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post #1021 of 1638
^ That's the kind of crazy that's good to hear wink.gif
post #1022 of 1638
Quote:
Originally Posted by purrin View Post
 

The Hugo is extremely mediocre. While it's not class S, it simply won't make any part of this the list. Not worth mentioning.

 

The M7, even with its crappy built-in USB, especially with the recent firmware upgrades, is better. Heck, even the AK120 (old ones with the Wolfson chips) is better than the Hugo. Some people like the Chord house sound though.

I'm surprised that the Hugo is mediocre. I've read almost unanimous raving regarding it. I was even considering getting one despite what I consider to be a mental amount of outlay for a DAC.

 

So now that I've defeated the 2.5K psychological barrier - if not the Hugo or M7 then what?

post #1023 of 1638
I also think the Hugo is overrated. It is decent for what it is, a transportable all-in-one. Better casing and less voodoo controls would be nice.
post #1024 of 1638
Quote:
Originally Posted by purrin View Post

Oh and I forgot. Kind of crazy to recommend this:

Wyrd + Modi = astoundingly good DAC for the price. It's like 1+1=3. Bifrost/uber/gen2 is better still, but that's more than x2 the price. Yes, I'm crazy to recommend a $99 Wyrd for a cheap $99 DAC, but the Modi really benefits from it, whether it be the better USB power or USB reclocking, I do not know. More details later.

Thank You!!! Happy to hear someone with immaculate standing make that statement... Very happily using a Wyrd/Modi combination, caught a bit of flack about it, but I trust my ears..it is an excellent combination, punches way above it's class....also share your views on Sabre Kit, no thanks.
post #1025 of 1638
Quote:
Originally Posted by purrin View Post
 

Oh and I forgot. Kind of crazy to recommend this:

 

Wyrd + Modi = astoundingly good DAC for the price. It's like 1+1=3. Bifrost/uber/gen2 is better still, but that's more than x2 the price. Yes, I'm crazy to recommend a $99 Wyrd for a cheap $99 DAC, but the Modi really benefits from it, whether it be the better USB power or USB reclocking, I do not know. More details later.

By extrapolation, do you think the Wyrd helps the Biftost Uber W/Gen 2 and/or the Gungnir? Thanks.

post #1026 of 1638
Quote:
Originally Posted by purrin View Post
 

The Hugo is extremely mediocre. While it's not class S, it simply won't make any part of this the list. Not worth mentioning.

 

The M7, even with its crappy built-in USB, especially with the recent firmware upgrades, is better. Heck, even the AK120 (old ones with the Wolfson chips) is better than the Hugo. Some people like the Chord house sound though.

 

I left the M7 on for over 4 hours before comparing it to the Hugo, and the latter had better detail retrieval while still maintaining a "natural" presentation of voices and instruments. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by purrin View Post
 

I far preferred the AK120 (wolfson) to the AK240 which I felt was huge huge step backwards in terms of microdynamics. The AK240 sounded dull, flat, and boring. I hate the AK240. I wouldn't use the AK240 even if someone gave it to me for free. In fact, I would probably smash it with a hammer, burn it, and make a youtube video of that to prove how much I hated it.

 

As for the Chord house sound, I'm referring to a particular tonal balance (kind of hard to describe) which seems to be common among them; although I agree the Cute, others definitely have a different timbral presentation, not a good one, particularly in the treble. The Hugo's greatest asset was that it didn't do anything to sound nasty. While the Hugo may be an improvement over the AK240 in terms of focus and precision, I found it just as flat and boring. Flat and boring is one of the biggest deal killers for me, along with SABRE treble digititus. Of course I've be damned if I found out the Hugo uses the SABRE.

 

The Chord units do definitely have something of a weird presentation. I think it has to do with the output. Sometimes it can sound dark, sometimes bright, depending what is plugged in. "Flat and boring" to me are the bad Sabre implementations and definitely not the Hugo and especially not with the Audiophilleo feeding it. The DAC2 in a shop was one. I need to audition that again under better circumstances as it sounded awful. It might have been a fresh-out-of-the-box unit though given the timing (not long after it was announced).

post #1027 of 1638

FWIW, I was left fairly unimpressed when I had the PSA PWD MK1 on hand. It sounded pretty good (not my favorite) and measured very well in most regards, but I was overall left with the impression that PSA didn't really know what they were doing with DACs relative to what many other individuals and companies were putting out. I have numerous reasons for this that, as I said, go beyond how it sounded or measured. To me, they seem like another audio company that excels at getting people to spend more than they should on audio products due to pretty marketing. Not enough "real substance" there for me. I would not be surprised at all if their new DSD DAC truly isn't that good, as unfortunate as that sounds.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Turn&cough View Post
 

I'm surprised that the Hugo is mediocre. I've read almost unanimous raving regarding it.

 

Are you really surprised? It seems everywhere I turn, every DAC is getting rave reviews somewhere. Everything is awesome! Except, not really. The reasons why most audio products get better reviews and more positive responses than they should are too numerous and complicated for me to adequately spell out.

post #1028 of 1638
Quote:
Originally Posted by hans030390 View Post
 

FWIW, I was left fairly unimpressed when I had the PSA PWD MK1 on hand. It sounded pretty good (not my favorite) and measured very well in most regards, but I was overall left with the impression that PSA didn't really know what they were doing with DACs relative to what many other individuals and companies were putting out. I have numerous reasons for this that, as I said, go beyond how it sounded or measured. To me, they seem like another audio company that excels at getting people to spend more than they should on audio products due to pretty marketing. Not enough "real substance" there for me. I would not be surprised at all if their new DSD DAC truly isn't that good, as unfortunate as that sounds.

 

 

Are you really surprised? It seems everywhere I turn, every DAC is getting rave reviews somewhere. Everything is awesome! Except, not really. The reasons why most audio products get better reviews and more positive responses than they should are too numerous and complicated for me to adequately spell out.


That's why I've been hanging on to my long in the tooth EE Minimax. Each time a new FOTM appears everybody gets stiff nipples and jumps on the bandwagon.

I fell for it a few times myself. A few weeks later it gets nitpicked to death and everybody moves on to the next FOTM. I thought the Chord was different (game changer) but apparently not - on this forum at least.

post #1029 of 1638
Quote:
Originally Posted by Turn&cough View Post
 


That's why I've been hanging on to my long in the tooth EE Minimax. Each time a new FOTM appears everybody gets stiff nipples and jumps on the bandwagon.

I fell for it a few times myself. A few weeks later it gets nitpicked to death and everybody moves on to the next FOTM. I thought the Chord was different (game changer) but apparently not - on this forum at least.

Oh yeah, and that's why I upgraded my regular Bifrost to the Uber/Gen 2 and refuse to part with the Gungnir. I'm also glad both of them are well-liked on this forum as well.

post #1030 of 1638
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kothganesh View Post
 

By extrapolation, do you think the Wyrd helps the Biftost Uber W/Gen 2 and/or the Gungnir? Thanks.

 

Yes, Wyrd definitely helps Gungnir, but the jump is not huge like it is on the Modi. Heck, I've even put one in front of my OR5. The results are subtle, but easily worth $99.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post
 

 

I left the M7 on for over 4 hours before comparing it to the Hugo, and the latter had better detail retrieval while still maintaining a "natural" presentation of voices and instruments. 

 

 

The Chord units do definitely have something of a weird presentation. I think it has to do with the output. Sometimes it can sound dark, sometimes bright, depending what is plugged in. "Flat and boring" to me are the bad Sabre implementations and definitely not the Hugo and especially not with the Audiophilleo feeding it. The DAC2 in a shop was one. I need to audition that again under better circumstances as it sounded awful. It might have been a fresh-out-of-the-box unit though given the timing (not long after it was announced).

 

Compared to the M7 via USB or coax, I might have to say the Hugo was better at detail presentation and tonal balance, i.e. without the bass mud, but the M7 was still smoother and more liquid. The Hugo still maintained a slight hint of that "sigma-delta"ish treble signature. So in terms of naturalness, it was one step forward and one step back. As you said, it's sometimes hard to put your finger on the Chord sound. Sometimes it can sound nasty bright, lean and thin, other times pretty darn good with some warmth.

 

As far as the flat and boring thing, that statement was more in the context of comparison to the AK240 and using the headamp outputs. However much I don't like the AK240 for being flat and boring relative to the AK120, the Hugo sucks even more when used for driving IEMs or headphones. Even then, when compared to other DACs I really like such the the Vega, PWD1->2 or Schiit DACs, including the lowest-end Wyrd+Modi, the Hugo is more compressed dynamically. The Hugo sounds good, but it doesn't draw me in to the music. And that's a serious problem for me, especially at $2500 (USD). Sure something like the Vega is $3500, but the Vega wholly on another level compared to the Hugo. $1k more isn't a major consideration at that level. The Hugo is in the same playing field as the X-Sabre, Gungnir, Bifrost, M51, etc.

 

I've never had a chance to plug in the Hugo to a good USB converter, so it's likely I haven't heard it at its full potential.


Edited by purrin - 7/22/14 at 9:14am
post #1031 of 1638

The Hugo's USB implementation is supposed to be excellent. So, unless it's a crazy expensive one, I doubt a converter would be a major performance boost.

post #1032 of 1638

purrin, any chance you will have an opportunity to test the upcoming Berkley Alpha Reference?  Most likely going to be a megabuck unit.

 

Not out yet but would like to see your take on it.

post #1033 of 1638
Good morning all. Can someone pleae send me a link to where the hugo and DS is deeds cussed here. As I understand purring view on this but would like to read and comment
Al
post #1034 of 1638

I am so glad to have discovered this thread's discussion on the Chord Hugo.  Was on the brink of buying it 2 days ago.  Now I am seriously reconsidering since I am extremely satisfied with the HM901 and Altmann Tera.

post #1035 of 1638
As I own the hugo but not the others. But I do know of them . The others a re daps where the hugo is not. Regarding sound the hugo is pretty damn good all around and does pcm better than dad as well.
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