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I’ve found that a linear power supply (in my case an LH Labs LPS4) and the PowerAdd Pilot Pro 5 battery in turn each made a positive impact on my musical enjoyment of the Qutest.
 

(I haven’t done a strict A|B yet, but I can say that each offers noticeable sonic improvement over the stock wall wart.)

 

Oh, and I had Ghent custom roll me a USB (power-only) JSSG360 A-to-micro-B cable plus a custom USB female to DC barrel plug (male) adapter so I could also use it with supplies like the UpTone LPS1.2. (Adapter is made of Neotech 7N 18AWG, one end of USB-A(female), another is Oyaide DC-2.1G(5.5/2.1)

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2 hours ago, ecwl said:

Specifically referring to the Hugo TT2 and M-Scaler switching power supply (but Qutest has a different one), Rob Watts has also said that he chose that supply because it has the best measured and sound quality performance, measuring similar to battery power supply, even though there is a 100uA leakage current to ground in that power supply.

 

All good points.

 

Also something to consider - he has said linear PSU's MAY be better but MAY also be worse (poor or no RF filtering).

 

Also something to note - Rob can't have possibly measured every linear PSU on the planet when he says his chosen PSU is the best he's measured.

 

 

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1 hour ago, asdf1000 said:

Also something to note - Rob can't have possibly measured every linear PSU on the planet when he says his chosen PSU is the best he's measured.

I totally agree. Moreover, I’m sure Rob Watts only tested power supplies that would be reasonable to include in a product that’s Qutest price range. Like he’s not going to test a power supply that costs 25% of Qutest MSRP. 
 

On the flip side, the challenge for all of us is that if there’s an alternative power supply that costs 10-25% of Qutest, there’s no guarantee that it performs better than the stock switching power supply. And even if the pricier power supply outperforms the stock switching supply in some characteristics, the internal power filtering of the Qutest is probably optimized for the stock power supply. So let’s say the stock power supply has more non-RF noise and less RF noise and the Qutest internally filters out the non-RF noise, you can potentially get a pricy power supply that has no non-RF noise but more RF noise so Qutest could perform worse. I don’t really understand the details of how Qutest filters the power from the stock power supply but according to Rob Watts, it’s quite extensively. 
 

Ultimately, I think people interested in trying other power supplies should do what they want and see if it sounds better as long as they don’t accidentally blow their DAC with the wrong voltage. 

ultraRendu > Peachtree X1 (Toslink) > Chord Hugo M-Scaler > Chord DAVE > Chord Etude > Dynaudio Confidence C1 Signature + Sunfire TS-EQ10 subwoofers

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I just want to mention that in a Chord Qutest review in HiFi News, the iFi iPower was giving a better sound quality then the power supply that comes with the Qutest. They thought there was something wrong with Chord power supply. Right now, I am using the Chord Qutest with the new iFi iPower X, and before with the old one. To be honest: I can't hear a difference with my old ears.

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1 hour ago, jos said:

Right now, I am using the Chord Qutest with the new iFi iPower X, and before with the old one. To be honest: I can't hear a difference with my old ears.

 

Do you have a modest linear PS to try with your Qutest?  Lots of leakage (common-mode AC traveling over DC connections) from those iFi iPower SMPS units. (Same with all SMPS.)

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46 minutes ago, Superdad said:

Lots of leakage (common-mode AC traveling over DC connections) from those iFi iPower SMPS units.

 

While leakage is common to all SMPS’s, have you measured the newer iPower X he mentions?

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21 hours ago, Superdad said:

 

Do you have a modest linear PS to try with your Qutest?  Lots of leakage (common-mode AC traveling over DC connections) from those iFi iPower SMPS units. (Same with all SMPS.)

No, I don’t have and Chord was telling me it’s not necessary to have one for the Qutest. But my trust is with HiFi News I highly respect (and UpTone Audio of course). I Was also reading there is no leakage with the new one; type X. Perhaps John Swenson can test one. Maybe I will buy an LPS for my ultraRendu, but I’m still not sure. A Farad3 is tempting, but so expensive, so maybe a second iFi iPower X.

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On 6/7/2020 at 3:01 AM, Superdad said:

Lots of leakage (common-mode AC traveling over DC connections) from those iFi iPower SMPS units. (Same with all SMPS.)

 

Not with the medical grade ones I use...

Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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29 minutes ago, Superdad said:

Those do still have 'Y' capacitors and have a form of leakage. See:

 

 

I didn't open it, but works very well and is specified to have leakage currents below 1 µA. I use those for my NAAs, I have bunch of those, don't cost much and give enough power (5V 6A). No ground connection (floating), and coaxial power cable with proper ferrite built in.

 

Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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I've also tested MPAudio with excellent results. I'm afraid Qutest scales a lot with better equipment (reclockers, galvanic isolators, pigtail, linear power supply, power cord for the linear power supply, isolation feet, streamers, renderers, etc.). I think my system is the listenable proof for that! 

Triangle Magellan Concerto 2 < AQ Everest < Vitus Audio SS-010 Mk2 < AQ NRG-Wild < AQ WEL XLR < Chord Qutest DAC w UpTone JS-2 & AQ Dragon Source < AQ Diamond USB < SOtM tX-USBultra w Paul Hynes SR5-12 Turbo XL & AQ Dragon Source < SOtM sMS-200UltraNeo w Paul Hynes SR3-12 & AQ NRG-10 < NetGear GS105GE Switch w UpTone LPS1.2 < Supra CAT8 Ethernet < Apple MacMini w UpTone DC Conversion Kit & UpTone JS-2 < Squeezelite w Logitech Media Server < Stillpoints UltraSS, Ansuz Darkz D-TC & D2, Omicron Harmonic Stabilizer, Gold Evolution SE & Classic < Furutech FT-SWS (R) < Synergistic Research Blue Quantum Fuse < Solid Tech Hybrid < GigaWatt G-16A 2P Circuit Breaker

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  • 2 weeks later...

Assuming for a moment that Rob Watts knows his product better than anyone, and that a battery pack is "the perfect PS" for this product - does it matter what kind of cord connects it to the day?  Or would an $8 Anker USB micro cord be as good as anything?

Tidal / Qobuz--> Roon--> Fios Gigabit--> Netgear Prosafe GS105 --> Supra 8-->EtherRegen --> AQCinnamon --> microRendu 1.4 / CI Audio LPS --> Curious Evolved Link --> Chord Qutest--> AQ Water --> Belles Aria Integrated--> AQ Robin Hood--> Kudos Super 20's

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3 hours ago, OldBigEars said:

Assuming for a moment that Rob Watts knows his product better than anyone, and that a battery pack is "the perfect PS" for this product - does it matter what kind of cord connects it to the day?  Or would an $8 Anker USB micro cord be as good as anything?

With no disrespect to Mr. Watts, I would not be so quick to assume that.  Many users have found that a well designed linear power supply provides the bet performance with the Qutest.  Note that USB "battery packs" for cell phones etc, usually have noisy switching regulators inside.

ROON: DSD 256-Sonore opticalModule-Signature Rendu optical--Bricasti M3 DAC--DIY Purifi Amplifier-Focus Audio FS888-JL E 112 sub-Nordost Tyr USB, DIY AC, Iconoclast XLR & speaker cables, Synergistic Orange Fuses, Dark Matter system clarifiers.                                                       

                                                                                           SONORE computer audio

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Apart  from barrows adopting you and making making another custom PSU... i live in hope ..😀 to me, a known good PS improved the SQ to my ears..

The quad cable from John S suggestion pre 360 makes a small difference but noticeable. Ghent do a good job of the canare cable for not a huge price. At the very least it looks nice... i bought an adapter for the Qutest but  i believe you may be able to get one terminated.. DC barrel to Micro...

For the cost minded its painful with the cost to squeeze that extra diminishing returns. My suggestion is to try one of the LT3045s regs boards on top of the stock supply. Under $100 then invest in a good PSU if you feel it did some good in your system.

If you hear a difference get an uptone 1.2 or what you feel is right in your system. The LT3045 regs can be added onto the new PSU if you invest again and remove the wall wart.

Maddening that there is always room for improvement even the ultra highend segment but psu engineers/companys do what they do best..

 

Good luck

David

 

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24 minutes ago, Middy said:

Apart  from barrows adopting you and making making another custom PSU... i live in hope ..😀 to me, a known good PS improved the SQ to my ears..

The quad cable from John S suggestion pre 360 makes a small difference but noticeable. Ghent do a good job of the canare cable for not a huge price. At the very least it looks nice... i bought an adapter for the Qutest but  i believe you may be able to get one terminated.. DC barrel to Micro...

For the cost minded its painful with the cost to squeeze that extra diminishing returns. My suggestion is to try one of the LT3045s regs boards on top of the stock supply. Under $100 then invest in a good PSU if you feel it did some good in your system.

If you hear a difference get an uptone 1.2 or what you feel is right in your system. The LT3045 regs can be added onto the new PSU if you invest again and remove the wall wart.

Maddening that there is always room for improvement even the ultra highend segment but psu engineers/companys do what they do best..

 

Good luck

David

 

Considering the cost/performance ratio of the Qutest, i do not find it maddening that adding a really good power supply can improve the performance.  Even adding a $500.00-$600.00 high performance linear power supply to the cost of the Qutest still results in an overall quite affordable DAC which will perform much better than many competitors at the same (combined) price level.

ROON: DSD 256-Sonore opticalModule-Signature Rendu optical--Bricasti M3 DAC--DIY Purifi Amplifier-Focus Audio FS888-JL E 112 sub-Nordost Tyr USB, DIY AC, Iconoclast XLR & speaker cables, Synergistic Orange Fuses, Dark Matter system clarifiers.                                                       

                                                                                           SONORE computer audio

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7 hours ago, OldBigEars said:

Assuming for a moment that Rob Watts knows his product better than anyone, and that a battery pack is "the perfect PS" for this product - does it matter what kind of cord connects it to the day? 

 

I just wanted to point out that it would be a fallacy to assume this.  

 

An Appeal to Authority is a fallacy with the following form:

  • Person A is an authority on subject S.
  • Person A makes claim C about subject S
  • Therefore, C is true.

Claims aren’t proven true by who made the claim.  

Digital:  Innuos Zenith Mk3 > Shunyata Sigma USB > Chord Hugo M-Scaler > Wireworld Gold Startlight > OPTO DX > Shunyata Alpha S/PDIF > Chord Hugo TT2 

Amp & Speakers:  Spectral DMA-150mk2 > Aerial 10T

Foundation: Stillpoints Ultra, Shunyata Denali power conditioner, Shunyata Alpha power cords, Shunyata Alpha interconnect, Shunyata Sigma Ethernet, MIT Matrix HD60 speaker cables, ASC isothermal tube traps

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41 minutes ago, kennyb123 said:

 

I just wanted to point out that it would be a fallacy to assume this.  

 

An Appeal to Authority is a fallacy with the following form:

  • Person A is an authority on subject S.
  • Person A makes claim C about subject S
  • Therefore, C is true.

Claims aren’t proven true by who made the claim.  

 

Ummm, no but the probability is high if Person A happens to have designed that product.

Person B claims are probably BS  :)

Tidal / Qobuz--> Roon--> Fios Gigabit--> Netgear Prosafe GS105 --> Supra 8-->EtherRegen --> AQCinnamon --> microRendu 1.4 / CI Audio LPS --> Curious Evolved Link --> Chord Qutest--> AQ Water --> Belles Aria Integrated--> AQ Robin Hood--> Kudos Super 20's

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1 hour ago, OldBigEars said:

 

Ummm, no but the probability is high if Person A happens to have designed that product.

Person B claims are probably BS  :)

 

There is a higher likelihood off an opinion being true if the opinion is offered by an expert in a particular area. Per the dictionary, an expert is "a person who has special skill or knowledge in some particular field".  Just because someone is an expert at designing DACs doesn't automatically make them an expert at power supplies.  It also doesn't automatically make them an expert in music servers.  In fact, they could be novices in both those areas as they lack hands-on experience.

 

I think many you dismiss as "Person B" are folks I would consider to be experts as they've built their knowledge through doing experiments. 

 

Lastly, it should be pointed out that the power supplies in most Chord digital products weren't designed by Chord.  They were selected based on a set of measurements.  

Digital:  Innuos Zenith Mk3 > Shunyata Sigma USB > Chord Hugo M-Scaler > Wireworld Gold Startlight > OPTO DX > Shunyata Alpha S/PDIF > Chord Hugo TT2 

Amp & Speakers:  Spectral DMA-150mk2 > Aerial 10T

Foundation: Stillpoints Ultra, Shunyata Denali power conditioner, Shunyata Alpha power cords, Shunyata Alpha interconnect, Shunyata Sigma Ethernet, MIT Matrix HD60 speaker cables, ASC isothermal tube traps

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@barrows

Costs/value yes...In this game its not really, weighted on not that much disposable income and wanting something for nothing. Relatively i found the Qutest to be good value as Chords are out of my price range so it was great to finally get on the ladder.  I should be happy its cheaper and sounds fantastic. 

I should be glad it can be leveraged.. but secretly i hope that was it.. no more extras. Been fun though i listen to your advice and never been happier... 

 

Stay happy and safe

Dave😀

 

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2 hours ago, kennyb123 said:

 

There is a higher likelihood off an opinion being true if the opinion is offered by an expert in a particular area. Per the dictionary, an expert is "a person who has special skill or knowledge in some particular field".  Just because someone is an expert at designing DACs doesn't automatically make them an expert at power supplies.  It also doesn't automatically make them an expert in music servers.  In fact, they could be novices in both those areas as they lack hands-on experience.

 

I think many you dismiss as "Person B" are folks I would consider to be experts as they've built their knowledge through doing experiments. 

 

Lastly, it should be pointed out that the power supplies in most Chord digital products weren't designed by Chord.  They were selected based on a set of measurements.  

 

Not to be confrontational...but the design process, when done properly, involves lots and lots of testing of each component, within the context of the total product.  The designing of a power supply does not assume any one dac that it will be used with.  The "expert" in terms of which power supply works best with this specific product is most likely it's designer, tester and project lead.

 

But thankfully it's still just about a free world and we are able to experiment and select to our heart's content if we want to ignore this advice. Watt's design made that easy.

Tidal / Qobuz--> Roon--> Fios Gigabit--> Netgear Prosafe GS105 --> Supra 8-->EtherRegen --> AQCinnamon --> microRendu 1.4 / CI Audio LPS --> Curious Evolved Link --> Chord Qutest--> AQ Water --> Belles Aria Integrated--> AQ Robin Hood--> Kudos Super 20's

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40 minutes ago, OldBigEars said:

 

Not to be confrontational...but the design process, when done properly, involves lots and lots of testing of each component, within the context of the total product.  The designing of a power supply does not assume any one dac that it will be used with.  The "expert" in terms of which power supply works best with this specific product is most likely it's designer, tester and project lead.

 

Yes "when done properly".  Designers are human and just like the rest of us they have their biases.  

 

Confirming whether the designer is an "expert" in a particular area is awfully easy.  When their claims are put to test, we should see uniform consensus favoring the designer's claim.  And we should most certainly not see the opposite where pretty much anytime a well-regarded power supply is tried with the designer's product it's claimed to have made a improvement that's indisputably positive.  

 

Rob's claims about the importance of accurately reproducing timing information align fully with what I hear from his products - and I'm not alone.  He's clearly an "expert" in that area.  Power supplies, maybe not - but that's a lot to expect of one designer.  Many other products have the design shared amongst several designers who have deeper skills in different areas.  

Digital:  Innuos Zenith Mk3 > Shunyata Sigma USB > Chord Hugo M-Scaler > Wireworld Gold Startlight > OPTO DX > Shunyata Alpha S/PDIF > Chord Hugo TT2 

Amp & Speakers:  Spectral DMA-150mk2 > Aerial 10T

Foundation: Stillpoints Ultra, Shunyata Denali power conditioner, Shunyata Alpha power cords, Shunyata Alpha interconnect, Shunyata Sigma Ethernet, MIT Matrix HD60 speaker cables, ASC isothermal tube traps

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