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CHORD HUGO preview report - Page 11

post #151 of 519

Give Gary at http://www.analogueseduction.net/ a call as he took my pre-order for a Hugo and is expecting delivery mid February. 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by tonyl59 View Post

I'v ebeen trying to get my local dealer to confirm to me when they'll have the Hugo but still they don't return my calls. I see people are pre-ordering it now; that seems like the best idea but I'm not sure I want to do it through my dealer now. I wonder if Chord will take an order from me directly?
post #152 of 519
Thanks for that but in the end I did order from my local Chord dealer.
Then I can pick it up directly without yet another mystery package arriving at home while I'm at work, requiring explanation :-)
post #153 of 519

there's plenty of Chord dealers in the UK... Home-Media in Maidstone offer a terrific service if you're in Kent.

post #154 of 519

So it seems the unit from CES went to a dealer in Mountain View, CA (Audio High) so if you are near the area I encourage you to audition Hugo. I spent about an hour or so yesterday with the unit:

 

First set-up:

Sooloos Music server feeding audio to Hugo through coax; Hugo used as DAC/AMP and LCD3 headphones on the other end. The server was loaded with CD quality (44.1/16) and high definition albums (the server will not show the sampling frequency so I'm not sure of the exact freq/bit however I know some of those albums are available at least at 96/24).

I started just sampling some CD quality songs and was very impressed with what I was hearing that I started looking for any album I was familiar with and found Al DiMeola's Friday Night at San Francisco. The first track: Mediterranean Sundance sounded AMAZINGLY GOOD... extreme detail and clarity in the music and the sense of "I'm there"... this was already a higher level of performance compared to my current mobile set-up (AK100+L3+LCD3) and even compared to my office set-up (MacBookAir->Audiophileo2->Music Fidelity M1DAC and M1HPA->LCD3).

I brought my L3 headphone amp to the store to try Hugo as DAC-only but didn't bother connecting it to Hugo since I was already getting top-performance out of the system and I just wanted to keep enjoying more music (for me the best sign that I'm in front of a good system).

 

Second Set-up:

After 30 mins or so I wanted to try DSD content so I brought my MacBookAir with Pure Music and connected it to Hugo via USB replacing the Sooloos server, it took me a few tries to set it up properly until I saw Pure Music sending DSD audio and was back in business. I played a few DSD64 tracks from "Fiona Hawkins-Blue Deam", "Poncho Sanchez - Watermelon man", "Holly Cole-Temptation" , "John Legend-Get lifted", "Bob Ravenscroft-Re a person I met", "Pink Floyd-Shine on you crazy diamond", and others... DSD performance was a slight improvement to the already awesome performance I was getting with PCM with the same level of clarity but an even more natural and organic sound. 

The only comparison I can make is against my home system where I play DSD content: "MacbookAir -> Playback Designs MPD3 -> EAR HP4 -> LCD3". And I can say that I was not missing my home system at all with just my MacbookAir feeding Hugo and directly to my LCD3's. Of course I didn't make any A/B comparisons real-time here but with the limited time I had with Hugo playing DSD (about 30 mins) I can say that I enjoyed MORE listening to the system with Hugo. It's ability to keep me engaged with zero fatigue and 100% enjoyment kept me wanting to listen to more and more music... IMO this is the best quality of any system.

 

In summary I was really impressed by this DAC/AMP combo and I'm taking one home:)  I encourage everyone to try and audition this fine peace of Engineering by yourselves. I'm happy this level of audio quality can now be available in a portable package :)

post #155 of 519
Great preview. Thanks.
post #156 of 519
Quote:
Originally Posted by AmberOzL View Post

May I suggest 1 thing. Why do we have 2 Hugo threads? It is difficult to follow. I believe this one was the first one. Maybe mods can do something about it? Move the other threads posts in here and lock it so when we need to follow Chord Hugo news, we don't have to bother with checking 2 threads and all?
+1
post #157 of 519
Quote:
Originally Posted by AmberOzL View Post
 

May I suggest 1 thing. Why do we have 2 Hugo threads? It is difficult to follow. I believe this one was the first one. Maybe mods can do something about it? Move the other threads posts in here and lock it so when we need to follow Chord Hugo news, we don't have to bother with checking 2 threads and all?

 

Done. Since the other thread was older, I only moved those posts after the start date of this one, and then locked the other thread (the last post of which is Sasaki's linking to this one).

post #158 of 519
Quote:
Originally Posted by jude View Post
 

 

Done. Since the other thread was older, I only moved those posts after the start date of this one, and then locked the other thread (the last post of which is Sasaki's linking to this one).


Wonderful Jude, thank you so much, keep rocking on with Kanye West :tongue_smile:

 

A question about Hugo, do you think they designed it for big cans or ciems? Maybe both?

post #159 of 519
Quote:
Originally Posted by basulto View Post
 

So it seems the unit from CES went to a dealer in Mountain View, CA (Audio High) so if you are near the area I encourage you to audition Hugo. I spent about an hour or so yesterday with the unit:

 

Thanks for the info; I've already ordered one but it's good to know it didn't suck :-) 

 

Does it have physical switches for input selection and volume control (ie is it easy to use and source independent), or is it more complicated than that?

post #160 of 519
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stormfriend View Post
 

 

Thanks for the info; I've already ordered one but it's good to know it didn't suck :-) 

 

Does it have physical switches for input selection and volume control (ie is it easy to use and source independent), or is it more complicated than that?

It does have physical switches for input selection near one of the corners, I found those switches hard to reach with your fingers though. Volume control is done by a little transparent scrolling wheel similar to the one you find in a mouse but a bit more stiff... this volume wheel changes color to indicate the level, which looks pretty cool... I was listening to "Blue-ish" level most of the time with a few songs requiring it to go into a more "Green-ish" tone :)

 

One more update: As the dealer was trying to understand availability for this unit I learned from them this morning that Chord is working on improving the chassis to address the issues with connectors and switches being a bit hard to reach (a bit recessed into the chassis). They told me however that they still expect the first shipment some time in February.

post #161 of 519

The size/scale of this device confuses me - in most photos it looks larger than anything that would reasonably fit in a jacket inside pocket, but then this photo suggests a rucksack would not be absolutely essential in order to use it on public transport:

 

 

 

Strap an NW-ZX1 to it and it wouldn't be vastly bigger than a standalone DX100.

 

In other words, it's too big for jeans pockets, but perhaps viable for a jacket pocket.

post #162 of 519
Quote:
Originally Posted by basulto View Post

It does have physical switches for input selection near one of the corners, I found those switches hard to reach with your fingers though. Volume control is done by a little transparent scrolling wheel similar to the one you find in a mouse but a bit more stiff... this volume wheel changes color to indicate the level, which looks pretty cool... I was listening to "Blue-ish" level most of the time with a few songs requiring it to go into a more "Green-ish" tone smily_headphones1.gif

Have you tried the "psychoacoustics profiling system"? With the press of a button it is supposed to transform the "in head sound" to a more speaker like sound experience with the sound stage in front of you. Chord's CEO John Franks talks about this feature in the YouTube video (interview part 1 - found in this thread), but where is the button? The volume control maybe?
post #163 of 519
Quote:
Originally Posted by basulto View Post
 

It does have physical switches for input selection near one of the corners, I found those switches hard to reach with your fingers though. Volume control is done by a little transparent scrolling wheel similar to the one you find in a mouse but a bit more stiff... this volume wheel changes color to indicate the level, which looks pretty cool... I was listening to "Blue-ish" level most of the time with a few songs requiring it to go into a more "Green-ish" tone :)

 

One more update: As the dealer was trying to understand availability for this unit I learned from them this morning that Chord is working on improving the chassis to address the issues with connectors and switches being a bit hard to reach (a bit recessed into the chassis). They told me however that they still expect the first shipment some time in February.

 

Great news; I'd even be happy to wait a few weeks if that's what it takes to get it right first time.

post #164 of 519

I'm curious if this product works well together with CIEMs (e.g. Heir Audio 8.a) due to output impedance etc or is only a good match for headphones. I'd be interested to for usage when I'm not at home where I have my audio setups but on business trips/holiday etc in addition to a good DAP for using CIEMs. I couldn't find any information about this on their website or this thread yet. Maybe someone has heard about anything regarding this direction.

post #165 of 519

CHORD HUGO's output Impedance ?   good question !

 

Also, I could'n find it's exact dimensions ! 

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