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Chord Hugo - Page 220

post #3286 of 14247
I'm currently auditioning Hugo and the new FPGA DAC implementation is clearly excellent - although it's early days, it really does seem to possess the timing abilities of a NOS design but without the drawback of a severely restricted high frequency response.
However, I'm puzzled by the designer's decision to feed the line level RCA outputs from a very low output impedance power amplifier stage, rather than a preamp stage. In the interview with Rob Watts on aumacoustics.com, Rob states that the headphone and line level outputs are identical, so those of us who are using Hugo as a DAC in our main system are listening through an unnecessary extra stage of amplification. What's more, this redundant circuitry employs a high level of negative feedback and, speaking as the owner of a zero feedback valve preamp and amp, this is not at all desirable.
I wonder whether it's the very low output impedance of Hugo's amplifier that is responsible for the slightly hard/edgy sound I'm experiencing through my speakers.
post #3287 of 14247
Quote:
Originally Posted by angelsblood View Post

It's at "green" volume level every time you turn it on. The max is "white", which is two color level above from "green". You'd need to change volume every time you turn it on, because for iem's i think you'll need almost minimum volume level (light red).

The volume wheel is smooth, but with resistance when turning it up/down, to prevent accidental volume change during operation, i think.
I'm sure Rob might be able to set the switch on level to yellow orange or red if asked. The green starting volume is about 30 percent up on the volume level with cyan,turquoise, light blue, dark blue,indigo,violet, and finally white and white has some travel from lowest white to its highest volume level . So the present green starting volume must only be a problem for the most sensitive of IEDs but I'm sure a change could be made if others feel green is too high.
post #3288 of 14247

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Edited by seeteeyou - 11/4/14 at 8:27pm
post #3289 of 14247
Quote:
Originally Posted by WellYouNeednt View Post

I'm currently auditioning Hugo and the new FPGA DAC implementation is clearly excellent - although it's early days, it really does seem to possess the timing abilities of a NOS design but without the drawback of a severely restricted high frequency response.
However, I'm puzzled by the designer's decision to feed the line level RCA outputs from a very low output impedance power amplifier stage, rather than a preamp stage. In the interview with Rob Watts on aumacoustics.com, Rob states that the headphone and line level outputs are identical, so those of us who are using Hugo as a DAC in our main system are listening through an unnecessary extra stage of amplification. What's more, this redundant circuitry employs a high level of negative feedback and, speaking as the owner of a zero feedback valve preamp and amp, this is not at all desirable.
I wonder whether it's the very low output impedance of Hugo's amplifier that is responsible for the slightly hard/edgy sound I'm experiencing through my speakers.

In a conventional high performance DAC you have two I/V converters, a differential to SE converter, then a headphone OP stage. That means the signal has to pass through 4 active stages, plus a lot of passive components to do the filtering.

 

With Hugo there is only one active stage - an I/V converter, which just happens to have a high power discrete OP stage. Also, because Hugo does a huge amount of oversampling (2048 times) and filters the noise digitally, and because pulse array DAC also has innately low out of band noise, then the RF filtering can be simple. So passive components in the direct signal path is two caps and two resistors.

 

So the whole analogue chain direct signal path is only 4 passive components and a single active stage. That's it. And its one reason why Hugo is so transparent....And why there is only one OP feeding 4 connectors. 

post #3290 of 14247

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Edited by seeteeyou - 11/4/14 at 8:27pm
post #3291 of 14247
Quote:
Originally Posted by AGB100 View Post
 

There are many openings through which dust and lint will accumulate. How are we to clean the insides out?

 

For a $2400 portable DAC, it had all better be really robust.

 

From a standpoint of marketing and manufacturing, its cost is reasonable against DACs costing far more. Yet I think it could have been produced for a wider audience for half its price.

 

...sonically others cannot compete and one's getting a lot for a lot of money.

 

1). you may want to invest in some USB dust caps & RCA end-caps... problem solved

 

2) put this into youtube or google 'Tank V Chord'... Russian tank is no contest for the 'invasion proofed' Chord (no offence to Ukrainian Head-fi'ers)

 

3) as someone who has dreamt of owning Chord hi-fi equipment for many a year, the Hugo is a dream come true... it is extremely flexible for one's needs, whether portable, desktop or hi-fi system hold no bars from use, Chord are not some micky-mouse outfit that uses off-the-shelf DAC's and charges the earth for their product... you are buying into the Chord brand where high-class engineering and technology go hand in hand, the Hugo is a absolute bargain imho, Chord could have charged $4000 (£2500) and still sold the Hugo by the bucket-load... Chord have brought uber hi-end to the masses, we should be thanking them profusely.

 

4) 'cheap as chips' I believe the saying goes... got any ketchup? :tongue_smile: 


Edited by OK-Guy - 5/21/14 at 11:54am
post #3292 of 14247
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Watts View Post

In a conventional high performance DAC you have two I/V converters, a differential to SE converter, then a headphone OP stage. That means the signal has to pass through 4 active stages, plus a lot of passive components to do the filtering.

With Hugo there is only one active stage - an I/V converter, which just happens to have a high power discrete OP stage. Also, because Hugo does a huge amount of oversampling (2048 times) and filters the noise digitally, and because pulse array DAC also has innately low out of band noise, then the RF filtering can be simple. So passive components in the direct signal path is two caps and two resistors.

So the whole analogue chain direct signal path is only 4 passive components and a single active stage. That's it. And its one reason why Hugo is so transparent....And why there is only one OP feeding 4 connectors. 
I think your telling the world how to design DACs Rob mind you it will take them twenty years to catch you up and my guess is you'll have moved the goal posts and raised the bar and been right on target several more times by then.
post #3293 of 14247
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Watts View Post
 

In a conventional high performance DAC you have two I/V converters, a differential to SE converter, then a headphone OP stage. That means the signal has to pass through 4 active stages, plus a lot of passive components to do the filtering.

 

With Hugo there is only one active stage - an I/V converter, which just happens to have a high power discrete OP stage. Also, because Hugo does a huge amount of oversampling (2048 times) and filters the noise digitally, and because pulse array DAC also has innately low out of band noise, then the RF filtering can be simple. So passive components in the direct signal path is two caps and two resistors.

 

So the whole analogue chain direct signal path is only 4 passive components and a single active stage. That's it. And its one reason why Hugo is so transparent....And why there is only one OP feeding 4 connectors. 


And you can hear the transparency and the "echo in the hall"........nothing but insane detail with my silver-gold wire coax!......my OPPO BDP 103 sounds like a pathetic lightweight without my Hugo!

post #3294 of 14247
Quote:
Originally Posted by sa92058 View Post
 


And you can hear the transparency and the "echo in the hall"........nothing but insane detail with my silver-gold wire coax!......my OPPO BDP 103 sounds like a pathetic lightweight without my Hugo!


I could never go back to listening to any stock Blueray player anymore without Hugo. I would rather listen to a $100.00 Blueray player with the Hugo than a $1000.00  stock player:( Oppo,Marrantz )ect. minus the Hugo!............FOR SURE!:gs1000smile:

post #3295 of 14247
Quote:
Originally Posted by OK-Guy View Post

1). you may want to invest in some USB dust caps & RCA end-caps... problem solved

2) put this into youtube or google 'Tank V Chord'... Russian tank is no contest for the 'invasion proofed' Chord (no offence to Ukrainian Head-fi'ers)

3) as someone who has dreamt of owning Chord hi-fi equipment for many a year, the Hugo is a dream come true... it is extremely flexible for one's needs, whether portable, desktop or hi-fi system hold no bars from use, Chord are not some micky-mouse outfit that uses off-the-shelf DAC's and charges the earth for their product... you are buying into the Chord brand where high-class engineering and technology go hand in hand, the Hugo is a absolute bargain imho, Chord could have charged $4000 (£2500) and still sold the Hugo by the bucket-load... Chord have brought uber hi-end to the masses, we should be thanking them profusely.

4) 'cheap as chips' I believe the saying goes... got any ketchup? tongue_smile.gif  

While you are absolutely right, do whisper softly in case they heard and raise t the price :-)
post #3296 of 14247
Quote:
Originally Posted by AGB100 View Post

Genuine wisdom is rare these days, but you are THE MAN!

I just keep a couple of Rotweillers guarding mine.

Seriously, I do have a few criticisms. I don't care for the windows and multicolor scheme that much, although it's nice to look inside the unit.
I'd rather have tiny LEDs or an OLED display in numbers and letters.
There are many openings through which dust and lint will accumulate. How are we to clean the insides out?

The micro USBs are not exactly robust and I clearly see that there's enough space left for a mini USB, or even a full size one.
What advantage is there for the second low rez USB port anyway, since the HD port can handle the low rez?
Maybe I'm missing something.
How robust will be the volume control over time?

For a $2400 portable DAC, it had all better be really robust.

In fact, the DAC itself could be made almost bulletproof at low cost, but I will contact the designer directly to pass on my suggestions.
One would no longer need a case for it.

Totally agree with you on the USB ports that was a gaffe, both from a durability and a sonic point of view

Sonically, I have no reservations, so far ahead of others it is.

From a standpoint of marketing and manufacturing, its cost is reasonable against DACs costing far more. Yet I think it could have been produced for a wider audience for half its price.
That last is judged by what's inside and so forth. On the other hand, sonically others cannot compete and one's getting a lot for a lot of money.

For its performance, it is reasonably priced, though I'd never imagined that I''d spring for a portable unit its price. But then it can also serve as a component in a full-blown home rig and still outperform other DACs costing twice, arguably four times its price. Given the last, the Hugo may be considered not just a bargain, but a steal.
post #3297 of 14247
Whoops haven't mastered this new smartphone yet!
post #3298 of 14247

I bet they WOULD NOT sell bucket loads at 4 grand. The current economy is just too tough and there are not THAT MANY died in the wool audiophiles out there... IMHO it is already priced at the upper end of what many would be willing to shell out for it. That being said I am going to buy one eventually because I want a more portable solution that sounds awesome and this totally fits the bill. If it cost 4 large though I would not buy it and I definitely do have the money to do so. Being a futures trader teaches one the true meaning of relative value pretty quickly and brutally. I would also like to see the product in a later iteration to fix the ports for one thing so it is not a pain to try to hook up a source and balanced outputs would be nice too.

post #3299 of 14247

I'm pretty pleased with how it performs with HD-800s -- far better than I had expected it to. To get the same level of performance out of a component rig, such as my Master 7 (then plus an OR5) and a good amp I think it would end up costing more than the Hugo, not less, so I think it is relatively good value for a high-end component.


Edited by Currawong - 5/21/14 at 5:57pm
post #3300 of 14247
Quote:
Originally Posted by sa92058 View Post


I could never go back to listening to any stock Blueray player anymore without Hugo. I would rather listen to a $100.00 Blueray player with the Hugo than a $1000.00  stock player:( Oppo,Marrantz )ect. minus the Hugo!............FOR SURE!gs1000.gif
May I know how do you connect your bluray player through Hugo? And how do we still make use of our AV amp? (considering there's no HDMI connection.
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