Hugo 2 vs Modi Multibit
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Hello, I hope I am posting in the correct location.

I was listening to my Fulla 2 as a DAC/amp, and A/Bing it with a Modi Multibit. I could not hear a discernible difference between them. I could not tell if it was a bias or if one was better or worse, almost completely identical. I do not know if there was a bottleneck (the Fulla 2 being the amp) but this has me kind of in a state of audiophile-existentialism. I don’t know if upgrading is worth it, like would a Schiit stack be enough? The reason I am asking is because I was going to take a plunge into buying a Hugo 2 to pair with my LCD-4s and buying an amp in the future. Headphones are a different story in my book, as I could hear a discernible upgrade between even high fi cans like the Z1R to the LCD-4s. But sources/amps, I just don’t know anymore. Some say the best thing to do is to audition things, try them out for your own ears, and I did, and thta is only leaving me more confused. Would a Hugo 2 be clearly distinguishable, undeniably a Hugo 2, sound like a Hugo 2 and all OR would I be able to listen to a Modi Multibit and forget what the Hugo 2 sounded like in a second? How bit is the difference? Would a Modi/Magni stack suffice? Is the difference in price what I am lacking here? Or am I missing something else entirely. I feel so lost.

Thanks for reading, and thanks in advance for advice and input.
 
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Hello, I hope I am posting in the correct location.

I was listening to my Fulla 2 as a DAC/amp, and A/Bing it with a Modi Multibit. I could not hear a discernible difference between them. I could not tell if it was a bias or if one was better or worse, almost completely identical. I do not know if there was a bottleneck (the Fulla 2 being the amp) but this has me kind of in a state of audiophile-existentialism. I don’t know if upgrading is worth it, like would a Schiit stack be enough? The reason I am asking is because I was going to take a plunge into buying a Hugo 2 to pair with my LCD-4s and buying an amp in the future. Headphones are a different story in my book, as I could hear a discernible upgrade between even high fi cans like the Z1R to the LCD-4s. But sources/amps, I just don’t know anymore. Some say the best thing to do is to audition things, try them out for your own ears, and I did, and thta is only leaving me more confused. Would a Hugo 2 be clearly distinguishable, undeniably a Hugo 2, sound like a Hugo 2 and all OR would I be able to listen to a Modi Multibit and forget what the Hugo 2 sounded like in a second? How bit is the difference? Would a Modi/Magni stack suffice? Is the difference in price what I am lacking here? Or am I missing something else entirely. I feel so lost.

Thanks for reading, and thanks in advance for advice and input.
How far away are you from someone who carries the Chord line? I agree with your own remark that listening for yourself is the most valuable and important thing. Even if most people think the Hugo would be a big upgrade from the MMB stack, there is no substitute for your own ears, IMO.
 
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Fully agree with @serman005, at the same time I had to take the plunge on a Chord Mojo since I had no possibility to listen to it locally, and I love it.
I only have a Cayin N3, HiBy R3 and Sony ZX2 to compare it to, and aside from a Sony NW ZX2 nothing in the higher price range, but there is something different about the Mojo, something that doesn't stand out immediately, but every time I listen to another source I start missing the musicality of the Mojo after a short time. It makes me forget the specs, and just enjoy the music, with stronger emotional reaction than anything else I have, or have heard. I also exchanged the DAC in my stereo system (which was like €3500 in 2003) with a Chord product and it also improved the sound considerably.

Did you consider buying used? That way you could limit the risk and sell without (much) loss if you decide to do so.

Cheers!
 
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Hello,

@serman005 I live in the east bay, and the closest Chord line I know of is in downtown SF (annoying to get to there but possibly worth it) a place called AudioVison SF. They are nice people and all, but they ask that their customers buy from them instead of used, and I would like to honor that, except that I like to buy used when I can. @surfgeorge I think what I will do is buy a Hugo 2, compare it with the Modi Multibit, and if it is supremely awesome, then I will keep it. Otherwise it will be a loss, but not a severe one. I do think Chord Electronics is an excellent company, and their products are very aesthetically pleasing, so I will take the plunge. Even Audeze recommends the Hugo 2 with the LCD-4s.


I will update this and probaly the LCD-4 thread with inpressions of both.

Thanks.
 
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Hello,

@serman005 I live in the east bay, and the closest Chord line I know of is in downtown SF (annoying to get to there but possibly worth it) a place called AudioVison SF. They are nice people and all, but they ask that their customers buy from them instead of used, and I would like to honor that, except that I like to buy used when I can. @surfgeorge I think what I will do is buy a Hugo 2, compare it with the Modi Multibit, and if it is supremely awesome, then I will keep it. Otherwise it will be a loss, but not a severe one. I do think Chord Electronics is an excellent company, and their products are very aesthetically pleasing, so I will take the plunge. Even Audeze recommends the Hugo 2 with the LCD-4s.


I will update this and probaly the LCD-4 thread with inpressions of both.

Thanks.
Seems odd that a store would ask that you not buy used after trying their gear.
Wouldn't all stores prefer that?
I hardly think it would be wrong in any way on your part to audition the Hugo 2 which you very well may buy on the spot, or not, and save yourself the hassle and loss of selling it.
 
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Hello,

@serman005 I live in the east bay, and the closest Chord line I know of is in downtown SF (annoying to get to there but possibly worth it) a place called AudioVison SF. They are nice people and all, but they ask that their customers buy from them instead of used, and I would like to honor that, except that I like to buy used when I can. @surfgeorge I think what I will do is buy a Hugo 2, compare it with the Modi Multibit, and if it is supremely awesome, then I will keep it. Otherwise it will be a loss, but not a severe one. I do think Chord Electronics is an excellent company, and their products are very aesthetically pleasing, so I will take the plunge. Even Audeze recommends the Hugo 2 with the LCD-4s.


I will update this and probaly the LCD-4 thread with inpressions of both.

Thanks.
I’d recommend trying out a Hugo 2 with your LCD4s first. You may be a little disappointed in that combo and want more power. And since you’re not planning to buy an amp right away, you might spend a lot on the Hugo 2 and not get as much satisfaction right away.

The Hugo 2 is a fantastic dac/amp though.
 
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If you like the chord sound and having a transportable option doesn’t matter to you, you might want to look at the Quetest as your DAC and then have some money left over for a good amp right away.
 
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Hello,

@serman005 I live in the east bay, and the closest Chord line I know of is in downtown SF (annoying to get to there but possibly worth it) a place called AudioVison SF. They are nice people and all, but they ask that their customers buy from them instead of used, and I would like to honor that, except that I like to buy used when I can. @surfgeorge I think what I will do is buy a Hugo 2, compare it with the Modi Multibit, and if it is supremely awesome, then I will keep it. Otherwise it will be a loss, but not a severe one. I do think Chord Electronics is an excellent company, and their products are very aesthetically pleasing, so I will take the plunge. Even Audeze recommends the Hugo 2 with the LCD-4s.


I will update this and probaly the LCD-4 thread with inpressions of both.

Thanks.
The Hugo 2 is a fantastic DAC/Amp and in my testing was much better sounding than a Jot. MB and Jot. Bifrost combo but what I couldn't do is get passed it's form factor for permanent desktop use. The cables go out on two sides of the device and it ends up using more space than necessary.

For a transportable solution it cannot be beat and if they ever release the 2go it's going to be the best portable solution but ultimately I found the 2qute to be a better fit for a desk system. Give it a try certainly because the sound and power it produces is incredible, but just another angle to think about it with.

Keith
 
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I cant give you a direct comparison, but people raves so much about the IFI Micro DSD BL but when I listen to it with my original Chord hugo, I was thinking "Ignorance is bliss" MAYBE a Chord Mojo is a comparison to the IFI but the Hugo is still league ahead considering the hugo power output is less than the IFI. Like everyone else says, just try them out but side by side you can definitely tell. Honestly just be happy with that, Chord are not cheap, but its durable, quality, design and craftsmanship is just top notch. Theres a reason why Chord has been named DAC of the year for multiple years.

Side note, I never understand people obsession with power and amp/dac. If it sounds good without distortion, then who care about power? I never once thought my Hugo was lacking power with the Ether 2 or my Beyer T1 or any of my previous headset.
 
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I cant give you a direct comparison, but people raves so much about the IFI Micro DSD BL but when I listen to it with my original Chord hugo, I was thinking "Ignorance is bliss" MAYBE a Chord Mojo is a comparison to the IFI but the Hugo is still league ahead considering the hugo power output is less than the IFI. Like everyone else says, just try them out but side by side you can definitely tell. Honestly just be happy with that, Chord are not cheap, but its durable, quality, design and craftsmanship is just top notch. Theres a reason why Chord has been named DAC of the year for multiple years.

Side note, I never understand people obsession with power and amp/dac. If it sounds good without distortion, then who care about power? I never once thought my Hugo was lacking power with the Ether 2 or my Beyer T1 or any of my previous headset.
I once owned Hugo 1 and it powered Ether C and Ether C Flow. Turned out it was a bad pairing to my ears. It was bad enough so that the Q5 paired them better.
 
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I once owned Hugo 1 and it powered Ether C and Ether C Flow. Turned out it was a bad pairing to my ears. It was bad enough so that the Q5 paired them better.

bad in what sense? the only point I see that it was bad was making the Ether C more prone to distortion on bad recordings, but thats the nature of the DAC/AMP, neutral and reference. Cant comment on Ether C flow as I have not had a chance to own it.
 
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bad in what sense? the only point I see that it was bad was making the Ether C more prone to distortion on bad recordings, but thats the nature of the DAC/AMP, neutral and reference. Cant comment on Ether C flow as I have not had a chance to own it.
Bass was too weak. A separate amp might solve that problem.
But honestly, I was never impressed while I owned it. I owned Hugo for about 1 year.
 
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Bass was too weak. A separate amp might solve that problem.
But honestly, I was never impressed while I owned it. I owned Hugo for about 1 year.

Thats the nature of the headphone not the amp. Ether C are known not to have bass (I am bass shy so the bass was fine with me), if you wanted a bass boost you should have done your research and go with a tube amp or change headphone completely, you cant fault a neutral/reference dac/amp for something you expected the sound to be, thats not what neutral means. For comparison HD820 with original Hugo made the back of my throat vibrate while Ether C did not, not on the Ether 2 either.

Anyway, I think you might like the IFI Micro DSD BL. In comparison to the Hugo, that DAC/AMP by itself is more bass boosted, switch on the 3D+ and its V-shaped like. Sound stage, clarity and imaging is no where in comparison to Hugo, but that just me.
 
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Thats the nature of the headphone not the amp. Ether C are known not to have bass (I am bass shy so the bass was fine with me), if you wanted a bass boost you should have done your research and go with a tube amp or change headphone completely, you cant fault a neutral/reference dac/amp for something you expected the sound to be, thats not what neutral means. For comparison HD820 with original Hugo made the back of my throat vibrate while Ether C did not, not on the Ether 2 either.

Anyway, I think you might like the IFI Micro DSD BL. In comparison to the Hugo, that DAC/AMP by itself is more bass boosted, switch on the 3D+ and its V-shaped like. Sound stage, clarity and imaging is no where in comparison to Hugo, but that just me.
I also drove the HD800S with Hugo 1. That was fine.
But a planar headphone needs good current. And I think Hugo 1 was not appropriate doing that job. If you drove planars with Hugo 1, I can tell you are missing something. I am telling this to you because I owned exactly what you owned except the HD820. Just buy something like Massdrop Cavalli Tube Hybrid ($250) which sounds like a solid-state amp, but it did a job lot better. It doesn't cost a fortune either. Just give it a try. You can always sell it if you don't like it at a minimal loss.
I used Hugo 1-MCTH-Ether C Flow for a while.
FYI, I never use bass-boost. I like neutral bass and Ether C Flow bass without any boost was acceptable to my ears.
 
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I also drove the HD800S with Hugo 1. That was fine.
But a planar headphone needs good current. And I think Hugo 1 was not appropriate doing that job. If you drove planars with Hugo 1, I can tell you are missing something. I am telling this to you because I owned exactly what you owned except the HD820. Just buy something like Massdrop Cavalli Tube Hybrid ($250) which sounds like a solid-state amp, but it did a job lot better. It doesn't cost a fortune either. Just give it a try. You can always sell it if you don't like it at a minimal loss.
I used Hugo 1-MCTH-Ether C Flow for a while.
FYI, I never use bass-boost. I like neutral bass and Ether C Flow bass without any boost was acceptable to my ears.

please re-read what I said, I never complained about the bass on the Ether C, it was fine for me. Again, a reference/neutral DAC/amp not supposed to colored your headphone one way or the other, its suppose to be flat and linear, this is where Chord excel and what you are not understanding.

I owned Mrspeaker Ether C since it inception, I think I would know if I like it or not after 3-4 years, and I do, it just the HD820 simply does everything better, that is why I sold the Ether C.

You only need more current if you see distortion and lack of volume. I experienced this on my JDS Lab C5D while driving Mrspeakers Alpha Prime, I thought the amp was broken but no its drives my other headphone and IEM just fine, with Alpha Prime I clearly hear distortion up top, because I try to crank the volume up and it tries to power something more than what it could handles.
 
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