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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. x RELIC x Contributor
    You feed the Mscaler PCM or DSD data, your source decodes the music format. If your source can decode AIFF then the Mscaler will read the PCM data it outputs.
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2019
    Ragnar-BY, Deftone and Peter Hyatt like this.
  2. musickid
    I use a very high quality individually switched power strip from olson electronics. That way i can turn the mscaler off after use and leave my hugo 2 charger on to ensure hugo 2 remains in desktop mode. I also turn my hugo 2 off after use so it's only the charger which is actually on keeping hugo 2 in desktop mode. This way of doing things has worked great for me for 8 months now as i don't like keeping gear on when not in use.
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2019
  3. jarnopp
    If it’s hungry.
  4. Uncle Monty
    This is what I find confusing (among many other things) - will WAV or AIFF files on my server / streamer sound better than FLAC files when played through the MS / TT2 combo?
  5. Ragnar-BY
    In theory you may have some small benefits in SQ because playing WAV files takes less processor power than decoding and playing FLAC. With powerful enough server there should be no difference. In any case M Scaler would receive PCM data.
    514077 likes this.
  6. jarnopp
    At that point (lossless) the most important thing will be how you rip them. I used EAC with higher error correction settings, since I was ripping once, “for life” and created AIFF files. But I also created ALAC files from those to put on the SD card for Poly. I’m don’t think I can tell the difference.
    Deftone likes this.
  7. Uncle Monty
    That's what I always believed, although many audiophiles claim that true lossless (WAV etc) does sound better - including Paul McGowan of PS Audio who rips to AIFF (for the better metadata over WAV).

    Any MScaler users finding WAV / AIFF better than FLAC?
  8. Deftone
    Ive always ripped in 100% uncompressed WAV and I haven't had any issues with meta data, just as good as flac. dBpoweramp actually lets you add more or custom tags to your tracks.
  9. GreenBow
    I have often wondered about whether ripping to WAV is the best way to go. However I have read that FLAC is technically identical to WAV once uncompressed. I doubt and Chord DAC would have trouble with FLAC in terms of processing power. Most FLAC is 44.1KHz, and Chord go up to 768KHz on USB. I figure any errors or slew hypothetically caused by running FLAC files, is negated by Chord's clocks.

    I am not saying FLAC causes errors. I am just thinking way out, if maybe, or whatever.

    Having said that though, I still wonder. This morning I bought Norah Jones' new album, Begin Again (96KHz 24bit). ( From HD Tracks: use code HDAPRIL19UK at checkout Offer valid through 22/04/19 11:59PM EDT.)

    I bought it and downloaded it in WAV format, and once downloaded ripped it to FLAC on my PC. I bought dBPoweramp today, so that sort of file converting is a breeze.
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2019
    514077 likes this.
  10. 514077
    I just flat-out don't hear a difference between lossless and losslessly compressed lossless. Processors are getting better and stronger, so the 'heavy-lifting' to process FLAC or ALAC shouldn't matter so much. P I like Paul McGowan's podcasts, but sometimes, he comes across as peace beauty and love over practicality.
    To sum up: I believe there's a fine line between obsession and madness. I think worrying over WAV/AIFF vs FLAC/ALAC may be crossing that line.
    AndrewH13 and Uncle Monty like this.
  11. HughF
    You can rip to uncompressed FLAC in dBPowerAmp (and auto-ripping on my Innuos forces that format) which should mean similar CPU loads as WAV but with more reliable handling of metadata within different ripping/playback programs.
    Personally, I rip to the least compressed version of FLAC (apart from uncompressed) since it still saves 1/3 in disk space but should reduce CPU load vs. the default FLAC compression on playback.

    There was an interesting article in Hi-Fi Critic magazine comparing sound quality for different file formats (focusing on stereo image height - huh?) but I can't find it right now; it must be somewhere.... IIRC it favoured WAV.
    Hi-Fi Criticwas my favourite magazine, especially for computer audio, networking etc. Just started a new subscription, dunno how mine lapsed but I don't remember a reminder being sent. Mind you, it seems cheaper to buy (the 3 or 4 missing) back issues!
    514077 likes this.
  12. ray-dude
    FWIW, I’ve found that soundstage height (and even more so, depth) resolution is extremely sensitive to upstream processing. As I’m tuning my digital chain (RF, etc), I really key off height and depth cues when doing system tuning and A/B tests

    MScaler is so crazy good at elevating the source signal that any changes are very easy to hear for me (scary how bright a light mScaler shines on everything else in my system...very unambiguous when a change is for the better or not)
  13. 514077
    I'm open to new ideas, and would be interested in reading that article if you happen to find a link. I use level 5 for my music, and level 8-maximum for audio tracks of video programs.
  14. HughF
    OK, found the paper magazine. The back issue seems to be available still :
    It also has some unexpected tests - for some of their tests they sent sound through FIVE cycles of WAV-FLAC-WAV conversions then listened for stereo image HEIGHT changes!

    It is in HiFi Critic, April to Jun 2016 issue. It is titled "Why do WAV and FLAC files Sound Different?", written by Dr. Charles Zeilig and Jay Clawson. I have not tried to Google for it but if it's available the above details should be enough to find it. If you do, please post the link. The article refers to articles in The Absolute Sound issues 218-221, 246 and 248 but links to buy these did not work for me. The hificritic.com URL quoted in the article to download larger versions of it no longer works.

    Anyway, here is my summary of their summary at the end of the article :
    Load fresh metadata into WAV files before saving them if they have been converted more than once e.g. from WAV files (HF : this is more for studios but using options to seek metadata from the Internet when ripping might achieve this for the home user).
    Do not use even lossless compression unless you really need to save that disk space.
    If you must use the FLAC format (they strongly prefer WAV format) use either NO compression or the lowest level of compression aka Level 0 (HF : this is what I use but I have not done any comparisons). Never use (default) Level 5 compression.
    Make metadata-associated cover art no larger than 800 x 800 pixels and use maximum JPG compression (! - HF) for best sound quality.

    514077 likes this.
  15. 514077
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