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Chord Electronics - Hugo 2 - The Official Thread

Discussion in 'Portable Source Gear' started by ChordElectronics, Jan 5, 2017.
  1. dmance
    Rob's DACs are all about transparency ...meaning true to the original analog signal prior to A/D conversion. For most people, transparent music sounds thin but if you spend time listening to real recorded live music you find its exactly what live sounds like. I am convert to DAC direct output - in my case, Hugo2 to high efficiency Voxativ loudspeakers + REL S/5. (i also have my eyes on getting HiFiMan HEKse's soon). Listening nearfield at room filing volumes is absolutely convincingly real. I cannot go back to an external analog amplifier. Really hoping Rob's 10watt DX digital amps show up tomorrow in Munich.
  2. miketlse
    Not snooty at all, but based on the fact that EDM consists of electronically generated models of instrument notes, devoid of elements like timbre and timing. Given that two of the strong points of chord dacs, are how well they reproduce timbre and timing, then any customers who solely want to feed their dac/amp with EDM, may well not notice any benefits from a chord dac, and prefer the Woo.
    Having said that, I do listen most weeks to an internet radio show, mainly focused on 'alternative' music, much of which is synthesizer based. The Hugo 2 provides the best reproduction that I have ever heard of internet radio.
    I also use my Hugo 2 to direct drive my Focal Aria 936 and I am unlikely to be persuaded that the Woo could do better, even if it is class A and balanced with 1.2 watts at 30 ohms.
    Peter Hyatt and 514077 like this.
  3. 329161
    I edited that out after re-reading your post. I initially got the wrong impression.
    So you're saying anything but a chord dac will only suit Edm?
    I'm beginning to realise the truth behind what everyone says about Chord fans :smile_phones:
    PS I owned the Mojo for a while but sold it. Sound is bested by others around the same price. Ive heard the Hugo 2 and the sound coming from the much more modestly priced Jotunheim/bifrost combo sounded MUCH better to me, pity it's not portable, which is what I'm after - a decent desktop rig sound in a portable. YMMV of course.
    Last edited: May 8, 2019
    Peter Hyatt and 514077 like this.
  4. Peter Hyatt

    I do now.

    I watched and listened (KEF) the Berliner Philharmoniker version yesterday w Simon Rattle. (Digital Concerts app)

    Today will be the Ivan Fischer version.
    Last edited: May 8, 2019
    Wildcatsare1 and 514077 like this.
  5. 514077
    I for one, could be accused of being a Chord fanboy, as RW tends to explain things more than most other designers. And I find that illuminating and refreshing. And, I started directly with a Chord DAC, and haven't heard that many others. But, it sounds to me as though you just don't prefer the Chord approach or sound of their DACs. Cool. Maybe the WA11 might be better for you. Have you tried on a thread for the device to get feedback?
    JM1979, 329161 and miketlse like this.
  6. 514077
    Looking fwd to your thoughts.
    Peter Hyatt likes this.
  7. miketlse
    Based on my listening to internet radio, I know that chord dacs can reproduce synthesised music with great fidelity - I would expect better than the Woo (especially since it is using a Sabre chip dac).
    If you read the chord threads you will notice two things:
    • In the early months of the Mojo thread, there were many owners who posted that they visited a dealer, fully intending to buy an inexpensive dac, and tried the more expensive Mojo just to satisfy their curiousity. They all bought the Mojo, because it outperformed the dac that they had intended to buy. Anything the Mojo does, the Hugo 2 does better.
    • There are owners who post that they initially did not notice the expected benefits from a chord dac, but after a few weeks once their ears/brain had got used to the extra timing/timbre/soundstage etc, they found that their previous dacs now sounded inferior
    I think that a chord dac will play edm excellently, but the synthesized nature of edm does not include some elements, which chord dacs excel at.
    I also think that customers visiting many busy hifi stores, which are often noisy like hifi shows, and only allow a quick a/b testing of dacs/amps, inevitably do not have enough time to fully listen to and evaluate any equipment that benefits from a long exposure to allow the brain to adapt.
    To sum up, I believe that that the Hugo2 will outperform other dacs for EDM, but other customers may choose differently based on wallet, and balanced output - but I believe they owe it to themselves to try the Hugo 2 (or even the Mojo), before they make the final decision.
    masterpfa, 514077 and Peter Hyatt like this.
  8. 329161
    I do like the sound of the Hugo, but the quality doesn't reflect the company's advertising. It was nice, but nothing special especially at that price. If it is significantly better than the Woo I will seriously consider it. Having said that, it is the only portable device I've heard so far which rivals a desktop rig for sound, even if it's only a midfi rig.
    I have asked at the WA11 thread but no one seems to have heard both. Also the trouble with headfi is every thread has it's fanboys so an objective opinion is hard to come by. But you're right, I should've known the types of replies to expect.
    Last edited: May 8, 2019
  9. tekkster
    True that
  10. ZappaMan
    Rob has specifically said edm is great on mscaler / his dacs etc because of its timbre and timing. He even says it’s better timbre and timing as the notes aren’t restricted I suppose to normal acoustic rules.
    Electronic music is a first class citizen even if it’s alien sounding.
    So jog on.
    bflat likes this.
  11. 329161
    Forgive me for saying this, but I get the impression you're not being entirely objective, especially considering you haven't heard the Woo.
    Also, as I said earlier, I owned the Mojo for almost a year. IMO both the idsd and Micro BL outperformed it on sq and features, and they both feature off the shelf dacs. I take things as I experience them. I try not to put too much on company specified features and hype. I just don't think the Chord custom dac technology sounds any more special than gear at comparable budgets. Now I'm not suggesting you're blindly basing your opinion on company hyped specs. I'm just giving you my opinion.
    I didn't come here to bash on Chord stuff, it was a genuine query. Alas it looks like I won't find the answer here so I'll bid you adieu.
    Happy listening.
  12. betula
    If a DAC is good it is good with all sorts of music. Chord DACs excel at timing, 3D spaciousness, clarity and dynamics. Yes, with live acoustic music and vocals the life-likeness can be jaw-dropping. But also, with electronic music you can find yourself in a different clean and holographic world which is a lot of fun. :)
    JM1979 likes this.
  13. miketlse
    Try listening to some of the Transmitter Down shows on Mixcloud, and let me know your views.

    I think the live stream sounds fractionally better than the mixcloud version - I presume that the mixcloud version is slightly compressed, but I have never tried to get quantitative numbers.
    ZappaMan and Peter Hyatt like this.
  14. Peter Hyatt

    Ivan Fischer Mahler Symphony 5 at Qobuz download price 9.99 US for 24/192

    I’ve used the Sublime to build a nice library.
    Wildcatsare1 and 514077 like this.
  15. GreenBow
    Found an excellent rocking feel good tune on YouTube, and have to share it. Y'all probably know it but, in case not:

    Amazing how good even YouTube sounds on Chord ya. Listened to it about ten times already, arf!
    Last edited: May 9, 2019

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