CHORD Electronics’ bijou Chordette range gets a boost with the launch the UK company’s most high-end small DAC so far, the DSD128-/384kHz PCM-capable asynchronous QuteEX USB DAC.
This is an upgraded version of the award-winning QuteHD DAC and adds an advanced new chipset and circuit board which enables decoding at up to 384kHz PCM and DSD128 over USB (against the standard unit’s 192kHz PCM and DSD64).
The older model will still be sold, and QuteHD owners can upgrade their units using the new chipset and board, but it is a factory job.
Like the HD, the EX eschews off-the-shelf DAC chipsets for a bespoke FPGA (programmable) circuit (designed by tech guru Robert Watts). It is ready for playback of studio-master-quality DXD (Digital eXtreme Definition) music files.
The EX, which incorporates trickle-down DAC technology from the flagship Choral QB76 HDSD, handles sample rates from 44.1kHz to 384kHz (PCM), and has an advanced asynchronous USB input (up to 384kHz), along with two additional digital inputs (coaxial and optical).
It processes DSD128 data using the latest DSD-over-PCM standard (DoP), making it the world’s most affordable high-quality DSD128- /384kHz-compatible USB DAC. Chord’s proprietary driver software is provided for use with either Mac OS or Windows.
The QuteEX measures a compact 160 x 70 x 40mm (w/h/d) and weighs a paltry 0.4kg. It is available now, so check with your distributor for pricing.
The UK pricing for the QuteEx is £1,195, and £200 (plus shipping) to update from the QuteHD.