of days.
Excellent Wtf, will be very interested to hear how it works out. The Chord, to me, is so good already that further improvements would be a wondrous thing, even considering the extra cost.
User impressions of the new TEAC are also good and it does DSD at less than $900.
Links to Linear PSUs with American power:
http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?board=170.0 Paul will even answer your PMs!
Price for the SR3-12 (12v 0.6amps) plus shipping.
http://www.mains-cables-r-us.co.uk/power-supplies/514-chord-qutehd-linear-power-supply.html (they will do 120v versions), price $215 and up, depending on options.
Butler .. just thought I'd update. After burn-in and some listening time, I pulled the plug on the PSU MK2 and put the QuteHD power supply back in. I was very surprised to hear everything collapse a bit .. soundstage, bass, everything. Funny, I was quite happy with the sound I was getting from the QuteHD prior to the upgrade in power supply. I'm now a believer in clean, well implemented power. The King Rex is a keeper.
Wtf, thanks for the update here.....I've actually been following your input on the CA thread as well. Sort of hoped against hope that an upgraded ps would not bring much in the way of audible improvements, but what the hey, it's only money. Thanks to CA, I'm now looking at the British Mains R Us linear ps as well as the King Rex. As Steve Earl once proclaimed `I ain't ever satisfied'.
Butler, it never ends does it. If you decide to purchase, please share your impressions. Good luck.
Sorry I havent responded back. My ARCAM AVR600 is in the shop and I have been down musically. I finally missed my music so much I brought up my old Marantz 4400 from the basement just so I could hear my new Chord CuteHD.
I have to say this Chord is quite an improvement over my old DAC setup. My old DAC setup was an Apple MINI Mac connected to Stello U3 and then to my Audiolab 8200CDQ (Sabre chip). Im even hearing improvements running my Audiolab CD Toslink out through the Chord.
Lastly, I have a Welborne power supply being built for the Chord. As soon as it arrives, Ill try and remember to give my impressions of any improvement I hear with this DC power supply.
I gave up on Melbourne labs PSU. They couldnt get it to me. So, I'm waiting on the MainsRUs PSU. Will report back.
Interesting, Old Marantz, I just ordered the MCRUs PS as well. The 2 box/2 regulation stage design sounds intriguing, at least on paper.....we shall see what we shall see.
I just ordered the QuteHD and a fully loaded Off-ramp 4 to compare with my current Emipirical Overdrive SE dac. This will be my first DSD dac and in preparation I want to get some music loaded into my computer. I'm kinda new in computer audio and not sure if people are ripping their SACD's [which I don't know how to do] or purchasing DSD file downloads.
Where are you guys getting your DSD music from?
The QuteHD arrived yesterday and my first impression along with the OR4 was that it had a HUGE soundstage, very three dimensional and a more intimate/realistic sound than what I'm used to hearing with my Empirical Overdrive SE dac. Only down side is that the top end is a tad glarey on some female vocals. I just ordered the MCRU power supply and I hope that it helps.
I found the top-end slightly bland and a bit dry without the Off-Ramp but with the Off-Ramp it became a lot sweeter and more detailed - but one person there, actually the manufacturer of my PDX DAC, commented it had a lot more HF energy to his ears - but others there didn't notice it.
That particular comparison was without an upgraded power supply - it makes a big leap with a better power supply - but I didn't try the USB, OFF-Ramp comparison with the better supply - it was done at a GTG where everything was driven by the Off-Ramp.
Just heard from the guy building my battery supply - it didn't last long enough and had to go for a linear one - but has found one that he thinks is up there with the Hines - we will see.
Hi Again Erndog - and of course anyone else following this
A guy out here in Australia got a linear PS for it and here is what he posted:
After connecting the Chord to the linear PSU I was shocked by the difference. When I said a few posts ago that I doubted that the fundamental character of the dac would change by replacing the PSU, I was wrong. It now sounds like a completely different dac. There is no longer an emphasis on the treble, and the brittle sound has now disappeared. The midrange has filled out and the tonal balance now sounds full and natural. The smoothness and resolution is still there, but it has lost the aggressive, bright edge it had and is now sounding very sweet indeed. Tonally, it is much closer to the Bel Canto, and marginally surpasses it in resolution of detail and depth of bass. However, the BC still has a more substantial sound, with instruments have more body and presence. The QuteHD sounds marginally thinner and less substantial by comparison. However, the differences between these two dacs are now much smaller. With the stock wall-wart, I doubt I could have lived with the QuteHD, but with a good quality linear PSU (again, thanks AJ) that position has been reversed.
I think you will like what it does especially when combined with the Off-Ramp.
Interesting hearing your friends impression with adding a power supply to the QuteHD. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it helps smooth out the treble. I'll post my findings here.
Last night I tried the Overdrive with the OR4 and Wow! It took it to a whole new level of resolution and clarity. There was some smearing that I didn't even know was present that got removed with the OR4. The OR4 makes everything sound more full bodied which I really like.
Thanks again Bill for pointing me towards the QuteHD. I'm thinking its going to be a keeper.
Received the MCRUs power supply and have been comparing the Chord with and without for the past week. When this linear PS is in play, there is definitely more `there' there. That is, depending on the recording, it is that much more gorgeous, down-and-dirty, thumping, airy, huge (soundstage-wise) etc. than with the stock psu. Even though It is still fairly early I doubt that I will regret purchasing this 2-box affair, even though it is a bit more $$ than similar alternatives. It definitely takes the already great QuteHD up a couple notches in what, to me, are musically important ways....
I got my power supply and indeed it did everything Butler said and is well worth the money.
Interestingly at a GTG where I first heard the difference a linear supply makes I thought it was better than the difference my Off-Ramp made but in my system I thought it about the same. IMHO you really need both something like an Off-Ramp or Audiophellio and a linear supply to unlock its potential. And unlocked that way it one of the best DAC's I have ever heard regardless of price. Since we have a different landscape in Australia they may not be the same DAC's you have access to where you are, believe me I have both owned and heard quite a few DAC's - it up there for sure.
Butler .. why am I not surprised? I've yet to read a negative comment about powering the QuteHD with a good linear ps.
So how much does a good QuteHD compatible linear power supply cost in US$?
No surprise about a good linear supply making a difference. When I picked mine up the guy that built it took me out the back to his workshop and put the switching supply on a scope. It had a horrid saw-tooth output - the linear supply - dead flat even at the highest gain settings.
Mesch, my Mains Cables R Us unit (specifically designed for the Chord QuteHD dac) was $500 including shipping from the UK to US. I upgraded a few things such as fuses and silver cabling......the basic unit is a bit over 3 hundred US dollars or so, but that excludes any required shipping expenses. Here is the web site if you wish to check it out:
@Mesch I ordered the standard power supply from MCRU and it came to about $330 shipped from the UK.
The King Rex PSU MK2 sells for $419. The US distributor is Moon Audio in NC. I'm very happy with mine.
Just got my MCRU power supply and it took the QuteHD to a whole new level. I've got mine connected to an Off Ramp too. With the new power supply the music has more weight, everything sounds fuller and more organic. The soundstage grew too. This upgrade is a no brainer. My only quibble with the MCRU power supply is that the blue light is too bright (easy fix with something to cover it) and that there is no power on/off switch. This means that the dac and the power supply are on 24/7. It's not that big of a deal and I'm not going to sweat it.
For the die hard audiophiles, they also make a power supply for the power supply! Ha, just kidding about that last part.
I received my MCRU supply a few days ago and it wasn't doing so well and the Chord actually stopped working (lights were on but nobody home). I finally figured out the problem: it doesn't much like being on my Monster power conditioner! I guess that makes sense. Makes me wonder what other components of mine are running at less than optimum strength on that thing.
Plugged directly into the wall, it now sings beautifully :)
I have had my QuteHD for a couple of weeks and am thrilled with it. Wipes the floor with my Musical Fidelity M1 DAC. Ordered a fully loaded MCRUs PSU and looking forward to hearing the difference.
I'm running a DSPeaker antimode dual core in digital pass through mode into the QuteHD. The DSP has made an enormous improvement to my system in sorting out the room anomolies. This is a great device and works gorgeously with the Chord. I also run my Turntable/phono stage into the DSPeaker and the Analogue to digital conversion is very good and the DSP benefits outweigh any slight loss in transparency because of the extra processing. The Chord really has a key role in my system and who would have thought that a DAC could be used to great effect to improve the sound of vinyl as well as digital sources!
Also, I ordered a PSU from Paul Hynes in Sept last year with full payment upfront. Still waiting ....and he refuses to answer emails and won't take phone calls.