posted on Friday, 3rd August 2012 by Steve May
Chord Electronics has launched a new iteration of its flagship DAC, the £4,995 QBD 76HDSD. The new model supports DSD-over-USB playback, further enhancing the appeal of file playback over physical media for audiophile users. The company says the inclusion of a 192kHz/DSD-capable USB input will allow owners to "take full advantage of today's HD music files, including the growing number of DSD files of HDCD material, which are now becoming available."
The HD USB input sports a high-speed data connector, where the original QBD76 once featured a Bluetooth aerial.The existing USB input can still be used for CD-quality playback,giving the option for two simultaneous USB connections for both high-resolution and standard playback from the DAC at the same time.
This being a Chord product, build quality is exemplary. The HD USB input uses its own separate field-programmable gate array (FPGA), developed in-house by Robert watts, and features asynchronous USB technology, isolating the digital clocks from the computer. The brand say that each sample rate clock is "generated discretely using highly accurate crystal oscillators for optimum performance and ultra-low jitter performance."
Proprietary USB driver software is provided, removing the restrictions of certain operating systems which hamper PC audio playback.
The company has also announced a DSD upgrade programme. Owners of selected products can now upgrade to DSD decoding over USB for a flat fee of £1,440. Eligible kit includes the Red Reference (MkIII) and Red Standard CD players, and the existing QBD76 DAC. Units need to be returned to a Chord dealer for the factory upgrade.
Chord launches high-end music streamer
Steve is a veteran of the UK consumer electronics
industry, having covered it for
various media outlets for more than 20 years.
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