Hugo M Scaler by Chord Electronics - The Official Thread
Jan 31, 2019 at 12:18 PM Post #5,401 of 14,353

simorag

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Roon, Foobar, Jriver all sound different even though they all are bit perfect but that is what my ears hear

I hear the same. When I was using my laptop - off batteries - with several optimizations (windows 2016 core mode, Audiophile Optimizer, JPLAY, Fidelizer Pro, Process Lasso, network off, wifi off, screen deactivated, hybernation mode etc.) I was hearing significant differences between the players I was using, i.e. HQ Player (no upsampling, no filtering), Minimserver, JPlay mini, JRiver.

Connection was always through USB, with or without regenerators / galvanic isolators like the Uptone ISO Regen or iFi iPurifier.

Furthermore, the difference between the stock Windows10 + player (e.g. JRiver) and optimized configuration I described above, with the same player, was very obvious. It was easy to check because my laptop had dual boot. Win10 sounded harsher, fuzzier and flatter compared to the optimized software environment.

Again, I did all these comparisons with DAVE (no HMS yet at the time) and the laptop working on battery.

I cannot offer any explanation about why all this happens, and I am happy to hear from people more knowledgeable than me such the last posters in this thread :)

Anyway, the trials I did made me think that:
a) DAVE may be less sensitive than other DACs to upstream gear / software, but for certain it is not insensitive, at least in my system;
b) bits are bits is nonsense, in many ways
c) RF is not the only mechanism at play here, hence I am not sure that on optical connection in place of the USB is the ultimate solution to remove the effect (for good or bad) of the source.
 
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Jan 31, 2019 at 1:25 PM Post #5,402 of 14,353

ray-dude

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I hear the same. When I was using my laptop - off batteries - with several optimizations (windows 2016 core mode, Audiophile Optimizer, JPLAY, Fidelizer Pro, Process Lasso, network off, wifi off, screen deactivated, hybernation mode etc.) I was hearing significant differences between the players I was using, i.e. HQ Player (no upsampling, no filtering), Minimserver, JPlay mini, JRiver.

Connection was always through USB, with or without regenerators / galvanic isolators like the Uptone ISO Regen or iFi iPurifier.

Furthermore, the difference between the stock Windows10 + player (e.g. JRiver) and optimized configuration I described above, with the same player, was very obvious. It was easy to check because my laptop had dual boot. Win10 sounded harsher, fuzzier and flatter compared to the optimized software environment.

Again, I did all these comparisons with DAVE (no HMS yet at the time) and the laptop working on battery.

I cannot offer any explanation about why all this happens, and I am happy to hear from people more knowledgeable than me such the last posters in this thread :)

This is a very real thing, and it feels like there is a meaningful diamond hiding in there. Over at audiophile style, we've been experimenting with variants of this.

With NUCs running Audio Linux (a stripped down real time linux based end point), @austinpop and others discovered that running Squeezelite as the end point software (vs Roon Bridge) with large buffers actually has a very real impact on SQ. That motivated me to jump in, in case that was a clue to why we were hearing such amazing SQ with the cheap NUCs and Audio Linux running in RAM.

The open source nature of Squeezelite lends itself to experimentation. By jacking up the input buffers to SL, we discovered that the server (Roon or LMS) basically streams the current track and next track into the buffer as quickly as it can (~1 second for ethernet). The end point then plays the tracks from an in memory buffer, with ethernet idle during playback. This has a noticeable positive impact to SQ.

By jacking up the output buffers between SL and the linux audio drivers, there was a huge SQ lift again (esp. with mScaler + DAVE going direct to speakers...wow!).

By separating the server from the end point, we also hear a lift in SQ. By using a higher power NUC as the end point, SQ improves. By putting everything (including the OS) in memory, SQ improves.

The lesson here was to minimize what the end point is doing, and get as close to real time to the USB interface as you possibly can.

What the root cause or diamond? Don't know yet, but it is mind bending to hear that much difference by tweaking buffer sizes and changing nothing else. Walking through the SL source code, there is nothing magical there...these are simple buffers and pointers. Something is happening in the interaction between the host system and the USB audio (not USB data) interface to the mScaler/DAC.

(before folks jump on this, large buffers in SL lead to all sorts of flakey behavior in Roon...this is more of an experimental platform than something to let loose on civilians)
 
Jan 31, 2019 at 1:38 PM Post #5,403 of 14,353

Whazzzup

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%#$%$%$%)(* Sound of maths being done $^)*@#@$ nope can't figure it out
 
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Jan 31, 2019 at 1:42 PM Post #5,404 of 14,353

ray-dude

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%#$%$%$%)(* Sound of maths being done $^)*@#@$ nope can't figure it out

Come on out for a math(s) session @Whazzzup!
 
Jan 31, 2019 at 2:10 PM Post #5,405 of 14,353

kossiewossie

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I received my M Scaler from Moon-Audio last week, and its great product, its probably been the best upgrade to my setup in a long time,
My setup is

Roon(linux) - PC > MC-3+ Smart Clock USB > M Scaler > Chord Dave > WA33 Elite > Audeze LCD4 / KEF Reference 3's

And the sound is just outstanding.
I tried using the M Scaler as my usb interface but I find I get better experience with the MC-3+, then using BNC to the M Scaler and then Dual BNC to the Dave

My roon server running on ROCK os on a custom made system connected to my network via Fiber/10gb

But overall the M Scaler is wonderful, the added soundstage is incredible, hearing things I didn't even realise was there. easily one of the most potent upgrades to my setup so far.

I haven't experience any issues with the M Scaler at all, no RF interference etc.

Great job!
 
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Jan 31, 2019 at 2:37 PM Post #5,406 of 14,353

mlxx

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Anyway, the trials I did made me think that:
a) DAVE may be less sensitive than other DACs to upstream gear / software, but for certain it is not insensitive, at least in my system;
b) bits are bits is nonsense, in many ways
c) RF is not the only mechanism at play here, hence I am not sure that on optical connection in place of the USB is the ultimate solution to remove the effect (for good or bad) of the source.

Yes I agree, I was in the bits was bits camp too maybe 2-3 years ago. Once you get a better system you start to hear everything.

I hope you can slot your audible experience into one of these and can work toward a solution that works.

That hdd wasn't really an issue as I would just leave it off once I realized it was the cause and changes I made since have improved things further so I am happy enough currently.
Your interface looks very interesting for the mscalers especially, check it out, https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1552/8145/files/WhitePaper_OPTO_DX.pdf?617012447681577815

Thanks to all here for all the info.
 
Jan 31, 2019 at 8:43 PM Post #5,408 of 14,353

koven

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I received my M Scaler from Moon-Audio last week, and its great product, its probably been the best upgrade to my setup in a long time,
My setup is

Roon(linux) - PC > MC-3+ Smart Clock USB > M Scaler > Chord Dave > WA33 Elite > Audeze LCD4 / KEF Reference 3's

And the sound is just outstanding.
I tried using the M Scaler as my usb interface but I find I get better experience with the MC-3+, then using BNC to the M Scaler and then Dual BNC to the Dave

My roon server running on ROCK os on a custom made system connected to my network via Fiber/10gb

But overall the M Scaler is wonderful, the added soundstage is incredible, hearing things I didn't even realise was there. easily one of the most potent upgrades to my setup so far.

I haven't experience any issues with the M Scaler at all, no RF interference etc.

Great job!

I'd love to see some pictures of your setup! I may consider adding a WA33 to the HMS/DAVE combo in the future. Do you feel it sacrifices transparency in doing so?
 
Jan 31, 2019 at 8:58 PM Post #5,409 of 14,353

kossiewossie

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I'd love to see some pictures of your setup! I may consider adding a WA33 to the HMS/DAVE combo in the future. Do you feel it sacrifices transparency in doing so?
I'm using the WA33 Elite with a nice set of custom tubes recommend by Woo Audio, I don't experience any sacrifices with the WA33 elite, it really enriches my LCD4s, it compliments my setup in every way. Transparency soundstage, all have been enhanced but with an organic feel to the sound, as for me the Chord Dave alone is very clean almost to clean, the M Scaler brought out the soundstage and transparency, and the WA33 just adds an organic feel.


26336604fada75d050219333c52170e5f75dcc546d1b9cecf4ddb94bf7fd4e5283da5b11.jpg
72668725692871884d591b54a5afdcb5787749228d6a201797c10d6bcf450455b2b5d5a5.jpg
 
Jan 31, 2019 at 9:31 PM Post #5,410 of 14,353

maxh22

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A while back I was connecting a hard disk to do backups on my PC and I eventually realized this was affecting the sound even though I was using optical. One would think this would not be possible because optical isolates the dac from the PC. Any noise or RF on the source side may affect many things, for example, the optical transmitter that is converting the electrical signal to light, this can create a lot of jitter or even changed bits. A DPLL can correct for jitter in Chord dacs on optical more so than in other dacs. Roon, Foobar, Jriver all sound different even though they all are bit perfect but that is what my ears hear, servers similarly generally sound better, a lot of funny business going on that sometimes doesn't even make sense. They have cleaner power supplies, lower noise/RF overall so don't affect other stuff as much, better clocks etc. A good dedicated audio server can certainly help, problem is they aint cheap.



I remember Rob saying it was to allow for some headroom (3dB) to prevent clipping.

Your thoughts mirror mine perfectly.

Optical on its own is not a panacea, Ime it needs some optimizations to sound it’s best.

For anyone who thinks otherwise, trying opening a few chrome tabs, edit and render some videos, and you should hear a change in SQ. It will sound brighter more times than not.
 
Jan 31, 2019 at 9:50 PM Post #5,411 of 14,353

koven

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I'm using the WA33 Elite with a nice set of custom tubes recommend by Woo Audio, I don't experience any sacrifices with the WA33 elite, it really enriches my LCD4s, it compliments my setup in every way. Transparency soundstage, all have been enhanced but with an organic feel to the sound, as for me the Chord Dave alone is very clean almost to clean, the M Scaler brought out the soundstage and transparency, and the WA33 just adds an organic feel.


26336604fada75d050219333c52170e5f75dcc546d1b9cecf4ddb94bf7fd4e5283da5b11.jpg
72668725692871884d591b54a5afdcb5787749228d6a201797c10d6bcf450455b2b5d5a5.jpg

Fantastic. SS Hyperspike rack looks sweet. I am looking at racks right now but not sure I want to spend that much... :p
 
Jan 31, 2019 at 10:11 PM Post #5,413 of 14,353

supervisor

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I'm using the WA33 Elite with a nice set of custom tubes recommend by Woo Audio, I don't experience any sacrifices with the WA33 elite, it really enriches my LCD4s, it compliments my setup in every way. Transparency soundstage, all have been enhanced but with an organic feel to the sound, as for me the Chord Dave alone is very clean almost to clean, the M Scaler brought out the soundstage and transparency, and the WA33 just adds an organic feel.


26336604fada75d050219333c52170e5f75dcc546d1b9cecf4ddb94bf7fd4e5283da5b11.jpg
72668725692871884d591b54a5afdcb5787749228d6a201797c10d6bcf450455b2b5d5a5.jpg

lol @ the Mojo next to the H2, next to the DAVE, next to the M-Scaler...

we're all insane
 
Feb 1, 2019 at 7:04 PM Post #5,414 of 14,353

wdh777

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Any one using a tt Toby in your chain? Thoughts? My set up will be TT2 with m scaler and decision is should I add a Toby or LFD LE6 to drive speakers. This far I have had a headphone only system.
 

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