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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. musickid
    £6400 for two sounds in line with the way things are going these days....:thinking:..ummm....hang on a minute there.....:thinking:
  2. llamaluv
    Some findings on my own source-related tinkering organized around the Opto DX over the last couple weeks.

    I initially found that the Opto DX made just a subtle difference. Subjectively, it sounded dryer and I actually found it less enjoyable. People often describe an absence of RF noise as taking time to get used to and as sounding less "excited" or (artificially) hyped-up among other things. Regardless, even after extended listening over the course of a week and a half, I couldn't convince myself that I didn't like it less.

    However, after turning off my big desktop PC which had been feeding the HMS and the big TV as well, and by feeding the M-Scaler its bits from a battery-powered Mac laptop instead, the overall impact is pretty unequivocal. Bass sounds cleaner and more well defined, low-level details are more "trackable", and it's a darker, almost more "subdued" sound. I would still call it slightly dry to my ears compared to what I've been used to. But there's a greater overall clarity -- and not the kind that brightness is oftentimes conflated with -- which makes this resulting sound better and more satisfying. Also, transients sound more characteristically M-Scaler-esque (softer, rounder, more nuanced, less hyped-up). This has been with listening done in the mid-evening (which is usually not a great time of day in terms of power quality in my building), yet has a lot of the characteristics of a 2AM listening experience. I especially like what it's done for the Susvara, which has a relatively wet sound already, and now just sounds more "expressive".

    I'm not fully certain, however, how I'd characterize how much each adjustment I've made contributes to the final outcome in terms of proportion (ie, ODX versus other related tweaks), but TBH I'm so pleased with that outcome right now that I'm fairly uninterested in the prospect of back-tracking in order to properly find out.

    The last low-effort thing I want to try for now is turning off the cable modem and router while doing critical listening and see if that makes for any further differences, as these are I believe the last digital or switching-power-supply devices left un-accounted-for in my 1BR apartment.
  3. musickid
    Best profile page i've seen on headfi for layout llama. Any more thoughts on the denon with mDave?
    llamaluv likes this.
  4. llamaluv
    Hehe thanks!

    The Denon D9200 on the M/Dave? I love it. A really well balanced sound and I can't find anything to criticize about it. Some people find the treble on the D9200 just a shade too much, and while I've never heard it that way myself, on the M/Dave, I think those criticisms mostly disappear. Imaging and depth thru the M/Dave are as good to me as anything I've ever listened to directly out of the Dave headphone-out. When I'm listening closely, I often think to myself, "Wow, what nuance!" and corny things like that. The D9200 really deserves an aftermarket cable though.
  5. musickid
    Duo en Noir with Italian jazz trumpet player Enrico Rava. This live recording is what the HMS is all about. The atmospherics and live audience are incredibly real. The venue feels very close.

  6. musickid
    can you compare the sony mdr z1r to the denon out of dave? it will help me with my next headphone purchase.
  7. llamaluv
    Oh sorry, I've never heard the Z1R for more than a minute at a tradeshow, so couldn't even speculate.
  8. nomad777
    Sotm switch and cat7 cables and filters will solve any noise related issues coming from routers switches
  9. Lgn3
    This is how he will have set up Windows Sound properties and J River.


    Windows gives exclusive control to J River and within J RIver bit perfect is ouputted to the DAC when picking either Chord ASIO or WASAPI. This bypasses Windows Direct Sound.
    racebit likes this.
  10. TheAttorney
    Well, I was only mildly curious because I'm not intending to immediately rush out and buy a pair of Valhallas.
    But my main point is that statements like "best I've heard" have no value unless, as absolute minumum, you name the other cables you tried.
  11. nomad777
    A number of them; and rather than just listen to me since I don't want to convince a doubting Thomas go here... Nordost is well known for actual science in what they do not just hype;

    https://audiobacon.net/2017/08/22/c...d-transport-review-digital-dressed-in-analog/ valhalla 2 best of the bunch

    https://audiobacon.net/2018/08/11/the-audiophiles-short-list-the-best-digital-coaxial-cables/ lots of options

    After listening to various cables I don't think I could vary from the V2's other than the Odin2's which are an even larger step up and above what I would pay.
  12. racebit
    Thanks. It is good JRiver does it. But unfortunately not all apps do that if we just select WASAPI, because WASAPI has both Shared and Exclusive mode. For example VLC works only in WASAPI shared mode (so audio is always resampled even in WASAPI), and with MPC-BE we have to set a separate "Exclusive Mode" option, besides selecting WASAPI.
    Therefore the best and simplest way to be sure is checking the rate the dac is receiving. And also avoids going into these configuration talks I regret having done. A positive is that I learned about the "Ignore" profile option...
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2019
    Lgn3 likes this.
  13. kennyb123
    Where in Philly? I'm actually from South Jersey but went to college in Philly - Drexel. Grew up as an Iggles fan.

    I can't really say if the switch isolates the battery when the switch is off. Given that I hear so little difference with it on vs off, maybe not. Either way the isolation is far better with the PP2 battery than the stock supply - even with the switch on. I will obsess over much in this hobby, but I tend to draw the line when inconvenience becomes routine. No way will I fiddle with unplugging the battery before listening.

    I use Kasa smart products - they are a division of TP-LINK. They have been great.
  14. Drewligarchy
    Thanks. I’m from the northeast suburbs and went to Penn, so very familiar with the Drexel areas.

    Thanks - I have a couple smart plugs lying around so I’ll give it a try.
  15. nomad777
    I'm surprised no takers for this question......
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