Hugo M Scaler by Chord Electronics - The Official Thread
Jul 15, 2022 at 10:20 AM Post #15,886 of 16,290

GuiltyRocker

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jul 9, 2022
Posts
256
Likes
255
Location
United States
Whoa, that would crazy if true coz MQA has a very different response and is much better than pggb/ HQplayer.

After googling, anti-mqa guy said it is not apodizing. Meanwhile, I find it to be the best format. 😁😁😁Screenshot_20220715-205414.jpg
You find it the best format because it sounds better to you? Have you compared it to all other high res formats? I recently tried Tidal with their MQA stuff and Qobuz and to me Qobuz sounded much better. Then again it is My experience and we can agree to disagree.
 
Jul 15, 2022 at 10:32 AM Post #15,887 of 16,290

801evan

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Aug 1, 2018
Posts
1,682
Likes
891
Location
Philippines
You find it the best format because it sounds better to you? Have you compared it to all other high res formats? I recently tried Tidal with their MQA stuff and Qobuz and to me Qobuz sounded much better. Then again it is My experience and we can agree to disagree.
I have compared it yes. The short story is, with a weak transport like a phone, laptop, nuc + lps and having a lot of USB accessories to help the chain this is the rank:

1. HMS
2. Hi-Res download from qobuz
3. MQA
4. PGGB
5. HQplayer
6. 44.1

But with a good transport ( zen stream) and custom power supply to power that and my CDT + OCXO,

1. MQA
2. CDT + OCXO
3. Hi-Res
4. HMS
5. 44.1 wav
6. Pggb
7. HQplayer

HMS started to lag behind here because of the RF issues and not having wavestorms. This is all to a Dave. If not using the HMS, I'm using the src dx.

Qobuz streams louder than any other service so one can't simply ABX and not volume match. So there is an appearance of more dynamics and more transparency. Tidal app used to not sound good but lately it has sounded better. MQA used to not sound good for me for years but once I past the threshold, it's #1 in my various setups lately. Reason being distortion likes distortion and lower distortion signals or devices will expose weaker links in the chain.
 
Last edited:
Jul 15, 2022 at 10:38 AM Post #15,888 of 16,290

ecwl

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Nov 14, 2015
Posts
765
Likes
783
Location
Winnipeg, MB, Canada
So I actually gave this feedback to PGGB programmer when the software first came out because the apodizing filter is only applied for 44.1kHz file automatically and not for say 96kHz. So he sent me a non-apodizing version where as he showed you can just click on and off. And indeed it did solve most of the timing issues. However, the programmer told me he’s not going to add that feature to the software because during beta testing, people prefer the apodizing filter. He said if I were to buy it, he will give me the version with the non-apodizing click available. I’m glad he finally added the feature for everyone.

The other problem that I gave him feedback on was what @801evan mentioned which was that for low level details, I find that PGGB causes a subtle loss. So playing symphonic works, I have more problems separating instruments and hearing their differences compared to M-Scaler. His response was that the problem is with M-Scaler and DAVE’s USB which I was highly skeptical of and he recommended me to buy the SRC-DX. Obviously I’m not going to buy SRC-DX and PGGB to beta test for him whether his PGGB is losing microdetails. I don’t know why others can’t hear this except me and @801evan. Either the SRC-DX solution is correct although that doesn’t explain the apodizing issue. Or some of us just hear differently than others. As long as people are enjoying their PGGB, well good for them. I’ll be sticking with my M-Scaler.
 
Jul 15, 2022 at 10:40 AM Post #15,889 of 16,290

Mediahound

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jul 22, 2009
Posts
4,159
Likes
1,750
Location
USA
I have compared it yes. The short story is, with a weak transport like a phone, laptop, nuc + lps and having a lot of USB accessories to help the chain this is the rank:

1. HMS
2. Hi-Res download from qobuz
3. MQA
4. PGGB
5. HQplayer
6. 44.1

But with a good transport ( zen stream) and custom power supply to power that and my CDT + OCXO,

1. MQA
2. CDT + OCXO
3. Hi-Res
4. HMS
5. 44.1 wav
6. Pggb
7. HQplayer

HMS started to lag behind here because of the RF issues and not having wavestorms. This is all to a Dave. If not using the HMS, I'm using the src dx.

Qobuz streams louder than any other service so one can't simply ABX and not volume match. So there is an appearance of more dynamics and more transparency. Tidal app used to not sound good but lately it has sounded better. MQA used to not sound good for me for years but once I past the threshold, it's #1 in my various setups lately. Reason being distortion likes distortion and lower distortion signals or devices will expose weaker links in the chain.

FWIW, here's what Rob Watts had to say about MQA:

I was actually being polite; the MQA interpolation filters against a standard WTA interpolation filter (I compared it using a Mojo) sounds dreadful. MQA is technically flawed, with huge and completely unacceptable levels of aliasing. And it's those two reasons why I refuse to implement it in my designs.

The MQA sound does depend upon the DAC you use - if you do not have a WTA Chord DAC, then it is certainly not the same as with one. The degradations that MQA add becomes very obvious with the SQ from a WTA filter - particularly when using an M scaler, as this completely changes one's expectation of what constitutes good sound. Anyway, enough about the technically flawed MQA - except if I produced a DAC with 1% HF distortion I would be critically and quite rightly destroyed, as it would not be fit for purpose.
 
Jul 15, 2022 at 10:43 AM Post #15,890 of 16,290

801evan

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Aug 1, 2018
Posts
1,682
Likes
891
Location
Philippines
So I actually gave this feedback to PGGB programmer when the software first came out because the apodizing filter is only applied for 44.1kHz file automatically and not for say 96kHz. So he sent me a non-apodizing version where as he showed you can just click on and off. And indeed it did solve most of the timing issues. However, the programmer told me he’s not going to add that feature to the software because during beta testing, people prefer the apodizing filter. He said if I were to buy it, he will give me the version with the non-apodizing click available. I’m glad he finally added the feature for everyone.

The other problem that I gave him feedback on was what @801evan mentioned which was that for low level details, I find that PGGB causes a subtle loss. So playing symphonic works, I have more problems separating instruments and hearing their differences compared to M-Scaler. His response was that the problem is with M-Scaler and DAVE’s USB which I was highly skeptical of and he recommended me to buy the SRC-DX. Obviously I’m not going to buy SRC-DX and PGGB to beta test for him whether his PGGB is losing microdetails. I don’t know why others can’t hear this except me and @801evan. Either the SRC-DX solution is correct although that doesn’t explain the apodizing issue. Or some of us just hear differently than others. As long as people are enjoying their PGGB, well good for them. I’ll be sticking with my M-Scaler.
Yea I did the src dx route and used so much USB accessories which gave it an edge but it just showed PGGB struggling even more. I can't recall if I did -3dbfs and 0dbfs comparisons. But I definitely did that on HQplayer and -3dbfs always takes a transparency hit. So I've done 0dBfs on the test to give it even more edge, but it wasn't enough.

FWIW, here's what Rob Watts had to say about MQA:
Thanks! Been looking for such. But yea, it kinda takes a lot of deliberate tweaking and hardware choice to make MQA sound good.it went from last place to first. There's only a couple of devices and very specific chains to see it's potential. Otherwise, I'll just stick to CDT.
 
Jul 15, 2022 at 10:48 AM Post #15,891 of 16,290

adrianm

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jun 1, 2020
Posts
1,966
Likes
1,478
Location
Europe
You find it the best format because it sounds better to you? Have you compared it to all other high res formats? I recently tried Tidal with their MQA stuff and Qobuz and to me Qobuz sounded much better. Then again it is My experience and we can agree to disagree.
This is pretty much the same approach everyone takes with him, he seems to like his own reality.
 
Jul 15, 2022 at 11:54 AM Post #15,892 of 16,290

GuiltyRocker

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jul 9, 2022
Posts
256
Likes
255
Location
United States
FWIW, here's what Rob Watts had to say about MQA:
Love it, maybe that's why I don't enjoy MQA. I prefer spinning CDs even.

I have compared it yes. The short story is, with a weak transport like a phone, laptop, nuc + lps and having a lot of USB accessories to help the chain this is the rank:

1. HMS
2. Hi-Res download from qobuz
3. MQA
4. PGGB
5. HQplayer
6. 44.1

But with a good transport ( zen stream) and custom power supply to power that and my CDT + OCXO,

1. MQA
2. CDT + OCXO
3. Hi-Res
4. HMS
5. 44.1 wav
6. Pggb
7. HQplayer

HMS started to lag behind here because of the RF issues and not having wavestorms. This is all to a Dave. If not using the HMS, I'm using the src dx.

Qobuz streams louder than any other service so one can't simply ABX and not volume match. So there is an appearance of more dynamics and more transparency. Tidal app used to not sound good but lately it has sounded better. MQA used to not sound good for me for years but once I past the threshold, it's #1 in my various setups lately. Reason being distortion likes distortion and lower distortion signals or devices will expose weaker links in the chain.
I see, thanks for sharing.
 
Jul 15, 2022 at 2:35 PM Post #15,893 of 16,290

Triode User

Member of the Trade: WAVE High Fidelity
Joined
Feb 5, 2017
Posts
4,139
Likes
4,075
Location
Leics, UK
And of course with these debates and reports of what sounds better we have no idea whether one person’s ‘better’ or ‘best’ will be the same choice for all of us. Often I fundamentally disagree when other people say something is better because to my ears the sound they prefer clearly has issues.

Of course this is the fun and advantage of inviting fellow hifi ethusiasts to ones house because then we are all hearing the same music and can debate what we hear.

Without that opportunity it is always useful to try to describe what one is hearing and why it is considered to be a better or even best sound
 
Jul 15, 2022 at 3:02 PM Post #15,894 of 16,290

Leporello

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
May 10, 2002
Posts
749
Likes
63
And of course with these debates and reports of what sounds better we have no idea whether one person’s ‘better’ or ‘best’ will be the same choice for all of us. Often I fundamentally disagree when other people say something is better because to my ears the sound they prefer clearly has issues.
But personal preferences are not the point of proper sound reproduction.

We actually have two questions, for the time being without satisfying answers:

1. Does the M-scaler sound any different?

2. If so, is it able to reproduce the source signal more faithfully than other alternatives?

Considering the M-scaler's not an inconsiderable price it would be nice if it did both 1 and 2.

Since 'Science' is mentioned in your company motto, I am confident you find these questions interesting.
 
Jul 15, 2022 at 3:22 PM Post #15,895 of 16,290

griff500

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Oct 19, 2020
Posts
755
Likes
975
Location
UK
1. Does the M-scaler sound any different?
Try it and find out.

The member you asked will tell you that it does sound different to him. Would his subjective experience persuade you to buy it? I presume not, so what is the point of the question?
 
Jul 15, 2022 at 3:46 PM Post #15,896 of 16,290

Progisus

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
May 28, 2018
Posts
1,763
Likes
2,071
Location
Canada
What sounds better with mscaler…. Roon, Squeeze, MPD, Audirvana, Jriver. I have all and there are slight differences. The reason I ask this is that if CD or PGGB or MQA are played with different software then perceived quality may change. That is why when asked if PGGB sounded better, I said in my system.
 
Jul 15, 2022 at 6:00 PM Post #15,897 of 16,290

GuiltyRocker

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jul 9, 2022
Posts
256
Likes
255
Location
United States
I read an article about studies into the hypothesis that the brain is always in a state of controlled hallucination (I think that was the theme), and that when listening to music their brain model recognises the importance of detecting the leading transient of a sound, and then filling in some of next information based on the brains 'memory of previous sounds', so in a sense hallucinating and 'making the information up'.

I too thought that this could make some forms of blind tests difficult, especially if they involved rapidly switching from one dac to another (for example), because their 'brain model' could mean that the listener always processed each sound based on their 'legacy memory of previous dacs', leading to the conclusion that both dacs sound the same.
It is true that some listeners do claim that all dacs sound the same.

However how does this brain model cope for the cases where listeners compare listening with and without MScaler - especially where they initially they report that can detect no difference, but after a few weeks of listening with MScaler they report that they can detect a difference, especially if then trying the 'no MScaler option' ?
My hypothesis is that it must mean that the brain can create a new 'legacy memory' now based on using the MScaler, but also that the brain can store multiple 'legacy memories' - the alternative would be that after using a MScaler for a few weeks, and building the new single 'legacy memory', the owner could then sell the MScaler but the 'legacy memory' would cause the 'no MScaler option' to sound identical to the 'MScaler option'.

Overall the more times I read the article, the more 'what if' questions were raised in my mind, that some implementations of blind testing may not be as appropriate for all scenarios as widely believed.

It would be interesting to read if the researchers have developed their brain model further, based on experimental results.

@AxelCloris if this post crosses the line, and is OT, I will move it.
Fascinating stuff.

Demoing the DAVE with M Scaler right now.

DAVE and M Scaler, what an amazing combination WOW!!!!

@Rob Watts Rob congrats on creating such amazing devices the M Scaler and DAVE are incredible together, truly remarkable stuff. I don't know how you will beat them in the future, maybe more processing to get closer to the Sync function decay as per Shannon?
 

Attachments

  • PXL_20220715_202012117.jpg
    PXL_20220715_202012117.jpg
    1.8 MB · Views: 0
Jul 16, 2022 at 8:35 AM Post #15,898 of 16,290

bpcans

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jan 14, 2012
Posts
2,019
Likes
1,446
Location
Madeline Island, La Pointe, Wisconsin
@Leporello, do you own now or have you ever owned a Chord M Scaler or any other Rob Watts designed Chord product? Have you ever been able to listen to music in a system with a Chord DAC and an M Scaler in it, and if so what was your experience?
 
Jul 16, 2022 at 12:17 PM Post #15,899 of 16,290

Reactcore

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
May 17, 2010
Posts
630
Likes
715
Location
The Netherlands
@Rob Watts Rob congrats on creating such amazing devices the M Scaler and DAVE are incredible together, truly remarkable stuff. I don't know how you will beat them in the future, maybe more processing to get closer to the Sync function decay as per Shannon?
For what i have read sofar hes not working on a Dave successor ..but he is on a new Mscaler.

Hes testing on a prototype..
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top