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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. Progisus
    The circuit board. No toroids and not much else. The aluminum shield covering it is substantial. 2B7C12FF-A6B2-412E-B868-956E028A0C37.jpeg
    zenlisten likes this.
  2. kennyb123
    I initially thought along the same lines. Then I spent about $20 on some ferrite clamps for my BNC cables and heard an improvement. It’s not that the RF in this case can be noticed. What it’s doing is actually is degrading the benefits you already hear from the M-Scaler. I had initially exaggerated a bit to friends that it seemed as if the OPTO DX delivered the kind of benefits we’d expect to hear from a future second generation M-Scaler. The M-Scaler that you already paid for has a ton of magic that’s still waiting to be unleashed.

    And as far as power conditioning, I believe the issue here is the FPGA chip inside the M-Scaler. Rob has already said that this gives off so much RF that it wouldn’t be possible at this point to place this within the same chassis as the DAC with its analog circuits.
    drew911d likes this.
  3. onlychild
    I don’t think it’s correct to state that the Mscaler has an RFI problem, but rather all hifi equipment is effected by RFI/EMI to some degree.

    The incredible thing with Chord DACs is that the noise floor is so low, that most likely everything else in your chain will have a higher noise floor so when you start to upgrade your equipment/cables, you end up dropping the noise floor thus enhancing the sound of the Chord products. I think this is what leads some to believe that it is an RFI issue with the chord Mscaler/Dac to begin with.

    When you start upgrading cables, power, server, etc, you are essentially letting everything else catch up to the incredibly low noise floor of your Chord Equipment.

    As someone who’s gone down the rabbit hole deeper than I would like to admit, I am thankful that each and every upgrade was easily heard due to the incredible transparency and low noise floor of the Dave/Mscaler combo.

    If you don’t plan to go for the last 10%, you will still get sound better than pretty much any other Dac in this price range.
    GreenBow, JTbbb, xxx1313 and 4 others like this.
  4. kelly200269
    Yeah, you’re right.
    The M Scaler doesn’t have an RFI problem at all.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2019
  5. rkt31
    Try feeding m Scaler to other than chord dacs. It improves those dac too even with so called RFI problem. How come ? Each and every thing these days has RFI problem. even your streamer or mobile phone has much more RFI problem than HMS. Fact is that whatever improvement you get with these tweaks of rfi you would get with any other dac or audio equipments too. Here people are getting enthusiastic to improve the already highly transparent sound which other equipment owner won't .
  6. kennyb123
    Proof that there are things that will limit a system’s potential far more than RF,
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2019
  7. drew911d
    Very interesting to hear about the AC iPurifiers. I might try them. I wonder if it would be a decent match with the Furman PST-8D dual filtered power strip I use so far. Could be a nice compliment. Any thought would be appreciated.

    @kennyb123 I'm surprised to hear you like the sound better without the DC iPurifier. I pulled it from my TT2 and it sounds more energetic, but less controlled without it. A harshness in the highs returned and less Bass control and dynamics. But, I still haven't done squat with the BNC interconnects. It may be from some reading here that if I do make a change there it could make other changes obsolete, or at least less effective. For now I consider the DC iPurifer at least to be relative to using a battery to identify weaknesses in power delivery. Maybe if I use an expensive lps in place I could find additional improvement. Time, and budget will tell. The ifi DC iPurifier uses Active Noise Cancelling technology to create an exact but opposite signal to cancel out noise. Same as ANC headphones to cancel out, say the noise of a jet engine for travellers. Even high end hearing protection for gun range users.

    The HMS/Chord DAC has in and of itself such a low noise floor so many are not used to such a product. Here sound quality is revelatory. Stand alone it's top quality. But the product is actually better than initial impressions as it has an additional propensity to reach below usual accepted noise levels in this market. Making room for a new level of perfection. This is a paradigm shift in a sense. This percieved rfi susceptability is BS. You are looking at it from the wrong perspective. We now have a product that can be better than the air around us, meaning the transmissions of energy can now be shown to affect each other. Other DAC's aren't able to get so detailed to make the difference audible. We can now hear that better standards are achievable with further experimentation. Instead of demanding the DAC reach a new level of noise suppression, we now have a DAC that we can strive to reach it's capability of low noise level. The DAC is beyond our noise environment for the first time.

    The tiniest of energy waveforms, even those generated by the HMS FPGA (current technology inherent weakness) itself can be like butter on toast, causing a viel to take away from the best optimal sound signal. Chord does a remarkable job getting this noise to be nearly ineffectual. Show me a perfect sine wave if you can. It's only theory in real life, there are so many imperfections it's amazing electronic products work at all..

    It's a new level of purity that we are finding possible especially thanks to the intrinsic super low noise level of Chord. We're just now finding ways to make this super low noise environment possible and discernable in practical use. This is what we are as a community working toward. Whatever it takes to remove the byproduct of our many pieces of electrical signal processing to make our daily lives easier from our hightened sense of auditory perception (that means you, audiophile) that could not be achievable if a product didn't exist to allow such perfection to be achievable. Don't blame the gear that can demonstrate that perfect sine wave, blame the waves in the air, or any other transmission media that corrupt the signal on the path to output. Then get rid of that shiat.
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2019
    musickid and ZappaMan like this.
  8. N Quarter
    Woah, maybe the best enviroment would be in the middle of the desert with a bunch of batteries to power everything.Ultimate low noise floor, might be a little hot though.
    zenlisten likes this.
  9. muski
    Wow, great recommendation. First track is absolutely pouring soaking wet.
    ZappaMan likes this.
  10. nomad777
    Here is what I found:

    You may view the internal plate via the porthole looking glass which protects the sensitive internal circuitry from radio frequency (RF) interference

    With a thick, solid aluminium chassis, the Hugo M Scaler’s casework largely protects the sensitive internal circuitry from radio frequency interference. However, for optimal performance, it is recommended that the following points are observed:

    1. Consider placing the Hugo M Scaler away from wireless routers. 2. Separate the Hugo M Scaler from amplifiers using toroidal transformers. 3. Operate mobile phones at a distance to avoid interference.

    2. Separate the Hugo M Scaler from amplifiers using toroidal transformers.

    3. Operate mobile phones at a distance to avoid interference.

    Although the Hugo M Scaler is largely shielded, it can generate radio frequency interference that may have an effect on radio and television reception. If this occurs, please reconsider your placement.

    I have yet to see it affect anything that I have near it... I do have it beside the woo wa33 headphone amp maybe about 12 inches away .. so we will see

    So we are clear the mscaler (does not have a torrodial transformer in it) it can produce RFI I will have a conversation with Rob Watts to see how far away it should be from a torrodial transformer

    Ironically it can't be that bad if in many placements its stacked with the TT2
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2019
  11. nomad777

    the stock cables are crap....
  12. N Quarter
    Even loaded with ferrites? I will probably seek out something a little better then, to get me started.
  13. nomad777
    yes crap even with 100 ferrites
  14. Crgreen
    I absolutely agree.The chip itself produces the offending RFI. For some people that’s not a problem, but for others it is. I wish I was one of those for whom it wasn’t an issue.
  15. ZappaMan
    I wonder if 5 metre long Bnc cables would sound better, with diy ferretes as this length would be too much expensive for audiophile version cables.

    Just to see if the airborne rfi was much reduced. I used to have 2 metre cables and kept the two devices 2 metres apart. But wave cables 1 metre long were a big improvement.

    I also think about rob saying his preferred source was a laptop on batteries playing via optical, that sounds like a low rfi way to go.
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2019
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