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Chord Hugo 2 desktop alternative

Discussion in 'Dedicated Source Components' started by doraymon, Aug 30, 2017.
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  1. Currawong Contributor
    Never got a chance. Going by what I read in the thread about it, the USB input and oversampling filters seem to be not so advanced compared to other options out there, but I'm not sure if that has changed since I last read about it.
  2. knopi
    Agree, I am also happy with Brooklyn. It is good all arounder everything usable, good dac, good preamp I use it with active speaker, also good headphone amp good synergy with planars like LCDX I guess with Ether Flow will be similar (not good with IEM though it hiss).
    When I had at home Hugo 1 I did not like it as regards usings also not good preamp. Brooklyn is better in my opinion in everything.
    Do not know how Hugo 2 though, probably whole new piece.

    Doraymon dacs you mentioned probably all adult dac, maybe you should look more on sound character what will suit the most to your system. For example when I tried Stax 009 with KGSSHV my friend had 2 dacs to comparison Yggdrasil and Audio Note V and for that system was better Audio Note becouse it added more weight visceral feel to sound simply better synergy and vica versa I with some different headphone darker for example might be better option Yggy etc...
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2017
    Currawong likes this.
  3. dmance
  4. SearchOfSub

    Auralic Vega?
  5. doraymon
    Yes I considered it but apparently it's not competitive in terms of price / sound quality with the other DACs mentioned
  6. Greeni
    Was considering Schiit Gungnir multibit or schiit Yggdrasil, but then read of review of Chord Hugo 2 by John Darko of Digital Audio Review, who apparently ranked Chord Hugo 2 quite a class or two above the Schiit Gungnir, which intrigue me as I used to think of the Chord Hugo 2 as some sort of portable device rather than full fledge audio component. Of interest to me is that apparently John also found the Chord Hugo 2 to be a decent preamp, which is contrary to my regrettably limited experience that preamp falling short with adequate power supply are inevitably compromised, and it does looks like you will have a hard time squeezing a decent power supply into the small chassis of the Chord Hugo 2. I was tempted by John’s review to consider take the Chord Hugo 2 over the Schiit Gungnir, as after accounting for the extra cost for a pre-amp, power cords, interconnects, etc., the Chord Hugo 2 as an overall package actually cost less than Schiit Gungnir multibit and all those stuff added together. Appreciate some opinion on how does the stack up against the Schiit Gungnir multibit or schiit Yggdrasil.
  7. theveterans
    IMO if you like Chord sound, you might not like Schiit sound since to me the transients "timing" feels off with the Schiit compared to Chord. I'd stick to 2Qute for your desktop and save more money for something else.
  8. Music Alchemist
    Chord DAC/amps are also digital preamps. The amplification is in the DAC's analog output stage and designed to be as transparent as possible, so in some cases it's akin to listening to the DAC directly. The only thing it does as a preamp is digitally adjust the voltage output, so it's giving you just as much accuracy as a passive preamp, with more precise control.

    I love the 2Qute. But the tech in the Hugo 2 is much more advanced. The 2Qute successor with Hugo 2 tech should come soon enough.
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2017
  9. Arniesb
    2qute successor cant come soon enough. Cant wait. Hopefully they will not wait 2018 CES or something and release it faster before Christmas.
  10. bidn
    As a desktop alternative to the Hugo 2,
    I recommend RME ADI-2 Pro, a DAC-amp which can be found at about at about € 1600 in Europe, should mean less than US $ 2000./
    It is extremely dynamic, fast and detailed, for example when I compared connecting the Utopia directly to their integrated amp,
    and with connecting the Utopia to the iFi iCAN Pro driven over 2x high-end XLR by the RME, there is clear loss of detail, etc.
    However if you want a smooth, warm coloration, this will not be a good choice as it has no coloration and is very detailed.
    ilcg1 likes this.
  11. doraymon
    I just ordered a Holo Audio KTE Spring DAC... Can't wait now to see if my choice was good!
  12. theveterans
    You won't regret it for sure
  13. forestitalia
    This RME is an intriguing Dac-amp, how it works with other cans?
  14. bidn
    I assume it would not work well for electrostats which require special voltages.

    Giving some examples with other cans from mine:

    1. my LCD-X:
    to spare my ears I try to listen at the lowest volume levels, and at very low levels,
    before having the RME, my LCD-X used to be muddy (e.g. with the iFi iCAN PRO, unlike other hps) and I had to listen to them at a higher level to get a proper SNR.
    Now with the RME another wonder: even at very low levels the LCD-X are now clean and a have fine SNR! What a nice and unexpected surprise!

    2. my HD 800:
    perfect! No need to say much as you can find many experiences on this pairing on the internet, HD 800 owners calling it "endgame".

    3. my Sonorous X
    These are the opposite of those other cans above (which require a lot of juice) as these Sonorous X behave like very sensitive in-ears and most amps have too much juice for them, driving them with my AK240 was much better.
    Again a nice and unexpected surprise, the RME drives them perfectly!

    So it can drive perfectly from ultra-sensitive cans to very demanding one by simply turning the volume knob.
    In general with the default settings of the RME the sound is full-bodied, transparent and clean but not artificially warm or lusher than it is in reality .
    I like it like this, but I understand there are some filters which would allow for a warmer and lusher sound for those who prefer it.
    If I had had the RME first, I wouldn't have bought the iFi iCAN PRO.

    I assume the RME doesn't get enough attention among audiophiles
    because they are a pro (studios, recording) company and not an audiophile one,
    so they are hardly known among audiophiles and I assume they don't sponsor Head-Fi, don't advertise in the audiophile community

    Re the Hugo 2,
    watching Currawong's youtube video on the Hugo 2, part 2, where he says that the Hugo 2 doesn't scale to the Utopia,
    besides the issues that the Hugo 2 cannot be stacked and is too big for my pockets, helps me pass on the Hugo 2.
    I would prefer to buy a SP1000 (ideally an upgrade or a successor with several micro SD slots) which I could use in bed or carry along.
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2017
    ilcg1 and knopi like this.
  15. forestitalia
    Interesting. At the moment I'm pretty happy using an AR-M2 as dac amp, to my ears is phenomenal with Utopia. Had the Hugo , but didn't like that much.
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