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HQPlayer also gives that nice purple light.
Software vs hardware......
Right now only the mscaler does it for real. And i'm listening to it right now. "Beautiful air things i haven't heard before" as has been said.
I'm sure Mscaler is great, its not something I will ever be able to afford though.
The concept here is getting a bit derailed. Personally I'm not talking about up-sampling (SW or HW) but feeding the Hugo 2 with an optical signal (PCM or DOP) bit-perfect albeit not native DSD. Optical sounds better than USB to me and removes a potential source of EMI/RF from my Laptop.
I feed mscaler optical which in turn feeds h2 dual coax through its twin galvanically isolated bnc outputs. How's that for a hearty breakfast.
That's nice for you. I'm sure it sounds perfect, but see the first part of my reply. I DON'T HAVE £3,495.00 to spend on an item of audio gear.
Does that mean those that worked hard shouldn't be happy to share their mscaler/hugo2 results with fellow hugo2 owners? Maybe my impressions will help someone decide whether or not to add an mscaler to their hugo 2.
I know for certain that the MScaler DX outputs are not galvanically isolated. I put DX through a custom optical bridge to Hugo2 and the difference is huge.
According to chord they are.
"1x galvanically isolated dual BNC (enables upscaling to the maximum resolution (768kHz from 96kHz data)"
Optical galvanic isolation breaks the bounds of electrical galvanic isolation to allows for powering the optical DX receiver closest to the DAC with an ultra-low noise power supply (battery, etc.). We all know the factory configurations of the Chord stack sounds pretty darn good as is ...but for those interested in the ultimate transparency, there is always more that can be done.
Depends on the amp. I find the heaphone amp on the h2 a little dry and the tiniest bit thin, yet with new school valve amp like the Feliks Audio euforia in front of it, I get everything the hugo’s dac can offer, but with a bit more weight, depth, width and texture. Any loss of transparency is negligible and by far out weighed by the improvements the euforia brings. That said if was staying solid state I wouldn’t bother with another SS amp.
I use my h2 90% at home, but i swapped it with my bros for his quetest for 10 days while he was travelling and while the sound is near as damn it the same, I hadn’t realised how much I depended on the h2’s remote as the euforia doesn’t have one. I use Roon and the sq is definitely inferior when using the aoftware dsp to control the volume.
I lot depends on the source. You’ll get more benefit from usb cleaners, jitterbugs etc if your coming from a non-audio dedicated computer source and i can vouch for their effectiveness of iso regent and jitterbugs with a Mac mini, but less so or not at all using a dedicated audio source such as Auralic Aries with linear psu, or SOtM SMS- 200 ultra neo/ sps500 psu. The best ways to reduce noise using these is to improve things in the mains power chain, by adding balanced mains conditioner, a regenerator
And or at the very least some decent power cables. I’ve found improving the fuel line has had the largest effect in improving sound quality that and a really good usb cable.
I'm running from a laptop, and have just ordered an Uptone ISO Regen and LPS1.2, will be doing some A/Bing with the jitterbug... unfortunately my laptop does not have optical out but would be interested to test a USB to optical or coax.
I’m a huge Chord fan ... Poly/Mojo, Hugo tt, Hugo 2. HQPlayer allows quite a few choices for that initial filter that have removed the “digital glare” and allow a “million +” taps if numbers are the ultimate goal for users of 384khz non Chord gear. Another path to long enjoyable listening.
HQ is one piece of software i obviously don't need. It must have value though.