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Chord Hugo - Page 741

post #11101 of 11111

I can easily accept that the TT sounds better, so I have no problem with your test result. But I can't concur with your assertion (yes, actually perception) that the preamp has made it more transparent. It may have made it more pleasing, pseudo-transparent – that's what I halfways experience myself when I use my Corda Symphony to drive my HD 800 instead of the Hugo alone. But each time I switch back to the direct connection it becomes clear to me that nothing is more accurate than the original. Two devices sonically so close to each other – as reported and as conceptional from the electronics – can't be judged with additional electronics components in the signal path of one of them. The result may have been the same with equal preconditions, but certainly with different characterizations – which would have been of interest for me.

 

Sorry for the rant! :o

post #11102 of 11111
Quote:
Originally Posted by JaZZ View Post
 

I can easily accept that the TT sounds better, so I have no problem with your test result. But I can't concur with your assertion (yes, actually perception) that the preamp has made it more transparent. It may have made it more pleasing, pseudo-transparent – that's what I halfways experience myself when I use my Corda Symphony to drive my HD 800 instead of the Hugo alone. But each time I switch back to the direct connection it becomes clear to me that nothing is more accurate than the original. Two devices sonically so close to each other – as reported and as conceptional from the electronics – can't be judged with additional electronics components in the signal path of one of them. The result may have been the same with equal preconditions, but certainly with different characterizations – which would have been of interest for me.

 

Sorry for the rant! :o


Mate, I don't want to split hairs, but I do want to make things clear.

 

I did not say the 350P makes the Hugo more transparent. I said it is a very transparent preamp. In my original post on AV forums, and on here, I did concede there MAY possibly be some loss of frequency extension; but the lower noise floor using the preamp makes for a better final sound. In other words, the tradeoff is worth it.

 

Furthermore, driving headphones and speakers are slightly different. Power amps deal with much larger voltage gains and current flows. Potential points of distortion is huge. Its not about the signal per se from each DAC but using it to feed a poweramp. My setup sounds best with balanced signals so routing through my 350P and converting the signal to balance reduces the distortion in the signal path to the speakers.

 

As I said, system specific. the TT shines as a desktop DAC for sure.

 

As for your assertion that the characterisation would be different.

 

No.


Edited by lokyc - Yesterday at 12:50 pm
post #11103 of 11111
Quote:
Originally Posted by lokyc View Post
 

Mate, I don't want to split hairs, but I do want to make things clear.

 

I did not say the 350P makes the Hugo more transparent. I said it is a very transparent preamp. In my original post on AV forums, and on here, I did concede there MAY possibly be some loss of frequency extension; but the lower noise floor using the preamp makes for a better final sound. In other words, the tradeoff is worth it.

 

Furthermore, driving headphones and speakers are slightly different. Power amps deal with much larger voltage gains and current flows. Potential points of distortion is huge. Its not about the signal per se from each DAC but using it to feed a poweramp. My setup sounds best with balanced signals so routing through my 350P and converting the signal to balance reduces the distortion in the signal path to the speakers.

 

As I said, system specific. the TT shines as a desktop DAC for sure.

 

As for your assertion that the characterisation would be different.

 

No.

 

Quite some hair splitting in your first sentence. You said it increase clarity. For me that's about the same as transparency.

 

I'm not interested in the noise floor in the context of the Hugo: I can't hear any. It's nothing to worry about, as it's definitely below the level of the recordings. And it's nothing worth sacrificing transparency and accuracy in the form of signal-degrading (let's stay friendly: signal-altering) electronics components in the signal path.

 

«Power amps deal with much larger voltage gains and current flows»: yes! But they have nothing to do with the input impedance. They repesent the same (kind of) load as a preamp or any other electronics device with a line-level input. So much to logic.

 

«No»: Yes, definitely – if I would have been the manager of your test procedure.

post #11104 of 11111
Mate, just make your own comparisons and post yr findings.
post #11105 of 11111

I would, if I had a Hugo TT. Maybe later this year with Hugo vs. Dave. :tongue_smile: But you won't be invited. :tongue_smile:

post #11106 of 11111

Guys... been reading your debate with interest though would like to point out the obvious that they are different products aimed at your needs/requirements... I've been reliably been informed by John himself that the Hugo-TT is an improvement SQ-wise over the portable focused Hugo, Rob & Matt have also confirmed this.

 

My way of thinking is this, I only use IEM's so the Hugo is all I need that said, when I decide to move into full-sized headphones I really don't see me upgrading as the Hugo will serve both admirably... IF I was looking to expand things for home use then the Hugo-TT would be on my radar but in truth headphone use would be of secondary importance as I would be looking at it as more a pre-amp into a home-speaker system & streaming music to it via my pc (on my 'to-do' list).

 

Experience tells me that we are dealing with subtleties with regard to SQ between the Hugo & Hugo-TT but consideration should primarily be with what your personal needs are... kinda nice to be associated with a company that has class leading products in different segments.

post #11107 of 11111
Quote:
Originally Posted by lokyc View Post
 

Well, as I mentioned in the post, I'm not a pro with endless time to compare things back to back, with different material ad infinitum.

 

I do what is practical for me. I posted my impression.

 

It was never meant to be a controlled experiment held up to scientific standards (I did postgrad research and designed human trials. I have a vague idea.)

 

There is theory, and there is real life. I also mentioned in the post, which I appreciate is quite lengthy, having compared the Hugo direct into my power amp and via the preamp; and overall preferred the preamp for the lower noise floor.

 

Using an external preamp stresses in the internal circuitry of the Hugo less. Not all preamps are the same either. The 350P has amazing transparency. The high input impedence means the Hugo has it easy. The preamp also converts the signal to balance feeding into a balanced power amp. This configuration exploits the best parts of my system. So overall the tradeoff is worth it, and is the sound I preferred.

 

So it is an unfair comparison. I gave the Hugo a leg up.

 

USB Audio pro is great. But I can't use it to bit stream Tidal.

 

At the end of the day, these products are for us to enjoy the music we enjoy. I wish all the stuff I like is in high res and well mastered. But  its simply not the case.

 

So I really warmed to Rob Watts' philosophy of designing a product which will sound good for the widest available format which is 16/44 Red Book.,

 

I am not here to dictate what you may or may not like. It all depends on setup, preference and material at the end of the day.
 

But there is a lot of curiosity on what the TT brings to the table (pun intended) and I thought I would share my experience.

 

If there is one thing I would stand by, is that the TT's design features do make a subtle, but significant difference to sound quality. It is not just a Hugo with a fancy box and remote control. Worth checking out.


I liked your comparison.  Makes me want a TT, (never have) but I have something to try  with the Hugo which might actually work.

post #11108 of 11111
Quote:
Originally Posted by lokyc View Post
 


 

 

I did not say the 350P makes the Hugo more transparent. I said it is a very transparent preamp. In my original post on AV forums, and on here, I did concede there MAY possibly be some loss of frequency extension; but the lower noise floor using the preamp makes for a better final sound. In other words, the tradeoff is worth it.

 

 

 

Will be interesting to see if, as reported it has by others, the Upton Regen accomplishes this task with the Chord Hugo as the preamp.  In other words you keep the transparency and lower the noise floor.

post #11109 of 11111

@UELong something to try with Hugo?

 

@elviscaprice Perhaps in my haste I didn't clarify what I mean by noise floor. That noise floor is in the analogue signal path.

 

The Upton Regen acts like a galvanic isolator to clean up the USB data stream which is contaminated by the power supply noise. That noise leads to jitter or more obviously crackling noises.

 

Analogue noise floor is that little hiss you hear from your speakers. It probably fluctuates and distorts the analogue sound as well. Its something hard to pinpoint unless you have a basis of comparison. the comparatively lower analogue noise floor in my system is a result of using a fully balanced signal path fed into a power amp designed specifically with balanced differential signal in mind. There are other power amps that achieve great results with single ended inputs. Mine sound best with a fully balanced analogue feed.

 

but the TT is more than just galvanic isolation and a balanced differential output signal. The supercapacitors provide faster transients in the output signal to more closely mimic the material. Dynamic attack and temporal definition is simply astonishing.

 

So comparing the Hugo and Hugo TT, its like the same colour TV with equal colour gamut and contrast ratio. But one in FHD and the other in UHD. The FHD is spectacular, but the UHD takes it up a notch in a je ne sais quois way. And of course, the differences become more apparant with screen size.

 

I haven't really compared with headphone performance as my intention was always to use it as a desktop DAC. I know little about headphones and only have a pair of B&W P7s because I am a B&W fanboy and for the hell of it. But I thought I would link my impressions on another forum as this thread is the most extensive and comprehensive repository of Hugo discussion I know of.

post #11110 of 11111
Quote:
Originally Posted by lokyc View Post
 

@UELong something to try with Hugo?

 

@elviscaprice Perhaps in my haste I didn't clarify what I mean by noise floor. That noise floor is in the analogue signal path.

 

The Upton Regen acts like a galvanic isolator to clean up the USB data stream which is contaminated by the power supply noise. That noise leads to jitter or more obviously crackling noises.

 

Analogue noise floor is that little hiss you hear from your speakers. It probably fluctuates and distorts the analogue sound as well. Its something hard to pinpoint unless you have a basis of comparison. the comparatively lower analogue noise floor in my system is a result of using a fully balanced signal path fed into a power amp designed specifically with balanced differential signal in mind. There are other power amps that achieve great results with single ended inputs. Mine sound best with a fully balanced analogue feed.

 

but the TT is more than just galvanic isolation and a balanced differential output signal. The supercapacitors provide faster transients in the output signal to more closely mimic the material. Dynamic attack and temporal definition is simply astonishing.

 

So comparing the Hugo and Hugo TT, its like the same colour TV with equal colour gamut and contrast ratio. But one in FHD and the other in UHD. The FHD is spectacular, but the UHD takes it up a notch in a je ne sais quois way. And of course, the differences become more apparant with screen size.

 

I haven't really compared with headphone performance as my intention was always to use it as a desktop DAC. I know little about headphones and only have a pair of B&W P7s because I am a B&W fanboy and for the hell of it. But I thought I would link my impressions on another forum as this thread is the most extensive and comprehensive repository of Hugo discussion I know of.


I got a Regen and am going to try it when I get my hands on a power bar.  I think the coas sounds better than the HDUSB port.  Hope it helps.

post #11111 of 11111

@lokycActually the Regen does more than just give a clean 5V power source, which the Hugo doesn't need.  It also cleans up some of that nasty RF noise within the streamed digital audio which does contaminate the analog sound stage within the Hugo, even helps the galvanic versions.  Thus to prevent that nasty distortion from reaching the analog output of the Hugo will help significantly improve the SQ overall which is probably what your trying to color over with an additional pre-amp.

@UELong  looking forward to your results.


Edited by elviscaprice - Today at 4:12 pm
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