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Chord Hugo - Page 290

post #4336 of 14338
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AGB100 View Post
 

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 at me 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:

 

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 comment 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, and I make no comparisons of them. I leave making those comparisons to others at this post, as I am clearly very satisfied with the Hugo, albeit with minor criticisms. 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 perfectible. But at 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.

There is nothing to say that an FPGA's is better or worse than other chips in that respect but what it does offer is flexibility ( FP means Field Programmable) and the ability to produce "customized chips" without having to put a minimum order of millions at the factory.

 

It's all in the implementation and if you believe that you have a better mousetrap or wish to do something a bit different then off the shelf parts - FPGA's are the way to go.

post #4337 of 14338
Quote:
Originally Posted by nOtEcH View Post
 

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.

 

 I would agree since I been using the Hugo and ak240 as a desktop rig for the most part. There may be better desktop solutions but none of them are as flexible as the Hugo-AK240 combo 

post #4338 of 14338

 my Sony ZX1 & F887 will be just as flexible, as will other DAP's from Fiio or iBasso etc.

post #4339 of 14338
Quote:
Originally Posted by OK-Guy View Post

the threads been moved from 'portable source gear'?

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by CosmicHolyGhost View Post


Bcos of its high end sound quality

 

 

 

Hmmm.... really?

 

Well, then, I guess Chord should be 'flattered'... :confused: [/end sarcasm]

 

 

So why hasn't the so-called 'amazeballs' AK240 been moved here, too, then?

 

 

Either the AK240 isn't as 'amazeballs' as some are saying it is, or perhaps someone doesn't like Chord getting so much publicity in the Portable Source Gear thread?

 

 

The Hugo costs roughly 70% of the price of the AK240, yet the AK240 doesn't get moved?

 

I suspect that there is much less traffic in the High-end Audio forum than in the Portable Source Gear forum, so forgive me if I can't help contemplating if the reasons for the move might be more political than what you have stated, Cosmic, and by all means feel free to call me a cynic. The thread has been doing just fine, for a huge 290 pages, in the Portable Source Gear section, up until now, and I believe the relocation is unwarranted, unless, for reasons not made public, Chord have perhaps specifically requested it.

 

I'm not trying to rile anyone, here, least of all the moderators, but I feel it's legitimate to question this 'peculiar' thread relocation, when there was absolutely nothing wrong with the thread for the past 290 pages, in the Portable Source Gear forum.

 

 

.


Edited by Mython - 6/10/14 at 8:18am
post #4340 of 14338
Quote:
Originally Posted by seaice View Post
 

 

However, I have bought the Hugo primarily for my IEMs (Shure se530 at the moment and SE846 on the way home). The Shure SE530 sounds great with the Hugo and I look forward to the SE846.

 

Don't tell anyone here, but the Shure 535 and 846 are two of the most accurate IEMs available, regardless of price or hype. I still way prefer the LCD-X over those and the 800 with or without the Hugo. All of these IEMs benefit from better cabling.


Edited by AGB100 - 6/10/14 at 8:08am
post #4341 of 14338
Quote:
Originally Posted by OK-Guy View Post
 

 my Sony ZX1 & F887 will be just as flexible, as will other DAP's from Fiio or iBasso etc.

 

I can confirm that the ZX1 is extremely reliable to connect to the Hugo. It doesn't even pause to undergo a noticeable 'handshake' - it just plays within approximately 1 second of being connected. Sweet!

post #4342 of 14338
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Watts View Post
 

USB input has two variables that can change the sound - jitter and the amount of RF noise injected into Hugo. Jitter problem is solved within Hugo, so a separate USB unit will have no affect on jitter. As too RF noise, adding extra components will always add more RF noise, but there may be some benefit in isolating Hugo from the computer. It's pros and cons.

 

Anyhow, my job is to make Hugo sound fantastic whatever the quality of the USB, so I am pleased that USB add-ons are not helping!

 

Rob

 

I am curious why not use a FEMTO clock chip in the Hugo, is it not a benefit? Anyone know?

post #4343 of 14338
Quote:
Originally Posted by rgs9200m View Post
 

While it's nice that it seems that Chord has produced an apparently stunningly sounding DAC, I'm sure the engineering needed to achieve this extreme miniaturization here adds to the production cost.

(Maybe even special engineering for heat dissipation or cool-operation is required...)

 

The miniaturization is amazing. Obviously. Yet there are smaller DACs, they're just not in the serious category.

 

Audioquest makes a 'dapter that will fit your USB to Hugo. 

UK http://www.audiodestination.co.uk/audioquest-usb-b-tomicro-adaptor

US http://www.audioadvisor.com/Audioquest-USB-B-to-Micro-Adaptor/productinfo/AQUSBMIC%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20/

post #4344 of 14338
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Watts View Post
 

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

 

Rob 

 

 

AGB: I have refused to insert a preamp in my system since the late eighties and never needed one. During that time I had to review many preamps, so my thesis was fully tested with Cary 805's and various Audio Research and Pass Class-A amplifiers. A goodly number of well-known reviewers had their ears opened @ Chez Benjamin.

 

One needs, of course, to take care with the choice of interconnects here. Some won't work, others will. I was very happy with Nordost.

post #4345 of 14338
Originally Posted by Mython: (Click to show)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mython View Post
 

 

I can confirm that the ZX1 is extremely reliable to connect to the Hugo. It doesn't even pause to undergo a noticeable 'handshake' - it just plays within approximately 1 second of being connected. Sweet!

 

 

@Mython, does the ZX1 have the OTG cable with it or do i buy separately?

 

i've the Hugo and i'm forced to use my fruit phone with onkyo player to maximize playback so i'm looking for a dedicated player (AK120 will only do 3.5 optical, does not support HD), and the ZX1 is on top of my list.

 

i'm liking the Hugo, i'm hearing it's a bit darker than the M8 but that's using the HD650... haven't tested yet with my HE-500. I'm missing my RE-400 which i liked in combination with the Hugo but it's being checked by the distributor, hopefully they replace it.

post #4346 of 14338
Quote:
Originally Posted by LFC_SL View Post


So long as it does not clash with WC matches.

 

good point... duly noted... :beerchug:

post #4347 of 14338
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank I View Post
 

 I would agree since I been using the Hugo and ak240 as a desktop rig for the most part. There may be better desktop solutions but none of them are as flexible as the Hugo-AK240 combo 


Frank, a Mac running Fidelia is more flexible and much better. Try it. Oh, and you'll save $2300 over the 240 to boot.

post #4348 of 14338
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrmax View Post
  Originally Posted by Mython: (Click to show)

 

 

@Mython, does the ZX1 have the OTG cable with it or do i buy separately?

 

Sadly, you have to buy the Walkman's proprietary OTG cable as an optional extra. OK-Guy can guide you as to where to obtain (probably best to order it directly from Japan). The correct model number is: WMC-NWH10

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrmax View Post

 

i've the Hugo and i'm forced to use my fruit phone with onkyo player to maximize playback so i'm looking for a dedicated player (AK120 will only do 3.5 optical, does not support HD), and the ZX1 is on top of my list.

 

Just to be even-handed about this, have you considered the Fiio X5 or iBasso DX90? They're easy to obtain, relatively economical, and both offer co-ax out.

I have enjoyed using the ZX1 with the Hugo, but I will admit that the ZX1 power goes down pretty rapidly when connected with the Hugo. It's totally viable, it's just that you can't charge the ZX1 at the same time as it's connected to the Hugo. Just something to consider. I don't know how well the DX90 or X5 behave themselves with the Hugo, but, assuming there are no specific issues, it's worth noting that both these DAPs have a memory card slot (DX90 = 1xMicroSD, X5 = 2xMicroSD) and the DX90 has quick-swappable Samsung SG3 phone batteries, so even if the power goes fast, you just chuck a spare in and you're back up and running within a minute.

 

None of this is 'anti' ZX1.  I'm just saying you have options available, so it's worth considering those options. Then again, the UI of the ZX1 would be closer to your Apple than the Chinese DAP UIs.

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrmax View Post
 

 

i'm liking the Hugo, i'm hearing it's a bit darker than the M8 but that's using the HD650... haven't tested yet with my HE-500. I'm missing my RE-400 which i liked in combination with the Hugo but it's being checked by the distributor, hopefully they replace it.

 

Haven't heard the M8, so can't compare.

 

One thing the Hugo left an indelible impression upon me, with, is the fact that it takes no prisoners when it comes to reproducing dynamic swings and peaks in music - this requires decent quality transducers and some care with not raising the volume too high (which is oh-so-tempting to do, with the Hugo!) ;) 


Edited by Mython - 6/10/14 at 8:22am
post #4349 of 14338
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mython View Post
 

 

I can confirm that the ZX1 is extremely reliable to connect to the Hugo. It doesn't even pause to undergo a noticeable 'handshake' - it just plays within approximately 1 second of being connected. Sweet!


The ZX1 is a beautiful product, but the instruction manual is in Japanese and it uses a proprietary connector you cannot replace in the US. What are your impressions, how does it sound, easy to load from iTunes?


Edited by AGB100 - 6/10/14 at 8:25am
post #4350 of 14338
Quote:
Originally Posted by AGB100 View Post
 


The ZX1 is a beautiful product, but the instruction manual is in Japanese and it uses a proprietary connector you cannot replace in the US. What are your impressions, how does it sound, easy to load from iTunes?

 

 

You really don't need an instruction manual for the ZX1, if you have some familiarity with smartphones and/or with modern DAPs. There are a couple of annoying foibles in the UI, but overall it's a pretty self-explanatory UI which can be learned very quickly and easily.

 

The proprietary connector is available direct from Japan - yes, that's a pain, but let's face it, one needs to jump through a few hoops to get the DAP itself, so if one can manage that, one can just as easily manage to order a WMC-NWH10 cable at the same time. I think some have been getting ZX1 + WMC-NWH10 cable as a combined shipment, via PriceJapan, but don't quote me on that, as I don't keep up to date with the ZX1 thread(s) here on Head-fi, and the ZX1 I was using was kindly loaned to me by a fellow head-fier, meaning I did not have to actually jump through the aforementioned hoops to obtain it. This particular ZX1 is the very same unit that has been traveling with the Chord team, to various hi-fi shows, and AFAIK, they've had a fairly painless experience demonstrating the Hugo with it. For me, it has quickly and reliably connected to the Hugo like an absolute champ, this past 7 days.

 

 

 

 

I never use iTunes.

 

I just manually dragged and dropped music files (mp3 and flac, at various resolutions) to the ZX1s internal memory using Windows Explorer (these files were tagged either by vendor or, where necessary, by myself, using MusicBee). You can see, from the green colour, that the above pic is of a 24/96 file being played but I've been playing some 24/192, over this WMC-NWH10 USB connection with absolutely no glitches whatsoever.

 

 

 

.


Edited by Mython - 6/10/14 at 8:45am
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