New DAC

All general audio posts go here.
Forum rules
1. No ad-hominem
2. No spamming or shilling
User avatar
CN211276
Posts: 2251
Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2016 9:29 am
Location: Cardiff
Wales

New DAC

Unread post by CN211276 » Mon Feb 19, 2018 1:17 pm

I have now had the Chord Qutest for a week and am a happy bunny. :) Digital accounts for 95% of my listening and after buying the NVA kit last year I thought the front end was in need of attention. I was using the Chord Mojo and as I liked the Chord sound I was reluctant to change brands. I think it is a good match for NVA, information retrieval being a strong point, and it performs well with rock. I wanted something which would not require charging, especially after reading some alarming reports about Chord battery life. The Mojo is being retained for domestic headphone use only.
I was initially a bit disappointed with the Qutest as it did not seem to offer much more than the Mojo, but that all changed from around five days after it was run in.

What is most striking is the improvement in imagery. Semi omni-directional designs have been criticised in this respect, but with the Qutest the image is as focussed from what I remember from the point & squirt speakers I used to have. This is combined with the many considerable benefits that knocked me out when the Cube 3s entered my system. The other main area of improvement is at the frequency extremes. My ageing years are picking up more high frequency detail. At the other end, bass is both better defined and more extended. I have been surprised by the depth of bass the Cube 3s can produce. There are filters which are a bonus on some (not many) recordings. I was using them a lot during the running in. There are three line level outputs and I find that the middle 2v one is optimum for the P50 SA.

I have TIS Mk2 on order which, based on my experience between the P50 SA and A80s, I think will bring about a worthwhile improvement. For the time being I have borrowed SSP Mk2 from the Phono 1. Opinions about the benefits of a separate power supply seem to be divided on Head-Fi and Chord say there is no need (they would). I am wondering if purchasing one of the £40 Chinese ones on Ebay woud be worthwhile. It is not much of an outlay. I understand the Doc swears by one. Opinions invited.
I set a course just east of Lyra
And northwest of Pegasus
Flew into the light of Deneb
Sailed across the Milky Way

NVA BMU, Sonore microRendu/McRU PS, AQ J-bug, Wirewold Ultraviolet, Chord Qutest, NVA P90SA, NVA A80sMk2, NVA Cube 1s, NVA TSCS, NVA TIS mk2. Rega Planar 3, Denon DL-110, NVA Phono 1, NVA SSP Mk2, Grado SR 325e, headphones, Chord Mojo.

Second system
Arcam Miniblink Bluetooth DAC, Marantz pm 5004, Wharfdale Diamond 121, NVA LS2.

Out and about
Oppo PM3, Audioquest Dragonfly Red.

User avatar
savvypaul
Posts: 2845
Joined: Tue Oct 11, 2016 7:14 pm
Location: Durham
Contact:
Great Britain

Re: New DAC

Unread post by savvypaul » Mon Feb 19, 2018 1:35 pm

I'm currently trialling a MCRU linear supply with my 2Qute. Found that it removes some high frequency hash (presumably electrical noise put out by the SMPS) and adds a little weight. Not sure if it takes a little openness away, though. May just be the artificial excitement of the HF hash that I'm missing, lol. It is also the same spec required for my WTL Versalex t/t and has had much the same effect. The only downside is the IEC connector.

Is your Qutest SMPS supply downstream from your BMU? Try plugging it in to a socket that is not fed by the BMU.

The 2v output option is useful. I feel that the 2Qute's 3v output is a bit OTT. Thankfully, the P90sa has plenty of adjustment but it would certainly have been a problem with my previous Sugden amp which had very sensitive inputs.
"The one who would whistle to Throbbing Gristle through harsh times in Umberstone Covert."

HiFi Foo Fight Blog
NVA BMU / WTL Versalex / Transfiguration Axia /NVA Phono2/ Lenco 59 / ATP-12t / Denon 103 / GSP Revelation / Vortexbox Appliance / Sonore microRendu USB streamer w/ LPSU / Metrum dac / UR Simply Italy /NVA P90sa / NVA A80MK2 (bass) / NVA A70 MK2 (tweeters) / NVA Cube 1 / Klipsch Heresy 3 /NVA TIS MK1 / NVA SSPMK2 / NVA LS6 / NVA AP10H / Grado sr225e

User avatar
CN211276
Posts: 2251
Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2016 9:29 am
Location: Cardiff
Wales

Re: New DAC

Unread post by CN211276 » Mon Feb 19, 2018 2:04 pm

I would be interested in finding out how you get on with the McRU. I use one with my streamer. The Qutest PS and McRU are connected to my BMU via an extension.
I set a course just east of Lyra
And northwest of Pegasus
Flew into the light of Deneb
Sailed across the Milky Way

NVA BMU, Sonore microRendu/McRU PS, AQ J-bug, Wirewold Ultraviolet, Chord Qutest, NVA P90SA, NVA A80sMk2, NVA Cube 1s, NVA TSCS, NVA TIS mk2. Rega Planar 3, Denon DL-110, NVA Phono 1, NVA SSP Mk2, Grado SR 325e, headphones, Chord Mojo.

Second system
Arcam Miniblink Bluetooth DAC, Marantz pm 5004, Wharfdale Diamond 121, NVA LS2.

Out and about
Oppo PM3, Audioquest Dragonfly Red.

User avatar
savvypaul
Posts: 2845
Joined: Tue Oct 11, 2016 7:14 pm
Location: Durham
Contact:
Great Britain

Re: New DAC

Unread post by savvypaul » Mon Feb 19, 2018 2:22 pm

CN211276 wrote:
Mon Feb 19, 2018 2:04 pm
I would be interested in finding out how you get on with the McRU. I use one with my streamer. The Qutest PS and McRU are connected to my BMU via an extension.
Try taking the Qutest PS off the extension and into a wall socket.
"The one who would whistle to Throbbing Gristle through harsh times in Umberstone Covert."

HiFi Foo Fight Blog
NVA BMU / WTL Versalex / Transfiguration Axia /NVA Phono2/ Lenco 59 / ATP-12t / Denon 103 / GSP Revelation / Vortexbox Appliance / Sonore microRendu USB streamer w/ LPSU / Metrum dac / UR Simply Italy /NVA P90sa / NVA A80MK2 (bass) / NVA A70 MK2 (tweeters) / NVA Cube 1 / Klipsch Heresy 3 /NVA TIS MK1 / NVA SSPMK2 / NVA LS6 / NVA AP10H / Grado sr225e

User avatar
Hemmo1969
Posts: 238
Joined: Sun Sep 24, 2017 11:57 am
Location: South Yorkshire
Great Britain

Re: New DAC

Unread post by Hemmo1969 » Mon Feb 19, 2018 4:17 pm

savvypaul wrote:
Mon Feb 19, 2018 1:35 pm
I'm currently trialling a MCRU linear supply with my 2Qute.
Bloody Hell I hope it doesn't have a 'blue fuse' in it :shock: :doh: the shame..... :lol:

User avatar
savvypaul
Posts: 2845
Joined: Tue Oct 11, 2016 7:14 pm
Location: Durham
Contact:
Great Britain

Re: New DAC

Unread post by savvypaul » Mon Feb 19, 2018 4:20 pm

Bog standard mains lead.

But very high standard fuse - even has a BS Kite Mark on it!

Are you proposing a fuse bake-off??
"The one who would whistle to Throbbing Gristle through harsh times in Umberstone Covert."

HiFi Foo Fight Blog
NVA BMU / WTL Versalex / Transfiguration Axia /NVA Phono2/ Lenco 59 / ATP-12t / Denon 103 / GSP Revelation / Vortexbox Appliance / Sonore microRendu USB streamer w/ LPSU / Metrum dac / UR Simply Italy /NVA P90sa / NVA A80MK2 (bass) / NVA A70 MK2 (tweeters) / NVA Cube 1 / Klipsch Heresy 3 /NVA TIS MK1 / NVA SSPMK2 / NVA LS6 / NVA AP10H / Grado sr225e

User avatar
Hemmo1969
Posts: 238
Joined: Sun Sep 24, 2017 11:57 am
Location: South Yorkshire
Great Britain

Re: New DAC

Unread post by Hemmo1969 » Mon Feb 19, 2018 4:27 pm

savvypaul wrote:
Mon Feb 19, 2018 4:20 pm
Bog standard mains lead.

But very high standard fuse - even has a BS Kite Mark on it!

Are you proposing a fuse bake-off??
We need to get the DAC bake off sorted out ...... pity CN' is so far away wouldn't mind a listen to the Qutest, if only for the improved DSD handling it now has over the 2qute.

User avatar
savvypaul
Posts: 2845
Joined: Tue Oct 11, 2016 7:14 pm
Location: Durham
Contact:
Great Britain

Re: New DAC

Unread post by savvypaul » Mon Feb 19, 2018 4:33 pm

Is there much available on DSD?

I'm thinking the next bake-off could cover a range of things...

Balanced Mains
DACs
LPSUs
Polishing fuses

Does that appeal??? Anything else???
"The one who would whistle to Throbbing Gristle through harsh times in Umberstone Covert."

HiFi Foo Fight Blog
NVA BMU / WTL Versalex / Transfiguration Axia /NVA Phono2/ Lenco 59 / ATP-12t / Denon 103 / GSP Revelation / Vortexbox Appliance / Sonore microRendu USB streamer w/ LPSU / Metrum dac / UR Simply Italy /NVA P90sa / NVA A80MK2 (bass) / NVA A70 MK2 (tweeters) / NVA Cube 1 / Klipsch Heresy 3 /NVA TIS MK1 / NVA SSPMK2 / NVA LS6 / NVA AP10H / Grado sr225e

User avatar
CN211276
Posts: 2251
Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2016 9:29 am
Location: Cardiff
Wales

Re: New DAC

Unread post by CN211276 » Mon Feb 19, 2018 4:58 pm

savvypaul wrote:
Mon Feb 19, 2018 2:22 pm
CN211276 wrote:
Mon Feb 19, 2018 2:04 pm
I would be interested in finding out how you get on with the McRU. I use one with my streamer. The Qutest PS and McRU are connected to my BMU via an extension.
Try taking the Qutest PS off the extension and into a wall socket.
I will try it in a wall socket at a time of day when SQ was at its worst prior to the BMU.
I set a course just east of Lyra
And northwest of Pegasus
Flew into the light of Deneb
Sailed across the Milky Way

NVA BMU, Sonore microRendu/McRU PS, AQ J-bug, Wirewold Ultraviolet, Chord Qutest, NVA P90SA, NVA A80sMk2, NVA Cube 1s, NVA TSCS, NVA TIS mk2. Rega Planar 3, Denon DL-110, NVA Phono 1, NVA SSP Mk2, Grado SR 325e, headphones, Chord Mojo.

Second system
Arcam Miniblink Bluetooth DAC, Marantz pm 5004, Wharfdale Diamond 121, NVA LS2.

Out and about
Oppo PM3, Audioquest Dragonfly Red.

_D_S_J_R_
Posts: 4032
Joined: Mon Feb 03, 2014 9:53 am
Location: The end of the road in Suffolk Coastal.
Wales

Re: New DAC

Unread post by _D_S_J_R_ » Mon Feb 19, 2018 6:22 pm

Can I lower the tone?

Have you compared it with the DAC that The Doc and I use - you know, the little black box for a tenner or less plus forty quid linear supply all from eBay? That's got to be at least a basic benchmark to compare with any dealer-bought confection at £500 or more... Well worth getting for the emergency drawer as is say, a Rega Carbon cartridge for when the expensive model is away...

Post Reply