Anybody here upgrade from Chord Qutest DAC"

Chord Qutest is a strong contender, especially with linear power supply, but I’m curious about greener pastures, or at least different-colored pastures. Think my system is good enough to notice: ear 868l pre, pass xa30.8, omega alnico Xrs speakers. Streaming only.

Anybody here upgrade from chord qutest with other chord dacs or different brands altogether? What improved, what was lost?

After borrowing my friend's Cutest for a week, I bought DAVE and never looked back.  Very happy.  Added M-scaler.  even happier.


Good luck,


i too started with the lowest chords (mojo, 2qute, qutest) and then found great satisfaction from the m scaler/hugo tt2 combo which i have kept

chord dacs have a certain sound (vast yet precise imaging, energetic, see-through in clarity, perhaps a touch lean in the lower ones, gaining increasing richness of tone and bass weight as one moves up) and if they match up to your system needs they bring tremendous joy and articulation and sense of realism to a good system


A little over 2 weeks ago a Rockna Wavelight replaced a Chord Qutest in my main rig. The Qutest replaced a Bryston BDA1 in March of 2019.

What has been gained: Wider, deeper, more holographic sound stage that extends well beyond the speakers.  Even more highly resolving.  Much warmer  presentation (which for me and my system was a very good thing).  A fuller suite of inputs and outputs including i2s.

What has been lost:  The sheer cuteness of the Qutest's wonderfully compact form factor. The Rockna is a very good looking piece, but it is 17" wide and 12" deep. And a seriously deeper hit to the pocketbook.


@jjss49 @jazzman7  I pulled the trigger on a M-scaler. I’ve got a long time to evaluate it.  I read all reviews of it with the Qutest.  I hope it works for me. I need more meat in the lower mids because I mostly listen to jazz. 


I use the M-Scaler with the Hugo2 and the Dave.  You've probably figured it out by now, but the M-Scaler really isn't about frequency response, it's about coherence.  It brings the music and the acoustic ambience together something fierce.  I did NOT want to spend the $5k for the thing, but I find it really hard to listen to either the Dave or the Hugo2 without it now.  

So in evaluating it, I'd recommend not listening for specific detail-y things like bass or highs or whatever, but rather by just sitting back and seeing whether you enjoy the music listening experience more with or without it.  

I knew I had to keep the thing when I found myself still in my chair having to badly go to the bathroom after hours of listening, but not being able to leave the music.  I also know because all I have to do is hit the bypass and I immediately am less engaged with the music.  

Anyway, will be curious what your experience is.  Good luck!