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DAP-off: Astell&Kern AK240, HiFiMAN HM-901, Sony ZX-1, FiiO X5 + Chord Hugo & Calyx M from June. - Page 37

post #541 of 1035

To me, with the NT6, the Hugo seems very musical sounding.  The sound is really good.  I could only say it just elicits emotions from the music.  I've read some say the Hugo is analytical, and to me, with the NT6 it is actually enhancing the musical experience.  I believe it's the clarity, and the fine and laid back treble, and the high resolution helps, but there is something I cannot explain that pushing me enjoy the music.  So far, I haven't found any flaws.


Edited by SilverEars - 7/19/14 at 8:01pm
post #542 of 1035
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mimouille View Post

Btw, with Hugo connected to RWAK240 through optical, at one point I had a drop in volume. Anybody ever experience that with the Hugo?

 

Nope, never happened to me.  With optical out the AK240 cannot change volume.  I actually wish I can as I to the bluetooth remote for using it with the Hugo in my bag.  So this is indeed weird.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverEars View Post
 

To me, with the NT6, the Hugo seems very musical sounding.  The sound is really good.  I could only say it just elicits emotions from the music.  I've read some say the Hugo is analytical, and to me, with the NT6 it is actually enhancing the musical experience.  I believe it's the clarity, and the fine and laid back treble, and the high resolution helps, but there is something I cannot explain that pushing me enjoy the music.  So far, I haven't found any flaws.

 

This is so true.  

 

The Hugo has this ability to make everything sound good, from sth like the xba4 to sth like the hd800..... it IS analytical in the sense of all the details it extracts, but not in the sense of a sterile/cold/uninvolving sound that is typically associated with an "analytical" signature.  At the other end it is musical and euphoric, but then also not in the sense of a warm/mid forward/syrupy/bassy sound that is typically associated with either "musical" or "euphoric"...... 

post #543 of 1035
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mimouille View Post

Ts I have had little time as I am quite busy, and my Roxanne is not back in. I would say the mod brings the AK240. Indeed closer to the 901 IMO. With the Kaede, the RWAK240 allows it to play its strength further, ie speed, clarity and tightness in the bass, so it is better than 901. With NT6, which is bright, the 901 is a clear winner, as it gives the NT6 more smoothness, depth and body. With the SE5, I would say it is a draw depending on your mood, the RWAK240 brings more clarity and the 901 more body and smoother mids. Besides, the AK has the edge in terms of dynamics...sound is faster and crisper.

All in all, purely SQ wise, 901 still has the edge for me, because it is never fatiguing and always musical and smooth, with great technical performance. However, I surmise the RWAK240 might be a better combo with the Roxannes, but that I will tell you in a week or so.

Needless to say that the Hugo takes the best of both and brings it to the next level....but it is not a DAP. Man if Chord ever transforms the Hugo into a DAP...I would pay a lot for it.
Thank you much for your insights! My Roxanne's are just a bit dark and with the dual bass pots dialed beyond 9am even more so. Me thinks that the RWAK240 with its speed, clarity, and very small tilt toward treble could be a match made in heaven for the Roxanne's. Because the RWAK240 is so intriguing as a stand alone DAP, I am very much looking forward to your impressions to see if the synergy between the 240 and the Roxannes might be so. I am also very fond of the Oppo PM-1s in my possession which also lean toward the dark side. I sure wish the Hugo were a DAP too. With sound quality like that, my $$$ decisions would be easier! Happy listening and thanks again for your varied and considered contributions to this thread!
post #544 of 1035
Quote:
Originally Posted by Valuephile View Post



Thank you much for your insights! My Roxanne's are just a bit dark and with the dual bass pots dialed beyond 9am even more so. Me thinks that the RWAK240 with its speed, clarity, and very small tilt toward treble could be a match made in heaven for the Roxanne's. Because the RWAK240 is so intriguing as a stand alone DAP, I am very much looking forward to your impressions to see if the synergy between the 240 and the Roxannes might be so. I am also very fond of the Oppo PM-1s in my possession which also lean toward the dark side. I sure wish the Hugo were a DAP too. With sound quality like that, my $$$ decisions would be easier! Happy listening and thanks again for your varied and considered contributions to this thread!

 



I will let you know...I was not fully convinced of the 901 - Roxanne duo...a bit too dark sounding IMO.
post #545 of 1035
Thread Starter 

I've found the Hugo can be a bit of a chameleon with its sound. It can sound a bit too bright with some IEMs or rigs. I just realised the treble from it doesn't sound as good when I sat down to listen first thing after switching it on. I wonder if it, like my Master 7, sounds best after it warms up.

 

I think I might have to add the Centrance M8 and Geek Out to the devices to compare as I've been enjoying both of them lately or start a portable DAC-off thread.

post #546 of 1035
About the Hugo, agreed. When I first heard the Hugo back in its Feb debut in Japan, I tried it with my Alpha Dogs. It was "surgical" as I had described it to some folks in PMs. But in May & last weekend I tried it with the Fitear MH335DW & it was just a great balance.

Overall though I think it seems to work with mojority cans & only specific cans it can emphasise certain undesirable traits.
post #547 of 1035

I had some more time listening to RWAK240 vs. 901 with the NT6. This CIEM really emphasize the qualities of the 901 over the RWAK240 as the first pairing is much much better. The NT6 are on the bright side of neutral, and the RWAK240 is quite on the colder / thinnerside IMO, whereas the 901 is slightly thicker and smoother. Since both players are equivalent, I am waiting to get my Ref1 (issue on the left side) and Roxannes back to see if the pairing with RWAK240 is better and if there is room for this player in my setup(s).

post #548 of 1035

It's confirmed, I like the non-mobile ES9018.  Got the Anedio D2 which implements the same chip, and it sound very good.  The HDP R10 was the same chip and I like it, there must be a pattern somewhere of my preferences.  :)

post #549 of 1035
Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverEars View Post
 

It's confirmed, I like the non-mobile ES9018.  Got the Anedio D2 which implements the same chip, and it sound very good.  The HDP R10 was the same chip and I like it, there must be a pattern somewhere of my preferences.  :)

Actually, I was excited because it didn't sound to have horrible treble for pop/electronic genre out of the HD800, but with the NT6, it's bright.  Hugo isn't so forward, it's laid back and still detailed with the NT6.  The treble sound a bit bolder and forward than the Hugo.  Hugo seems to have finer treble.

 

I was suspecting that would be the characteristics of the ESS as I think the amp section on the R10 maybe warm as I tried it's line-out with the pure ii, and the D2 sounds like R10 line-out with the pure ii.  I guess the treble characteristics of the ES9018 is what it is.  Forward and a bit on the bold side.


Edited by SilverEars - 7/22/14 at 7:13pm
post #550 of 1035
As a diligent member of this community, i would like to exhaust all possible options to burn holes in my wallet..

Therefore i have a question to AK240 owners, do you find AK240 less ear fatiguing for long hours listening like plane ride than more forward sounsding player e.g. HM-901?

Thanks!
post #551 of 1035
Quote:
Originally Posted by CosmicHolyGhost View Post

As a diligent member of this community, i would like to exhaust all possible options to burn holes in my wallet..

Therefore i have a question to AK240 owners, do you find AK240 less ear fatiguing for long hours listening like plane ride than more forward sounsding player e.g. HM-901?

Thanks!

 

Can't compare it to the 901 specifically but it is a very non fatiguing device for long listening. At work the other day i exhausted the battery in one session without a break except to make coffee and eat. (it was a slow day :biggrin:)  Compared to my Studio 3rd Anniversary it is a much easier player to listen to for long periods (Studio is bright). I guess it depends on what music you are listening to as well and at what volume.

post #552 of 1035
Quote:
Originally Posted by CosmicHolyGhost View Post

As a diligent member of this community, i would like to exhaust all possible options to burn holes in my wallet..

Therefore i have a question to AK240 owners, do you find AK240 less ear fatiguing for long hours listening like plane ride than more forward sounsding player e.g. HM-901?

Thanks!


The AK240 is MUCH MORE fatiguing to my ears than the 901 with balanced card.

post #553 of 1035
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mimouille View Post


The AK240 is MUCH MORE fatiguing to my ears than the 901 with balanced card.

Why is that, Mim?
post #554 of 1035
Or I can learn from Gavin and turn the AK240 into a 100% DSD player....shoud i ever need to indulge myself...
post #555 of 1035
Quote:
Originally Posted by CosmicHolyGhost View Post

As a diligent member of this community, i would like to exhaust all possible options to burn holes in my wallet..

Therefore i have a question to AK240 owners, do you find AK240 less ear fatiguing for long hours listening like plane ride than more forward sounsding player e.g. HM-901?

Thanks!
 
 

If I remember correctly you're using the Minibox card right?  I do find 901+minibox a bit aggressive with some of my phones and can be fatiguing. 

But with balanced/IEM/discrete cards I find 901 not fatiguing at all, and probably at par with the AK240.  With the Classic card, 901 is less fatiguing than AK240.

 

But in anycase, you should still get the AK240 if you're looking at long plane rides:1) longer battery (compared to discrete/minibox/balanced), 2) less hassle at custom - I had been stopped and asked about what the heck is "this Hifiman thinggy", and 3) just becoz we're head-fiers who ALWAYS burn our wallets  :biggrin:

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