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Chord Qutest & M Scaler (Read 101 times)
JOMAN
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Chord Qutest & M Scaler
11/24/22 at 23:23:20
 
When I got my Lumin U2 Mini, which, by the way is simply outstanding, I also changed my DAC.  After much research I felt that the only way to really know what would be the right DAC for me was to acquire a pre owned unit and go from there.

I decided to start with the Chord DACS and bought a mint Qutest.  Shortly after I acquired a mint M Scaler.  With this combination I decided that this was exactly what I wanted.  Then came the itch... Hugo TT2 or Dave???

Fortunately, before buying any more components I decided that I should give the system cables that would be at least at the same level as the Lumin/Qutest/M Scaler.  Feeding the Lumin is the Muon System, from the Lumin is the Vermouth Reference USB cable.  Couldn't be happier with those choices.  What was left was the BNC cables that came with the M Scaler.  

Tonight I removed the stock BNC cables and installed my newly acquired pair of Wave Storm Reference BNC cables.  I started off with Melange, compilation of J L Duport and N Bochsa.  On the cello, Donald Moline and on the harp, Rachel Ferris.  Pressed play and was completely stunned at what I was hearing/feeling.  Long description in brief: gloriously RICH and incisive music!! (not to be confused with warm)

I posted this so that if you are on a similar path I would strongly advise that you don't short change yourself on the cables.  They are just as important as the components.



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CAJames
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Re: Chord Qutest & M Scaler
Reply #1 - Yesterday at 16:46:35
 
Thanks for posting, and glad you're seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

I'm not in a hurry to spend a bunch of money on cables, but this (along with some other online friend's similar experience) is making me think, which is always dangerous. I've got a pretty nice USB cable (Tubulus Argentus) that made a big difference over the cheap one it replaced. I also have a DH Labs HDMI/I2S and 2 inexpensive silver ebay BNCs between my Denafrips DDC and DAC. Alvin, the guy who sells Denafrips recommended fairly modest Audioquest cables, I think Cinnamon, and he usually has pretty good advice. And I feel like I'm doing at least that well, so I'm not itching to upgrade, but you know how it goes....


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[FOOBAR2000 | Jay's CDT2 MRK3] -> Denafrips Terminator 2 + Gaia
Sumiko Pearwood -> Mapleknoll Athena -> Luxman SUT -> Maple-tree Phono 3E
Woo WA22 -> 2x SE84UFOs (anniversary mods, balanced-differential)
Omega SAM , Hifiman Arya, Senn HD-650
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Lon
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Re: Chord Qutest & M Scaler
Reply #2 - Yesterday at 16:58:10
 
I strongly believe in cabling, in all areas (digital, phono, interconnects, power). When I had a lot of money to spend as a widower I got great cabling, and to be honest, it took a long time for my sources etc. to catch up, they showed me everything, which for a while was not the best thing! But when you get to the point that your components are great and cabling is showing the really good things it's an amazing experience.
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HR-1,ZTPRE,ZBIT,ZROCK2,SE84UFO3-25th x2, CSP3-25th.Taboo Mk IV;Rega RP3 all GrooveTracer mods;PSAudio:PST+DSD,P15,NPC,PowerBases,AC-12 pwr cbls,Reference spkrcbls; Mapleshade SamsonV3;VooDoo:Cremona+Amati interconnects, IsoPods; headphones:Sennheiser HD800S,ZMF Or
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CAJames
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Re: Chord Qutest & M Scaler
Reply #3 - Yesterday at 17:56:07
 
Lon, what are your digital cable(s)?
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[FOOBAR2000 | Jay's CDT2 MRK3] -> Denafrips Terminator 2 + Gaia
Sumiko Pearwood -> Mapleknoll Athena -> Luxman SUT -> Maple-tree Phono 3E
Woo WA22 -> 2x SE84UFOs (anniversary mods, balanced-differential)
Omega SAM , Hifiman Arya, Senn HD-650
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Lon
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Philip K. Dick

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Re: Chord Qutest & M Scaler
Reply #4 - Yesterday at 18:04:13
 
At the moment my digital cabling is either HDMI via I2S or glass Toslink. I'm using long discontinued PS Audio HDMI AC-12 silver cabling--I've tried about six other HDMI cables and prefer these for my two DSD DACs between the DMP and PST transports. And though I haven't gone way up the chain in optical cabling I am using Lifatec for Toslink--I think it's the most neutral I've found.

I'm not using AES/EBU at the moment but I have a Van de Hul cable that is excellent imo that I can use. Nor am I using Coaxial RCA at the moment but I have a Take Five Audio Neotech "Deluxe" that I have used and really like--meaty sound.

I never use USB.
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HR-1,ZTPRE,ZBIT,ZROCK2,SE84UFO3-25th x2, CSP3-25th.Taboo Mk IV;Rega RP3 all GrooveTracer mods;PSAudio:PST+DSD,P15,NPC,PowerBases,AC-12 pwr cbls,Reference spkrcbls; Mapleshade SamsonV3;VooDoo:Cremona+Amati interconnects, IsoPods; headphones:Sennheiser HD800S,ZMF Or
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JOMAN
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Re: Chord Qutest & M Scaler
Reply #5 - Yesterday at 18:32:46
 
Lon,

Interesting... I also had the Take Five Audio Deluxe Neotech Deluxe, included it in the sale of my ZDSD. I still have the Lifatec glass and it came in handy.  I went from the Take Five cable to the Snake River Audio Boomslang.  

I was running it to the Qutest and everything was good.  When I added the M Scaler the feed through the Boomslang to the Scaler became intermittent when playing BLU Ray concerts from my OPPO.  Evidently this has happened to others as well and not just with the Boomslang.  I think it's the way my OPPO103D down mixes the BLU Ray digital stream.  CD was fine.  Tried various settings no change.

I then remembered the Lifatec and noted that the down mix through the OPPO optical was different than the from the RCA digital.  So I tried the Lifatec and problem solved.  With the change in DACs I actually preferred the Lifatec although it wasn't as meaty and doesn't have as much bass slam.  I have not tried it since I installed the Wave Storm Reference BNCs.

I decided to see if there were any other glass Toslink options.  Ordered the QED quartz/glass reference Toslink and hope to get it today.  I'm going to compare it to the Lifatec with the Wave BNCs in the system.  

I'll probably just end up running Toslink from the OPPO.
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MrDerrick
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Re: Chord Qutest & M Scaler
Reply #6 - Yesterday at 18:33:10
 
The digital cabling journey has been a bit of a bumpy ride for me and I am certain that it is not over yet.

What I have found works best for me is trying to minimize digital cabling as much as possible.

Ghent Audio JSSG Ethernet cables work in my system as well as $1000 dollar plus Ethernet cables.

USB when implemented well on both ends works best for me, but cabling does matter with regards to sound quality, I hate to say it, but here the $1000 plus cables make a difference.

Fiber optic cabling can make an enormous improvement, while the cable is cheap, you will spend close to $1000 for a high quality FMC and power supply, which needs to be placed directly before the destination.

Digital coax is another area where you get what you pay for and the more you pay the better it gets, I try to avoid digital coax.

So what is currently working in my digital/streaming system is as follows;

Ghent JSSG Ethernet from ISP to a Dual fiber media converter.
2 - 20 meter multi mode fibers form the FMC, 1 - to my sonicTransporter i9 and 1 - to the "A" side on an EtherREGEN.
Ghent JSSG Ethernet from "B" side of the EtherREGEN to a Sonore opticalModule Deluxe.
Single mode 1 meter fiber from the opticalModule Deluxe to my Sonore Signature Rendu SE.
Signature Rendu SE out via USB to Holo Audio KTE May.

I do have an external clock for the EtherREGEN which requires a 75 Ohm coax and this cabling is the most finicky that I have ever had to work with.
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HQPE+HAF 1.4/1.5 MHz 20 Bit PCM
GT-1205A > FOC > STi9 Optical
GT-1205A > FOC > Sig Rendu SE > USB > Holo KTE May
SA1X/47 > ZBIT > ZSTAGE25 > SE84UFO25
Avantgarde Duo Omega Horns & Townshend Super Tweeters
IsoMax > Rives Parc > Sub225s
PSA PP3 & Cinepro PP20
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Lon
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Re: Chord Qutest & M Scaler
Reply #7 - Yesterday at 18:50:25
 
Lifatec is good stuff. Hope the incoming cable improves things for you.

I am mostly using my Oppo UDP-205 (which is in my second, audio-visual system) for DVR playback and Apple TV playback, via Lifatec from the DVR to the Wyred 4 Sound "Remedy" Reclocker and then from the Remedy to the Oppo, and via PS Audio HDMI AC-12 for the Apple TV to the Oppo. As this is a less resolving system overall the cabling is quite good here. (The HDMI AC-12 is the most amazing video cable I have found as well, and I use it from DVR, Oppo, Apple to the TV--I bought these cables whenever I could used, could still use one more if I see one at a good price).

I remember your Take Five to Boomslang journey--right about the time you made that move I had to move my main system upstairs, and have no need for a coaxial connection in the audio/visual system.
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HR-1,ZTPRE,ZBIT,ZROCK2,SE84UFO3-25th x2, CSP3-25th.Taboo Mk IV;Rega RP3 all GrooveTracer mods;PSAudio:PST+DSD,P15,NPC,PowerBases,AC-12 pwr cbls,Reference spkrcbls; Mapleshade SamsonV3;VooDoo:Cremona+Amati interconnects, IsoPods; headphones:Sennheiser HD800S,ZMF Or
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CAJames
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"I've run every
red light on memory
lane."

Posts: 775
Re: Chord Qutest & M Scaler
Reply #8 - Yesterday at 18:57:56
 
Quote:
Posted by: MrDerrick      Posted on: Today at 18:33:10

I do have an external clock for the EtherREGEN which requires a 75 Ohm coax and this cabling is the most finicky that I have ever had to work with.


I'm curious what cable you are using for it because upgrading my BNCs (also used for clock signal) is probably my next move. ATM I'm thinking Kimber D60 based on other's experience.
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[FOOBAR2000 | Jay's CDT2 MRK3] -> Denafrips Terminator 2 + Gaia
Sumiko Pearwood -> Mapleknoll Athena -> Luxman SUT -> Maple-tree Phono 3E
Woo WA22 -> 2x SE84UFOs (anniversary mods, balanced-differential)
Omega SAM , Hifiman Arya, Senn HD-650
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JOMAN
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Posts: 626
Re: Chord Qutest & M Scaler
Reply #9 - Yesterday at 23:48:52
 
The QED Reference Optical Quartz toslink did arrive today.  Among the features is one that claims that this multi strand quartz glass cable is "Ultra low jitter design".  It is robust and pliable, easy to install.

I started with the Lifatec.  This is the first time since the dual Wave Storm Reference BNC were installed, connecting the Qutest/M Scaler.  It did sound better but still not up to the Boomslang RCA.

Then the QED... no contest, bested the Lifatec and it could replace the Boomslang, I'd be quite happy with the QED.  I got it from Future Shop UK, .6 M for 79.00 GBP.  Talk about a deal!

If you have toslink output and input... the QED Optical Quartz Reference is RECOMMENDED!  Cables are done, what's next?  Still debating on getting the Hugo TT2.  This will take some time.  In the meantime... 😁.
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