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Denafrips Pontus II vs Chord Qutest impressions (as well as the Denafrips Ares II)


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2 hours ago, OldBigEars said:

@Calvin & Hobbesdid you ever try your Qutest with a good optical feed?  I switched over from USB a few weeks ago, with a cheap Chinese converter no less, and the improvement in SQ has been game-changing in my system.  I hate to say it, but from my experience in my system all tests/comparisons of Qutest are off unless we're talking about using it this way. 

I'm curious what you are using?

The PGGB thread is recommending this, a USB to dual coax hybrid for DX mode (768 support) with Chord. Not cheap at $495

 

https://audiowise-canada.myshopify.com/products/src-dx

 

Regards,

Dave

 

Audio system

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4 hours ago, OldBigEars said:

@Calvin & Hobbesdid you ever try your Qutest with a good optical feed?  I switched over from USB a few weeks ago, with a cheap Chinese converter no less, and the improvement in SQ has been game-changing in my system.  I hate to say it, but from my experience in my system all tests/comparisons of Qutest are off unless we're talking about using it this way. 

@OldBigEars In what ways did the optical feed change the SQ of your Qutest? I did not try the Qutest with an optical feed.

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On 4/13/2021 at 12:39 AM, matthias said:

 

Thank you for sharing your listening impressions. I appreciate very much that you value musicality over audiophile aspects.

 

 

Your quote is awesome (why they're on stage, not where...) - I wish I had thought of that!!!  1,000%

Sum>Frankenstein: Schiit Yggdrasil A2+Shunyata Venom/PS Audio P3 Regenerator+AVOptions Tibia, W4S Remedy/Uptone LPS-1.2, Linn LP12/Hercules II/Ittok/Denon DL-103R, Naim 72/HiCap/250 DR, Tellurium Black II, Monitor Audio Silver 500, Epos, Uptone Audio ISO & EtherREGENs, Witch Hat/Audience/Silnote/ZenWave/Mapleshade/Shunyata/Transparent Audio cables/cords, and nice room w/treatment.

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10 hours ago, Calvin & Hobbes said:

@OldBigEars In what ways did the optical feed change the SQ of your Qutest? I did not try the Qutest with an optical feed.

Before replying I actually did a quick back-and-forth between USB and Optical just to make sure I wasn't suffering from some kind of delusion...these things can easily happen with hifi :)  But no, I'm not losing my marbles (thankfully).  My setup sounds almost like two different systems, the difference is so obvious and substantial.  In short, the optical input provides a bigger, richer, more textured and (yes) more analog sound than USB. Substitute your favorite adjective for 'more musically engaging'. My USB cable is a Curious Evolved link from my EtherRegen. But when connected to my cheap converter, and that in turn is linked to the Qutest via an ordinary AQ Cinnamon optical cable - a major transformation happens.  For example, the white filter is now my default - whereas with USB I'm an orange kind of guy.  Hope this helps....

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

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2 hours ago, OldBigEars said:

But when connected to my cheap converter, and that in turn is linked to the Qutest via an ordinary AQ Cinnamon optical cable - a major transformation happens.  

 

May I ask which cheap converter do you use?

Thanks

 

Matt

"I want to know why the musicians are on stage, not where". (John Farlowe)

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 8/31/2021 at 9:32 AM, OldBigEars said:

 

I bought the Douk Audio U2 Pro...typically around $56.  Too cheap to work, right?  Apparently not, if my ears don't deceive me.  And the kicker is that it works better USB powered than when I tried an iPower X 5V PS.  Not saying you couldn't try a Farad etc if you wish.  And of course I haven't compared the Douk to a higher class DDC such as one of the Denafrip models, or the Audiowise product that feeds dual BNC into the Qutest. For all I know, these are even better.  But I can confirm that I wouldn't go back to USB after using the simple, inexpensive Douk converter. They do not sound alike.

Alas, like many other things from China out of stock in the US. While I loved the USB to SPDIF improvement of the IRIS, in the end its 192K coax output limit didn't help me with

PGGB up sampled files. The Douk site is confusing, say the device supports 384K but then says SPDIF out is limited to 192k. Have you been able to use the SPDIF output for rates faster than 192k?

 

I also see that Douk offers 3 clock options -standard Crystal Oscillator/ Temperature-compensation Crystal Oscillator / Femtosecond Crystal Oscillator

Douk pro device

 

 

Getting back on topic, I've settled into using the Ares II in preference to the Mojo for its superior midrange textures and because of that I ended up going back

to Microzotl 2 for pre because the two enhance each other. The Mojo remains better for low bass/dynamics but its more likely to bite the hand that feeds it in the treble

than the Ares II is

Regards,

Dave

 

Audio system

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