Hugo M Scaler by Chord Electronics - The Official Thread
Feb 26, 2022 at 8:18 PM Post #14,986 of 16,288

genefruit

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Am I thinking correctly here, is this Battery Pack suitable?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08KW35...9Y2xpY2tSZWRpcmVjdCZkb05vdExvZ0NsaWNrPXRydWU=

I can plug both DAVE & MScaler in via the 3 Pin AC Plug sockets (using the supplied mains adaptors from Chord) which offer a purer power from this pack but can also have the option to use one or both via the DC 12v 3A (without the Chord adaptors)out perhaps?

Your thoughts please are appreciated as I’m interested to see if I’ve got this right and this is a good option.
I would not be inclined to use the AC outlets on this device, as could supply worse AC than the wall due to AC/DC/AC conversion that would take place. However I've not tested for myself plugging into AC from such a device. DAVE would require removing the internal power supply and connect three DC supplies to replicate, plus one would need to replicate the power on sequence for it to recognize. Beyond my comfort level.
 
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Feb 26, 2022 at 8:28 PM Post #14,987 of 16,288

zen87192

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I would not be inclined to use the AC outlets on this device, as could supply worse AC than the wall due to AC/DC/AC conversion that would take place. However I've not tested for myself plugging into AC from such a device. DAVE would require removing the internal power supply and connect three DC supplies to replicate, plus one would need to replicate the power on sequence for it to recognize. Beyond my comfort level.

Using a 12v DC out of this for the HMS should work in the manner others have used a 12v DC source to power their HMS. I've not tried this specific model but I don't see why it would be unique and not work.
Ahhh..OK. Got it. I see now how to choose the appropriate Battery Pack. I never knew the conversion within the Pack took place and agree that the supply could be worse. So, back to the drawing board and choose a ‘normal’ 12v DC Battery Pack For the MScaler only. Thank you for your explanation.
 
Feb 26, 2022 at 8:37 PM Post #14,988 of 16,288

genefruit

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Ahhh..OK. Got it. I see now how to choose the appropriate Battery Pack. I never knew the conversion within the Pack took place and agree that the supply could be worse. So, back to the drawing board and choose a ‘normal’ 12v DC Battery Pack For the MScaler only. Thank you for your explanation.
so I've done some thread search and it appears some have used a 12v 3a output like the one you posted with success. So I'm retracting my addendum and will leave it at I don't know. I use 12v 10a and have for well over a year with no issues.
 
Feb 27, 2022 at 5:27 AM Post #14,989 of 16,288

dcp10

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Now add the MScaler to the Dave and be prepared to be Piroutette’d in to the stratosphere….. I think you will enjoy this immensely if you liked the mTT2 pairing.
Well, I had to do it, didn't I? And, drumroll…

no difference.

Well, that's a slight exaggeration, but - and this is critical - listening through my Focal Utopia headphones, I spent an entire evening comparing M/TT2 vs M/Dave, and I really struggled to find meaningful differences. Yes, in a few places I thought that maybe the Dave had slightly better bass; and in a really reverberant acoustic (e.g., the Argo recording of mixed choral & orchestral works in Winchester Cathedral) the Dave sounded marginally less congested. But that was that. So what am I missing, and why?

Before I conjecture, let's put this into context:-

1. I could clearly hear that a bare Dave was better than a bare TT2 (more authoritative bass, wider soundstage, better transients, etc.). I could also hear that a "bare TT2" is better than a "bare Hugo 2" or a "bare Qutest".

2. When listening to well-recorded classical music from EMI and Decca - from the golden days of natural stereo, in good acoustics - the M/TT2 combo simply sounded so much better than "bare Dave". Even my wife - who's not a HiFi nut - was adamant about this.

I have no doubt that Dave is a better DAC than TT2, so why am I not hearing more of a difference when Dave is used with M-Scaler?

  • Is M-Scaler doing all the work, such that Dave's prodigious talents are wasted?
  • Is it because the Focal Utopias lack sufficiently-deep bass?
  • Does it relate to a better/warmer analogue stage in TT2?
  • Perhaps the M-Scaler's superior space/timing masks other differences? (this is a very musical seduction)
I'm curious to hear from other listeners who (a) understand the improvements that M-Scaler makes; and (b) have tried both M/TT2 and M/Dave. (Currawong?). Thanks!
 

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Feb 27, 2022 at 5:46 AM Post #14,990 of 16,288

dcp10

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(And no, I wasn't deliberately waving the Ukrainian flag - but that CD cover is certainly appropriate…)
 
Feb 27, 2022 at 5:57 AM Post #14,991 of 16,288

ZappaMan

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Appropriate for the decades long anti Russian propaganda that’s become normalized.
 
Feb 27, 2022 at 6:25 AM Post #14,992 of 16,288

dcp10

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Feb 27, 2022 at 8:40 AM Post #14,993 of 16,288

ecwl

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  • Is M-Scaler doing all the work, such that Dave's prodigious talents are wasted?
  • Is it because the Focal Utopias lack sufficiently-deep bass?
  • Does it relate to a better/warmer analogue stage in TT2?
  • Perhaps the M-Scaler's superior space/timing masks other differences? (this is a very musical seduction)
I'm curious to hear from other listeners who (a) understand the improvements that M-Scaler makes; and (b) have tried both M/TT2 and M/Dave. (Currawong?). Thanks!
I haven’t listened to TT2 at all. But having hung around this forum for a while and having brought my Mojo, Hugo 2 and DAVE to my local Head-Fi meet and seen people’s responses and how they compare it to other DACs and amps, I would say the main issue is that people listen for different things and are able to hear different things. This includes:
1) How loud can the DAC/amps go (without clipping or distortion)
2) How much 2nd order harmonic distortion does the DAC/amp give (for a specific sound signature and a fake soundstage width)
3) How does the amp’s impedance affect the frequency response of their favorite headphones to their pleasing
4) How much transparency and microdetails can be heard in the music (TT2 vs DAVE DAC elements & noise shaper)
5) What is the soundstage depth (Hugo 2 vs TT2 vs DAVE DAC elements & noise shaper)
6) How accurate is the transient (Hugo 2 vs TT2 vs DAVE vs M-Scaler tap length)
7) Do I get a holographic feel (this can be a combo of distortions and WTA tap length)
8) Is the bass fatter/leaner or dynamic/warm/smooth (this can be a combo of distortions and WTA tap length and the pulse array DAC elements and noise shaping)
For me, the unanswered question is: Can everyone learn to hear everything?
To me, @dcp10 can clearly hear everything I mentioned above. It’s just that you notice the tap length difference between TT2 & DAVE a lot more than the difference between the TT2’s 10-element pulse array DAC with its 12th order noise shaper and DAVE’s 20-elements with its 17th order noise shaper (e.g. less congested orchestral sound).
But there are lots of people who post in this thread who says M-Scaler makes no difference (because they can’t hear the difference in tap length) or makes very little difference (because they can hear but don’t care for the difference).
But I know it’s difficult to accept sometimes if our favorite hobby is high-end audio and to find out that we can’t hear the difference between top-end gear. I imagine it’ll be no different than people who love expensive wine but they can’t taste the difference. Except I, myself, had DAVE and Mojo for 1.5 years and I couldn’t tell the difference between the tap length until going to a live orchestral concert one day and then it finally clicked. So I think it happens to all of us. It is just difficult to learn how to listen. And I know many people who can tell the difference but would prefer a particular sound signature that I don’t like.
Since this is all a hobby but we are spending our own money, I think people should buy whatever gear they like with the maximum bang for the buck.
 
Feb 27, 2022 at 9:23 AM Post #14,994 of 16,288

Kirklandia

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I haven’t listened to TT2 at all.
I owned a TT2 for a couple months combined with the M-Scaler. I just did not care for the sound. The guy who bought my TT2 did not like either and sold it months later. Before that, I had the Qutest with the M-Scaler, which was really good. Then I bought a third hand DAVE to go with the M-Scaler and love the holographic naturalness. I only stream Qobuz and I have had to buy additional equipment before I could get a high quality signal through, with a PhoenixNet really upping the level of refinement. It would have been useful to get a better quality music source from the start and I went around all this backwards. I will keep this system as is now because I do not want to pay for and connect an aftermarket power supply. I wish Chord offered a separate power supply upgrade, which was a effective upgrade for the Naim equipment I owned back in the 90's.
 
Feb 27, 2022 at 9:48 AM Post #14,995 of 16,288

bpcans

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@Kirklandia, you don’t have to go to an expensive aftermarket LPS unit with the DAVE unless you want to. But if you do, I can’t recommend this Sean Jacobs custom unit enough. https://www.custom-hifi-cables.co.uk/power-supplies/dc4-power-supply. If I had a DAVE I’d definitely look into getting one. Back to reality. The best way to get really great sound out of your DAVE easily is to invest in a good power cable.
 
Feb 27, 2022 at 10:16 AM Post #14,996 of 16,288

Kirklandia

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The best way to get really great sound out of your DAVE easily is to invest in a good power cable.
Yes, I changed five power chords so far and they helped.
 
Feb 27, 2022 at 10:32 AM Post #14,997 of 16,288

dcp10

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To me, @dcp10 can clearly hear everything I mentioned above. It’s just that you notice the tap length difference between TT2 & DAVE a lot more than the difference between the TT2’s 10-element pulse array DAC with its 12th order noise shaper and DAVE’s 20-elements with its 17th order noise shaper (e.g. less congested orchestral sound).
Thank you so much for such a thoughtful and insightful reply. We certainly all experience sound in different ways and I'm sure there's a lot of pyscho-acoustics here. I certainly was concerned about potential differences owing to the different noise shapers and I think you're right: perhaps my perception is being "skewed" by the effect of M-scaler and its "ambience". The thing is, when both Dave and TT2 are being driven by the M-Scaler, I would still have expected more from Dave. Perhaps better headphones?
 
Feb 27, 2022 at 10:34 AM Post #14,998 of 16,288

dcp10

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I owned a TT2 for a couple months combined with the M-Scaler. I just did not care for the sound.
Were you using it as a headphone amp, or listening primarily through speakers? And was it also powered by M-Scaler?
 
Feb 27, 2022 at 11:26 AM Post #14,999 of 16,288

EMINENT

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Thank you so much for such a thoughtful and insightful reply. We certainly all experience sound in different ways and I'm sure there's a lot of pyscho-acoustics here. I certainly was concerned about potential differences owing to the different noise shapers and I think you're right: perhaps my perception is being "skewed" by the effect of M-scaler and its "ambience". The thing is, when both Dave and TT2 are being driven by the M-Scaler, I would still have expected more from Dave. Perhaps better headphones?

Maybe after 235,905 taps the difference is imperceptible? You also might want stop the pursuit or you'll end up with $4k cable suggestions.
 
Feb 27, 2022 at 11:30 AM Post #15,000 of 16,288

Kirklandia

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Were you using it as a headphone amp, or listening primarily through speakers? And was it also powered by M-Scaler?
I used the TT2 only for headphone use with the M-Scaler.
 

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