Qutest Reviewed by Stereophile

Wed, 16 Jan 2019

Stereophile headerChord’s DAVE was one of the best-sounding DACs I’ve had in my system. I miss it still. So when Chord announced a new DAC featuring technology trickled down form the DAVE I didn’t need my arm twisted to agree to review it.
I started my auditioning with the Qutest’s Incisive Neutral filter. In my review of Chord’s DAVE, I’d commented on the clarity with which it reproduced recorded detail. With the Incisive Neutral filter, I was strongly reminded of that description.
Channel separation was superb at >120dB in both directions. The low-frequency noise floor was both low in level and free from any power-supply-related artifacts.
When I increased the bit depth from 16 to 24 with a dithered 1kHz tone at -90dBFS the noise floor dropped by almost 30dB, meaning that the Qutest offers almost 21 bits’ worth of resolution, which is close to the state of the art.
Harmonic distortion was extremely low in level into the punishing 600 ohm load. The second harmonic in this graph lies at a roots-of-the-universe -120dB (0.0001%) in both channels! Intermodulation distortion was similarly vanishingly low in level with all four filters. Tested for its rejection of word-clock jitter with 16-bit TosLink data, the Qutest turned in superb performance.
Even without taking into account its small size, the fact that it’s powered by a 5V wall wart, and its relatively affordable price, Chord’s Qutest offers state-of-the-art measured performance. The Qutest is an extraordinarily well-engineered component. It sounds simply superb. Strongly recommended.
John Atkinson, Stereophile, January 2019

Click here to read the full review.


‹ Back


Welcome to Bluebird Music. Bluebird is an importer and distributor of high quality two channel audio products. Our products are available through our network of highly skilled Authorized Dealers throughout USA and Canada. All sales and service is provided through our dealers and we do not sell directly to the public. Please enjoy browsing through our collection of exciting, modern, world-class brands and when you are ready click Find A Dealer and we will be delighted to refer you to one of our experts for assistance. Read more...

© 2019 Bluebird Music Ltd • Copyright and Privacy Policy