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Chord Electronics Qutest Standalone Digital Audio Converter

£1,250.00 £1,041.67
SKU
Qutest
Free UK Delivery
3 Years
New
24 hours
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Or call to order 0800 772 3688 / 0208 905 1555

Available

Need help? Call us on 0800 772 3688 or 0208 905 1555

Prefer email? Contact us via sales@futureshop.co.uk

Winner of What Hi-Fi?'s Best DAC £500-£1200 & Product of the Year, Qutest is Chord's ‘pure’ DAC (it does not contain headphone amplification or rechargeable batteries like some of its range stablemates) and is designed to improve sound quality in the home. It is the latest evolution of their most affordable standalone DAC, the multi-award-winning 2Qute, which it directly replaces.

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Chord Electronics Qutest Standalone Digital Audio Converter

Chord Electronics Qutest Product of the Year

Winner of What Hi-Fi?'s Best DAC £500-£1200 & Product of the Year, Qutest is Chord's ‘pure’ DAC (it does not contain headphone amplification or rechargeable batteries like some of its range stablemates) and is designed to improve sound quality in the home. It is the latest evolution of their most affordable standalone DAC, the multi-award-winning 2Qute, which it directly replaces.

Qutest is based on Chord's award-winning proprietary FPGA technology developed for the class-leading Hugo 2 DAC/headphone amp, giving it proven class-leading technical and sonic performance. Perfectly equipped to bring the benefits of Chord's digital technology to a wide range of connected devices, it features a galvanically isolated USB-B, optical and coaxial digital input, giving an instant performance upgrade, plus the ability to modernise ageing digital source components.

The Qutest chassis is all-new, too. It has significantly greater mass than its predecessor and has been precision-machined from solid aircraft-grade aluminium billet. The Qutest PCB nestles within a shallow cavity in the solid aluminium chassis, giving the circuit board greater protection within the casework and additional isolation from external vibration compared to previous designs.

Qutest offers Hugo 2’s proprietary user-selectable frequency-shaping filters and input selection controls, available via two fascia-mounted spheres, introducing useful flexibility. It also features RCA analogue outputs for connection to integrated amplifiers, preamps and headphone amps, plus high-resolution dual-data digital inputs for connection to future Chord Electronics products.

A further new feature is a user-selectable output voltage available in 1, 2 and 3V RMS outputs for flexible connectivity with a wide range of partnering devices.

Chord Electronics Qutest Breakdown

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)
  • Galvanically isolated inputs
  • 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

 

Future-proof: High-Res Audio to 768kHz PCM/DSD 512

Qutest has been designed for static use within home audio and desktop hi-fi systems. The new design benefits from 5V Micro USB powering which offers improved flexibility over its predecessor. 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 device features a Class 2 USB input which, because of the Qutest’s home-system orientation compared to Hugo 2’s more mobile aspirations, has been galvanically isolated. This has been achieved using a novel technique which allows for very high data rates of up to 768kHz; the input is driverless on Apple and Android devices, with (ASIO included) drivers for Windows devices.

 

All-new aluminium casework

The Qutest chassis is all-new. It has significantly greater mass than its predecessor and has been precision-machined from solid aircraft-grade aluminium billet. The Qutest PCB nestles within a shallow cavity in the solid aluminium chassis, giving the circuit board greater protection within the casework and additional isolation from external vibration compared to previous designs.
Qutest’s new square-edge chassis design created by owner and Chief Designer John Franks retains the popular circular magnifying porthole window, which reveals the custom Chord Electronics’ circuit board within. Qutest’s control spheres (for user-selectable frequency-shaping and input selection) illuminate with useful colour-coding information denoting sample frequency and filter used; brightness settings are user-adjustable. A further new feature is a user-selectable output voltage available in 1, 2 and 3V RMS outputs for flexible connectivity with partnering devices.

 

New levels of technical performance for a compact DAC

The latest FPGA and advanced WTA (Watts Transient Aligned) filters have been implemented in the Qutest, bringing a wide variety of performance improvements over the 2Qute in a number of areas. Performance gains have been made in timing accuracy, noise reduction and dynamic range and tap length, the technical indicator of how complex the interpolation filter is, has more than doubled compared to its predecessor, to 49,152.

 

User-selectable filtering option

A four-function switch filter, operated by its own control sphere, offers a useful degree of user-selectable frequency-shaping, bringing warm and soft or transparent and incisive presentations, giving additional flexibility and user control.

 

 

 

Chord Electronics Qutest What Hi-Fi? Award 2018 Chord Electronics Qutest What Hi-Fi? Award 2018 Chord Qutest What Hi-Fi? Award 2019 

"A soundstage full of crisp, clean, concise – not to mention explicitly detailed – instrumentation fills the space between our ATC SCM50 speakers, with the singer’s lush, down-tempo jazz arrangement having equal parts sinew and sparkle thanks to the Chord DAC’s familiarly neutral tonal balance. 

But the Qutest offers more resolution here. Greater texture and nuance cling to the wheeling cymbal, double bass plucks and Porter’s honey-thick vocals, all of which have plenty of room on the Qutest’s expansive canvas...

...Notes have crisper, more distinct leading edges, carry warmth and texture in abundance, and never decay prematurely – even when forthcoming notes tumble over the top."(Read More)

Best DAC £500 - £1200 - What Hi-Fi? Awards 2018, 2019 & 2020

What Hi-Fi? Product of the Year 2018

"The journey from the 2Qute to Qutest hasn't altered the overall sonic character, which is crisp, clean and explicitly detailed. The Qutest offers more resolution, and its presentation is slightly bigger and more spacious too...

Timing is tighter too, which helps the Qutest sniff out a rhythmic structure, no matter what the genre. It is as happy rocking out to tumultuous tunes as it is rolling with classical compositions. The sonic upgrade served by the Qutest isn't surprising when you consider it implements the bespoke FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array) digital-to-analogue conversion tech found in every other Chord DAC." (Read More)

What Hi-Fi? Product of the Year 2019

Chord Electronics Qutest Hifi Choice Editors Choice Award

"Chord Electronics’ DACs seem able to communicate particularly well at an emotional level, in a way that most others cannot. The Qutest is no exception – it’s the cheapest serious digital converter that the company produces, yet you wouldn’t be able to tell by listening to it. It’s rather like its DAVE bigger brother – doing what all Chords do, albeit on not quite such a grand scale." (Read More)

Hi-Fi Choice - Issue 436 

Chord Electronics Qutest Hi-Fi World 5 Globes

"Take one Chord Hugo 2. Strip off battery, Bluetooth and headphone amplifier. Shrink what’s left. The result? A damn fine DAC" (Read More)

HI-FI WORLD - November 2018

Product Review - What HiFi - May 2018

“VERDICT Chord has managed to do it again. As with its predecessor, the Qutest sets a new benchmark at this price.” (Read More)

Product Review - What HiFi - May 2018

"One of the things that hit me about the Qutest’s sound after I had run it in for a good, long while is the amount of resolution it is capable of digging out of even well-worn tracks in my library, surprising me more than a few times with its clarity and subtle spacing of players within the confines of recordings at this price point."

AudioStream DAC Review - February 2019

 

 

Specification

  • 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
  • Output impedance: 0.025Ω
  • 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
  • Galvanically isolated inputs
  • Weight: 770g
  • Dimensions: 41mm (H) x 160mm (W) x 72mm (D)
  • Boxed Weight: 1500g
  • Please Note: We are unable to ship this item for International orders if a local Chord Electronics distributor is available

 

About Chord Electronics Made in United Kingdom

Chord Electronics was founded in 1989 by John Franks who had previously held Directorships with Astec, the world leader in high frequency power supplies, Raytheon and AT&T. A thorough mix of graduate level intellect, design experience and dedicated craft persons embody Chords production team, with our sales being achieved through a reputation of technical excellence, reliability and superb sound quality. Years of research and innovation have been invested in the Chord range. From the outset, when Chord started applying the technologies that lifted products from the mainstream, the company has been leading the field. With the watchwords of innovation and uncompromised audio quality, we have consistently invested our products with precision engineering and attention to detail. This is as true for our professional products as the astonishing hi-fi portfolio that continually wins the hearts and minds of listeners and reviewers alike.

Specification

  • 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
  • Output impedance: 0.025Ω
  • 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
  • Please Note: We are unable to ship this item for International orders if a local Chord Electronics distributor is available

UK Delivery

 

1. We use Royal Mail 1st Class Services as a Standard Postage Option

Orders received before 4.30pm Monday to Friday (excluding Bank Holidays) are usually dispatched the same day by FIRST CLASS post (unless premium postal or timed courier services are selected), subject to stock availability. Over 98% of our orders are usually delivered the next working day including Saturdays.

Standard delivery is usually within 2-3 working days, although 98% of all orders are delivered the next working day including Saturdays . In extreme cases, such as delivery to the Highlands and Islands, this may take 3 days.

All items are fully insured and come with an invoice from Futureshop.co.uk. We use the Royal Mail for delivery of small packages and DPD or Interlink Express for items that weigh over 2KG. Items over 2KG are fully insured and will usually be delivered within 48 hours of placing your order Monday to Friday subject to stock availability. For International orders, we use FedEx Services where customers have selected this option.

Please note, special orders for non-standard cable lengths or custom-made cables may be subject to longer delivery time-scales. This may vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.

We offer 'Free UK delivery on orders over £99' subject to the following terms & conditions:

  • Applies only to orders with £99 or more of items (including VAT at the UK rate), at FutureShop.co.uk
  • Free Delivery on orders over £99 utilises Royal Mail First Class postal service for items weighing under 2KG. For items weighing over 2KG, we use DPD next working day services which deliver from 9.00am to 6pm within mainland UK (excludes Royal Mail Special Delivery Services and timed next day delivery services by UK Mail).
  • Applies only to deliveries to addresses within mainland UK and Northern Ireland addresses. Applies only to orders that are to be delivered to a single Mainland UK delivery address.
  • You will not be eligible for free delivery on your order if any items are cancelled or returned for a refund, bringing the total order amount below £99. Where items are returned, the refund due will be the cost of the item less any postage costs.
  • We reserve the right to change or discontinue 'Free delivery on orders over £99 promotion at any time.
  • FREE DELIVERY FOR ORDERS OVER £99 OFFER DOES NOT APPLY TO TRADE CUSTOMERS.

Free Delivery on orders over £99 utilises Royal Mail First Class postal service for items weighing under 2KG. For items weighing over 2KG, we use DPD or Interlink Express next working day services which deliver from 9.00am to 6pm within mainland UK.

Free Delivery for orders over £99 excludes Royal Mail Special Delivery Services and timed next day delivery services by DPD or Interlink Express.

 

Royal Mail 1st Class Shipping DPD Next Day Delivery

 

2. Special Delivery UK - Guaranteed Next Working Day

We have 99.9% of the UK covered With Royal Mail Next Day Special Delivery. We guarantee delivery to most UK addresses by 1pm the next working day. This includes Northern Ireland, Jersey and Guernsey. Some places take longer to deliver to but we still guarantee delivery within three working days by 5.30 PM.

For the Next Day Special Delivery service, orders must be received by futureshop.co.uk by 4.30pm weekdays. Orders after the 4.30pm deadline cannot be guaranteed for same day dispatch.

Please note, Royal Mail Special Delivery for next working day may not be possible where non-standard cable lengths are ordered. If this is the case, the item will be shipped via The Royal Mail Special Delivery service as soon as the cable is custom made.

For orders weighing over 2KG, we reserve the right to ship items using Next Day Pre-Noon Courier Services where Royal Mail Special Delivery option has been selected.

 

Royal Mail Special Next Working Day Delivery

 

3. Channel Islands & Northern Ireland

We accept orders from all Channel Islands including Alderney, Jersey, Guernsey and Sark. Unless you select a premium service, Items weighing under 2KG are delivered using our standard UK delivery option above. For items weighing over 2KG, a surcharge may be applied for all deliveries to the Channel Islands as well as Northern Ireland.

 

European Countries

Deliveries to EU member states are subject to 20% VAT. We offer the following shipping services:

  • Royal Mail First Class International Untracked Airmail Services - Items are usually delivered within 10 working days.
  • Royal Mail First Class International Tracked Airmail Services - Items are usually delivered within 3 to 7 working days.
  • DHL Express International - Items are usually delivered within 24 to 48 hours. DHL orders must be received by 3:30pm for next day service to most destinations in Europe
  • Federal Express International Priority - Items are usually delivered within 24 to 48 hours. FedEx orders must be received by 3.00pm for next day service to most destinations in Europe
  • Federal Express International Economy - Item are usually delivered within 48 to 72 hours

 

Royal Mail International DeliveryRoyal Mail International Tracked DeliveryFedEX Express Economy International DeliveryFedEX Express Priority International DeliveryDHL Worldwide Express International DeliveryDHL Econmy Select International Delivery

 

Worldwide - Excluding UK & Europe

Deliveries outside of the EU are not subject to 20% VAT and so the 20% tax on items is automatically deducted when you login or register.
We offer the following shipping services:

  • Royal Mail First Class International Untracked Airmail Services - Items are usually delivered within 15 working days.
  • Royal Mail First Class International Tracked Airmail - Items are usually delivered within 10-15 working days.
  • DHL Express International - Items are usually delivered within 48 hours. DHL orders must be received by 3:30pm in order to ship items the same day, subject to stock availability.
  • Federal Express International Priority - Items are usually delivered within 48 hours. FedEx orders must be received by 3.00pm in order to ship items the same day, subject to stock availability.

Where the actual weight of the package significantly exceeds the shipping cost charged on orders, we may write to you for an additional shipping charge. For larger orders, items may be shipped in multiple packets.

 

Royal Mail International DeliveryRoyal Mail International Tracked DeliveryFedEX Express Economy International DeliveryFedEX Express Priority International DeliveryDHL Worldwide Express International DeliveryDHL Econmy Select International Delivery

 

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