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Chord Electronics - Hugo 2 - The Official Thread

Discussion in 'Portable Source Gear' started by ChordElectronics, Jan 5, 2017.
  1. Deftone
    He might want that colour but i havent heard nano 3.0 so i cant say if does add brightness, it could actually be quieter than his source which im assuming is a computer.
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2019
    silvahr likes this.
  2. silvahr
    Does it changes the sound quality? Didn’t know that.
    As @Deftone wrote, the idea was clean the source (Macmini running Jriver).
  3. flyte3333
    The last few years I've tried to optimise USB, trying all the usual suspects (cables, regenerators, isolators and associated power supplies). You name it, I tried it.

    If anyone were asking my advice (won't happen but let's pretend :o2smile: ) I'd say just get a miniDSP USBStreamer (USB to Toslink converter). It is capable of PCM192kHz (it passes the DoP64 bit perfect test).


    The biggest problem I have with optical is it increases the desire to crank the volume louder and louder... and it causes listening sessions to go overtime, i.e. there's no listening fatigue..

    Hugo2 driving MrSpeakers Aeon Closed.

    motberg, AC-12, 111MilesToGo and 6 others like this.
  4. ZappaMan
    So, how would you optimise your gear to get the best out of usb?
    flyte3333 likes this.
  5. dontfeedphils
    Didn't he answer that question in his post?
    flyte3333 likes this.
  6. flyte3333
    The best I got over ~3 years with USB was what I call my Frankenstein USB chain... it has the same smooth/warm sound as optical but with what I feel is a TINY bit better 'flow' to the music... it's probably so close with optical that I can say I'd probably fail a blind test, without even needing to do one.

    My Frankenstein chain is a Sonore ultraRendu (ultra low noise USB output) with ethernet optically isolated (the last FMC powered by battery...) and the Rendu itself also powered by battery... So it's an ultra low noise USB source that is 100% de-coupled from AC mains power...

    My advice to others is avoid all that effort and just go optical...
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2019
    AC-12, 111MilesToGo, musickid and 3 others like this.
  7. ZappaMan
    He said no one would ask him
    514077 likes this.
  8. ZappaMan
    You see a lot of people tinker with complicated chains, seems a lot of cost and times goes into it. Personally I don’t have the time, but like it when a simple solution is, practically speaking, as much as you’d need.
    The next question is, it it worth paying more then £30 for an optical cable, where mere mortals can hear any difference :)
    Widell likes this.
  9. silvahr
    Thank you for your input.
    Macmini has optical output so probably I could use it instead of USB.
    I made a test and it's 192KHz capable.
    Probably I'll go this way and spare money for other things.
    I'm also using AFC with H2! :beerchug:
    Thank you again.
    flyte3333 likes this.
  10. flyte3333
    Definitely, you can save yourself the money and the time.

    Which software do you use? A good bit perfect test is to play DSD64 via DoP.

    You can get free DSD64 samples here:


    If DoP64 plays properly it's a good indication of bit perfect playback. It can be a better test than just a PCM192kHz file.

    If you get dropouts or static with DoP64, something is not right with the optical output or the optical cable.
    514077 and silvahr like this.
  11. silvahr
    I'm using Jriver. I will test as you wrote and will drop some feedback.
    Thank you!
    flyte3333 likes this.
  12. flyte3333
    I assume you already have playback in 'Exclusive Mode'. So just make sure DSD64 is set to play via DSD over PCM (DoP) in JRiver, not 'native'.

    If that works with no dropouts and no static and you get the correct DSD LED colour showing by Hugo2, it's all good.
    silvahr likes this.
  13. silvahr
    Made the test and all went well. No dropouts and static and DSD LED colour on.
    I believe I have a reliable solution!
    Thank you very much for the help!
    flyte3333 likes this.
  14. flyte3333
    Fantastic. Newer Macs have ditched the optical output sadly.

    If you upgrade to a newer model Mac later, I can recommend the miniDSP USBStreamer I linked above - it's a great USB to optical converter. It passes the DoP64 test also and plays PCM192kHz.

    No need for you to tweak with USB unless you want to go in the big circle to just end up back at optical again :o2smile:
    silvahr likes this.
  15. Scrum92
    My understanding was that the likes of the iUSB 3.0, Schiit Wyrd etc were moot for Hugo 2. Would be interested to be told differently - who doesn't love a (relatively) cheap way to enhance Hugo 2!

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