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DAP-off: Astell&Kern AK240, HiFiMAN HM-901, Sony ZX-1, FiiO X5 + Chord Hugo & Calyx M from June. - Page 26

post #376 of 585
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mimouille View Post


Hugo is top of the heap technically but on the surgical side, so if you are hoping for sweetness move along...I myself might give the RWAK240 a try.

 

Originally Posted by Currawong View Post
 

 

I don't find the Hugo to sound "surgical" at all. What I like about it is that it is that it excels in NOT sounding like a "hi-fi" DAC, but can be both ultra-detailed yet musical at the same time, without resorting to compromises to achieve that.

 

 

I hear the same thing as @Currawong during my 1 hour auditioning of the Hugo at Jaben SG when the makers of Hugo was there to showcase it in March. I brought my 2 weeks old AK240 there for A-B comparison against Hugo using my 1plus2 and HD800/TH900 provided by Jaben SG. The Hugo definitely sounds more musical and liquid on the cans, but the gap difference between AK240 and Hugo is much smaller (about 5-10% SQ difference) when I switched over to listen on IEM.

post #377 of 585
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Originally Posted by Bluebear View Post
 

 

Many over at the Hugo thread reported that the SQ is different even using the same digital input (e.g. optical) from different DAPs. I am not sure how that is possible. They also reported difference when using different grade optical cables which I do believe in the case of cable quality.

 

I've seen cases of where optical out from a transport to a source vary in resulting SQ. There's more components at play than we think. You've mentioned cables and I can see that happening (although personally I've not experienced "good" from "bad" optical cable...maybe I was just lucky). Another which I've seen is the the quality of the optical out. Maybe it was coincidence in this case but some I had seen different in intensity strengths between two devices which had corresponding difference in SQ.

One obscure (and may be limited to iOS and  VentureCraft's Go-DAP 4.0) is the sampling output rather than the physical component itself. I wrote a little post about it back in 2012 about it. http://www.head-fi.org/t/533084/venturecraft-go-dap-gd-04-for-iphone-4/60#post_8340059. I asked VentureCraft about it and they think their choice of a fix upsampling to 48kHz to the optical out resulted in it sounding flat.

post #378 of 585
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluebear View Post

Many over at the Hugo thread reported that the SQ is different even using the same digital input (e.g. optical) from different DAPs. I am not sure how that is possible. They also reported difference when using different grade optical cables which I do believe in the case of cable quality.

Personally, I even hear different between AK120 and AK240 through Hugo. I was told (1) all transport sounds the same and (2) AK120 and AK240 use exactly the same hardware pre DAC/Amp. But I know what I hear.
post #379 of 585
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnakChan View Post

I've seen cases of where optical out from a transport to a source vary in resulting SQ. There's more components at play than we think. You've mentioned cables and I can see that happening (although personally I've not experienced "good" from "bad" optical cable...maybe I was just lucky). Another which I've seen is the the quality of the optical out. Maybe it was coincidence in this case but some I had seen different in intensity strengths between two devices which had corresponding difference in SQ.


One obscure (and may be limited to iOS and  VentureCraft's Go-DAP 4.0) is the sampling output rather than the physical component itself. I wrote a little post about it back in 2012 about it. http://www.head-fi.org/t/533084/venturecraft-go-dap-gd-04-for-iphone-4/60#post_8340059. I asked VentureCraft about it and they think their choice of a fix upsampling to 48kHz to the optical out resulted in it sounding flat.

I ordered two exact same optical cable from sysconcept, one sounds fantastic the other all vocals seem on the verge of cracking with occasional voice cracks. Go figure!
post #380 of 585
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluebear View Post


I own both the AK120 and AK240 and I can tell you very surely there is quite a big upgrade gap between the two. However, you will need very good IEM and hi-res source to hear the upgrade distinctly.

Hi Bluebear

 

I agree with the first part of your sentence which good earphones and headphones are key to detect differences in source. However, I do not feel hi-res sources are needed but the mastering and recording quality of the music is a much more important deciding factor.  However, I am curious to know if you have tried to re-encode the highres files to 16/44 and these files would sound significantly different than the original highres files on the AK240.

post #381 of 585
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Originally Posted by Bluebear View Post


I think I can guess who that is. smily_headphones1.gif He told me the same thing about how he felt about the AK240 after burning in.


haha, we have mutual friend and we are all friends on head-fi albeit the different opinions we have :beerchug:

post #382 of 585
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Originally Posted by ALRAINBOW View Post

This hogo is damn good. It's playing all I give it. And the amp is Stella with the hd800. It was expensive for mobile use but well worth it . Not sure how to do the transport as yet. No waybill will be a ak240 though .
Al


Congrats, Al!

 

I love the Hugo SQ since released but I have bad news to bear. i took my Hugo out to use with my ipod touch 5 for the first time. The HD micro usb port broke in the evening on the first day. It seems the USB inputs ports are not very sturdy when comparing with the coaxial input. So please be careful when you are choosing a transport. I emailed Chord but I have not got a reply so far. I am now back to square one for my quest of portable hifi....it is a sad state of portable head-fi for me...:(

post #383 of 585
Thanks for the heads up. Those tiny USB jacks are all kinda cheap. I will try the coax for now with my hibino HDP r10 until I get something to replace it. Also justo help,the reason the transport sounds different is the jitter they produce along with the coax cable we use. A good coax cable is needed for spidif. I am not it saying we have to spend hundreds on one. But we must try a few and pick one that sounds good .
Ok Hugo people good night and thanks all for helping me in my decision in buying the Hugo.
Al
post #384 of 585
Quote:
Originally Posted by ALRAINBOW View Post

Thanks for the heads up. Those tiny USB jacks are all kinda cheap. I will try the coax for now with my hibino HDP r10 until I get something to replace it. Also justo help,the reason the transport sounds different is the jitter they produce along with the coax cable we use. A good coax cable is needed for spidif. I am not it saying we have to spend hundreds on one. But we must try a few and pick one that sounds good .
Ok Hugo people good night and thanks all for helping me in my decision in buying the Hugo.
Al


Good nite and Hugo rocks! :beerchug:

post #385 of 585
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Originally Posted by CosmicHolyGhost View Post
 


Good nite and Hugo rocks! :beerchug:

:(  Don't tell me this guyz.  I don't want to hear it. 

 

post #386 of 585
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Originally Posted by sutjahjo View Post

I was told (1) all transport sounds the same and (2) AK120 and AK240 use exactly the same hardware pre DAC/Amp.

 

1... No, never been true.

2... AK240 and AK120II likely, AK120 no.

post #387 of 585
Quote:
Originally Posted by CosmicHolyGhost View Post


Congrats, Al!

I love the Hugo SQ since released but I have bad news to bear. i took my Hugo out to use with my ipod touch 5 for the first time. The HD micro usb port broke in the evening on the first day. It seems the USB inputs ports are not very sturdy when comparing with the coaxial input. So please be careful when you are choosing a transport. I emailed Chord but I have not got a reply so far. I am now back to square one for my quest of portable hifi....it is a sad state of portable head-fi for me...frown.gif

Tough break! I am loving AK240 with sysconcept optical to Hugo. I can keep my stack in my bag and use the bluetooth remote to control the AK240.

When I am too bored maybe I should even try stacking a portable hdd with my Lenovo win8 tablet and run wifi streaming to stream files to AK240 and output via the Hugo.....
post #388 of 585
Quote:
Originally Posted by kkcc View Post


Tough break! I am loving AK240 with sysconcept optical to Hugo. I can keep my stack in my bag and use the bluetooth remote to control the AK240.

When I am too bored maybe I should even try stacking a portable hdd with my Lenovo win8 tablet and run wifi streaming to stream files to AK240 and output via the Hugo.....


Tell me about it... what pisses me off is that there is no email reply from Chord....I got way better customer services from Hifiman and ibasso... I got a friend to solder the usb connector back on in less than few minutes... anyway, It is the last I will buy from them

 

by the way, can the new AK product play files directly from wireless hdd? May consider to pick up an AK100II for transport... cheers..

post #389 of 585
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Originally Posted by Solude View Post

1... No, never been true.
2... AK240 and AK120II likely, AK120 no.

I gladly agree. Now to convince others.
post #390 of 585
Quote:
Originally Posted by CosmicHolyGhost View Post
 

Hi Bluebear

 

I agree with the first part of your sentence which good earphones and headphones are key to detect differences in source. However, I do not feel hi-res sources are needed but the mastering and recording quality of the music is a much more important deciding factor.  However, I am curious to know if you have tried to re-encode the highres files to 16/44 and these files would sound significantly different than the original highres files on the AK240.

 

Yes, I too feel good mastering and recording quality music is also important if you want to hear the difference in SQ improvement but the easiest is to grab 24/192 and above source files to test instead of having to remaster and down-sample to 16/44. However, I can tell you very confidently that there is quite a bit of difference between hi-res and 16/44. If you never believe in that, I strongly suggest you test it out for yourself. The easiest is to go grab one of free hi-res mastered file from 2L - the Nordic Sound website, e.g. Vivaldi: Recitative and Aria from Cantata RV 679, "Che giova il sospirar, povero core". Get the DXD 24/352.8 mastering version and then re-encode it to 16/44. I use dBpoweramp to do the re-encoding and A-B playback them on my AK240 -> 1plus2. Technically, AK240 will also automatically down-sample the 24/352.8 quality to 24/176.2 internally during playback. But even then I can already hear the difference between the two. THe hi-res version sounds more energetic and has a stronger presence to every musical note compared to the 16/44 version, similar to what you can detect when switching from low to higher gain on an amp or from single-ended to balanced out. 16/44 version also sounds softer and more veiled throughout the entire track. The overall musical tone of 16/44 is still there and is the same as the hi-res version, but every note is less refined/detailed and the music sounds less full-bodied and less enjoyable as compared to the high-res version. You can also try the comparison on the other tracks on 2L. Some will yield less/more difference than others. YMMV.


Edited by Bluebear - 6/5/14 at 8:58pm
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Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Source Gear › DAP-off: Astell&Kern AK240, HiFiMAN HM-901, Sony ZX-1, FiiO X5 + Chord Hugo & Calyx M from June.