Best setup for Chord Qutest DAC

Core Machine (Operating system/System info/Roon build number)

Imac running iOS Catalina 10.15.4. Roon 1.7 (build 610). Mostly play Tidal music through Roon. Running Audio Quest USB from Imac to Chord Qutest DAC. Then RCA out to Canary Audio Analogue Tube PreAmp, then to Canary Audio CA-301 AE 300B tube amp.

Network Details (Including networking gear model/manufacturer and if on WiFi/Ethernet)

Ethernet internet connection from AT&T fiber.

Audio Devices (Specify what device you’re using and its connection type - USB/HDMI/etc.)

See above for audio devices.

I know the Chord Qutest does not decode MQA. When I set it up, I went with the default settings and the screen shot below is what my signal path looks like when playing Tidal MQA music through Roon.

if the image didn’t come through showing the signal path, let me know.

I just want to ensure that I have the best configuration for playing Tidal MQA tracks.


The only thing I will add is that my preamp does not have a remote, thus I added DSP volume control and pretty happy with the functionality and sound when using DSP volume.

Here is the audio device settings. All are default except for DSP volume.

I don’t think chord DACs have mqa capabilities so switch the"renderer only" to none.

I assumed Roon knew that when it recognized that I connected the Chord Qutest DAC, so was wondering why it defaulted to renderer only.

It does the same thing for Schiit dacs as well. Schiit dacs have no MQA ability yet Roon selected “render only” as the default option. I changed the setting to none as suggested above.

Hi @Wade_Connor / @JeezOPete,

This is expected behavior, please see the reason for this here:

Yes, this signal path looks as expected since Roon is performing the first MQA unfold.

QUTEST support up to DSD512 and not DSD256 ?!..

Thanks for clarifying this and explaining the difference and why Schiit DACs have the MQA setting set to “render” even though they have no MQA capability. As a followup then, what is the benefit of attaching the signaling information if the DAC can’t use it?

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