Chord Electronics - Hugo 2 - The Official Thread
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flyte3333

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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.).
What BNC optical isolator are you using?
 
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I assume theres a reason optical is limited and could not be improved further to allow much higher bandwidth?
 
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flyte3333

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I assume theres a reason optical is limited and could not be improved further to allow much higher bandwidth?
Optical isn't limited. TOSlink is though.

I have an ethernet to optical converter (pair of converters) that supports gigabit speeds, no problem. PCM768kHz and DSD512 is easy in that sense.

There is the Luminx X1 DAC which features fiber optic input... there are others too. Playback Designs DACs have featured a fiber optic input for years now.
 
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I see with Poly and up-coming 2Go that Chord are embracing networked audio (Roon Ready, DLNA/UPnP etc).

Maybe one day we will see a Rob Watts DAC featuring high speed fiber optic network input...
 
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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 see you mentioning the Aries, and are currently using a SOtM network bridge. Have you compared these against former DAP’s you previously owned, direct into the Hugo 2? I have recently used the AK SE 100 with Hugo 2, into Tag McClaren amplification and speakers. AK Connect control via iPad/phone. Worked very well.

Last few weeks tried Chromecast Audio into same system, also tried Roon. Nice, but not sure as good as direct from DAP (4 inch cable), but benefit of whole music collection from PC/ NAS rather than 400gb and regular updating of Micro SD card. Well not quite, Google firmware ruined hires replay and haven’t corrected.

Wondering if apart from convenience, streamer/bridge improves sound quality over a DAP? Talking to Rob, a battery phone is viewed highly and he said a Dap would be similar. Other Chord staff I know disagree.
 
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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).

https://www.minidsp.com/products/usb-audio-interface/usbstreamer-box

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.

Thanks for your recommendation. I purchased a miniDSP USB Streamer B today, since I like to experiment with optical feeding the H2 - a first for me.

Now I would like to ask for community recommendations regarding an adequate optical cable. Of course, I will start with the stock one supplied with the CH2. However, I remember discussions wrt optical cable quality some time ago somewhere in this thread... So, please, let me get your recommendations.
 
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Thanks for your recommendation. I purchased a miniDSP USB Streamer B today, since I like to experiment with optical feeding the H2 - a first for me.

Now I would like to ask for community recommendations regarding an adequate optical cable. Of course, I will start with the stock one supplied with the CH2. However, I remember discussions wrt optical cable quality some time ago somewhere in this thread... So, please, let me get your recommendations.
Here is some input from me; https://www.head-fi.org/threads/cho...official-thread.869417/page-219#post-14830790
 
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I see you mentioning the Aries, and are currently using a SOtM network bridge. Have you compared these against former DAP’s you previously owned, direct into the Hugo 2? I have recently used the AK SE 100 with Hugo 2, into Tag McClaren amplification and speakers. AK Connect control via iPad/phone. Worked very well.

Last few weeks tried Chromecast Audio into same system, also tried Roon. Nice, but not sure as good as direct from DAP (4 inch cable), but benefit of whole music collection from PC/ NAS rather than 400gb and regular updating of Micro SD card. Well not quite, Google firmware ruined hires replay and haven’t corrected.

Wondering if apart from convenience, streamer/bridge improves sound quality over a DAP? Talking to Rob, a battery phone is viewed highly and he said a Dap would be similar. Other Chord staff I know disagree.
I have used pretty-much all my daps for majority of their use as transports with the h2 and they all sound great. They have a linear noise free battery powersupply and being an a purpose built audio player they’re set up perfectly for the job. Of course not all sources are born equal and they all have their own signature so I’ve found some have better synergy with the h2 than others. My favourite pair up is with the Wm1z. It’s more natural fuller presentation compliments the h2’s letting through all its lovely detail and fluidity but with a slightly sweeter tone. the spcu was very good too, slightly more neutral and extended at the top with lovely coherrant midrange, great with vocals... sometimes a touch overly analytical. The ak’s obvs have the additional benefit of being streamers too.

The auralic aries even with with external psu, never really did it for me and I didn’t keep it long. I’m only using the streamer as an end point with Roon rock intel NUC acting as server, so I don’t need all the features you get with most streamers, which is how i ended up with the sotm using it pretty just as a renderer. The sotm is on a different level to everything else I’ve heard under 5k including daps. It’s just jaw dropping in terms of transparency, resolution, dynamism, 3D stage depth and width all wrapped up in one of the most natural analogue presentation I’ve heard from a digital source. I’ve yet to hear anything other than the Antipodes network player that sounds better. It sounds as good in my 2-channel set up as it does with h2 and euforia.

Back to your question, yes from my experience daps can offer an equivalent performance if not better than a lot of dedicated streamers, but i love listening switching on my rig after the kids have gone to bed, lying back and listening on the sofa, which is about 3 metres away and the dap wouldn’t cut it for me on the convenience front. I also absolutely love Roon and the way it combines qobuz/ tidal seemlessly with my library and of course it does the mqa decoding before it gets to the H2.

If it’s for desktop/ work or on the go, I’d go with a Dap/h2, but for home it’s got to be the best renderer and cable’s i can afford, with h2 and then euforia a the front. Hope that helps a bit but if you have anymore questions on specifics let me know and I’ll do my best to answer. I’m sure there are others here with lots more experience than me who will hopefully chip in :)
 
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Hugo 2 red filter + Beyer T1 with DHC Copper Litz cable = damn, this sound so good! I dont know if its worth to buy the Arya.
 
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if i can connect the hugo2 to a stax amp would it be better to use the hugo2 as a preamp and max out the volume of the stax amp, and control the volume via the hugo2

any thoughts on this

setup : hugo2---007tii--007 mk2
 
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if i can connect the hugo2 to a stax amp would it be better to use the hugo2 as a preamp and max out the volume of the stax amp, and control the volume via the hugo2

any thoughts on this

setup : hugo2---007tii--007 mk2
The best is to decide for yourself which variant sounds better. I tried both (with my DAVE) and wasn't able to hear a difference. Theoretically using the Hugo for volume control while bypassing the amp's potentiometer is the superior variant.
 
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Thanks for your recommendation. I purchased a miniDSP USB Streamer B today, since I like to experiment with optical feeding the H2 - a first for me.

Now I would like to ask for community recommendations regarding an adequate optical cable. Of course, I will start with the stock one supplied with the CH2. However, I remember discussions wrt optical cable quality some time ago somewhere in this thread... So, please, let me get your recommendations.
Hi

I’ve had better luck with glass fiber toslink cables than plastic, specifically with passing sample rates higher than 96kHz.

I use the Lifatec glass fiber cable and it passes the DoP64 (PCM176kHz) test. Passing this test needs all 3 of source, cable and receiver being compatible. Hugo2 is fine so that leaves source and cable.

USBStreamer is fine so that leaves cable. I haven’t tested the cables that Hugo2 comes with because I already had the Lifatec. If the stock Hugo2 cable plays DoP64 fine, I’d just stick with that. If it doesn’t, I can recommend the Lifatec glass fiber cable. It’s not crazily priced either.
 
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I've been testing out the DSD on the Hugo 2 with Bitperfect running standard iTunes. A lot more headroom is the first thing i've noticed so far :)
 
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Using Bitperfect the app
 
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