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Hugo M Scaler by Chord Electronics - The Official Thread

Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by ChordElectronics, Jul 25, 2018.
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  1. analogmusic
    To explain

    I don’t understand at all the reasons why anyone would sell Dave for a TT2

    Having heard all the chord range

    But to each their own

    Mojo and the Hugo’s are great Dac but to my ears Dave is much more refined and transparent to the Hugo range.

    Dave got the 20 element pulse aray and the much superior noise shaping programming and so much better than the Hugo range to my ears.

    Ho hum... I can hear but it’s all in the ears of the listener.
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2019
    musickid and xxx1313 like this.
  2. Mediahound

  3. ZappaMan
    It’s the next evolution in robs designs. I suspect he made a dac better then Dave in many ways, but for marketing reasons, chord, not rob, can’t say that. Of course, to people who own Dave, they don’t want to feel their product has someway been superceeded in some or most ways (but not all).
    This is just my theory, and as all good theories, completely self serving.
    So for anyone sitting on the fence, get tt2, save 4K, sacrifice a little transparency, but get the best dac experience currently available. Add mscaler with the change. Hopefully relieve yourself from upgraditus, and sell any extra amp that you may no longer need too.
    tt2 and mscaler sound really nice, everyday I’m strangely becoming more and more aware of just how good they sound.
    Thanks for sharing your somewhat contrarian views.
  4. Tao8
    Hi Ross,
    Congratulations on the TT2 and HMS.

    I saw your ad for the Dave a while back and was sorely tempted at the time but glad I held off in the end. Still potentially considering a TT2 though to replace my qutest.

    Your comments on TT2 v Dave, can I ask is this about headphone listening or do the responses carry over when using TT2 or Dave as Dac only into your 30.1s as well.

    Also you could consider swapping the digital bnc cables if you feel there is something your not completely enjoying in the effect with the HMS. The balance and sq changed considerably with using different bnc cables.
  5. Ross Contributor
    I listen primarily to speakers (although I have replaced the Harbeths with some Graham LS6s - I really need to update my signature). But I do occasionally listen to my LCD4s, LCD4Zs and Focal Utopias, and my comments about the TT2 vs DAVE apply equally to both. In fact, the differences are probably more noticeable over headphones because the extra power and dynamics of the TT2 are more apparent.

    I do have a bunch of different BNC cables, and they do sound a little different to each other. But I have been comparing the sound with the M Scaler connected, but with upsampling disengaged compared with 768 upsampling. This removes the BNC cables as a factor, since the same BNC cables are used for both.

    Tonight I tried a little experiment. A little while ago I made some digital recordings of LPs using my (very capable) RME Babyface Pro as an A/D converter. I level matched the TT2 with my phono stage and played a record, switching between the actual record and the digital recording, and alternating between the native 16/44 resolution of the recording and the fully upscaled version. I wanted to see which was closest to the actual sound of the LP. Unfortunately it didn't really answer my question, because both versions sounded equally close to the original. If I had to choose, I think the 16/44 non-upscaled version - ie non-M Scaled - sounds marginally closer to the original, which is just a shade darker and more saturated. But it could have been placebo. What it did show me however was playing the original LP sounded better than a digital recording of it made on the same equipment.
  6. xxx1313
    TT2 and M Scaler are great, I agree. But did you ever compare TT2 + HMS to Dave + HMS? I did, at home with my headphones (Utopia and Empyrean). With rather easy to drive headphones, Dave + HMS is still superior to TT2 + HMS, and the difference is not exactly small, imo. So I personally would still rather buy a good used Dave + HMS than TT2 + HMS, even though the latter is great setup too and the former is still (much) more expensive. TT2 is a great solution for harder to drive headphones, but Dave is still the better DAC/Headamp for not so hard to drive headphones and of course still the better DAC.

    You may expect me to be biased because I own a Dave, but believe me, I would have loved to go with the new TT2 instead of Dave, sell my used Dave and save 3k Euros. I personally do not even think that TT2 + HMS is better than solo Dave, at least not in my setup. This is too close to call, imo, and varies with different music.

    Nevertheless, congrats on your great setup, enjoy! :)
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2019
    MrCypruz, Aslshark, onsionsi and 2 others like this.
  7. naynay
    I agree having gone from Qutest to TT2 to Dave.
    Triode User and xxx1313 like this.
  8. ZappaMan
    I’ve seen a few people change from Dave to tt2, mscaler, and these guys know they’re stuff (unlike me), so that gives me confidence that tt2 is a great dac.
    And I know Rob wouldn’t make a sideways move type dac.
    As long as everyone is able to grab an hour to listen every now and then, that’s the main thing.
    Deftone likes this.
  9. Jan Tage Holmber
    I don’t think so. Zero upsampling makes HMS inactive. The noice increases especially between 1/2 M and 1 M taps where you need good well shielded cables to get rid of it.
    Triode User and xxx1313 like this.
  10. Ross Contributor
    What is your evidence for this statement?
  11. Amberlamps
    I have to agree.

    Things can and can’t be said, presumably, as I haven’t heard anything, I’m just agreeing that TT2 is the better all round dac compared to dave.

    I’m really happy, and I don’t know about you lot, but I think TT2 and HMS sound better every single day, I’m listening to it now and it sounds better than it did last night.

    Now that my dekoni’s pads have softened down from the stiffish leather they once were, thank you audeze leather care goo, TT2+HMS+HD800S with better pads, helps with the bass a little and it sounds amazing.

    I can’t get over just how good old Queen tracks sound. We’re going back to the 70s & 80s and they sound magic and still stand the test of time, even today.
    maxh22, Ragnar-BY and delirium like this.
  12. delirium
    But hms/dave/hifiman he-1000se sounds heavenly...i guess a good fit is alfa omega when you got a dave...?!
  13. Amberlamps
    No doubt it sounds great, however I will never know as I’m too poor to be able to afford a dave. I got my TT2 & HMS for £6200, for that price, I couldn’t go wrong.

    Roughly the guts of £2000 grand cheaper and, in alot of respects it’s better than dave. Do I believe that dave has been dethroned ? No! But the gap between dave and the next best thing is alot closer than some would like to admit, and cheaper to boot.

    In the end, both camps rib each other and, we are all happy with whatever toy it is that we have.
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2019
    delirium likes this.
  14. jlbrach
    the debate is pretty funny since rob watts himself pretty clearly and without ambiguity says the dave is the best dac he has made
  15. Ross Contributor
    I'm not sure it's a "debate". Having owned both, I know which one I prefer, and that's not up for debate. I know some other people (who I have corresponded with privately) who have moved from a DAVE to a TT2 for the same reasons, and their preference is also not up for debate. Plenty of people still prefer the DAVE, and that is also fine.

    In many ways, DAVE probably is a better DAC. It is just burdened with a somewhat anemic output stage, and many - such as me - prefer the more dynamic, fuller sound of the TT2. But I can understand why others may prefer the more "transparent", somewhat ethereal sound of the DAVE.

    A DAC is more than just the conversion/filter technology. The power supply and output stage are also critical to its final sound, and I think this - particularly the latter - is where personal preference comes into play. Rob Watts may well consider the DAVE his best DAC using the criteria he has set himself. But not everyone has the same criteria, and for some of us, the TT2 is the "better" DAC because it better suits our preferences and the way we use it.
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