CHORD’S QUTEST DAC

Australian HIFI - - SOUND BITES -

Chord Elec­tron­ics’ Qutest DAC, which it claims ‘ sets a new tech­ni­cal bench­mark for a small, home sys­tem dig­i­tal-to-ana­logue con­verter’ is now avail­able in Aus­tralia. The Qutest is based on the lat­est pro­pri­etary FPGA tech­nol­ogy de­vel­oped by Rob Watts for Chord Elec­tron­ics’ Hugo 2 DAC/head­phone amp, and in­cludes user-se­lectable fre­quency-shap­ing fil­ters and in­put se­lec­tion con­trols, avail­able via two fas­cia-mounted spheres. Un­like the Hugo 2, how­ever, the Qutest lacks a head­phone am­pli­fier, recharge­able Li-on bat­ter­ies and cross­feed cir­cuitry… three rea­sons it re­tails for con­sid­er­ably less than the Hugo 2 de­spite the shared cir­cuitry. ‘ The new Qutest is the lat­est evo­lu­tion of Chord Elec­tron­ics’ most af­ford­able stand­alone DAC, the mul­ti­award-win­ning 2Qute, which it di­rectly re­places,’ says Chris Strom, of Ra­di­ance Au­dio­Vi­sual, which dis­trib­utes Chord Elec­tron­ics in Aus­tralia. The Qutest has gal­van­i­cally iso­lated USB-B, op­ti­cal and dual coax­ial dig­i­tal in­puts, plus high-res­o­lu­tion 768kHz-ca­pa­ble dual-data dig­i­tal in­puts for con­nec­tion to Chord Elec­tron­ics’ de­vices in­clud­ing the 705/768kHz-ready M-Scaler-tech­nol­ogy BLU MKII dig­i­tal/ CD trans­port. Qutest of­fers sup­port for up to 32-bit/768kHz PCM and DSD512 via its gal­van­i­cally iso­lated USB-B in­put, 24-bit/384kHz PCM and DSD128 via coax­ial (BNC) and 24-bit/192kHz data on Op­ti­cal TOSLink. DSD 64 to DSD 256 is sup­ported via DoP and ASIO na­tive DSD for­mat is also sup­ported up to 512.

The square-edge chas­sis de­sign is re­port­edly the work of owner and Chief De­signer John Franks. The two ‘con­trol spheres’ are not only used for fil­ter and in­put se­lec­tion—they also il­lu­mi­nate with dif­fer­ent colours to de­note sampling fre­quency and fil­ter used. Avail­able now, the Chord Qutest sells for $2,400 (RRP). For fur­ther in­for­ma­tion, please con­tact Ra­di­ance Au­dio­Vi­sual on (02) 9659 1117 or visit the web­site at www.ra­di­anceav.com.au

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