Questyle has made some great headway this year with their march into the personal audio space. The CMA 800R dedicated headphone amplifier [was one of the best we reviewed all year], and now it looks as though they are pushing the border even further into the DAP realm with the release of the QP1.
The QP1 was on display at CES in a very much “look but don’t touch” manner, but given the how prototype listening as shows can be such an arbitrary grounds for sonic assessment, its a reasonable move to keep it under wraps until things are actually ready for primetime. What a tease.
The real news to this DAP is that Questyle will be keeping some of that same “Current Mode” tech that we like so much from their full size amplifiers and incorporating it into this little player. The digital duties will be delivered care of the same Cirrus Logic’s CS4398 chip that can be found in Astell and Kern’s flagship AK240 portable player and will also incorporate DSD and 24/192 playback. The OS is built upon a Linux architecture and the internal memory starts at 8 gig and can be expanded even further with two 128 gig micro SD card slots. The external shell will be available in gold or sliver with two spending tiers. The less expensive QP1 will retail at $600 and the “Pro” version will come in around $900.
Questyle also had their big guns out on display in a full mono configuration with the CAS 192 DAC paired with two of the CMA 800Rs. We are looking forward to more good things from this company. Current mode amplification has been buzzing around the personal audio community for the past year and perhaps may hold the keys to even loftier sonic heights with the right executions. Onward and upward.