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Hi seeteeyou will u buy one?
Stone Audio just called... my Hugo is in! Heading over there after work to pick it up. Once I find some time to have a proper listen I'll post up my thoughts.
Mine just turned up!
Important stuff first:
My Cardas Golden Reference and Nordost Red Dawn interconnects don't fit, at all, which is very annoying. I've got an ancient pair of Audioquest Diamond 2 which do, but they aren't long enough so some rearranging is required.
My Audioquest Vodka Toslink cable doesn't fit either, also because of the recessed inputs.
Holding down the Crossfeed button on switch-on bypasses the volume control, but does so for both line level AND headphone outputs.
None of the buttons or inputs are labelled.
Source selection, crossfeed mode and battery life all use internal LEDs to indicate status. I can't see any of the LEDs with it on a my hi-fi rack so I'm flying blind.
The power switch is impossible to use with my thumb, but a small finger with a fingernail can just get it. I haven't tried changing source yet.
Software installation was painless on Win8.1 and I'm using WASAPI at the moment. It installed ASIO automatically, but I've not tried that.
Look and feel:
It's tiny, and weighs almost nothing.
If I hadn't been told it was made out of aluminium I'd have assumed it was plastic (but if I have to carry it anywhere I won't be complaining).
The buttons are small and plastic, including the volume control.
It goes loud. I currently have HD800s, Westone 4r and some cheap Sennheiser IEMs helping run it in, with the IEMs playing pretty loud, the HD800s quietly and the volume LED at light red / pink. I'll want to be very careful with the volume on IEMs.
Stuff I already knew:
The lights are pretty but pure style over function. I guess I'll learn them eventually, if I pick it up and peer inside.
The headphone outputs are on the same end as the RCAs and the opposite end to the input select button, which may make sense for a portable device but doesn't really work on a rack.
I'm only 30 minutes in, if that, and running on mains power but it's making my music sound interesting, which is score 1 for the DAC. I'll leave it playing for the next fortnight before making any judgements, but will have to remove the IEMs if I want to crank the HD800s.
I may find I change the way I use my hi-fi with this, moving it around and just plugging it in to headphones or amplifiers according to what I'm doing. I've got a 3m Audioquest Cinnamon USB cable on order which will give me that flexibility. If it actually fits!
Update: changing inputs is a lot easier than switching it on, so that button is fine. I still have to guess what source I'm listening to from the content and the bit rate light though.
Nope, the Audioquest micro usb connector doesn't fit either. I was joking when I suggested that before, but now the recessed ports are seriously starting to p*** me off. To be fair the Audioquest is a larger plug surround than my generic cables, but it connects to my Galaxy S3 just fine. I could try filing the plug down but I don't know what the internal construction is like. I'm also seriously considering removing the casing of the Hugo and running it naked. The casing obstructs my view of the LEDs from any angle except top down, makes turning it on and off pointlessly hard, and is a PITA for cabling. The only reason not to do so is the warranty.
The Audioquest connectors have a slightly rounded profile and are too high (the top and bottom hit the casework). A squarer connector might be fine, although the one in your picture is likely to obstruct the on/off button with it's cabling if it's the way round that I think it is.
I've discovered why the internal LEDs were so hard to see too. When the unit is plugged into the mains supply there's a bright white charging LED inside that reflects in the glass porthole and masks the others. Once I unplugged the mains charger the white LED went out and the coloured LEDs became visible from an angle. I still don't know what they mean unless I open up the manual, but at least I can see them now.
I wonder why they didn't think about the fit of so many common after market RCA's? Frankly a distributor for Audio Note Uk, that I used to know, like Radio Shack RCA's , the cheap thins ones as well or better than the ultra expensive ones because they were basically the same material and the Radio Shack connector was easier to use, thinner so you had less brass for the signal to go through and often tin plated, which works better than gold and the price is excellent. I have used them as well and they are fine.
Looking forward to more impressions of the sound and comparisons.
In a portable. Having less sticking out will prolong the jacks. Things like that get dropped and they probably reduced the service rate by a factor of ten.
I think a factor of ten is overstating things a bit. They could surely have been recessed, but with a wider cut out around them to cause fewer issues with connectors. I think the design here in this regard is still a bit poor, particularly in an item of this expense.
By being narrow, if plugs are in when it gets knocked, their movement is limited and a factor of ten may not be overstating. Limiting that leverage is a big deal for board mounts.
I see a problem if there is too much space. You could really put a lot of pressure on the pcb where the rca attaches and this I would not want. Give me the radioshack cheap rca's.