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About OldBigEars

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  1. I'm tempted, but more likely will wait until the next 'best thing since sliced bread' DAC emerges. I'm not sure the delta is really worth it, from my perspective. Of course, we are all calibrated differently on that spectrum. My Qutest already sounds pretty dang nice, and that's with a humble IFI iPower X power supply. I prefer this PS to the original one that came with the product, and also prefer it to a battery charger that I tried for a few days. I suspect I could improve the Qutest further by purchasing a better LPS. If I ever went down the Denafrips path, I'd probably look for a big
  2. It's true that the Qutest has an analytical presentation. I suspect it really depends on the synergy with the rest of your system, as well as your preferred music genres. It probably works best with a warmish amp and/or speakers. I'm curious to hear a Pontus but unfortunately the only way to do that is to take a big leap and buy the product (or one of the other Denafrips models). I can't bring myself to splash out and go through the buy/test/sell process based purely on forum reports. But many are doing what you did and are delighted with Denafrips.
  3. I couldn't find one post in this thread that addresses sound quality comparisons. The cost of materials / badge-engineering discussion is interesting, but ultimately I would find a performance comparison more important.
  4. I need to update my signature but I recently upgraded my microRendu 1.4 to the opticalRendu. I was really rather dubious as to the benefits of doing so, as the Etherregen was arguably cleaning up the signal in any case. But anyway the outcome has been a sonic improvement way beyond my expectation. With the opticalRendu now fully burned in I find I'm using the white (Incisive) filter almost all the time, except with poorly recorded music which occasionally has me switching to the orange (Smooth) filter. But as my musical preference is mainly jazz, most recordings are high quality
  5. In summary, you really love the Pontus and prefer it to the Qutest. Thanks for all the insights.
  6. Well it was his stint in the Bluesbreakers that earned him the 'God' moniker, before Cream. That point aside, I can understand the apathy towards most of his output over the past 40 years. But when I saw him live in the early 90's at the Albert Hall, I got it. It's the only time I've seen Clapton live, but I have to say it left an impression. His tone just cut through the room.
  7. I can't recommend strongly enough - upgrade your power supply. When I first bought my mR, I initially used an IFI iPower power supply. Honestly, I was disappointed in it, and seriously wondered what all the hype was about, which it was getting at the time. Upgrading the PS to a CI Audio 7v supply was a total transformation. Need to deal with the PS before you can start evaluating the different rendu's.
  8. Blake, sounds like lots of us are super-fascinated by your experience of various DAC/DDC combinations. I certainly am, so thank you for your time and energy (and investment...). One last question from my side....assuming I add a DDC (Iris or Hermes) to my humble Qutest, how d'ya think that would stack up versus your impressive-sounding Venus 11, by itself?
  9. @Blake Sounds like you may have replaced your Qutest with the new Venus 11. How are you finding the differences? You seemed to be very pleased with your Qutest / Gaia combination.
  10. So....in short....you're saying a "renderer" like, for example a Sonore product or this Auralic, produces better sound quality than a streamer? Just making sure I got that....
  11. It's an awkward situation for publishers. Comparative reviews always have losers....meaning unhappy sponsors and advertisers. It's a commercial predicament all reviewers face - Chris is no different. One common practice is that some reviewers compare products with outlier brands, often products that would not realistically be main competitor(s) for the tested product. It's a facade, but it at least gives some kind of reference point. Another one is to basically rank all the products in more or less in the same order as their prices - we can call this the "everyone wins" review.
  12. The Iris sounds very tempting. Thanks for doing the comparison.
  13. @jazzman Point about upsampling well understood. Not an issue for me 'cause I use 96 or redbook almost all the time (Qobuz streaming). Very occasional 192 files, although the difference I truly cannot hear. For some reason, I thought Qutest allows up to 192 by Toslink but in any case this would be a minor consideration for me. I'll also be cogitating about this through the holiday season...meanwhile enjoying some fine jazz/blues/soul with straight USB feed (Curious Evolved).
  14. I have a very similar set up and have been wondering the exact same question. As you probably know, the Qutest designer has stated that the Optical input is its best - with the galvanized USB "almost as good" - whatever this means. Perhaps the Iris is all we need? I'll probably mull over this for a while and wait for the Hermes. Looking forward to your report if you decide to go ahead with either Gaia or Iris.
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