DAVE and Qutest Strike a Chord (Electronics.)

Old Forge Audio’s first Chord Electronics shipment has arrived and I couldn’t be happier or more pleased with my initial listening impressions.

The Qutest is a fairly straightforward DAC, offering USB, optical and SP/dif inputs, four filter options and a pair of unbalanced RCA output jacks. The sound quality is smooth, detailed, extended in bass and treble response and quite dynamic. Taken together with its size and price, it offers outstanding value for money. No wonder it’s so popular!

The DAVE is a bit of a Swiss Army knife, except, unlike the knife, it’s outstanding in all of its functions. It can operate as a DAC, DAC+digital pre-amp or headphone amp. So far, I’ve listened to it solely as a DAC, fed by the Innuos Zen music server and Luna Cables’ Mauve USB cable. Output via Mauve RCA interconnects.

The sound quality is at once highly detailed and extremely unforced and natural. Dynamics and authority, in the bass particularly, can be rather startling at first.

A shout out to Vinnie Rossi’s L2 Signature pre-amp and mono amps, Sound Kaos Wave 42 speakers, Luna Red speaker cables and SGR Symphony III rack, which complete this particular system.

More to come . . .

Published by David Cope

After 15 years doing audio shows and marketing for Audio Note, UK, I took a year off, intending to establish a recording studio dedicated to making natural, minimally processed recordings of acoustic instruments playing jazz, folk, blues, bluegrass and classical music. Somewhere along the way I borrowed a pair of Auditorium 755 speakers and a Shindo pre-amp and power amp from Jonathan Halpern of Tone Imports. Quick as you can say, "Bob's your uncle!", I had become an audio retailer, using Old Forge Studio as a dual purpose space. It's all very exciting and more than a bit crazy . . .

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