Hugo M Scaler by Chord Electronics - The Official Thread
Dec 15, 2018 at 6:08 PM Post #4,381 of 14,354

ZappaMan

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Hugo2 owner here, also toying with the idea of a TT2 + efficient speakers such as the Omegas (although M scaler probably first on my list to review). But if you are looking to try out some speakers to use with your Hugo2 and don't mind near/mid-field, I recommend auditioning the Focal Shape range. I listen in a small room and find these excellent value.

Siz
Are these speakers 104db efficient? That means they’re more efficient than omegas....

Looked it up a bit, they’re active monitors, with an amp in each. Do all speakers have amp in them or is that only for active speakers...
 
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Dec 15, 2018 at 6:44 PM Post #4,383 of 14,354

maxh22

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I guess because if it's good enough such that Rob Watts himself absolutely requires having this system on 12 hour flights, it's good enough for me.

Rob is addicted to the instrumental power, flow, and superior timbre variation that the M Scaler provides, that aspect of sound is more important to him than the extra refinement, body, and power the TT2 has.

Some other headfiers may feel the complete opposite as they look for different things in the sound they’re seeking.
 
Dec 15, 2018 at 7:11 PM Post #4,384 of 14,354

Amberlamps

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I'm looking for a reasonably priced closed back headphone to use with my system that will do it justice.

I currently use an HD800 via Hugo 2 / Mscaler. Anybody have any experience of MrSpeakers Aeon Closed? Any others?

Bang on the money, the Aeon’s are widely recommended by a few posters around here. Thinking of grabbing a pair at the start of the new year. Not sure whether it’s the open or closed ones they speak about, but aeons are well liked.

Edit.

Now that I think back, I think it was the closed version.
 
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Dec 15, 2018 at 7:20 PM Post #4,385 of 14,354

Amberlamps

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Yes, I'm aware of that. I'm a producer and when I'm at home I'm almost always producing records or film scores. Only when I'm traveling do I get good time to actually relax and listen.

Oh, now that you have mentioned that you do film scores, any famous movies your work has been in ?

Just curious is all.
 
Dec 15, 2018 at 7:22 PM Post #4,386 of 14,354

SCOTTY1

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Rob is addicted to the instrumental power, flow, and superior timbre variation that the M Scaler provides, that aspect of sound is more important to him than the extra refinement, body, and power the TT2 has.

Some other headfiers may feel the complete opposite as they look for different things in the sound they’re seeking.

Somewhat nebulous as J-C J.may say. Instrumental power, flow, extra refinement and body are straight out of the Hi-Fi reviewer lexicon, and, are somewhat meaningless. Timbre variation I think I get. Not that any of this stuff can be conveyed verbally by any but the most gifted writers.
 
Dec 15, 2018 at 7:34 PM Post #4,387 of 14,354

maxh22

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Somewhat nebulous as J-C J.may say. Instrumental power, flow, extra refinement and body are straight out of the Hi-Fi reviewer lexicon, and, are somewhat meaningless. Timbre variation I think I get. Not that any of this stuff can be conveyed verbally by any but the most gifted writers.

This is in comparison to Dave but the same could be said when comparing H2 M Scaler and TT2

Dave is more transparent; but timbre variation,tempo and flow, and instrument separation is better with the Hugo M scaler/TT2. Some prefer Dave, some M scaler/TT2...

It depends what one wants; vinyl clearly has euphonic colourations; but to me it just sounds soft muddled and distorted with poor transparency.

I want to close the gap from the sound of a live unamplified music and measure that subjective performance as objectively as I can; and to do that I quantify the variations in space, timbre variations and natural warmth, instrument separation, instrument power, transient attack, tempo and flow. By these objective measures M scaler Dave will beat a vinyl source very, very easily.

But there is another aspect that trounces the above - and that is emotional involvement with the music. This is the aspect that is most important, but obviously much more difficult to quantify. And in this regard the M scaler coupled with my DACs really excels; and again easily beats vinyl. I have commented before about playing back some Pink Floyd (Relics) that I had not heard since my high end vinyl rig; and the music was stunning, and achieved a connection to the master tape that I never had with vinyl.

As it happens, over the last couple of weeks I added some Yes albums to my playlist. Again, not heard since vinyl; and Yes recordings used to drive me nuts, as Jon Anderson's voice would grate, and the sound was EQ'd to sound bright and forward. Not so with my listening recently; Jon's voice is simply superb, and although the EQ on the drums is lean, it just sounds lean and certainly not unpleasant. Again you can hear why they went for that sound, and today it works perfectly musically; but it never did with vinyl.

Of course I am biased, but to me Dave was the final nail in Vinyl's coffin; the M scaler just puts it 6 feet under.
 
Dec 16, 2018 at 3:58 AM Post #4,389 of 14,354

Momogi

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Hugo M Scaler and DAVE combo review

Hi all, after waiting for several months I finally got Hugo M Scaler for my DAVE. I have it for several days now and I’d like to share some opinion about it.

Lets start with the juicy part, how does it sound? In a word, RELAXED.

Suddenly the music became slower and calmer thus making it free from tension and more enjoyable.

There are two qualities that makes up the relaxed sound:
1.It’s very very Smooth: the word smooth constantly came up everytime I listen to this combo.
2.It’s a Brightness reduction machine, every song benefited from this treatment.

Similar to previous poster, after a couple of song, I stopped taking notes and just enjoy the music, because for me the sound has clearly moving in the right direction (toward fatigue free listening) and there is no point anymore looking for flaw or downside.

I’ll also add that I hear no major change in either tonal balance nor image size.

How about detail & resolution you ask?
To be honest, more detail is not what I have in mind when first listening to HMS, but further listening has proven that new detail does actually exist.

There is certainly new information being revealed by this combo, but those detail were not presented ‘in your face’ way.

on Jazz Variants (O-Zone Percussion Group) there is more drum strokes to hear and follow because each were given more space, while on DAVE alone, the louder stroke got the most attention. This stand out stroke is also what gives a bit more pinpoint imaging on single DAVE.

How’s the imaging?
Not a pinpoint imaging type, because there seems to be a cushion/dampener when the soundwave hits you. Don’t read it as hazy & muddy presentation, because it’s more like each performer / instrument were given more space around them.

How does it sound on sub par recording ?
I am happy to report that bad recording will become more listenable, of course the really bad songs still sound bad as ever, but the threshold of what is considered bad has been pushed lower.

Scale of improvement
I’ll put it as DAVE 1.5. This is a refinement of DAVE’s sound. HMS softened DAVE’s rough edges.

Side note: I just realize that when HMS+DX amp combo finally happened in the future, that will be a DAVE 2 in all but name.

Will everybody love HMS + DAVE ?
Probably not, because the combo push the sound further into one sonic polarity (less tension and more relaxed sound) so those who prefer the opposite polarity (vivid-lively sound with uber detail) will probably find it difficult to embrace.

There is nothing wrong with both personal preference in my opinion, but if you coming from the other side and you hear HMS + Dave and you feel something is missing or something is wrong, my honest advice is, have a bit more patience and just listen to these combo more, take your time, the longer the better, then switch back to your previous setup, I think you’ll be surprised, or not. Both outcome is a happy ending, if you don’t like it then good, you just save yourself LOTS of money, if somehow you do like it then we welcome you to the club.

Burn in time
15 minutes. Out of the box, HMS sound closed in and rolled off on the treble, 15 minutes later it opened up and I didn’t notice anymore change. This phenomena (closed in sound) is similar to when I change my cables recently, so it’s probably the BNC cable or power cable that is causing the change in sound.

Source comparison
My early attempt to compare sources ended up with me shaking my head left and right as I can’t even ‘lock in’ any consistent difference, let alone deciding which one sound best.

Between my noisy gaming pc, oppo 203, battery powered sdcard player, all connected by optical, I heard no differences.

Well, mentally I feel sdcard player sound little better (blackest background), but if we’d do a double blind test I have a feeling I will failed miserably.

(While on Dave alone, I can say sdcard player slightly better than Oppo 203 in terms of reduced brightness)

Will I stop searching for better sounding source?
Of course not, gear swapping and hunting is part of this hobby, but I think the urge has been significantly reduced.

My speaker setup for this review
Source: Gaming PC, Oppo 203, Redcore sdcard player, all using optical out
DAC + Pre: HMS+DAVE
Amp: Cambridge Audio 851W
Speaker: Kharma Galileo LE

Thank You for reading.

Ps: Just before I am about to post this report, I did a quick test between powerbank (poweradd pilot pro2) and smps that came with HMS. The smps sounds BETTER than the powerbank, smoother and rounder treble.
I will investigate this further and report back.
 
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Dec 16, 2018 at 4:13 AM Post #4,390 of 14,354

Siz.

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Are these speakers 104db efficient? That means they’re more efficient than omegas....

Looked it up a bit, they’re active monitors, with an amp in each. Do all speakers have amp in them or is that only for active speakers...

Active (or "powered") speakers have amps inside; passive or unpowered ones don't. Most studio monitors are active. So for example without buying a stand alone amp, you could have a qtest hooked up to active speakers, or a Hugo TT connected to passive speakers (provided that they were reasonably efficient). But to keep this on topic, I should add that in either case, for best performance you would want to add an M scaler!
 
Dec 16, 2018 at 4:56 AM Post #4,391 of 14,354
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To add to the above, if you buy active speakers, make sure they are using Class A or A/B amps (the latter is more likely) and NOT Class D for best results.
 
Dec 16, 2018 at 5:03 AM Post #4,392 of 14,354

zappazappazappa

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Using an amplifier downstream of a TT2 (or any Chord DAC) robs them of their transparency. IMO, it takes weeks of listening to DAC alone to get weaned off the false euphonics of amplifier distortion.
I've seen this opinion expressed before regarding Chord DACs. I'd be interested to know which headphone amps you have auditioned with Chord DACs which add the 'false euphonics of amplifier distortion'? Or are you simply assuming that with the headphone design of the various Chord DACs that Chord have achieved perfection, so to listen to any other headphone amp would be pointless? How are you listening to the DAC alone? Whichever headphone you are using is likely to be adding all manner of 'false euphonic distortion', because as far as I'm aware the perfectly neutral headphone has yet to be designed. This is Chord fanboyism taken a step too far.
 
Dec 16, 2018 at 5:35 AM Post #4,393 of 14,354

UsoppNoKami

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Spent a couple of hours listening to TT2 + M Scaler today with my own Elex. Smooth and musical, resolving DAC. Not the most powerful headphone amp on the TT2, had the volume up pretty high for the Focal. Combo is probably more musical + dynamic than most SS gear I've heard. Purely subjective opinion: it reminded me of a resolving DAC hooked up to a good tube amp setup. :)
 
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Dec 16, 2018 at 5:54 AM Post #4,394 of 14,354

naynay

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@Rob Watts
I have a hissing noise when watching TV through my Satellite receiver which will go away if i power off M Scaler at the mains.
When the M Scaler is powered on depending on which OP SR button is selected the hiss sound will alter ie red less audible white more.
I do not have the M Scaler linked to my Satellite receiver i am only using it at the moment for music although it is positioned next to the receiver for convenience purpose could this be the cause?

Thank you.
 
Dec 16, 2018 at 6:25 AM Post #4,395 of 14,354

Rob Watts

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When you talk about volume setting, we ought to be clear what we mean by volume. I decided to keep the same settings I had before with Dave; so -3dB equates to 3v RMS. This is so the numbers tally up against an absolute voltage value; so to clip TT2 you need it to be at +7dB on the volume... If you are using 44.1 CD as a source, then it is impossible to clip at +6dB. Throw in an M scaler, then we are at +10 dB needed to clip it. If you are using blu-ray as a source, then you are looking at +13dB before you can possibly clip it, as video sources generally have extra headroom.
 

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