Chord 2yu and 2go combo loaner program!
Jul 6, 2021 at 3:14 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 5

Todd

Headphone Vinyl Meister
Sponsor: TTVJ
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Hi All,

We are offering the Chord 2yu and 2go for a loaner program, We have both items in stock and ready to ship too!!!

The loaner will ship out next week. We are still in the process of break-in and evaluating it. So far so good.

chord2yu.jpg

Loaner Program Rules:

Send your name and address, telephone number and your Head-Fi user name to me (Todd) at todd@ttvjaudio.com. Do NOT PM me as you will not be included in the program without an email.

You will get the loaner for 1 week to use in your home with your system. After your one week is up, you must send it to the next loaner participant. Email me (todd@ttvjaudio.com) the tracking info so I can pass it on to the recipient.

You MUST write a review and post it in this loaner thread. It must be posted in the same thread as this announcement for the loaner program. Please post the review here first and feel free to post it somewhere else if you like!

Once you have received the loaner, email me to let me know you have it and I will send the address for the next person.

Our loaner programs are USA only. We are restricted from shipping/selling outside the USA on most products.

I look forward to hearing from people interested in owning this awesome combo!

Todd
 
TTVJAudio.com Todd Stay updated on TTVJAudio.com at their sponsor profile on Head-Fi.
 
http://www.ttvjaudio.com/ todd@ttvjaudio.com
Jul 8, 2021 at 3:06 PM Post #2 of 5

Todd

Headphone Vinyl Meister
Sponsor: TTVJ
Joined
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Chord 2go and 2yu Loaner Program Participants

1 fuzzychaos

2 WyldeBlue

3 Catharus

4 CT007

5 ngoshawk

6 StivVid

7 PhillyD

8 mfadio

9 Turbo AL

10 genefruit

11 PACSman

Updated list - This loaner program is now closed.
 
Last edited:
TTVJAudio.com Todd Stay updated on TTVJAudio.com at their sponsor profile on Head-Fi.
 
http://www.ttvjaudio.com/ todd@ttvjaudio.com
Aug 13, 2021 at 7:53 AM Post #4 of 5

Catharus

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These are my thoughts on three streamers across nine days. The format is day by day thoughts so you can see how I vacillate and learn along the way.

Everything was tested on a Chord TT2 / mscaler stack and using Focal Stellia and Sennheiser HD800S.
  • Bluesound Node2i is what I own and am used to. This is a USD 1000 solution with a PD-CF linear power interface and an SBooster.
  • Chord 2Go/2Yu is on kind loan from Todd the Vinyl Junkie. This is a USD 1300+650=1950 solution.
  • Innuos Zen 3 is home trial from my local dealer. This is a close to USD 3000 solution.
As I’ve at times gotten annoyed by the following things, I’m on the lookout for similar issues with these streamers:
  • Need to reboot regularly?
  • Stable streaming? Any glitches in or between songs?
  • Fast library scanning when adding local files?

Day 1​

Oh happy days. The 2Go/2Yu package arrived at my house.

After unpacking my first impressions are:
  • Weird to get two boxes. This is one device to me.
  • Cables come out of three sides.
  • It’s very small and visually matches my other Chord gear.
  • Fiddly to even power on. I must hold the power button rather than press it.
  • The Gofigure app doesn’t find my device. There are no suggestions in the app. I go by feeling: ensure Bluetooth finds the device. Then the Gofigure wizard refuses to work with Ethernet. Argh. Why couldn’t it detect that up front and send me to right part of the app?
  • To control music playback, I must use apps that are never mentioned in the documentation. Fortunately, I’ve read up on head-fi.
  • There’s finally sound. I’m using Rigelian to play local FLAC. The music feels smoother and cleaner than I’m used to. Like butter. I didn’t expect any change compared to my upgraded Node2i so this is a bonus.
  • Hmm.. I hear a slight, short scratch on the left channel when playing an SDcard song. This is not in the file. I’m familiar with this song:Amber Rubarth, Hold On. I’m still using Rigelian.
  • Sound has a black background. I get a sense of 3D when playing binaural recordings. Sound is buttery smooth. Feels unreal in realness!
  • Rigelian sucks. It finds little cover art. There’s no obvious play queue accessible from the “now playing” screen like in mainstream apps.
  • Rigelian is very tech heavy. Lots of references to different players and protocols.
  • Chord needs one app to do local playback and connect to streaming services. Paying for Roon is not a reasonable solution.
  • For sound quality, the soundstage feels larger than I am used to.
  • The album view in Rigelian forces me to scroll endlessly since it displays large icons instead of text.
  • In Rigelian, switching songs causes a scratchy sound for a fraction of a second.
  • The sound quality of recordings by Veljo Runnel and Mark Brennan have more details: wind and water droplets from trees. There’s a new depth to bird songs recorded in forests. I hear thrushes in the distance and woodpeckers behind me.
  • Trying AirPlay: I get small blips every third song or so. Nothing I’ve noticed on the Node2i using the exact same cables and connections.
  • I switch from Rigelian to M-connect and stream Tidal. Front 242 in a Moralez mix of Never Stop: The bass thumps are very clean and textured instead of just thuds.
  • Using M-connect and a Tidal stream, I get a sharp, high pitched snap at start of some songs. Unpleasant.

Day 2​

The plan is to compare my Node2i over TOSlink using FLAC files on my NAS to the 2Go/2Yu over USB using the builtin SDcard reader.
  • The 2yu is louder. About five clicks on the TT2.
  • After adjusting the volume: 2yu is more detailed, better imaging, easier to hear distant birds, and has larger sound stage.
  • Node2i is more relaxed and hiss of recordings is less obvious.

Day 3​

The plan is to try both devices over TOSlink. The 2yu is still louder.
  • I try streaming using m-connect. I like the one-app experience for both streaming and local files.
  • My impression are the same as on day 2.

Day 4​

I expect to pick up an Innuos Zen 3 today.

I want to try the 2yu with the SBooster to see if it relaxes the sound. Could the power supply be the reason for the volume difference? It’s all digital though…!?

But, I figure out that I cannot compare to my Node2i today. I lack a USB to 5.5/2.5 barrel cable.

I switch from Stellia to HD800S. Nothing new comes up.

I cannot figure out how to turn off the 2Go/2Yu. Pressing the on/off button does nothing. It’s not playing any sound that might be expected to prevent shutting down. I end up leaving it on.

Switching back to Stellia again. A soundscape recording by Krister Mild reveals more background sounds than I’ve picked up before. The distant cows are very audible with the 2yu.

The Innuos arrives. The setup of the Zen mk3 is much simpler than the 2Go/2yu. I’m guided at each step. But it’s weird to use squeezebox for Tidal integration. Indexing a NAS drive takes time but it’s easy to find the network drive and start the process. The Innuos box is enormous and hard to fit in my shelves.

I experienced an iOS app bug: I lost connection to the Zen3 server and cannot stop the music and wrong track information is shown.

Indexing 100gb 8000 songs took 2-3 hours.

I didn’t compare to the 2yu. Instead I immediately realized that I heard more spatial information and had to experience more of my recordings over the Zen. I spend the night just listening to the Zen3.

Day 5​

After yesterday, I expected this comparison to be over with the Zen3 the clear winner. Not so. Today, I set up a comparison with 2yu on the SBooster vs the Zen 3. I’m using the remote control on the mscaler so I can quickly switch between the USB and TOSlink inputs. Other than the mscaler needing a second to switch signal, the comparison was pretty instant. Both players are playing the same albums from each their local storages.

2yu: Sound is a hint brighter.

Zen3: Sound has a hint less treble energy and more “reach out and touch” 3D sense.

Both have the same loudness which makes for an easier comparison. The Zen3 is more resolving. What sounds like background noise on the 2Yu is wind in pine needles on the Zen3.

Image.jpeg


In a blind test, I’d probably fail to differentiate these.

Zen3: It has no AirPlay! The iOS app needs to be restarted as it forgets the server after switching apps on my iPhone. I learn that a fix is expected August 16.

2Go/2YuZen3Node2i
SmallBorderline too big for my shelfSmall enough for my shelves
Can be tucked out of sight so cables sticking out everywhere don’t need to be seen.Looks nice and cables are hidden behind it.Plasticky, but all cable access is in the back.
Does have a native app that is pretty sad as functionality goes. Generates one playlist per what it considers an album and I can only play those lists. No album cover art.The native app is brand new and still need time to remove bugs. Functionality and visuals are fine for now. Cover art is found for my NAS drive.Great app. Cover art works provided I embed it in exactly the way it wants.
AirPlay exists and works. At least with m-connect, AirPlay is overriding all other connections.No AirPlay. Feature request exists but who knows if and when this will be added.AirPlay works well.
Local files can be played with the native app or m-connect. Rigelian was too annoying to use. 8player even worse. Chord provides no obvious way to know that extra apps are needed and why I would pick any one over the other. Had I not found m-connect this device would have gone back early.Local files can be played in different ways. I only care about the new native app.Local files can be played with the native app. Bluesound recommends NAS over local storage. Mostly this is seen in the way song indexing is faster and can handle larger libraries over NAS.
NAS files can be played via m-connect.NAS files can be played via native app. But it required a multi hour indexing exercise first.NAS files can be played via the native app after an indexing exercise that takes less than an hour.
Tidal can be played via m-connect. But usability is poor compared to the Tidal app. Lots of clicks to get to my saved music. Artwork loads slowly in playlists.Tidal works.Tidal can be played via the native app after connecting to my Tidal account via the strange looking Squeezebox website.
Turning on the device is fast.Turning on takes a few minutes. I get the impression that the device is meant to be left on in spite of the prominent “on” button on the front.Turning on the Node2i is something I rarely do. I just leave it on. I have no memory of this taking a long time or being annoying. I have rebooted a few times for updates. Less than a minute for the whole process.
Turning off: I couldn’t turn it off without pulling the power plug. Pressing the on/off button does nothing.Turning off the device takes several seconds.Other than pulling the power plug, I’ve never done this.
No hardware remoteNo hardware remote.I can buy a dedicated remote or teach the device to recognize the IR codes from any orphaned remote I have. This is great and I wish all devices had this. Skipping tracks and pausing immediately beats smartphone apps by several seconds.
Usability impression: enthusiast device only. I must figure out apps to use and preferably understand protocols like UPNP.Usability impression: more a Hifi device than a computer. Still rough edges in the app (forgetting the server connection).Usability impression: great. The worst part is managing metadata in just the right way.
Sound quality: Better than my Node2i.Sound quality: better than Chord by a nose. Calmer and more relaxed.Sound quality: worst of the three but it is close. Sound quality is better than USB direct from my iPhone.
Sound quality with full up sampling: For recordings with pre-amp noise, that noise comes across as sharp and noticeable.Sound quality with full up sampling: there are more details, sounds are separated, and stage is larger. Soundscapes are more believable and enjoyable.Sound quality with full up sampling: after adjusting volume up several steps, sound is fuller but less detail.
Quirks between songs: gapless albums are supported. Scratches between songs on Tidal. I think this is related to sample rate switching upsetting the m-scaler.Quirks between songs: gapless albums are supported. No scratches between songs on Tidal. There’s a configuration in the server to give the DAC a number of milliseconds to understand that the sample rate has changed.Quirks between songs: gapless albums are supported. Scratches between songs on Tidal. I think this is related to sample rate switching upsetting the m-scaler.
Concerns: What happens if the m-connect app goes away?Concerns: what does hard drive replacement cost and how long does it take? Innuos responded that cost varies and until a US service has been appointed, the box must go back to Portugal. My thought: A spinning hard drive will fail so this is a bummer.


Thoughts: The differences between Chord and Innuos and Bluesound are small enough that I’d happily live with any of them. I trust the Innuos team to deliver software improvements. Chord’s strategy of third party apps deviates from where I’d prefer to go.

I remember that I had turned off up-sampling in the thought that it would minimize switching time as I jumped between all three streamers. That was incorrect. With full up-sampling, switching times are minimized and the differences between the streamers are easier to discern. The Zen3 pulls ahead. The Node2i outputs a quieter TOSlink signal which forces me to change the TT2 volume several steps at each switch.

Updated thoughts. The Zen3 is clearly the best sound source. I wonder how the Zenith3 compares. Why is the Zen3 better? I hear the Zen3 best the Chord in that wind and mosquito wings are clearly that on the Zen3 while the Chord turns it into hiss. The soundstage is also smaller with the Chord. The Node2i is further behind with fuzzier and fuller sound. It is now hard to switch from the Zen3.

Day 6​

Today, I aimed to compare playback of local, NAS, and streamed files. I could not tell much of a difference.

The main learning is that M-connect ran down my phone battery over night. If I know/remember, I can force shutdown the app but it is yet another wart on the 2Yu option.

Day 7​

The Zen 3 went back to the store. No AirPlay is a showstopper. My dealer says he’s been asking for AirPlay support on behalf of other customers already.

None of the devices can better the Node2i after considering basic functionality (AirPlay, usability of app, battery drainage, cable entry into device). I’ll keep my Node2i and keep looking for alternatives.

If these streamers were work colleagues:
  • Zen3: overweight with great voice and nice manners but limited skill set
  • 2Yu: underweight, terrible people skills, and an ok voice. Adaptive skill set.
  • Node2i: ok looking, super people skills, and ok voice. Super adaptive.

Image_1.jpeg


This probably doesn’t read like a glowing review of the 2Yu. But I really do like it. Just not enough to pay for it. Had my use case called for a Hugo2, my decision would have been different.

For my next test I compare 2Yu’s USB and TOSlink.

It takes several seconds to switch between the outputs since I have to switch both the 2Yu output and m-scaler input. Hence, it’s hard to compare.

With that hedging, I do think USB sounds better: deeper soundstage and more relaxed.

Comparing 2Yu via USB to Node2i via TOSlink comes out in Chord’s advantage. USB is louder by five clicks on the TT2 so I have to adjust as I switch. Still, soundstage is deeper and faint sounds in the distance come through better.

Using the 2Yu, streaming Tidal via Ethernet and USB out, I notice no scraping noises between songs today. I think I heard this before due to the m-scaler being in “no upscaling” mode. There’s a short hesitation between songs though.

Trying to scrub forward in a Tidal song in m-connect fails. Moving the cursor forward seems to succeed for a second but then returns to where it was. Playback continues as if I had done nothing. Stopping and trying a different track makes scrubbing work. Weird. Enabling both kinds of gapless support in m-connect seems to remove even the hesitation.

Switching to AirPlay. A win for the Chord. It only has AirPlay rather than AirPlay2. This allows Bandcamp, that only supports the original AirPlay to work.

Again I experience scratches in the middle of songs using the Chord stack. Short burst of static in left channel.

Finally, turned off the Chord combo. I had to press the on/off button much longer than expected. I assume this is a safe guard for mobile use.

Comparing the “now playing” screens across : Bluesound, M-connect, Apple Music, and Innuos Sense. The controls of the Innuos app are too small.
Image_2.jpeg


After experiencing these streamers, my desired streamer should have:
  • AirPlay (for Soundscapes, Pure Nature, Netflix)
  • Tidal connect
  • Chromecast (SoundCloud)
  • NAS support
  • Dropbox support
  • CD ripping
  • Add downloaded FLAC files from Bandcamp.
  • Edit metadata manually
  • Pull in metadata automatically
  • One app to control all sources
  • Ability to favorite local and streamed tracks
  • Ability to build playlists across sources
  • Physical remote control with hard buttons and no dependence on line of sight.
Sound quality—
  • Ethernet signal cleaning
  • USB output (asynchronous signal to use m-scaler clock instead)
  • Separate and linear power for usb and cpu.

Day 8​

No specific ideas to test. Tired from work. But just trying to start the 2Yu takes several minutes. Holding the on/off button does nothing. Pull power cord and reinsert. Still nothing. Take a deep breath and hold button for ten seconds. Finally it wakes up.

Connect AirPlay and try some iOS unique apps.


Day 9​

Packed up the Chord gear.

Removed the switching power supply for the 2Yu and tossed in an extra iFi AC ipurifier in between the mscaler and TT2. It feels great to be back on the Node2i. Familiar controls, no clutter, sound is good. The only device I feel a nawing sensation of loss over is the Zen3. But its functionality is too limited at this point.

Thanks to Todd the Vinyl Junkie for the opportunity to experience this snazzy device. You have given me a good reason to call you the next time I need any audio gear.
 
Last edited:
Aug 18, 2021 at 10:16 PM Post #5 of 5

ngoshawk

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I am in possession of the Chord 2go & 2yu.

Thank you!
 

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