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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. audio_1
    The Opto-Dx was a great upgrade in my system, compared to the Blu2 being connected direct to the Dave with Oyaide DB-510 digital cables with Wurth clip on ferrites. It also allowed me to separate the Dave from the Blu2 and digital source components by a few metres.
    adyc and xxx1313 like this.
  2. kelly200269
    Cheers for this!
    I was talking to the dealer I bought my TT2 from, and they said with the HMS + TT2, it was a sort-of ‘law of diminishing returns’ when feeding HMS + TT2 High-Res material.
  3. Chester Rockwell
    I can only speak for my setup in my environment obviously but there is nothing special about it, so do think people should try non sighted tests if they want to know what’s really going on.

    I can appreciate your position as I had a very similar experience when I first got an M Scaler. I was getting fatigued very very quickly. I tried everything to try and resolve it. One thing I could never reconcile though was the fact that why would a very well engineered bit of equipment cause such listening fatigue when my pair of relatively cheap wireless headphones did not. They were certainly not better sounding or better designed.

    I even saw a specialist about my ear as I thought something must be drastically wrong somewhere.

    Anyway, it turned out that my Aeon Closed headphone pad had got crushed down a little on a trip just before I purchased the m scaler and it meant that one side was applying pressure to my ear. A chance 5 minutes pulling the pad back into shape resolved the issue completely. I had worked myself up into such a tizz though that I was adamant it was rfi coming from the M scaler.

    I also have some Wave cables and they are fine cables. I just don’t use them anymore as they are not required in my system. I bet if I tried them in my system now though, sighted I would think it sounded better, even though I know from previous tests I cannot tell any difference when I don’t know which cables are being used. The brain is a powerful thing.
    zenlisten likes this.
  4. JaZZ Contributor
    Everything you say sounds plausible to me. I also found/find the sound with the M Scaler brighter and sharper than with the DAVE alone. But the huge improvement it brought with grip, impulsivity and threedimensionality more than made up for it. It certainly helps that I equalize my headphones individually, so it was an easy (although laborious) task to adapt the curves to the new sonic characteristic.

    That brings me to your specific problem zone: Apparently the sound with M Scaler is still fine with SRM-009 and LCD-4. Just the Abyss suffers from excessive brightness. Now in my understanding it's nothing but logical that some existing configurations will benefit from a change of tonal balance and some will be handicapped. Also, in my experience there's a clear correlation between the accuracy of the source and its abilty to reveal tonal flaws in the chain. Now if I look at the measurements for the Abyss (unfortunately only the ones for the first model are available), it looks as if it's rather treble-emphasized, also the figures for harmonic distortion and the behavior in the time domain (high-frequency sustain) look rather critical. I haven't heard (nor measured) it myself, so this is just a theoretical speculation. In any event the best thing you could do to make the Abyss benefit to the same degree as your other headphones is to slightly reduce the treble. No headphone is perfect by itself, the less so with the M Scaler in the chain. I would never part with my M Scaler, and certainly not because it's too revealing and accurate.

    BTW, I'm also considering Dan's OptoDX system.
    Windseeker likes this.
  5. Drewligarchy
    Happy to try tone controls - though as mentioned it's better at the moment and synergized perfectly with Dave alone.

    Do you eq in the digital or analog domain (e.g. a schiit sys).

    My concern in equalizing in the digital domain is it would reduce the effectiveness of mscaler/Dave's digital processing - but that's from what I've read and potentially audiophile nervosa. Do you find any reduction in the positive qualities of the mscaler with applying eq in your audio app of choice?

    If the Abyss wasn't the headphone I use 90% of the time, I'd keep mscaler regardless. Key is making it work with that - because I enjoy it so much. @jlbrach and @simorag have similar setups to mine and haven't reported issues. @simorag uses the JPS Superconductor cable (I believer) and he is using opto-dx, so not sure if that's the difference.

    @jlbrach and @simorag - what has been your experience with Dave / M Scaler / Abyss TC through Formula S and fatigue with the various incarnations of your setup?
  6. Ragnar-BY
    Sure, it should be something on transport side that causes this difference. I know that you can convert .flac to .wav back and forth and this would result in 100% same bits.
  7. JaZZ Contributor
    In the digital domain – xnor graphic equalizer (⅓-octave) for foobar2000. I would never use an analogue equalizer (again) after some sobering experience in the past. Analogue components in the signal path ruin the sound – more or less.

    There's no reason to be concerned. The recording is as it is, be it 44.1 kHz or higher, and has been processed digitally in the studio before. The M Scaler doesn't care the least bit if you apply some more processing or renounce it, it just makes the best of the existing signal. It's as if you would have losslessly equalized it in the analogue domain (if that would be possible) and reconverted to digital again, which would result in a comparable signal as if it's equalized in the digital domain directly. The result speaks for itself: The M Scaler offers even higher resolution and refinement with an adequately equalized over-all amplitude response, which also results in an improved transient response. So I highly recommend to solve your «problem» this way, if it persists.
  8. simorag
    The purchase of the M Scaler has been one of my best moves ever during the build of my hifi system.
    I immediately noticed an ease-ness of musical flow, smoothness and a general reduction of brightness, which brought me to a more relaxing approach to listening. The opposite of listening fatigue, actually, in my setup.

    Since then, I have made several improvements (BNC cables, OPTO DX, battery-powered HMS), but the main value of all those was in making the HMS being more effective in doing even better what it was already doing very fine.

    The JPS Superconductor was indeed another step into making the AB-1266 better, as it adds some nice warmth / body in the midrange making vocals and strings sounding more palpable and natural.

    Today, I am in my 4th hour of consecutive listening while I type this, and I just want to keep the musical bliss going on more and more :)
    Aslshark and zenlisten like this.
  9. mt-hifidelity
    I just received the M Scaler and have been using it with my Hugo 2. I'm picking up many of the same attributes others have mentioned, both good and not so good, including the additional brightness and some sibilance. I'm using a new silver Moon Audio BNC-to-dual-coax cable built especially for the M Scaler to pair with the Hugo 2. Does anyone have any suggestions for other cable options that may help? Perhaps I should use a good pair of BNC cables and an adapter. I can't afford a DAVE at the moment so I'm sticking with the Hugo.
  10. Progisus
    That’s a well made and shielded cable. How long is it? What is your input source? Probably the best advice and sorry if it sounds flippant, is to stop reading this thread, close your eyes and allow your brain to adjust.
    Aslshark and Chester Rockwell like this.
  11. feddar
    Has anyone compared using the HMS to using Phono?
  12. adyc
    I second that. OptoDX is a great product. It is much better than ferrite BNC cables. OptoDX definitely reduces the hardness I experience from HMS-Dave. Before one accuses me that it is my system problem and not from HMS-Dave. I also have another DAC and turntable. I don’t experience any hardness from these sources.

    However, having OptoDX is one part of solution. I agree with Dan that HMS radiates a lot of RFI and affecting Dave. I purchase 5m optical cable from Dan to move HMS away from Dave. The sound is even better. I strongly recommend you try OptoDX with long optical cable.
    wswbd, audio_1 and xxx1313 like this.
  13. naynay
    This threads gone RFI crazy never had any issues with my Dave and M Scaler can listen for hours.
    Aslshark, musickid, bikutoru and 4 others like this.
  14. bikutoru
    "If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him" - Voltaire

    Expensive cable and other esoteric solutions to cure it is like putting gold plated cup holders in a brand new Rolls Royce and claiming now it can even fly, but if it does, who am I to disprove it? Attack everyone who cannot or doesn't want to afford it, cupholders in cars exist! and therefore changing them makes cars so much better.

    When RFI craze subsides it will switch to LPS craze, from there to optical network and so on. When do they have time to listen to music instead of cables, I wander?
  15. Ciggavelli
    I've been driving myself crazy thinking about usb regenerator and master clocks. Has anybody tried a USB Regenerator with their M-Scaler? If so, did it improve anything?

    I'm talking about something like this:

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