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Chord Hugo - Page 108

post #1606 of 14306
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hifi Nutter View Post


I'M still no wiser after reading that review at all, to technical for me, maybe a wiring diagram would be helpful, if it makes such a jump in sound quality why didn't Rob watts think about it first in the original design

 

He did.  He's been pursuing his own FPGA DAC filtering topology (WTA) from the original Chord DAC64 product through the acclaimed QBC76 HD and the QuteHD (which I have) to even more acclaim, each time marshalling more filter taps to bear at a less expensive price point.  His latest Hugo DAC product continues this trend, having been possible with advances in low power FPGA chip technology (Xilinx).

 

You should do your homework better before raising the issue.

post #1607 of 14306
Quote:
Originally Posted by jacal01 View Post
 

You should do your homework better before raising the issue.

 

people have a habit of learning things when they are explained to them in layman's terms... it maybe a small point but it's what makes Head-Fi such an important resource website.

post #1608 of 14306
Quote:
Originally Posted by jacal01 View Post

He did.  He's been pursuing his own FPGA DAC filtering topology (WTA) from the original Chord DAC64 product through the acclaimed QBC76 HD and the QuteHD (which I have) to even more acclaim, each time marshalling more filter taps to bear at a less expensive price point.  His latest Hugo DAC product continues this trend, having been possible with advances in low power FPGA chip technology (Xilinx).

You should do your homework better before raising the issue.
I think Rob watts has done a brilliant job with the Hugo and all you have explained I already know so have done my homework, what I'm saying is if someone can improve the sound of the Hugo with it's power supply by passing the batteries was wondering why Rob watts never thought of it that's all,I like the bloke it wasn't a slate
post #1609 of 14306

OK.  No problem.  I probably should have been more evenhanded in my response.  Most likely spillover from my bad hair day here, and I apologize for that.

 

I think the main intent of the Hugo is as a portable DAC/amp, hence the requisite batteries.  It's a testament to its superior sonic performance on an absolute scale that it's being entertained as a crossover product into desktop and home audio setups.  Also as a general rule, batteries are a more stable and constant power source than mains line power, which needs to be linearly regulated at the very least to offer comparable power supply performance.  Improving the sound by using line power and bypassing the batteries is a suspect proposition, IMO.  What you're probably objecting to is the limited availability of battery power without periodic recharging, which admittedly is a nuisance in permanent audio setups, but that was never the Hugo's original intent.  Maybe you should consider one of the other Chord DAC products for your home rig.


Edited by jacal01 - 4/9/14 at 11:09am
post #1610 of 14306
Seetooyou had a review from this Richard who says you can improve the sound of the Hugo with by passing the batteries, read it jacal, I'm more than happy with my hugo, never heard anything better, maybe this Richard knows his stuff and can improve the sound of the Hugo so quickly after being released
post #1611 of 14306
Jacal thanks for your reply though very interesting
post #1612 of 14306

Hmmmm...  Still not seeing it.  Are you referring to his volume control recommendation?  Or his USB power supply?

post #1613 of 14306
Think it's the usb route or was it through the coax digital, that's what I was saying seems technical to me how he is by passing the batteries as that's the reason the amp can sound thin in his words not mine
post #1614 of 14306

I confess to not reading the entire thread, but has anybody compared the Hugo DAC to the PS Audio PerfectWave Mk II DAC? When I listened to the Hugo aT the most recent O.C. headphone meet I fell in love with it. However I already have a headphone amplifier and I'm trying not to spend over $2K on a DAC. I just wish that the Hugo came in an "amp-less" model i.e. DAC only, at a cheaper price point.

 

GLR

post #1615 of 14306
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hifi Nutter View Post

I think Rob watts has done a brilliant job with the Hugo and all you have explained I already know so have done my homework, what I'm saying is if someone can improve the sound of the Hugo with it's power supply by passing the batteries was wondering why Rob watts never thought of it that's all,I like the bloke it wasn't a slate

Just to clear up some confusion - Richard is improving the PSU on the AP2 USB, not on Hugo. Also, Hugo does not take power from any USB ports, it is solely and always powered from the batteries.

Thanks for your kind comments.
post #1616 of 14306

Welcome aboard, sir.


Edited by jacal01 - 4/10/14 at 6:11am
post #1617 of 14306

What I find interesting is that some have said the Hugo sounds better plugged into a power supply than not. This to me, could be the grounding. Since the Hugo doesn't take power from the PS, and if the PS supply isn't reducing the series resistance of the current flow, then the grounding would seem the only thing that I can tell, which would improve the sound. 

post #1618 of 14306
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamato8 View Post
 

What I find interesting is that some have said the Hugo sounds better plugged into a power supply than not. This to me, could be the grounding. Since the Hugo doesn't take power from the PS, and if the PS supply isn't reducing the series resistance of the current flow, then the grounding would seem the only thing that I can tell, which would improve the sound. 

 

Grounding does seem to be the most likely reason.  Maybe someone from Chord could confirm..

post #1619 of 14306
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hifi Nutter View Post


I'M still no wiser after reading that review at all, to technical for me, maybe a wiring diagram would be helpful, if it makes such a jump in sound quality why didn't Rob watts think about it first in the original design
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hifi Nutter View Post

I don't understand that the hd usb takes power from my iPhone is that right? Why does it need power from their as well as its own power supply? Think I'll stick to my day job

 

From my own experimentation, I can tell you that you get a noticeable SQ increase by outputing to the Hugo via the RCA Coaxial vs. USB.  I did this via my Wadia ipod dock and other transports.  In any case, I recommend you try it yourself by taking same song and outputing to HUGO via USB and via coaxial.

 

The article you are referring to is written in such as fashion as one can easily mix up issues he is bringing up.  But in the end he is essentially recommending that you output to the Hugo via the RCA Coaxial via the USB convertors (AP2, etc.).  The power issue comes in that he recommends improvements to the power being provided to the USB convertors.

 

I am not a big believer in the USB bandwidth related issues as I have a fairly extensive technical background and none of the arguments I have heard make much technical sense given that the examples of what could go wrong basically give outlier cases that would result in loss of USB connection more than loss of SQ.  However, I often times do hear a difference from better USB cables and off loading USB to coaxial.  As to why USB convertors result in better sound quality, the main theories I hear and believe is this:

 

USB has two SQ issues. 

 

1) One possible feedback or interference from USB power that people often try to use better USB cables to solve.  If the USB DAC is using USB power, the problem could be even worse as consistent power is vital to almost all USB operations.  However the HUGO does not use USB power, but the USB power is still connected and still necessarily to make initial USB handshake.  The USB convertors he mentioned all take great pains to separate power from the source device via USB to providing their own cleaner power.

 

2) USB has inherently more jitter.  Most of the USB convertors are also taking in the digitial feed and queuing up the data.  It then reclocks its queue for smoother sound. Hifi Nutter mentioned why didn't Rob Watts think of this?  The key thing is that it isn't typically handled in the DAC.  The Hugo is the receipt of the data and if the data is "messed" up in some way, then it really doesn't have anything to do with it.  There are some desktop DACs that spend quite a bit of effort in receiving data and reclocking it so as to accomplish similar things.  But it would likely involve a much bigger package than the Hugo is contained in.  It wouldn't surprise me if the desktop version of the Hugo spends much of its effort around this as well as providing consistent power to the DAC chip.  Although I don't know how sensitive the Chord DAC chip is to power issues and, being that battery power is so much easily to implement with less issues, it might be an expensive challenge for them to build out a better AC power solution (my guess is some linear power solution).


Edited by Crashem - 4/9/14 at 3:29pm
post #1620 of 14306
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoundFreaq View Post
 

How do you guys feel about the amp in the Hugo?

 

I can't expound too much here, but lets just say it's my opinion that it has a great DAC that can be used standalone in a reference system, and is neatly transportable, but is feeding an internal amp that isn't punching my buttons. I feel I achieve far greater performance by using the Hugo as a DAC feeding almost any other amp. Just to show I'm not being negative for the sake of it, I'll go ahead and say that I think the Hugo feeding even the SR-71B smokes the Hugo's amp in quality and power. Hugo works ok as an all-in-one solution, as the DAC is ace-quality, but it's quite easy to step up the performance with any external amp. Which kills one of the main reasons I wanted it in the first place.

 

I did comprehensive testing last night with several amps and headphones, and trying different inputs on the Hugo with different bit rate material. Thus was my conclusion. Others have said the amp is very good, for a portable amp. But I digress. Perchance my Hugo amp isn't operating correctly. Possible this first production run from Chord has had some QC issues, noting the problems seen in this thread. This is a normal thing to a certain extent. Nothing against Chord. It's a very technical product. There's no chance you can release a perfect product the first round. Not even Apple can pull that off. 

 

I agree with you about the Hugo's amp.  Compared to my desktop solutions, I was not impressed.  I haven't bothered to use it after a fairly quick comparison between it and a Peachtree Nova (which I never considered having a great headphone amp) in which the Peachtree was arguably better in some cases.  The fact is that it is hard to build a superior head amp in that package size, let alone fitting in the dac.  I'm not saying it can't drive a wide range of headphones reasonably, but that's the extent of it.  However, for a portable amp, it is very capable and I haven't heard a portable amp that sounds better (although I would be interested in checking out the Pico and the Leckerton).  The fact is I doubt I'll hear a portable amp that makes enough of a SQ to justify the increased cost and reduced portability.  The Hugo + transport portable solution is already pushing the bounds for me as portable solution.

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