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About ecwl

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  1. As someone who was looking a few years back and tried a few headphones and ended up settling on Focal Utopia simply because it fits my head best, I’m going to offer a contrarian recommendation. If the goal is a different sound, why not try Dan Clark Audio’s Aeon 2 Closed. It’s quite a bit cheaper and I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised. However, I did find it clamps onto my head way too hard so I never upgraded from my Aeon Flow 1 closed that I use at work. Of course, I gathered Dan Clark Audio Ether 2 also sounds great. Of course for a similar amount of money, you cou
  2. @The Computer Audiophile Another fantastic article. Thanks. I was wondering if you ended up measuring the system/speakers’ frequency response or ended up using some sort of EQ. I presumed not because of the diverse location of listening. But more importantly, haha, I always measure my car speakers’ frequency response at the primary listening location and tune the Treble and Bass settings to ensure the frequency response curve is to my liking. I’m sure it won’t make the system sound like Sonus Farber but I find it makes for a much easier listening.
  3. Wow. I can’t believe this PSU thing is generating so much controversy. I don’t own a Qutest. Half the time, when Rob Watts writes something on Head-Fi, I don’t really understand what he’s saying. Takes re-reading it several times and thinking about it to understand a little more. Moreover, he changes his mind over time. Or he would say, he was expecting other people to use better source components or pre-amp/amp so the problem is not with Chord products/supplied PSUs but he acknowledges that a problem can exist. Going to Head-Fi and reading Rob Watts thoughts, the following is what
  4. 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 optim
  5. I think Rob Watts has said on Head-Fi on a number of occasions that if you change the power supply and you think the music sounds better but also slightly brighter, he believes it’s because there is more RF from the power supply, causing more noise floor modulation which seems to give more detail. 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
  6. Actually the Chord DAC designer Rob Watts only said that for the Chord DAVE, 90% of the processing power is dedicated to the first stage upsampling. We actually don’t know how he divided Qutest in terms of processing power for WTA1 vs WTA2. But of course, your main points are still valid.
  7. I have the Mojo and Hugo2. I can tell you the difference between Mojo & Hugo2. The sonic difference is the same as the specs and designs would tell you. Mojo has a 38000 taps 16fs upsampling and Hugo2 has a 49152 taps for 16fs upsampling. But more importantly, Mojo only has a 4-element 104MHz pulse array DAC with a 5th order noise shaper whereas the Hugo2 has a 10-element 104MHz pulse array DAC with a 11th order noise shaper. Because the WTA filter is fundamentally the same for both DACs, the more taps there are, the more precise the transients so every string plucks, every drum
  8. Every DAC actually has two parts, the oversampling + noise shaper part which is digital and then the actually digital to analog conversion part. So for ladder DACs, the R2R (chips) actually put out say 16-bit in levels at up to 192kHz (like Davide’s DAC) or 384kHz. PS Audio Directstream puts out 1-bit/1-element 5.6MHz DSD or Emm Labs DAC is 1-bit 44.8MHz. Sabre DACs I think can work to up to 40MHz for its 64?-elements. As discussed before, Mojo is 4-element 104MHz, Qutest is 10-element 104MHz. The idea of using DSD or multiple elements of PWM is that you’re trying to take the digital version o
  9. Qutest first upsamples 44.1kHz PCM music to 705.6kHz. And then it takes the 705.4kHz to 104MHz for the 10-element Pulse Array DAC. If you do what davide does, Qutest would still take his 705.6kHz signal to 104MHz for the 10-element Pulse Array DAC. Bottomline is for your Chord Qutest, you should feed a native signal. The second thing to recognize is that all DACs upsample. Some people argue that R2R ladder DACs with NOS filters don't upsample. But in reality, even those R2R DACs can't actually take the native 44.1kHz signal. What they're doing is repeating each 44.1kHz signal
  10. Yes. @barrows is 100% correct. Chord DACs always upsample. That's why you buy the DAC and it's also why most people enjoy the sound because the upsampling filter is generally superior to other products (although obviously some people would disagree). @davide256 just likes to upsample in software on his computer himself but that's his perogative. Chord Qutest would upsample the same with optical & USB. Optical might sound better because there wouldn't be ground loop noise leaking from your PC to the Qutest via USB but Toslink is limited to 192kHz PCM and standard DSD over PCM if
  11. I think different DACs have different designs so it is probably unfair to overly generalize, even though all DACs would run into some fundamental issues with streamers/computers. If your Mac Mini supports Toslink output (and I think most of them if not all of them do), you can buy a 3.5mm headphone jack to Toslink adaptor and the feed Qutest via Toslink. This would technically be more optimal than USB because you can still have subtle ground loop current noise leaking from the Mac Mini into the Qutest whereas you won't get that with Toslink. Qutest Pulse Array DAC design is different than
  12. Yes. Sounds like you really should give BDP3 a try then. I realized while I’m super happy with my UltraRendu, it is impossible to say that you won’t run into the same problem if you own an UltraRendu instead of the SoTM products. At least with a Bryston BDP3, if it’s a persistent problem, it’s your dealer’s problem. With the SoTM or UltraRendu, if it does become a problem, it becomes your problem and something you’ll have to sort out directly with SoTM or Sonore.
  13. Sure. My local dealer had BDP3 and it sounds good. But I haven’t heard Lumin U1 or SOTM 200 Ultra. What is really confusing to me is why do you want to change streamers? Because it’s weird to switch from one state of the art network streamer to another that may or may not be SOTA. I read your posts from last year and it sounds like your issues with SoTM were: 1) microSD card gets corrupted all the time 2) you don’t like turning the sPS-500 on and off at the back But to me, the solutions to those problems are: 1) buy a new good quality microSD
  14. I think we’re talking about the same thing. Rob Watts the designer says Qutest is not grounded. So as you pointed out the grounding path would go from the Zen mini through the Qutest into the Rogue. but I think the noise is not coming from Qutest as not being grounded. I think the noise is coming from a ground loop leakage current that John Swenson likes to talk about running from the Zen Mini through the Qutest into the Rogue. I may be wrong. But plugging the Zen Mini, Qutest and Rogue into the same power bar and if the problem resolved, that’s probably the answer?
  15. It is not DC offset because Qutest uses digital DC servo to get DC offset to <100uV Qutest does run hot as with most Chord DACs. Sometimes I wonder if they’re using too small a box. Kind of like those Uptone products... But both companies say their products don’t overheat because there is a thermal breaker. But I’d leave the Qutest in a well-ventilated place. I suspect your problem is a grounding issue. Qutest is not grounded. So if there is a long ground loop between your Zen Mini and Rogue Sphinx, you can get this static thing. I think there are two potential solutions: 1)
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