Originally Posted by deadie
My Hugo arrived yesterday, and I can only contribute to the multitude of positive reviews before me.
I first heard the Hugo at the SoCal meet, and was taken aback at how different and _right_ the Hugo sounded. This was straight TRS out to my LCD-X. My memory of that sound, weeks ago, synced with present day impressions. phew. and yessss.....
I liken Hugo's sound to the strum of a live acoustic guitar. When it's played on a quality instrument, there's an attack, hyper clarity, a richness, an unmistakable distinctive realness to the music. The note lingers in the air for just as long as it needs to, with the reverb you've become accustomed to, and then it's gone.
To extend this metaphor, my previous equipment makes the guitar strum sounds as if it's taking place deeper in the instrument. In comparison to the Hugo, the sound is head-tiltingly, distractingly, off. Slightly more cloudy, the notes aren't as distinct or rich, the reverb sounds weird and then gets long as it trails off.
I'm coming from the Transporter, PS Audio DLIII, and many other mid-fi DACs. I've spent considerably more on headphone amps throughout the past 8 years.
The sound from the Hugo straight to the LCD-X is pure pleasure. I recently just heard the Auralic Taurus MkII, Headamp GSX-MkII, and Questyle CMA800R -- all top flight, very powerful, full sounding amps.
I currently have the Questyle here at home, and note how this amp slightly alters the Hugo's sound. It projects more power, yes, but changes Hugo's core liquid sound. I greatly prefer the LCD-X straight from the Hugo.
So, for right now, I'm very happy. I've yet to spend significant time with the HD800, which I've heard is powered very well by the Questyle. But again, I can't have it or any amp tweak Hugo's core sound, so this is an interesting, first time quandary.
Bluetooth to Hugo is currently rubbish using my LG G2, iTouch 7G, iPad 3, and Dell Venue Pro 8. Static, buzzing -- I need to find an AptX source.
Otherwise, my primary usage models are:
- iTouch / iPad camera connector USB to Hugo
- Dell Win8 Tablet JRiver18 OTG to Hugo HD input
- Desktop Toslink JRiver to Hugo
All sound stellar.
Lastly, I own the Centrance M8, and have been very happy with it, playing from iTouch 7G > Lightning USB > M8 > dual 3-pin XLR balanced UERM. Hugo is considerably better, there's just more realism and less congestion / cloud to the music.