Hugo M Scaler by Chord Electronics - The Official Thread
Jun 8, 2019 at 6:15 PM Post #7,066 of 14,354

AxelCloris

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We've removed some off-topic discussion from the thread. Let's please keep posts within the posting guidelines. Thanks all.
 
Jun 8, 2019 at 7:49 PM Post #7,068 of 14,354

kennyb123

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If you ever get to hear dual BNC cables that block RF or an optical system on the dual BNC that does the same then your ears will probably tell you that RF is the big deal compared to everything else in the transmission of the digital signal between the Mscaler and the DAC. For cables, ferrites are an easy way to filter RF or the optical system is another way. If a cables doesn’t claim to filter RF then it probably won’t because I’m sure they would want to advertise that feature.

What does one hear when one has gone too far with RF filtering applied to dual BNC cables feeding their DAC?
 
Jun 8, 2019 at 8:28 PM Post #7,070 of 14,354

ray-dude

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What does one hear when one has gone too far with RF filtering applied to dual BNC cables feeding their DAC?

This is a very deep and important question. We know RF in the 2-2.5GHz is audible with mScaled signals (353/384kHz on each BNC line). Get a WiFi base station configured for 2.4Ghz and put it next to your DAC and you'll hear it. From the early ferrite experiments, ferrites targeted to the 2-2.5GHz range had a nice positive impact. I never got to point where it was too much (just kept adding ferrites, and eventually I couldn't hear any more difference).

But what happens as you filter more and more frequencies closer and closer to 353/384kHz? As you filter more and more high frequency components, wave forms get softer and softer (lower rise times, less sharp transitions, etc). At what point does the wave form of the digital signal start to impact SQ? With the phase lock loop on the receiver side, do the details of the waveform matter at all?

The reason this is curious for me is that Rob has pretty clearly demonstrated that jitter doesn't do anything material with his DACs. However, server changes are still audible, even via optical inputs. If jitter isn't the root cause, the only things left are waveform signal integrity changes (rise times, overshoot/undershoot, amplitude variations/modulation, etc) or some air transited RF, or some mechanism I haven't thought of yet. Some how whatever this factor is is inducing something on the receiver/DAC side. The alternative is some air transited something impacting the DAC, but I'm more bearish on that route (there would be too much room to room variability...reports of SQ changes with server changes seem to me to be too consistent for that).

If we figure this piece out, I'm convinced it will be the X factor that lead to some optimal digital source design/implementation. I'm very much looking forward to hearing what Dan hears and sees in his experiments, and maybe what Nick found out in his experiments with different ferrites and configurations (I trust Nick's ear for RF impact on Chord DACs to be amongst the most practiced and refined out there).
 
Jun 8, 2019 at 9:40 PM Post #7,071 of 14,354

kennyb123

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@kennyb123 was wondering if you could answer this question after you had some time with your new toy :beyersmile:

Sure I’ll try to sort that out this week. I just tried turning off upscaling to hear the TT2 on it’s own, but I will have to do a more direct comparison to sort this out.
 
Jun 8, 2019 at 10:16 PM Post #7,072 of 14,354

GreenBow

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Piano is actually one of the instruments that have been a revelation on Chord DACs and mScaler. When they are recorded well, the physicality and sense of enveloping sound (resonances going up and down the sound board) is breath taking. For piano, it seems like the Chord stack crosses some threshold of reality where I go from listening to piano to experiencing a piano being played.

Cookie Marenco (Blue Coast Records) has a particularly wonderful vintage Steinway in her studio, and has it mic'ed lovingly, and her recordings are exquisite. In particular, if you love the sound of a Steinway, I recommend:

John Burr "Quarter Tones" - a true artist at the keyboards...so intimate and sincere and giving, his playing restores my faith in the generosity of art
https://bluecoastmusic.com/john-r-burr/quarter-tones

More John Burr - one of the loveliest things you'll ever hope to hear (make sure to pour a drink for John and Jeanna after they're done performing in your living room)
https://bluecoastmusic.com/john-r-burr/case-of-you

Art Lande "While She Sleeps" - After a tough day, listening to this album feels like catching up with an old friend
https://bluecoastmusic.com/art-lande/while-she-sleeps

Sareena Overwater "Session 1" - Exquisite album, with deep deep emotional meaning for me (see story below)
https://overwatermusic.downloadsnow.net/session-1

I wrote about this in my first big Chord DAC review (excerpted below). It was the realness of that Steinway sound (experience) that was my Red Pill moment with Chord kit, and completely transformed my expectations and aspirations for the experience of recorded music (as a coda to the story below, that piano is now out of storage, and sitting side by side my Hugo mScaler + DAVE + Voxativ 9.87's...can't wait to have Davina in house to capture the experience of my daughter playing that piano)



A closing story

I’ve shared this story publicly and privately to Rob and Cookie before, but I wanted to share it here to give a sense of why I care about this stuff and what it means for me.

Earlier I mentioned how Sareena Overwater’s “One World” (Blue Coast Records) is wired directly to startingly deep emotions for me. When I listen to it, I’m taken back more than a decade. My older daughter is in college now, but when she was younger she was a very serious pianist. As she began to blossom as a musician (around age 8), we needed to upgrade from our ratty console piano to something more appropriate.

After 6 months or so of looking, I found a used 1924 Steinway in Rhode Island that looked perfect. The woman who owned it had received it new as a gift from her parents when she was around age 8, but no longer had room for it as she moved into the final phases of her life. A miraculous instrument, maintained and played with love. My daughter was and is the second owner, and I am hopeful she too will be able to enjoy it for many decades to come, and pass it to some deserving musician when it is her time to do so.

I spent countless hours lost in the sound of my daughter playing that piano, and know the sound and feeling of that vintage Steinway in my DNA. Cookie Marcenco also has a vintage Steinway in her studio at Blue Coast Records, and she is the most gifted person I’ve ever heard at recording piano. With the Chord DACs, I listen to recordings of Cookie's vintage Steinway, and with some of her musicians I have the visceral experience of going into a time machine and hearing my daughter play piano all over again. It is like catching a smell or hearing something that instantly transports you back to your mothers kitchen: the emotional connection is intense and overwhelming, and the closest I can be to experiencing my daughter's music now that she's at college. The feeling and emotion of my daughter playing her piano is made real in Cookie’s recordings.

My daughters piano is in long term storage, waiting for the day she has her own place and is able to enjoy making music with it again. While I can’t wait to hear her play again, I am grateful to be able to enjoy the echoes and evocations from Cookie’s studio, via Rob’s DACs.

When I first listened to this song (which I knew well and loved as a song) with my Mojo, I felt glimpses of reality in this song and felt the emotional presence of my daughter. It persuaded me to order a DAVE sight unseen, reaching out for that completely unexpected hint that I had felt in the music. Listening to this song with my DAVE, I am overwhelmed with emotion and end up weeping every single time. With Hugo2, while not as intense as with the DAVE, the emotion and sense of connection is very real, and I am swept away in memories and a sense of overwhelming love and pride for my daughter.

Can I put a finger on what combination of timing and taps and noise floor modulation and voodoo and whatever else can take a piece of well known recorded music and turns it into an emotional time machine that brings me to my knees every damn time? I can't, but I am enormously grateful to feel the presence of my daughter and her piano again. An unexpected and precious gift that was hidden in the music all along, without me knowing it was there. Thank you Sareena, Rob, and Cookie for helping me find that emotional connection all over again.​

Will check out your suggestions. (Have copied them into my 'new tunes' list.)

I bought a couple of albums today, and I think they are worth passing interest.
Joseph Malik - Diverse, Pt 2.
Ernie Hawks & The Soul Investigators - Scorpio Man.

Right now I am listening to another artist and album for the first time, and am going to buy it. (On track 10/12.)
Maggie Rogers - Heart in a Past Life.
 
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Jun 9, 2019 at 4:24 AM Post #7,073 of 14,354

Deano1974

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Will check out your suggestions. (Have copied them into my 'new tunes' list.)

I bought a couple of albums today, and I think they are worth passing interest.
Joseph Malik - Diverse, Pt 2.
Ernie Hawks & The Soul Investigators - Scorpio Man.

Right now I am listening to another artist and album for the first time, and am going to buy it. (On track 10/12.)
Maggie Rogers - Heart in a Past Life.
Thank you for the introduction to Blue Coast collections , I'm currently listening to their various artist album Vol 1, phenomenal production, superb!

Cheers

Deano
Blue-Coast-Collection_Cover.jpg
 
Jun 9, 2019 at 4:52 AM Post #7,074 of 14,354

Amberlamps

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Well peeps, I got my nuc, I stuck in 32 gig ram and a 1tb corsair crazy fast m2 ssd.

I tried to get roon rock running on it, it took all of 5 seconds to install it, but, it wasn't letting me see or access the share to install missing codecs, ffmpeg.

So I did the next best thing, I installed windows 10 in 5 minutes and installed roon, it's my new favourite pc, it's near enough silent in it's stock case and I'm using my ipad to access roon like usual.

Initial sound tests using chords asio driver output to my mscaler, the music sounds warmer than my huge pc thats full of fans and hard drives. Thats the only difference that I can detect with my closed cans on at the moment.

It's definitely a warmer, darker less digital'ish sound when compared to usb out from my pc. Not a huge difference, but one thats noticeable.

Maybe when I transplant it into the fanless case I got, which looks exactly like a roon nucleus case, maybe it will sound better once the fan has been removed ?
 
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Jun 9, 2019 at 5:20 AM Post #7,075 of 14,354

simorag

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Will check out your suggestions. (Have copied them into my 'new tunes' list.)

I bought a couple of albums today, and I think they are worth passing interest.
Joseph Malik - Diverse, Pt 2.
Ernie Hawks & The Soul Investigators - Scorpio Man.

Right now I am listening to another artist and album for the first time, and am going to buy it. (On track 10/12.)
Maggie Rogers - Heart in a Past Life.

I really liked noticing over time that the M Scaler thread seems more active than most other high-end threads with music suggestions and reports of subjective enjoyment of certain pieces, new ones as well as rediscoveries in our library.

It appears that the HMS helps in reconciling the 'music lover' and 'gear lover' within us audiophiles quite nicely :)

Below are my hits for today :beerchug:

archibudelli.jpg
doug.jpg
duke.jpg
 
Jun 9, 2019 at 9:08 AM Post #7,078 of 14,354

ZappaMan

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I really liked noticing over time that the M Scaler thread seems more active than most other high-end threads with music suggestions and reports of subjective enjoyment of certain pieces, new ones as well as rediscoveries in our library.

It appears that the HMS helps in reconciling the 'music lover' and 'gear lover' within us audiophiles quite nicely :)

Below are my hits for today :beerchug:



I’ll give Duke a go
 
Jun 9, 2019 at 10:29 AM Post #7,079 of 14,354

llamaluv

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Regarding ferrite cores. Dipping my toes into the rabbit hole, I see a comprehensive product catalog of Laird ferrite cores, which are available from Mouser -- PDF link.

Their ferrite cores come in three categories:
  • Low frequency
  • Broadband
  • High frequency
You can see the impedance graphs for each on page 4 of that PDF.

Which would be most appropriate for use with the M Scaler, I wonder? I'm leaning towards a mix of broadband and high frequency, but that's just a guess...
 

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