USB to Dual Coax Bridge for Qutest DAC

I'm considering purchasing an Audiowise SRC-DX USB to Dual-Coax Bridge.  This would replace the current Curious Cable Evolve USB connection from my Innuos Phoenix USB and Chord Qutest DAC.  Looking at a relatively inexpensive tweak, that's supposed to have a significant impact on the performance of my DAC and SQ of my streaming experience.  My current set up sounds excellent, but not as good as my other source components listed below.

Anyone have experience with USB to Coax converters?  Coax cables? Interested in your comments and feedback.

My streaming set up is Innuos Zenith Mk3 (with 4TB SSD and Qobuz), Innuos Phoenix USB, Chord Qutest DAC with Sbooster PSU.  I'm committed to the Quest and not interested in chasing DAC Nirvana by upgrading to a TT2, DAVE, or any other DAC priced at $5K or above.

My system is an Anthem MRX 540 pre-amp, Anthem MCA 325 power amp, B&W 804s, B&W CC and Surrounds, REL S/510 sub (only room for one), Denon DCD A110 SACD player (my best source component), Modwright Oppo105 universal player, EAT C Sharp turntable with Sutherland phono pre-amp. 


Ag insider logo xs@2xdrlou77

Those are pretty complicated.  The USB bridge basically has to pretend to be a DAC, so it has a handshake, says "I'm such and such a DAC and these are my capabilities" and it also has to have it's own clock, which you have to trust, to ask the sender for data samples on time.

IMHO, you are much better experimenting with a USB galvanic isolator (~ $50) than a converter.

So I take it you've bought into the marketing pitch that "USB is crap".  I have a chord DAVE that I ran for years on USB.  Spectacular DAC.  Switched to AES/EBU when I bought a Grimm streamer and the sound was different from the different streamer but I didn't attribute any of it to having escaped the dreadful and hideous monster known as USB.


I wouldn’t discount the USB implementation in the Innuous and in the Qutest. If you can try that Audiowise SRC-DX with a return policy do it. But keep in mind the cost of good digital cables and the power cords/supplies fir the Audiowise SRC-DX.
I know you’re not looking at a dac upgrade but I’m pretty sure you’re heading there. Chord TT2 with USB will be a good level or two above the Qutest (one of my favorite DACs by the way). You can only soup up a Civic so much…it will never become a BMW M3. Just keep an open mind.


Yeah, kind of.  Am I following a path based on urban legend?


I suppose I may look into a TT2 at some point, but I just retired and don’t have an extra $5k laying around.  Really that much better than a Qutest?  I get the Civic analogy.  I suppose I could trade in my Qutest for credit and make it a little less expensive.  I really don’t need the pre amp, though.  Never listen to headphones.

@drlou77 I think I made my opinion clear. but I’m just a guy on the internet. Many will disagree with me. but many 5 digit price DACs are built around USB still.

Seems like $300 is a lot for a box with 4 wires in it. I don't think any electronics are involved to do this adapter (but I may be wrong).


@drlou77 I think your USB setup is as good as it gets right now. Upgrade the DAC.
TT2 isn’t a qutest with preamp and headphone amp. It’s a better DAC. Another good choice would be this Bricasti M3 you can probably get a great deal on.

Its a better DAC than the Qutest with a more refined sound, better dynamics and lower noise floor. You can sell your Qutest…don’t trade it in as you will just get robbed pretty much


@audphile1 thanks for your suggestion.  I can swing $3k for the M3:  It’s been listed for a while.  If it’s such a great deal, why hasn’t somebody snatched it up?

Just thinking out loud, that’s all.

Happy New Year!



It’s a great dac. The fact that it’s been listed for a while gives you leverage to get a great deal. I went from Qutest to Bryston to Benchmark to Bricasti M3 and the M3 is the best DAC out of them all. Contact the seller just make sure you cross all Ts and dot all Is. Read reviews. Read up on design and implementation. At that price and potentially even lower, it’s a bargain. 

@audphile1 okay.  Will contact the seller and research the DAC a bit.  I don’t need the network option, but maybe that’s why it’s not selling.

I own one with the network card. Your streaming front end is excellent. No need for the dac inbuilt player. 

Yes. Rob Watts is a digital genius. I love the Chord sound. It’s remarkable what he’s been able to accomplish there.

I have two minor gripes there with the Qutest and the TT2…

1. Power supply - wall wart? Really? Advantage is, minus one power cord upgrade but other than that, not cool

2. Ergonomics - I do like the the original design with the changing LED colors depending on what bit rate is coming into the dac, but it’s a bit too unsubtle and I like to see the bitrate on the screen

Zero complaints about the sound, I think sonically they’re solid dacs. The TT2 will be more of what the Qutest has to offer but I’m sorry at the price of the TT2 I expect a really good linear power supply. It’s definitely worth trying if that’s the route you wanna go. I’m confident it’ll be a great dac and an upgrade over the already pretty awesome qutest.


Happy New Year.

I contacted the seller and may potentially pull the trigger this week.

Without ever hearing the M3, I'm a bit hesitant to do just that.  Pre-buyers remorse.

Did some critical listening on Qobuz this morning using a Chesky playlist.  Most tracks sound pretty good with my Qutest.

So, asking for some encouragement that I am going to take my streaming experience to a significantly higher level with the Bricasti.  I realize this may be a strange request from an Audiogon member, but what the heck.

Rich a/k/a drlou77



Just make sure current generation Mdx board.  I really enjoyed my M3.  It added life back into my streaming and I had plans to keep it for a long time.  I loved the sound, build quality and Bricasti the company.  Their upgrade offerings are great and working with Brian Zolner is wonderful.  Anyway came into a little money and traded up to an M1SE and now own a M1 SII.  I can't say enough good things about Bricasti.  On a side note - their stream / renderer card is excellent as well.


How do I determine if the DAC has the current generation MDX board?  The seller doesn't know, but gave me the serial #.  I guess I can call Bricasti.

Would you say that if it doesn't have this board, I should move on?  The DAC has been on the market since 12/3/23 with no takers.  I contacted the seller, who has an excellent rating, and the DAC is priced to sell. 

That being said, I don't want to buy a "white elephant' piece just because I'm getting a deal.  I want this DAC to be my "game over" DAC.  I've invested a small fortune in my streaming set up and don't want to go down the rabbit hole any further for streaming Qobuz and ripped FLAC files on my Zenith's SSD.


Do you know when it was built / originally purchased?  I would send Bricasti an email or give them a call.  I would think with a SS # they should be able to tell you right away.  According to Bricasti's WEB Site the upgraded board was put into service January 2020.  You can also send the M3 back to Bricasti and have them upgrade. I'm not sure the cost.  It might be wise to give them a call and to see how they handle the question.  May interactions have been great. My first M3 had the new board so can't really speaker to the differences or value differential.  Let me know how it works out.   

@testrun Called and emailed them today.  Waiting to hear back.  I have the serial # so I should know by tomorrow.

Thank you!

It cost $1000 to upgrade the board (found on the Web).  I would be kind of surprised if it has the older board.  But I guess we will see.  I had my M1 Se upgraded to an SII and Bricasti was wonderful throughout the process.  Not suggesting you do that but is one of the reasons I'm a big fan.  Also a US based company who have been in the studio business for years and really understands DA conversion and Networking.  There are a number of great audio related companies out there and this happens to be one of my favorites for what ever that is worth.


Thanks for the information.  I hope it has the board.  I'll find out tomorrow.


@drlou77 The M3 is in a different league from the Qutest. Top to bottom much more refined. Lower noise floor, more effortless sound and more detailed without being harsh. Treble is pretty sweet on it.
About the MDx board…all Bricasti M3 DACs have the MDx board. I asked Joe (Bricasti support) if I should upgrade my MDx1.09 to the latest version firmware. He replied to my email saying it won’t do anything. The one firmware upgrade was to address a concern with the M21 and the latest was to accommodate for the new display. So if I were you, reach out to them, Joe usually answers the phone.




Thank you, both.  Called and emailed Joe today.  Waiting to hear back from him.

Since the MDX board does indeed come with the M3, I'll probably purchase it tomorrow.  Would also like to hear back about the head phone upgrade, but it's not along the critical path for me.

I've read everything I could get my hands on and everyone raves about this DAC.  You guys have been really helpful, in this regard.

I'll check back in tomorrow.


Good luck Rich! I think this a step in a right direction if you can swing it. Funny how this progressed from a USB device to a new DAC…😂


I had a similar setup as you, Aurender N100H feeding a Sboosted Qutest via Curious and other USB cables. For the most part it sounded great, albeit a bit harsh on some recordings. I'm not bashing USB but I moved on from it due mostly to the Aurender losing connection to dacs (several popular models) mostly when switching tracks quickly. I'd literally have to reboot the dacs. Probably an Aurender issue for sure.

I've read about Robb Watts impressive spdif implementation, as well as many opinions on other forums that the Qutest's least favored interface is usb. 

I also looked at the Audiowise SRC-DX but ended up with an Aurender UT100 usb/toslink converter. I recently acquired their UC100 usb/coax converter as well. Both units solve all the connection issues and as for sound, with usb I only used the two warm filters, without usb all I use is the incisive filters. So I think there may be less "digital glare" with spdif. 

Good luck with whatever you decide! That M3 does look awful nice :)

That’s odd. Something doesn’t sound right there. N100H only has USB out. If you had to reboot the dac it was the dac that had a problem.
Just so you know…when you’re running your DAC via coax, the clock in your transport or streamer is one of the most critical elements.  When you’re running it via USB, the DAC clock takes over. USB sounds great with the M3, better than coax in my system with Aurender N200. And it was also the case with lumin u1 mini and Qutest and Lumin U1 Mini and Bricasti. 


I have the Innuos Phoenix USB after my Zenith streamer.  It is my understanding that the Phoenix reclocker was doing the heavy lifting.  Does the M3 reclock the signal as well?


@drlou77 cleaner signal coming out of the Phoenix will mean less work for the Bricasti, potentially even better sound! If/when you get the M3 you can experiment with and without the Phoenix in the chain. 


Here's an update.  The unit has the MDX board, but it's version 1.08.  To upgrade to the latest, 1.1, it's $500 plus shipping.  The upgrade affects the graphics  display.   Just curious as to the aesthetic and/or functionality if this upgrade.  I want to be fair, but I don't want to buy an outdated unit and pay $500 to upgrade.

I have the red display and like it. The newest display is bluish white lettering/numbers. If there’s no sonic difference, I wouldn’t upgrade. Did Joe say anything about newest version sounding better?

Old red display would say INP4-384  the new one just looks slightly different  (below)



@audphile1 thanks.

Joe confirmed that there's no sonic difference for the display upgrade.

I am going to purchase the item today.  The seller wants to use PayPal Friends and Family.  He has an excellent rating on Audiogon and other such sites.  Is this common or should I pay the 4% fee and use regular PayPal to have some recourse if things go south?


In cases like this, personally, I have a phone conversation make sure it is all legit, then go ahead with the purchase. 

Request a photo evidence with the phrase you will ask the seller to write displayed next to the item. Just make sure it’s all good. 
following these steps, I never had an issue. 

@drlou77, I had a Qutest before trading it for a TT2 because I really love the Chord sound signature. I also use an Audiowise SRC-DX between my music server and my Chord MScaler where the listening chain goes, music server > AQ Diamond USB > SRC-DX > single WAVE High Fidelity Storm BNC > Chord Hugo MScaler. I implemented the SRC-DX so that I could bypass the less than stellar Amanero USB inputs used on Chord’s DACs. The Briscati M3 is a fine DAC, But I feel that it’s more of a lateral move given what you’ve already got in your system. Good luck! 


Just so I have this straight, I should ask him to write down the word "displayed" on an index card ir such, place it next to the item, snap and send me that picture.  You've given me great advice, but I have to ask, what protection does this provide me?


I hope you're wrong about it being a lateral move.  Everything I've read, including posts here and on a few Facebook groups I follow, indicate that the Bricasti M3 is a significant step above my Qutest.


Provides no protection if the seller wants to scam a buyer. It provides evidence that the seller actually owns the item. The seller in this case has a good amount of all positive feedback. All these checkboxes are just a comfort level setting items, nothing else. 
I have done a lot of PayPal F&F transactions on both sides and never an issue but I’m not there to scam anyone. 

It would be interesting to do a comparison this the Bricast and the Holo Audio May DAC.  The May is a great DAC and would great comparison.      

@audphile1, what was it about the M3 that you liked, and why did you move on from it? I’ve owned the Qutest and have had the Briscati in my system as a demo for comparisons to other DACs. I thought the M3 was okay, but I didn’t think it surpassed the Qutest by leaps and bounds. 

@adasdad I still have the M3. It’s kicking butt right now with my new streamer.
Where it wins over the qutest for me…

Lower noise floor due to good power supply design and implementation. The SMPS like the one used on a Qutest can potentially pollute the AC impacting the performance of other components.
More natural, relaxed presentation with fuller mids, deeper soundstage, sweeter treble, more bass presence that has more texture along with better drive, more subtle details are revealed, requiring less effort to hear what’s on the recording. But at the same time it’s never in your face.
XLR outs. Much better ergonomics. AES/EBU input. Excellent USB implementation. Two different clock settings. 4 filters. Native DSD via USB. Awesome built in preamp(not an oversight at all…it can hold its own if you’re in between preamps).

One other consideration when comparing DACs…the difference between DACs might not be that great if your transport/streamer is not on the level and or your system isn’t revealing enough. I don’t know what your system consists of so I can’t speak to it. 

@audphile1, I love that you’re enjoying the Briscati M3. I think that it’s great when folks can find a piece of audio gear that increases their music listening experience. 

@audphile1, I use a crappy Chord Hugo TT2 DAC with a bad Chord MScaler, a terrible Woo Audio WA22 hp amplifier, the worst Focal Utopia headphones, and four horrible old Bose 901 direct reflecting speakers. I’ve got thousands of CDs, LPs, reel to reel, cassettes, and a few 8-track tapes, which I rarely get into anymore because streaming Roon w/Qobuz is so much easier and sounds incredibly good since I’ve optimized my system for the components that I’m using. I found that having the cleanest power running through my mains was very important to getting the lowest possible absolutely black sonic floor that I could.

Awesome! Nirvana! 
Best place to arrive at in this hobby when you can just sit down and enjoy the music.

By the way I wasn’t implying that your system is inferior or subpar when I stated I don’t know what it consists of. I just couldn’t possibly know aside from the Chord stack you mentioned earlier what else is there. So I assume some of the elements of your reply stem from this misunderstanding  

As a note….in my opinion, and I could be wrong because I haven’t heard all the headphones and hp amps in the world, but headphones aren’t really the best tool to thoroughly evaluate your source components. Yes you get to hear the tone, the overall sonic signature…but it doesn’t give you as big of a view into how it’s all tying together when it comes to soundstage, imaging, instrument placement within the soundstage, etc. Headphones just don’t do that as well as a proper pair of speakers would.
I’m going to also be honest that running the source components you have through the Bose 901 is only going to give you what the Bose 901 can give you. There won’t be a night and day difference between DACs.
Just my honest take on it. No offense. 


Sorry I brought up the MDx board.  I was thinking about the build date of the M1.  The M3 came out after the "new" Mdx board.  In short, you should be in great shape.  Sorry again for introducing a "non issue".  

Sounds like you are planning to move forward with the M3.  I really think you will enjoy it.  I look forward to hearing your feedback after a few hours of listening.  


@testrun no worries.  Yes, I am.

@audphile1 just bought the Bricasti M3 DAC.  Thanks for your help.  Will circle back with listening impressions in a couple of weeks.

Yes congrats and please do share your thoughts on how the M3 compares to the Qutest!