Chord Qutest & HQPlayer NAA

Hi there, may I please know if Chord Qutest will work perfectly with the HQPlayer NAA? I understand it’s not officially listed as a recommended device on the official website but I’m hoping someone has tried it or if @jussi_laako know a thing or two about such a configuration.

Hope to hear from anyone. Please be kind, people!

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I have Hugo2 which is much the same as Qutest.

Which NAA are you currently using? Linux, macOS or Windows?

In my own experience the most reliable is using Chords Windows Driver.

It’s rare but sometimes with Linux NAA, when upsampling to PCM705/768kHz, there can be a sudden burst of white noise / static.

So with Linux NAA I wouldn’t say Chord DACs work as reliably as my RME ADI-2 for example, which is the definition of perfectly reliable.

Do you have Qutest already or thinking of getting one?

And do you have HQPlayer already or thinking of trialling?

Hi DaBass

Thanks for asking some questions so that I have an idea of what needs to be shared.

I’m using a Raspberry Pi 4 Model B with NAA, latest version.

I don’t have a Qutest but I’m thinking of getting one. I do have HQPlayer which I’m using with an iFi Zen DAC Signature V1.

I think you just answered my question perfectly, thanks! May I know for the sudden burst of white noise/static, do you know what percentage of the time this static white noise issue happens?

I’m really hoping to get the Chord as I’ve liked the reviews so far and it suits me. Other than this white noise/static issue, did you face any other issues?

Thanks for the reply.

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I’ve had this happen, and it scared the ■■■■ out of me! But I never found the root cause, only that it’s tied to 705/768 up sampling. Is this a known bug for Linux NAA? I’ve experienced this burst of white noise from both Roon and HQPlayer up sampling, running through a RPi4. I’ve not tried to debug on windows/mac USB connection. Good to know if it is really a Linux NAA issue.

With Chord DAC or something else?

My Hugo2 is used with headphones so you can imagine the ‘excitement’ it gives me with cans on :grinning:

I actually stopped using HQPlayer with my Hugo2 for this reason. Plus it’s quite good on it’s own.

limited experimentation, but on the Allo Revolution, Topping E30, and Soncoz LA-QXD1 I had the static burst happen when up sampling to 705/768.I always assumed just a cheep DAC and it couldn’t handle the high PCM data rate.

I mostly stopped using HQPlayer with my Hugo2.

I had Mojo before that and it was actually much worse. @jussi_laako himself had a Mojo and wrote about this same burst.

With Windows NAA I never experienced any issue with Mojo and Hugo2 (Chord ASIO driver). But with Linux it was too regular for my liking. Hugo2 much rarer.

Hard to give a % because I couldn’t see any pattern that caused it - it was just random.

Qutest, Hugo2, HugoTT2 and Dave don’t really benefit from HQPlayer as much as others in my own experience.

Note this random burst of white noise is only when upsampling to PCM705/768 with USB input.

If just playing music bit perfectly and letting the Chord DAC do all DSP, it’s been rock solid reliable (for me).

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I had a Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 which I since gave to my old man (dad) - rock solid reliable with PCM705/768 and to DSD512. With Linux NAA.

A good DAC.

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That’s great to know as I don’t do upsampling actually. But it’s also good to know that these don’t benefit so much from HQPlayer. I think I have an idea of what I’d like. I appreciate your detailed replies so far!

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It might and some people do swear that HQPlayer improves their Chord DACs but just not my own experience.

I like using HQPlayer with my RME ADI-2 because I can do all the DSP in HQPlayer, fully bypassing the DAC chips DSP.

You can’t fully bypass Chord DAC DSP so I don’t bother trying anymore. And saves my ears from any potential burst of static noise.

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Got it, thank you.

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No worries.

Do you currently disable all HQPlayer upsampling/dither/noise shaping etc with your Zen DAC? Can I ask why?

I have read a lot of people say HQPlayer NAA (DSP off) sounds better than Roon RAAT but I could never be bothered trying.

Zen DAC treats DSD the same way my ADI-2 DAC does - so you can actually do all DSP in HQPlayer, before the DAC.

Especially with ASDM5EC or 7EC DSD (SDM) modulator. And poly-sinc-gauss-long filter.

If you have a machine that can upsample to DSD256.

With Mojo it also happens to me all the time using Spotify on iPhone as source, through camera connection kit. At 44.1k rate… Also happens with a Lenovo laptop with Windows 10 and running Spotify doing 44.1k output. So I pretty much abandoned Mojo because of it, couldn’t find case where it would work reliably without sudden full volume white noise blast (seems to bypass the DAC’s volume control and happen at full volume). I think the Chord’s modulator goes nuts.

Mojo easily gets USB packets lost and then goes nuts when it happens (cannot recover).

It’s a known bug in Chord’s USB interface implementation (I think it is variant of Amanero).


I think you can bypass the wta1 filter. I use hqplayer with mojo, h2 and tt2. With pcm upsampling to 705/768 it bypasses the wta1 filter. My hqplayer filter is guass xla. Used sinc-m for a longggg time but the guass are my choice presently.

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Correct but that’s why I wrote you can’t bypass all DSP - the way that can be done with some other DACs. With those, HQP is doing all the DSP and the DAC is only converting digital to analog

I’m lovin the gauss family too

If you never get the burst of static noise then you’re the lucky one

I’ve had the burst of white noise on all my Chord dacs and too often to count. I believe it is the usb chip set they use. In fact a few users who are applying PGGB remastering to their files have been using an SRC-DX. This uses a different chip set and converts the usb to dual bnc for use by H2, TT2, Dave. I have been using this and have never had the blast since. Also the PGGB files make the use of an mscaler redundant. We use HQPLayer with no filter and no noise shaping and 0db output to play the files. The quality is an improvement over mscaler (which I have sold). The only thing is it only applies to local files and I leave streaming upscaling and filtering to HQPlayer.

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