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Chord Hugo

Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by harmonix, Jan 28, 2014.
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  1. adeseaso
    Hugo was a bit of a disappointment at first for me. Compared to the Mojo it was hard, fatiguing, lean and the only aspect it was preferable in was a promise of slightly more detail. That was with Audirvana (all system optimizer stuff engaged) out of a MBP or an iMac via straight USB.

    I'm waiting for a decent mobile source out of China but in the meanwhile I got a little iDefender 3.0 from ifi and what a difference it made with the Hugo. I would have to assume it's more sensitive to USB noise than the Mojo because the Mojo got 10% better and the Hugo 100% better and left the Mojo firmly behind. Now it's not hard or harsh or 'analytical', it's just more open with better extension and detail both ways and better separation of sound elements. Some say the difference between the two units is mainly in the treble but I disagree, in some songs the bass line is right there throughout with texture and all with the Hugo while a direct switch to Mojo has it gone hiding a bit. Low level detail such as room ambience, cymbal decay and reverb tails are the best I've heard from any unit I've owned, I hope that will improve further once I get my Xduoo X10T II.

    It was a bit of a bargain at £350, I think the previous owner perhaps was a bit worried due to having used it plugged in for a year and then stored it with the battery dead for a couple, but it seems to hold a 9 hour charge or so and I hope to keep it alive and well for a few years, with Chord's help if need be. The power switch gives me a sarcastic laugh at times when it proves hard to fiddle with with the USB plugged in, as well as needing to look at the unit from a certain angle to gauge battery status, but other than that I'm very very happy.
  2. montanari
    £350 is a real bargain
    if I think how much I spent for it in 2015..
  3. bintol
    Thanks for this. The iDefender3 looks interesting for use with the Hugo. Are you talking about a Hugo 1 or 2? Thanks.
  4. adeseaso
    The Hugo 1. I can only recommend giving it a try. I have personal experience of power and signal cleaning having a detrimental effect to sound in some cases with my S Boosters and other DACs/Transports but I get little "deadening" effect with the iDef3 and Hugo, mostly a removal of noise and hardness that leaves a more natural sound and timbre.

    I would imagine a clean transport with coax/optical will still sound better than a "cured" computer USB out but time will tell.
  5. bintol
    I can understand the removal of this hiss, but I'm surprised it influences the sound so much (more natural). Can I ask what sort of headphones you're using?
    Tempted to give it a go.
  6. WilliamLeonhart
    I had the same feeling as you, got myself an iPurifier then an iPurifier 2. Both did nothing. Then the Hugo grew on me. Would buy it again if I can afford it
  7. adeseaso
    I mainly use HD 600, I haven't had much luck replacing them with other sub $1k cans yet, their timbre just works for me.

    I think what's going on with the sound change is just the removal of noise. With noise you get grain, fizz, artefacts in the treble and the added treble energy with false detail is quite fatiguing to my ears, and have always been. And you lose some image focus which makes the brain work a bit harder. With the iDefender the treble is clean, the superfluous texture is gone and what's left is a darker smoother sound that's more easily intelligible. I could see some not liking it since the removal of treble energy could come off as 'dull' and the stereo image width shrinks somewhat as usual when you remove noise and things better snap into focus. But I think it's only for the better.

    I've done a lot of AB with both Mojo and Hugo with and without the iDefender the last few days and my impression stands - the Mojo must have received one or two updates to its USB signal handling, the benefit of the iDefender is still there, but nowhere near the degree to which it helps the Hugo.
  8. bintol
    Thank you adeseaso. I'll give it a try.
  9. mrgray
    hi there, hoping for a few tips here.

    just picked up a hugo this morning. haven't got cord for dap connection yet so currently playing from mac using "pine player".

    hugo won't pick up various file resolutions. sounds nice. maybe not as detailed as wm1z. definitely got more "swing" to it. tried listening to same song thru both. it didn't go well for the sony.

    for some songs hugo gets a bit boomy and shouty with the bass. to the point i am wondering if it is disliking what it is being fed.

    looking forward to hearing wm1z thru it.

    did listen to it in car connected to iphone. much thicker than wm1z. good.

    is there a better way to play out of mac does anyone think?

    also does the source matter much for this fellow or am i now able to sell the wm1z and just use this puppy and some cheaper player?

    thanks in advance for helping a newbie out.
  10. vourt
    Just wanted to know if there is recommendations that either optical vs USB connection has any benefits using the Hugo 2 with my home PC who has both connections available? just wondering which cable to order now.
  11. reeltime
    Use USB, not optical, and make sure it's USB High if the Hugo2 carries that over from the Hugo1. Optical has a max resolution, if I remember correctly, of 96k and it will not carry native DSD. USB carries everything native and lets the Hugo do all the work, which is what you want.
    vourt likes this.
  12. roskodan
    That said, i use usb from my laptop, sounds great, does 32bit 384kHz. The cables that come with the hugo are as good as any. I use the optical from time to time and it works fine up to 32bit 192kHz resolution. Over optical and running only on battery with the power supply unplugged, it does sound more "liquid" or "rounded".

    Hugo User Manual
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2019
  13. Rozzko
    Is Hugo 1.much better than mojo? Is this cost 3 times more? I have got mojo and want to understand what Hugo can do for me in term of music quality
  14. miketlse
    Hugo 1 has been out of production for close to 5 years, so you should be able to buy one pre-owned for less than 1k euros. The mojo has more taps than the Hugo, but the remaining elements of the dac are scaled in different proportions, to result in a more musical sound signature from the mojo.
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2019
  15. Triode User
    Hugo 1 sells for between £500 and £700 ukp in the uk.
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