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CHORD HUGO preview report - Page 13

post #181 of 519
Quote:
Originally Posted by CosmicHolyGhost View Post
 

I recall OK-Guy sent in his Sony ZX-1 to Chord for checking (USB out) compatibility. Is it a yay or nay?


I am also curious about ZX1-Chord connectivity. How do you connect them and how long ZX1's battery lasts. OK-Guy can maybe shed some light here.

post #182 of 519
Quote:
Originally Posted by AmberOzL View Post
 


I am also curious about ZX1-Chord connectivity. How do you connect them and how long ZX1's battery lasts. OK-Guy can maybe shed some light here.


you can always connect ZX-1 using LOD with a 3.5 stereo to RCA into Hugo line in. But it is pointless to do so because user will always want to make use of Chord's  high end optimized DAC.Hence, it is better to connect using USB with an OTG adapter thing.  But if you see the published spec on Chord website (http://www.chordelectronics.co.uk/products-info.asp?id=92), driverless USB input can only process up to 16/48, but it seems portable devices can mostly send up to 24/192 with USB out...

The battery life is 14 hours according to spec. This is truly a versatile companion to most of the audiophile DAPs in the market if you look at all the input option. For desktop use, you can also connect with RCA to other higher end amp even.

post #183 of 519
Quote:
Originally Posted by CosmicHolyGhost View Post
 


you can always connect ZX-1 using LOD with a 3.5 stereo to RCA into Hugo line in. But it is pointless to do so because user will always want to make use of Chord's  high end optimized DAC.Hence, it is better to connect using USB with an OTG adapter thing.  But if you see the published spec on Chord website (http://www.chordelectronics.co.uk/products-info.asp?id=92), driverless USB input can only process up to 16/48, but it seems portable devices can mostly send up to 24/192 with USB out...

The battery life is 14 hours according to spec. This is truly a versatile companion to most of the audiophile DAPs in the market if you look at all the input option. For desktop use, you can also connect with RCA to other higher end amp even.


Well then I can connect it with X5 just basically coax out from X5 to coax in to Hugo? Simple as that. Do you have any idea whether using coax out from X5 can increase its battery or not?

post #184 of 519
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmichels View Post

and, can you tell us  what portable source will you be using with that DAC/AMP ? 

I have not found "the perfect source" yet.. but I know what I would like it to support:

Wimp HiFi:
Internet streaming service with over 23,000,000 songs in their library in 16/44.1 (CD quality)
(Can also have offline play lists in the same quality)
Can be done with iOS and Android devices

WiFi:
Be able to connect to the internet and stream music
Can be done with iOS and Android devices

4G:
It is not a must, but it would be nice to be able to connect to the internet on the go as well.
Can be done with iOS and Android devices

24/192:
iOS and Android devices can play this as well as the new FiiO DAP X5 that will arrive soon.

Storage:
I would like 128GB and be able to use SD cards.
Android devices like the Samsung Note 3 (phablet) seems nice but I think it is a little bit to big to be strapped to the Hugo on the go (don't know yet, but I believe that iPhone 5S has the same length as the Hugo - from Jude's comments)

Bonus:
Be able to look at movies and series while on the go, or in my bed.
If it could stream Netflix, HBO Nordic it would be very nice, and both iOS and Android devices can do that.

And the support for aptX would also be nice.. and the closest thing out there would be a phablet like the Samsung Note 3 with a data SIM (not voice), and it has a slot for one SD Micro card.
But I guess that it would be a bit too big.


At the moment I have an older iPod that can't use the Camera Connection Kit, but my iPhone 4S would work, but I do not like the idea of people disturbing me while listening to music. I have also a iPad Mini Retina 128GB (WiFi + SIM) that will work, but it is omly128GB without the possibility for SD cards.. but it will work for now until I find the perfect fit. smily_headphones1.gif
Edited by nOtEcH - 1/19/14 at 6:10am
post #185 of 519
Quote:
Originally Posted by AmberOzL View Post
 


Well then I can connect it with X5 just basically coax out from X5 to coax in to Hugo? Simple as that. Do you have any idea whether using coax out from X5 can increase its battery or not?

Yes, Coax should be standard up to 24/192. Jude mentioned that the input is recessed so I am not sure if this type of cable can be used (http://www.fujiya-avic.jp/products/detail20848.html).

 

As for X5 battery life, I think you need to ask James in the X5 thread... cos I wont get mine until Wed/Thurs... :L3000:

post #186 of 519
Quote:
Originally Posted by CosmicHolyGhost View Post
 

Yes, Coax should be standard up to 24/192. Jude mentioned that the input is recessed so I am not sure if this type of cable can be used (http://www.fujiya-avic.jp/products/detail20848.html).

 

As for X5 battery life, I think you need to ask James in the X5 thread... cos I wont get mine until Wed/Thurs... :L3000:


Ok man thanks. The cable I need will come with X5 or Hugo or I will have to buy it? I can buy it too if needed, it is not a problem after paying 1200 pounds to Hugo, I am not gonna cry for a cable (considering that it won't cost an arm and a leg) :happy_face1:

post #187 of 519
Quote:
Originally Posted by AmberOzL View Post
 


Ok man thanks. The cable I need will come with X5 or Hugo or I will have to buy it? I can buy it too if needed, it is not a problem after paying 1200 pounds to Hugo, I am not gonna cry for a cable (considering that it won't cost an arm and a leg) :happy_face1:


not sure... DX50 came with such cable (3.5mm mono to RCA coaxial cable), X3 came with an adapter  RCA female to 3.5mm mono (and you need to use standard coaxial cable).

you can buy one from Forza, it is not expensive: http://forzaaudioworks.com/en/product.php?id_product=56

 

I only have one question left for myself... when will i get the money to buy this if I like this after demo? :D

post #188 of 519
Quote:
Originally Posted by CosmicHolyGhost View Post
 


not sure... DX50 came with such cable (3.5mm mono to RCA coaxial cable), X3 came with an adapter  RCA female to 3.5mm mono (and you need to use standard coaxial cable).

you can buy one from Forza, it is not expensive: http://forzaaudioworks.com/en/product.php?id_product=56

 

I only have one question left for myself... when will i get the money to buy this if I like this after demo? :D


Thanks a ton Cosmic, I understood everything and left out with the same question, when I will have enough money to buy it :happy_face1: Really appreciate the help and explanation. Probably I am gonna order one from Forza later on when I get Hugo. I am also thinking about getting a new cable for my SE5way too. I can maybe do it in the same time.

post #189 of 519
Quote:
Originally Posted by CosmicHolyGhost View Post
 

I recall OK-Guy sent in his Sony ZX-1 to Chord for checking (USB out) compatibility. Is it a yay or nay?

 

it's a massive YAY... you'll need the Walkman USB conversion cable to do it (Sony WMC-NWH10 cable)

 

 

 

You can only order the Chord Hugo from one of their Dealers as per-usual I believe & not direct... there is a very helpful Chord Dealer close to me 'Home Media', they offer a great service and will probably send anywhere in the world if you ask them, you can also pre-order and I can assure you their Customer Service is top-notch.

 

http://homemedialimited.co.uk/chord-electronics-release-reference-level-mobile-dac-headphone-amp-hugo/

post #190 of 519
I'm very much looking for a reason to need one of these. And i'm looking hard.
post #191 of 519

What to expect for those not familiar with the Chord sound signature:

 

In reading through this entire thread, there's a lot of interest/hype/momentum for the Hugo. And rightly so. If, (and it's often a BIG "IF" in new product marketing), the Hugo has the same build quality and sonic signature of the their other FPGA DACs, those of you not familiar with the DAC 64, Cute or QB76 series are in for quite a jolt into digital that's truly organic, and for lack of a better term, "vinyl like".

 

Chord's DAC 64, and later on, the QB76 have been a mainstay in my both home and headphone systems for years; with their FPGA DACs now paired with Stax LNS and 007 MKII, various Stax amps and even a fully portable Stax rig. Of note, I have lived with/owned/auditioned many of the higher end DACs that compete with Chord's higher end in price and performance. At this level it's really not about quality or even "true to source" it's simply which sound signature you enjoy more. Like MBS, Wadia, Meridian, DCS, Esoteric...to me, Chord digital products have a somewhat unique "house sound".

 

Rather than spew a laundry-list of superlative adjectives...here's what to expect. (Keep in mind, I've not heard the Hugo...I'm making these observations based on  Chord FPGA DACs that I have lived with over the past 10 years.)

 

Before I begin, I don't want to come across as another golden-eared, fan-boy, touting the brilliance of a yet unheard/not-yet-shipping product. Truth be told, my current Chord DAC is bettered by something I bought last year. (A fully loaded Empirical Audio Overdrive DAC @ 8,000 US). But it's close...and the Chord is often the go-to with anything bright in the chain (so-so source material, ultra-revealing headphones, some solid state amps, etc).

 

1) Expect an organic presentation...think back to the first time you heard a good vinyl rig with a well-mastered record or non-digital recording through a top-notch analogue source, such as reel-to-reel or a cassette deck of Nakamichi vintage.

 

2) Expect zero fatigue/digital grit...you can listen to digital for hours on end, with no headache or needing to "turn it down"....(perhaps this will be the answer to tame the HD800 or other very revealing phones?)

 

3) Expect over-the-top build quality. I have a Chord DAC in my bedside system that is left on 24/7, looks like a sculpture and does not make the wife run for cover at the sight of it. Chord's aluminum block extrusion and LEDs under-a-lens is art, art that just happens to sound  damn good.

 

4) Even with services such as HD Tracks, Linn and other high res downloads + a modded Sony SACD ES777 + a separate DVD-A, over half of the music I listen too, is good 'ol Redbook. Here the Chord excels...previously "un-listenable" CDs with more grit than a Chicago sidewalk in January are now enjoyable, with good instrument separation and a lens into the mastering engineer's technique ...or lack there of. No, the FPGA can't magically transform a bad mastering, but it will take the edge off, so you can forget about your gear and enter into musical performance with the same enjoyment as with with the original LP. A great example is the Boston debut album from the 70's. Wonderful LP; horrible CD mastering and even the SACD is not much better. Edgy, hard and gnawing guitar that begs for analogue. Here, the Chord's FPGA do their thing and "liquefy" the guitar rifts without loss of detail. When I bought my Chord DAC 64 ten years ago, it opened up a whole storage case of 80's CDs that I had shelved as digital garbage compared to their vinyl counterparts. Now that gap is somwhat closed.

 

5. Don't expect the Hugo to be copied anytime soon. Chord has been working with FPGAs for years and has a significant R&D lead. And unlike many new DACs that can simply adopt the flavor of the month (be that Wolfson, Saber or Cirrus Logic)... you can't easily reverse-engineer this product.

 

6. RCA out is smart. The Hugo, with a good music server will become the go-to for any semi-portable high end system or even main system (if the Hugo is in the same league as the Chord Cute).

 

7. RCA out is smart x two...one of my first applications of the Hugo will be in high end car audio. Your phone + this unit plugged directly into your car's head unit RCA in (if it's up to the task) should transform the weak link in car audio and finally allow DSD/high sampling rates directly from your iPhone or Droid handset. Hmmm... I'm specing out a system in my head with JM Utopia "mobile" speakers as I write this.

 

8. The Toucan may have been the best thing that ever happened to Chord...not well-reviewed, many for re-sale and a blemish on Chord's otherwise spotless high-end face (In fairness, the Toucan was never high-end priced, either). I think Chord learned their lesson and realized that the Toucan was never a downsized DAC 64 with respect to performance. (The complete polar opposite of the Cute, which gives 90% of the flagship QB76 at a quarter the price). The end result of this "lesson" should be performance on-par, and perhaps excelling, current Chord mid-range products. (The Cute). I can't speculate how it will compare with the flagship QB76DSD and I take the interview with Chord's CEO that says it does with the usual pre-release grain of salt...Not so sure that Chord would want to cannibalize their profitable high end flagships with a $2K product.

 

9. It's a "bargain" in the relative stratosphere of high end. Just go out and price other comparable gear (Wadia, McIntosh's new headphone gear, etc.) and that becomes apparent. Judging by the pre-order buzz, Chord should be able to produce enough of these to hold the price where it is. Makes the AK240 seem very overpriced.

 

10) All of the above is of course pure speculation and your ear mileage may differ. I'm only basing these assumptions on my extensive experience with Chord gear and the company itself. That said, on paper, this is a game-changer. My main unanswered question is how well this will pair with an audio chain that is already on the warm/tubey side. That will be answered soon enough when I can get this into my main system. Like most high end gear, I expect the Hugo to have some polarization...those that like an analytical and bright sound may want to look elsewhere...my goal here was just to arm you with some pre-purchase buying information. - Lorne


Edited by Lornecherry - 1/19/14 at 11:08am
post #192 of 519
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lornecherry View Post

What to expect for those not familiar with the Chord sound signature:

In reading through this entire thread, there's a lot of interest/hype momentum for the Hugo. And rightly so. If (and it's often a "BIG IF in new product marketing) the Hugo has the same build quality and sonic signature of the their other FPGA DACs, those of you not familiar with the DAC 64, Cute or QB series are in for quite a jolt into digital that's truly organic, and for lack of a better term, "vinyl like".

Chord's DAC 64, and later on, the QB76 have been a mainstay in my both home and headphone systems for years; with their FPGA DACs now paired with Stax LNS and 007 MKII, various Stax amps and even a fully portable Stax rig. Of note, I have lived with/owned/auditioned many of the higher end DACs that compete with Chord. At this level it's really not about quality, it's simply which sound signature you enjoy more. Like MBS, Wadia, Meridian, Berkley, DCS, Esoteric...Chord digital products have a somewhat unique "house sound".

Rather than spew a laundry-list of adjectives...here's what to expect. (Keep in mind, I've not heard the Hugo...I'm making these observations based on  Chord FPGA DACs that I have lived with over the past 10 years.

Before I begin, I don't want to come across as yet another golden-eared, fan-boy, touting the brilliance of a yet unheard/not-yet-shipping product. Truth be told, my current Chord DAC is bettered by something I bought last year. (A fully loaded Empirical Audio Overdrive DAC @ 8,000 US). But it's close...and the Chord is better with anything bright in the chain (so-so source material, ultra-revealing headphones, some solid state amps, etc).

1) Expect an organic presentation...think back to the first time you heard a good vinyl rig with well-mastered record or non-digital recording through a top-notch analogue source, such as reel to reel or the cassette decks of Nakamichi vintage.

2) Expect zero fatigue/digital grit...you can listen to digital for hours on end, with no headache or needing to "turn it down"....)perhaps this will be the answer to tame the HD800 or other very revealing phones?)

3) Expect over-the-top build quality. I have a Chord DAC in my bedside system that is left on 24/7, looks like a sculpture and does not make the wife run for cover at the sight of it. Chord's aluminum block extrusion and LEDs under-a-lens is art, art that just happens to sound  damn good.

4) Even with services such as HD Tracks, Linn and other high res downloads, + a modded Sony SACD ES777 + a separate DVD-A, over half of the music I listen too, is good 'ol Redbook. Here the Chord excels...previously unlistenable CDs with more grit than a Chicago sidewalk in January are now enjoyable, with good instrument separation and a lens into the mastering engineer's technique ..or lack there of. No, it can't magically transform a bad mastering, but it can take the edge off, so you can forget about your gear and enter into musical performance with the same enjoyment as with with the original LP. A great example is the Boston debut album from the 70's. Wonderful LP; horrible CD mastering and even the SACD is not much better. Edgy, hard and gnawing guitar that begs for analogue. Here, the Chord's FPGA do their thing and liquefy the guitar rifts without loss of detail. When I bought my Chord DAC 64 10 years ago, it opened up a whole storage case of 80's CDs that I had deemed unlistenable compared to their vinyl counterparts. Now that gap is mostly closed.

5. Don't expect the Hugo to be copied anytime soon. Chord has been working with FPGAs for years and has a significant R&D lead, and unlike many new DACs that can simply adopt the flavor of the month (be that Wolfson, Saber or Cirrus Logic)... you can't easily reverse-engineer this product.

6. RCA out is smart. The Hugo, with a good music server will become the go-to for any semi-portable high end system or even main system (if the Hugo is in the same league as the Chord Cute).

7. RCA out is smart x 2...one of my first applications of the Hugo will be in high end car audio. Your phone + this unit plugged directly into your car's head unit (if it's up to the task) should transform the weak link in car audio and finally allow DSD/high sampling rates directly from your iPhone or Droid handset. Hmmm... I'm specing out a system in my head with JM Utopia "mobile" speakers as I write this.

8. The Toucan may have been the best thing that ever happened to Chord...not well-reviewed, many for re-sale and a blemish on Chord's otherwise spotless high-end face (In fairness, the Toucan was never high-end priced, either). I think Chord learned their lesson and realized that the Toucan was never a downsized DAC 64 with respect to performance. (The complete polar opposite of the Cute, which gives 90% of the flagship QB76 at a quarter the price). The end result of this "lesson" should be performance on-par and perhaps excelling current Chord mid-range products. (The Cute). I can't speculate how it will compare with the flagship QB76DSD and I take the interview with Chord's CEO that says it does with the usual pre-release grain of salt. Not so sure that Chord would want to cannibalize their profitable high end flagships with a $2K product,

9. It's a bargain in the relative stratosphere of high end. Just go out and price other comparable gear (Wadia, McIntosh's new headphone gear, etc.) and that becomes apparent. Judging by the pre-order buzz, Chord should be able to produce enough of these to hold the price where it is. Makes the AK240 seem very overpriced too.

10) All of the above is of course pure speculation and your ear mileage may differ. I'm only basing these assumptions on my extensive experience with Chord gear and the company itself. That said, on paper, this is a game-changer. My main unanswered question is how well this will pair with gear that is already on the warm/tubey side. That will be answered soon enough when I can get this into my main gear audio chain. Like most high end gear, I expect this to have some polarization...those that like an analytical, bright sound may want to look elsewhere...my goal here was just to arm you with some prepurchase buying information. - Lorne

Thanks for your thoughts! And yes.. "seeing is believing".. and "the proof of the pudding is in the eating".
I am really looking forward to find out how good it is. Anyhow.. I think it will be a game changer for the portable market. I hope that anyway.. wink.gif
post #193 of 519
Quote:
Originally Posted by x838nwy View Post

I'm very much looking for a reason to need one of these. And i'm looking hard.

For me it has been the opposite.. why should I not buy the Hugo? I have been looking for a portable version of the April Music Eximus DP1 since "forever" and if this product is even close I know that I will love it. People claim that it is a game changer and some have compared this little fellow to pretty good home rigs and want this.. but.. the proof and pudding and all.. we will soon find out for sure. wink.gif
post #194 of 519
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lornecherry View Post
 

... my current Chord DAC is bettered by something I bought last year. (A fully loaded Empirical Audio Overdrive DAC @ 8,000 US). 

WHAOOO, those Overdrive¬ģ¬†SE USB DAC/Pre look gorgeous ! ¬† Thanks for showing us this manufacturer that I didn't heard off¬†!

 

But...  What do you mean by "fully loaded" ?  Which options did you add ?   and also do you use their "Audio Final Drive" ?

 

post #195 of 519
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lornecherry View Post
 

...  RCA out is smart. The Hugo, with a good music server will become the go-to for any semi-portable high end system...

 

Lorne

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nOtEcH View Post


... I have been looking for a portable version of the April Music Eximus DP1 since "forever" and if this product is even close I know that I will love it.

 

 

This is where I have a problem:  I also want to built "transportable" high end system (no need to be pocketable, just transportable.. from rooms to rooms, and if possible operating on battery for convenience and for listening under the patio )

 

And YES, the HUGO might be THE solution for the DAC/AMP part, but... what about the "portable source" to feed it ??  

 

We need a HIGH-CAPACITY dap with a great graphical UI, good Playlist support, a large screen, but WITHOUT a DAC/AMP section.  Some sort of "nano, battery operated, AURENDER" ? :D.

 

-->  So, Lorne & nOtEcH (& others), what do you have in mind for the "source" to go with the HUGO to built a "semi-portable high end system" ?  

 

using a AK240 just as a transport will be a pitty !  And other DAP do not have a UI that suit me !  And an iPAD-iPhone do not (like the SONY) has the appropriate capacity with only 128 Gb (plus they don't easely output 24/96 bits music without Downsampling


Edited by bmichels - 1/19/14 at 11:54am
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