Really Brief Chord Qutest Review

First of all apologies to Marcusman and TiberioMagadino for not responding to their requests of my thoughts on the Qutest.
So I had the unit for a couple of weeks connected to my Nd5 xs2 and try as I might… I could barely, and I mean barely, make out much of a difference… let alone determine if that minute difference was better or worse. I played with the filters and again found very small differences that did nothing for me.

I can totally accept it might just be my ears that can’t really pick out the differences but for close to $2k there’s no way I was going to keep the unit. Honestly if it was a $50 dollar unit I’d probably send it back.

So for me the DAC in the XS2 is fantastic enough.


@Mhitchi, no worries thanks for the mini review! If I’m being honest now that my unit has broken-in I really don’t think about the Qutest much it anymore. The ND5XS2 just sounds so damn good (IMHO). Personally I think Naim has a hit on their hands! For my system/level/pocketbook its perfect.

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Send ail the funny looking, Strangy named DACs back:)

Naim streamers ( new and old ) are way too good sounding to became just a transporter of a colored ball DAC’s

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Assuming the Qutest has the same character as the original Hugo, that suggests that the revision of the ND5XS improved the naturalness of the presentation, because when I compared Hugo1 to ND5XS1 there was a very noticeable difference, with Hugo sounding more natural (others said more analogue-like). But then I have no idea how Qutest, a derivative of Hugo2, compares with original Hugo - quite a few people had reported that its predecessor, 2Qute, didn’t sound as good as Hugo1, from which it was derived, which was probably due to the two having different output stages.

How evident any differences are of course depend also on how transparent and revealing is the rest of the system, including the effect of the room, sometimes very much so, not just the listener’s ears. I think it is therefore important with ‘reviews’ or comparative observations to include system details, though even that leaves the room variable.

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None of my hi-fi has ever been transparent, other than the lid of my Sondek that is.

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