Anybody here upgrade from Chord Qutest DAC"


Chord Qutest is a strong contender, especially with linear power supply, but I’m curious about greener pastures, or at least different-colored pastures. Think my system is good enough to notice: ear 868l pre, pass xa30.8, omega alnico Xrs speakers. Streaming only.

Anybody here upgrade from chord qutest with other chord dacs or different brands altogether? What improved, what was lost?
redwoodaudio
Add M-Scaler and be happy...
What will the mscaler do for me soundwise? 
@mmhifi

hahaha add m scaler, then you feel the qutest isn't good enough - need a tt2 hugo or dave

never ends - guess there are worse diseases  :)
I know, it's a crazy perfectionist pursuit, but damn if it isn't fun too.

But seriously, anyone upgrade from a chord qutest? 
I have a Qutest and auditioned the Hugo TT2 at home in my system for a week.

The TT2 was a noticable step up in almost every aspect - greater extention on bass and treble, instruments and vocals had more body and texture, and soundstage was wider. I think it was slightly more forward sounding in my system as well compared to Qutest.

Switching back to the Qutest, on the first day, the music sounded more constrained but as my ears adjusted, everything sounds great and I don't miss the TT2.

I might still upgrade to the TT2 in a few months :)

Thanks. I'm hoping to hear a TT2 from a friend's system shortly. He says similar things. Thanks for the reply. Have you ever heard the M scaler? 
With that ear 868l pre there is no sense going with the TT2...  Do you need an additional embedded pre in the loop? Keep the Qutest and add an Mscaler or go to the Dave...  You don't say what your streamer is...  Maybe an upgrade there would help...  I have a Lumen U1 mini with my Qutest and am very happy with the pair in my system streaming Qobuz Studio Premier...
Definitely don't need another pre, that's true. I'll look into that aspect of TT2 features.

I am super curious about the mscaler, but also about non chord DACs. 

I use a hifiberry digi + for streaming.  Does top notch qobuz beautifully most of the time. Cheap and from what I can tell excellent roon endpoint. While I can't say that's not room for upgrade there, I want to see what other DACs might do first. 
I tried qutest and hugo tt2. Hugo delivers lots more depth and detail. The clarity and precision of the bass was most noticable.  I am saving for the m scaler, rather than considering chord Dave and intend on using it for multiple digital sources.
Both the Qutest and Hugo TT2 have a 10 element pulse array design...
The Qutest has 49,152 16FS WTA 1 filter...  The Hugo TT2 has 98,304 taps...  Dave has 164,000 taps and a 20 element Pulse Array...  The MScaler takes either the Qutest, Hugo TT2 or Dave up to 1,015,808 WTA taps...

There is some software available with/for Roon that can Upscale similar to the MScaler called HQPlayer...  I think there is a free trial for it...  Although not exactly the same filtering as WTA it might give you a sense of what a bunch more taps might sound like with your current DAC...

Also, if you can do a little software building there are mods to SoX and FLAC which allow similar upscaling and filtering capabilities for free...

Other non-Chord DACS will not have the same timing precision which may or may not be a good thing depending on your ear/brain/system/room...  Good luck in your quest...
These DAC technologies are absurd, in the best way. I know the difference between 10 pounds and 20 pounds, but 10 elements and taps vs 20 and 20, I don’t think so.

i like the HQ Player idea, though. Never heard of it.

Interesting about the potential loss of timing precision with non chord DACs. I hope that’s not always the case.  But cool to keep that in mind.  So many other highly regarded DACs out there, 


@redwoodaudio 

I have a Qutest and almost sent it back when I first tried it.
The standard plug & play was too detailed for me !    Lol
I like DSD ( sacd ) Sound profiles in general 

I also tried a Playback Designs Merlot DSD dacThe best dac I’ve been around, period 
it was there with the Qutest  

Anyway , Roon has a upsampling dsp, similar to the Chord 1Mm device , but all software .

I played with all the dsp things and settled on the 2x DSD upsample 

it was pretty close to the Merlot when done 

try the Roon thing first and see how you like it !

jeff 

Thanks very much. I'll try roon upsampling and hqplayer upsampling with the qutest. I've never played a dsd track before. 
If you are ready to go down the rabbit hole, see this paper which describes the WTA algorithm and its effects on the reconstruction of analogue from digital signals...  https://www.moon-audio.com/content/pdf/chord/chord-tech-profile-hifi-critic.pdf

Also, note that the Qutest and TT2 convert DSD back to PCM internally...  Upsampling to DSD just breaks small signals, which some may like or dislike depending on your ear/brain/system/room...
Thanks for the link. I'll check it out.