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Chord Hugo - Page 289

post #4321 of 9128

Hi to all Hugo fans.

Long time reader of this thread and others around the net about this "Hugo" that is said to be so awesome.

 

I just turned 40 and thought about what kind of 40 year crisis i would have and be spending money on, a motorcycle, new car...

I decided it to be the Hugo and a pair of Ed8 Romea ultrasones (yes i know there might be others that are better, but i look for portability, zero leakage and isolation), also when turning 40 you can spend money on things that you wouldn't do otherwise so... Here i am.

 



Just go the Hugo today and currently playing songs in sqeeezeslave via USB from my macbook pro through my EX1000 IEMs. So far plain old 16 bit FLACs.

 

I'm not a person that analyzes things into tiny details or can talk about the many different technical terms, however what i can say is this. Music has never sounded better to me.

It's not that i hear details that i have not heard before, the main thing for me is that the sound, be it a guitar or someone singing has never sounded more RIGHT! And that is what it's all about i think!

 

So thank Chord for making this little amazing thing (smaller than imagined but heavier), and thanks to everyone here that has been posting impressions which made me take the plunge.


Edited by thebratts - 6/9/14 at 2:19pm
post #4322 of 9128
Quote:
Originally Posted by ALRAINBOW View Post

can you use dsd 128 over dop in this format. meaning does the dac turn white ?
al

 

Not sure about the colour, but DSD128 works fine.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SearchOfSub View Post
 

LOL. As a 35 year audiophille with $250,000 system once said, " Power will make up for 60% of the sound of your system".

 

And cause your wife to have a heart attack at the power bill!

 

I did a bit of a comparo of the Hugo with the LCD-X with and without my Studio Six in the chain playing very fast drumming from Roy Hargrave's Habana album and I felt the drum impacts with the Studio Six had more authority, but not $4k more authority. The Hugo does a remarkable job of keeping up with the pace, even if the presentation is the proverbial few rows further back in delivery.

post #4323 of 9128
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post

Not sure about the colour, but DSD128 works fine.


And cause your wife to have a heart attack at the power bill!

I did a bit of a comparo of the Hugo with the LCD-X with and without my Studio Six in the chain playing very fast drumming from Roy Hargrave's Habana album and I felt the drum impacts with the Studio Six had more authority, but not $4k more authority. The Hugo does a remarkable job of keeping up with the pace, even if the presentation is the proverbial few rows further back in delivery.

So to end this discussion regarding Hugo's preformance.. can you or can't you compare Hugo to a full size and two component rig with great preformance? wink.gif

And the next question.. can you do that with any other portable DAC/AMP or any other portable "stack"? biggrin.gif

If I was to answer those two questions.. I would say "yes you can", and "no I don't know about anything other than the Hugo", as I have not found anything similar or better portable out there..
post #4324 of 9128
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Watts View Post

Sure, lots of things happening! Been doing huge number of listening tests as we speak... 

Rob

Can't wait to hear it! Thanks.
post #4325 of 9128
Quote:
Originally Posted by nOtEcH View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post

Not sure about the colour, but DSD128 works fine.


And cause your wife to have a heart attack at the power bill!

I did a bit of a comparo of the Hugo with the LCD-X with and without my Studio Six in the chain playing very fast drumming from Roy Hargrave's Habana album and I felt the drum impacts with the Studio Six had more authority, but not $4k more authority. The Hugo does a remarkable job of keeping up with the pace, even if the presentation is the proverbial few rows further back in delivery.

So to end this discussion regarding Hugo's preformance.. can you or can't you compare Hugo to a full size and two component rig with great preformance? wink.gif

And the next question.. can you do that with any other portable DAC/AMP or any other portable "stack"? biggrin.gif

If I was to answer those two questions.. I would say "yes you can", and "no I don't know about anything other than the Hugo", as I have not found anything similar or better portable out there..

 

For a portable device, like the AK240 I also have here, I'm amazed by what it is capable of. For the price, it should be amazing. It doesn't feel lacking with the HD-800s, LCD-X or XC or PM-1, but that is not to say that using it as a source to a top-end headphone amp (eg: Liquid Gold, GSX, Eddie Current, DNA, Taurus, Master 9 or the like) it wouldn't be better still, as it was with my Studio Six. I don't think it would be the cost of that amp better. The Law of Diminishing Returns and all that. Maybe the worst part of it is, owning it would encourage me to take a pair of full-size headphones with me when I travel, which would take up space.

post #4326 of 9128

found myself listening yesterday with the LCD Xc and now today with the X and two days ago with the HD800 and alpha dog. They are sound  incredibly good with the combo.


Edited by Frank I - 6/9/14 at 4:48pm
post #4327 of 9128

Amused by some of the 'you could make a desktop version of the Hugo and it would be cheaper !' comments creeping into this thread. Just curious as to how many here are familiar with the rest of Chord's product line and the sticker prices on many of those bespoke cases ? By the time you get to a full Chord stack in one of their striking racks you are talking serious pesos Amigos. 

 

 

Someone mentioned that the Lampizator 7 left them thinking 'I could listen to this all day' - that pretty much sums up my attitude to the Hugo. As a desktop component I consider it a screaming bargain - the portable crowd can make their own call as to whether or not it makes sense for them. 

post #4328 of 9128
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Watts View Post
 

I have just measured it with pre-set levels, and it is 2.996V RMS at 1kHz with 0dBFS. So that will be the absolute maximum you will get. Perhaps the Concert Fidelity is conservatively rated?

 

If you move the volume down so that it just changes color (violet), then it is 2.112 V RMS maximum.

 

My advice is not to use a pre-amp, feed it straight into the power-amps, it's a lot more transparent then.

 

Rob 


Thanks Rob!  Yes, I settled on violet, so I was close...sounds great.  The preamp area is the one area that I am not going to take your direction, currently.  :(  One, because the CF-080 is gloriously transparent and yet authoritative too....oh, and of course it affords me a remote volume control.  :)  The Hugo is clear across the room.

 

Now to solve the final two issues: 

1) micro USB adapter (nothing in the stock micro world comes close to my best USB cables, namely JCAT, TotalDAC D1 and PPA). 

2) the 1/4" Rat Shack adapter.  I just have it as an obstacle, mainly on principle.  I tried going direct into the RCAs by swapping my two pairs of interconnects in the signal path (normally MG Audio AG2 pre-to-amp, High Fidelity CT-1 DAC to pre) for one another, since the MG Audio do fit, snugly, but fit.....but the combo is not my favorite.  The soundstage is slightly splashy with the silvers going DAC to pre...but this is .0002% nitpicking stuff.

 

Anyway, back to blissful listening..dedicated music room...darkened...percosets replacing the glass of wine (until the damn post-op knee pain subsides in a few days).  Making more mental notes for the review.  Doing high finance to figure out how to afford the next DAC Rob is working on. 

post #4329 of 9128
Thank you for the small review currawong!

- Ted b, I read somewhere Chord/Rob is coming up with a new version of Qbd76 for around 3grand sometimes next year.(not sure if its true through)
post #4330 of 9128
Quote:
Originally Posted by SearchOfSub View Post

Thank you for the small review currawong!

- Ted b, I read somewhere Chord/Rob is coming up with a new version of Qbd76 for around 3grand sometimes next year.(not sure if its true through)


Yes, the QBD is the most likely next replacement.  I'd be shocked if it came in under twice that, though.

post #4331 of 9128

Just to correct an earlier post - taps are nothing to do with the DAC (R2R or noise shaped) part, but to do with the FIR filter. This takes the input sample rate and oversamples to suit the DAC. The FIR filter is used both for R2R and noise shaped DAC's

 

The tap length in Hugo is two orders of magnitude greater than conventional silicon DAC's.

post #4332 of 9128
Quote:
Originally Posted by ted_b View Post
 


Yes, the QBD is the most likely next replacement.  I'd be shocked if it came in under twice that, though.

 

A massive dose of wishful thinking at anything like 3k IMO. 

post #4333 of 9128
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post
 

 

For a portable device, like the AK240 I also have here, I'm amazed by what it is capable of. For the price, it should be amazing. It doesn't feel lacking with the HD-800s, LCD-X or XC or PM-1, but that is not to say that using it as a source to a top-end headphone amp (eg: Liquid Gold, GSX, Eddie Current, DNA, Taurus, Master 9 or the like) it wouldn't be better still, as it was with my Studio Six. I don't think it would be the cost of that amp better. The Law of Diminishing Returns and all that. Maybe the worst part of it is, owning it would encourage me to take a pair of full-size headphones with me when I travel, which would take up space.

I haven't heard the AK240 myself, but considering that many people in here uses it as a source for Hugo I think that it speaks for itself.

 

The amps you are mentioning are top of the line amplifiers and definitely not for free.. and the Hugo is not for free either.. but from what you are saying I feel that you might have come to the same conclusion as me.. the Hugo can be compared to the performance of  desktop rigs even though it may be better top of the line dac's and amps out there.

 

The sound / music experience is very good no matter what you compare it to, and that is exceptional for a portable device.

 

 

Yes.. I definitely agree on the last part there.. I am using my HD800's "on the go".. I take them with me, but they are not suitable that many places.. all by myself in a hotel room or something.. but I am looking into Noble's K10 to solve portability and hopefully they are good enough to not miss my HD800's when out and about and in hotel rooms and such.

 

 

My advice to anyone that are thinking about the Hugo:

If you are looking for a great sound experience and can afford the Hugo.. go for it.

I would consider it a great place to start even if you're only are after a desktop rig or a dac only.


Edited by nOtEcH - 6/10/14 at 5:03am
post #4334 of 9128
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crashem View Post
 

 

I'm going to have to respectfully disagree with some of AGB100's statements or at least his conclusions (this kind of got long from trying to explain the difference in conversion methods, but #5 gives the dumbed down analogy and read the parts about FPGA.  I'm probably inaccurate in some of the details but I believe my overall thoughts are correct).

Hey, Crashem, you crashed me and my computer with that novel!

 

OK man, take it easy on weakling guys ike myself, there's no way I can address all of your statements, and I don't think they had addressed mine or their intent. An FPGA, from what I understand, can be programmed to outperform a conventional DAC chip for many reasons, one of which is programmability, the other is the large real estate which may affect the electrical behavior. This means better behavior across the board, distortion and noise and especially FR. I am too, a newbie to this field, but a quick study, and not trained to discuss the minutiae of design of either conventional chip topologies or what can be done with FPGAs. I'm lucky if at my age I can get out of bed and recognize who's staring back from the mirror.

 

If it weren't for the Hugo and other Chord products which I noticed for years, mostly for their quirky designs - and yes, original - I would never have taken notice of FPGAs and would have likely gone along with the hype over other chips and the rather outstanding measurements of the SABREs.  Although from what I understand, those measurements are taken of features that are favorable to SABRE sales and not measurements that are not. In any event, I would have been satisfied, more or less, even if cognizant of its shortcomings sonically, if a substantially more satisfying (I'll refrain from calling it "better" to suit those who may disagree with my world view about all matters) FPGA design didn't come along.

 

And Crashem, I invite disagreement because it is possible, although it may be a stretch, that I may have been wrong once in my life. At which point if I may post a post by Paul McGowan, a friend and a competitor to Hugo whose product I have not heard, and would prefer, if avoidable not to comment on because he is a friend. (Paul's competitors would accuse me of favoritism, which is not hard to do with his firm's excellent and well-priced products.)

 

Keeping it on the tracks

 

I just love all the old railroad sayings we use:

  • Get it back on track
  • Picking up a head of steam
  • Our project is off track
  • We’re on track
  • Running out of steam
  • Just the ticket
  • Railroaded into something
  • Fast track it
  • Make the grade
  • Don’t get sidetracked
  • You’re just blowin’ smoke
  • Tunnel vision

But perhaps my favorite is the One Track Mind. How many of us suffer from the one track mind syndrome when it comes to audio?

  • I only listen to tubes
  • If it can’t be measured it doesn’t exist
  • If I can hear it, it must be right
  • DSD sounds soft
  • Analog is better than digital

We’re all better off when we stop believing we’re living on the wrong side of the tracks when our cherished belief systems are challenged.

Thanks for letting me blow off a little steam.

 

For the comments you addressed Crashem, the following I excerpt because it is likely true and it applies to both Watts' and McGowan's products, if not equally. I leave making comparisons to others at this post, as I am clearly very satisfied with the Hugo, albeit with minor reservations. The excerpt with my highlights:

"You should be clear that only a handful of designers are capable of, have the knowledge and resources for, working with FPGAs. And FPGA's are not perfect, they are theoretically perfectible. The bottom line, they can be made dramatically superior."

 

That, Crashem, is my bottom line because that is what I hear and i trust my ears, if not other's opinions.


Edited by AGB100 - 6/10/14 at 7:15am
post #4335 of 9128

the threads been moved from 'portable source gear'?

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