I am seriously thinking about giving this a go.
The USB supports up to 24 bit/96 khz which means those 24/96 Linn Records downloads can be played in all their glory through this thing via USB. (I rang Chord today to check this with their technical guy.)
Also it has the added benefit of being able to play wirelessly from an iPod (Touch/Nano/Classic) or iPhone with a £35 Bluetooth 'dongle' attached and no need for the computer to be on at all.
This youtube explains....
He demo's it with a QBD76 but the same applies to the Chordette Gem.
To Chebby - Surely the £35 Bluetooth 'dongle' attached must affect the sound from an iPod a bit?
I do no agree with the statement "Chord isn't aiming it at the hi-fi enthusiast who wants to upgrade an old CD player or buy a competitively priced two boxer. No, the Gem's target market is laptop and music phone users."
I have listened to the same setup at the same place
with Chordette and a Rega Saturn CD Player. I have to say Chordette was more dynamic, had a deeper stage and more detail. It is more practical than using a CD player, it can play anything that your computer can (flac, wav, mp3, even studio masters). If you are considering to buy a CD player, give Chordette a try and then decide. If you are not satisfied with the connection options and willing to pay more for more, take a look at Chord QBD76.
... and via USB it sounds fantastic! Highly recommended.
teh downside is lack of coax and optical ins.
Got the Gem yesterday from Santa.
connection is easy and reliable. No drop-outs normally (within 6-7m at least in direct line of site), however if you do some heavy tasks (e.g. lots of internet browsing or go throgh long lists in music library onth ipod while streaming) there can be dropouts or ipod can drop the connection entirely or crash the app, but this is not the problem of the Gem.
My impressions on sound (bluetooth from ipod touch, high bitrates and apple lossless):
Excellent highs and mids
Low end is not as good. The bass is a bit smudgy/boomy.
Overall quite happy as convenience helps to overlook the bass downside.
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Chord’s QBD76 HDSD is a top-class converter that delivers a brilliant sound from a well-built package. It has plenty of visual appeal, too
There are more talented rivals on the scene, but the veterans are enduring greats
Cracking value for an all-in-one home cinema system with only a few spec and performance gripes qualifying our praise
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