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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. nomad777
    It's nice to see other TC owners here. You can always eq things to your taste but I don't want to mess around with something that is new. Especially on rock music serious bass slam. So bass heads would love this headphone. Later on I might EQ it just a tad. I'm kind of a detail freak so I love micro details and sometimes find the bass getting in the way of it, I hear it just not as much as I'd like but still doing break in. I'm curious to see how the sound signature changes.

    There are times though ... where I'm blown away by the flawless detail. Kind of leaves you breathless especially on good recordings.
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2019
  2. Rob Watts
    Yes it's way too early to say anything!

    However, I can say that the Hugo M scaler would not get replaced by a longer tap length M scaler - we need much better FPGAs (same cost but more processing) to significantly increase the tap length and there is no sign or even hints of that from Xilinx yet.

    No news on Davina, but I expect some progress on the pulse array ADC technology next year.
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  3. musickid
    with a 768 khz recording which can be downloaded and in the most simplistic way of thinking about things are we just missing the taps? so is the upsampling of the mscaler the easy part not requiring much digital processing but the 1M tap filter which is the difficult consuming part. if you feed the mscaler a 768khz recording does it just pass this on to the dac without applying the 1M tap filter or....?? if the 1M taps are not applied here why is that?
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2019
    ZappaMan likes this.
  4. mat.1
  5. Triode User
    Regarding clip on ferrites Rob Watts said this a few posts back and I also found the same as him.

    As to how many solid core ferrites to add, I found improvements that I could hear up to 16 ferrites and then added another 4 which made no difference but to my mind were there 'just to make sure'. Make sure you use high frequency ones though and as tightly fitting on the cable as possible. One thing to add is that I found that there is more to it than just looking at the spec of the ferrites, the cable you use makes a difference and I got different effects with different cables even using the same spec of ferrites. That is where there is no other option but to try variations until you get the optimum combination. The spacing of the ferrites also has an influence so you need to keep the ferrites from sliding on the cable.

    I hope that helps.
  6. nomad777
    I'm curious what a 2 million tap scaler would sound like. With audio there is diminishing returns once you get to a certain level. I wonder where that tap level is. Is 2 million 20% better or just 10% ... I wonder if there's some math to detail that.
  7. Progisus
    HQPlayer has a 16M tap filter.
  8. ray-dude
    Alas, not all taps are created equal (depends on the filter). I'm not sure what the details of the closed-form-16M are in HQP, but what I'd really like to hear is idealized sinc interpolation filter (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whittaker–Shannon_interpolation_formula) at 1M. 2M. 4M. 8M. 16M. etc. At some point, we'll no longer hear any difference (at least with the current WTA2 and noise shaper), and we'll have arrived.

    Taking a step back, I try to keep the DAVE block diagram taped to my laptop screen when I'm trying to grok these things. mScaler is basically taking the WTA1 filter ("Home of the Taps") and putting it in an external box. It applies the 1M taps and injects 16fs signal via dual coax into the rest of the pipeline basically bypassing the built in WTA1 filter in the DAC. Hugo2, TT2, etc. all have similar pipelines.

    Taps are a fantastic way to simplify "What makes this special?" to a number that all of us can grab on to (1M is better than 140k!). However, a HUGE amount of the Chord magic is in the WTA2 and noise shaping digital stages, and in the actual DAC itself (in the case of DAVE the 20 element pulse array and output stage). Taps are critical to have the best input to the pipeline as possible, but I've come to believe that the real magic happens after WTA1 (post taps), with DAVE being the Grand Wizard of magicians.

    Ragnar-BY, miketlse, nomad777 and 2 others like this.
  9. llamaluv
    I strongly agree that the TC is not an across-the-board winner compared to the Utopia (or one or two other high-end headphones I can think of). I do think it's a hugely interesting headphone and I'm glad I shelled out the money for it, though. Four to five days of straight burn-in is what it'll take for them to be able to tell you all they have to offer.
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2019
  10. Progisus
    So as long as the sample rate into the Chord DAC is at the max for the DAC then the WTA1 in the DAC is bypassed? Does that mean that the tap number for each dac is then that of the MScaler. i.e 500k for my TT(1) and 1M for my H2? I believe this is correct and then leaves the difference in sound and detail retrieving to the actual d/a conversion, WTA 2 and analog circuitry of the dac.
  11. ray-dude
    That is my understandingt (see my Blu2 review below, discussed same when I tested Blu2 with DAVE and H2). When using HMS with DAVE, TT2, H2, or Qutest, it is the identical 1M tap/16fs, and the built in WTA1 filter does a pass through. Any difference you hear is magic from the rest of the pipeline (I naively attribute the bulk of the differences to the final DAC stage, but I'm sure Rob has improved the WTA2 since DAVE).
  12. nomad777
    Is that software? If so not the same.. as dedicated hardware
  13. nomad777
    Very nice
  14. nomad777
    Well I listened pretty much all night dozing off and on... and starting to see the difference... I'd say almost punching in your face detail. Massive slam these can seriously hurt you blow out your ears... especially on the amp I'm using. I can see why people call them the best ... however there's something about the Utopia detail .. its sharper and sometimes I'll want to go back to it...

    I like all these cans for different reasons... over time I've gotten to know my local dealer well as I've bought a lot of items from him... etc.. and I was telling him you know you have an amazing headphone when you listen to it for a week and miss the sound signature when your listening to another high quality headphone..

    As much as I like the he1000's and they sound incredible on the wa33 I find myself gravitating back to the Utopias for there narrower soundstage but micro detail in the narrower band.

    It will take some time for me to see where the TC's fit in all this. I miss the HD800's the least. When I want an overall warmer sound I go to the Focal clears.

    There are times when the TC's blow me away and other times where I go "what the heck?"... different type of detail....

    I will say to those maybe contemplating these assure you have good recordings ; regardless if your using a scaler... you will hear all the crap in the music if the recording stinks..
    birdlandbill likes this.
  15. llamaluv
    That's where I'm at with the TC as well. For me it's about where it fits in in relation to the Utopia and Susvara.

    Going back to the M-Scaler, the quality that I listen out for the most is how the M-Scaler enhances the treatment of transients, and among the three headphones I use, the M-Scaler's effect on transients is most apparent with the Utopia. Which is saying something.
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