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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 would be a tough choice just to choose one. Say you could only pick one. I'd have to think about that one and pairing has a lot to do with that... for my setup with the wa 33 it would be the He1000's if I only had the Dave for headphones it would be the Utopia's. Notice the TC's aren't there not because they aren't excellent headphones but because it takes a a powerful amp to drive them. It is warmer sounding than the lot I have. Ironically the Clear's have a similar signature without the bass slam but are much easier to drive.
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2019
  2. birdlandbill
    Nice comment re: Utopias and M-Scaler. Impact of M-Scaled Dave with Utopia headphones is striking, which has left me puzzled when folks say they don't hear a difference. An impact of the end stage sound reproduction element (leaving out ear/brain sound transduction)?

    Agree with you and Nomad, finding Abyss TC and Utopias providing acoustic excellence in different forms with M-Scaled Dave.
    nomad777 and llamaluv like this.
  3. nomad777

    When I first heard planars I couldn't stand them... I threw them off my head telling my dealer how could people like such garbage. At that time though I was new to this world and didn't know about proper paring of equipment which makes a big difference. I also tried the HD800s and hated them to, also couldn't stand the Audeze ones either. In fact I told him to keep planars away from me and went with the Utopias... LOL...I also liked the design of them eye candy. The French know how to design things... Things are obviously different now...

    Glad your enjoying them :L3000:
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2019
  4. mlxx
    The latency would become too excessive after a few million taps at 768kHz for a LP filter.
    It is probably for DSD only that runs at MHz speed. Have you tried it?
  5. nomad777
    Ok well don't know if the TC's will sound any better and I've had them on constantly for 2 days now.. non stop with only 1-2 hrs break in between. I think I have figured out why audiophiles praise these so much. They don't distort at all. Even at high listening levels. Don't know how many of you are familiar with Z reviews on youtube of Steve Guttenberg (think that's how you spell it) Fairly popular headphone reviewers both of them gush over these. I have them on a volume level right now on the wa33's that would blow brain matter out of your ears with other headphones and no distortion whatsoever. They also have a very smooth presentation and have excellent detail all around low, mid, high frequencies with no flaws. That's why they gush over it.

    However when it comes to extreme detail the Utopias's still are on top. With certain songs...I've compared one of my favourites that i like listening to Led Zepplin's Stairway to Heaven and the detail the Utopias bring is higher. The Utopia's flaw is that sometimes they can sound bright a bit edgy but if you like that sound signature and the 6khz minor flaw which i don't mind and can always eq for they are also great cans. The utopias also have a narrower sound stage; but the sound stage king is the HE1000's beating out the HD800's. Sometimes I want edgy and not the all round balance of the Abyss TC's.

    Money.. the Abyss are very pricey and even more so if you live outside the US. Canadians have to pay a whopping 6600 for these. 5K in the US. I got my dealer to drop the price quite a bit as I used black Friday and talked him down over 2 months.. yes I was somewhat patient in buying them. Patience will get you price drops if your persistent.

    I'm still a bit mesmerized by these headphones I wish I could pick a flaw but they are extremely well balanced so no flaws musically. So i guess due to that reason they get such high praise. Sonically an engineering masterpiece. But are they the only headphones you should have ... no..... of course that also depends on your finances.

    They are for home listening only like most major high end headphones and not recommended if you don't have a powerful high quality amp to drive them. Abyss even says that on their site. So if I want to nitpick don't buy it without the proper gear to drive them otherwise you will never have the full benefit of what they can do. One other thing.. they are strange looking industrial almost... and you will need to learn to adjust them to your head. If you have the guts to walk outside with these people will think you might have a handicap and need something to stabilize your head. :) Nomad out !
  6. Progisus
    I believe you are correct. I have tried it but Chord deconstruction filter makes it pointless. However pcm poly-sinc-long-lp gives me the same results as my mscaler and marginally better on my 384k TT1. On the Mojo at 768 the results are awesome.
  7. dmance
    Try the 'sinc-M' filter too (thanks @ray-dude). With my system now better stabilized for some serious winter listening, i went back to sinc-M ...which is also a million tap, linear-phase filter that's more efficient than poly-sinc-long-lp but limited to power-of-2 scaling (which is not an issue since its how MScaler works). I had 4 hours with sinc-M last night and it's pretty darn good ...perhaps even closer to WTA1.
  8. Drewligarchy
    If running optical into a Chord M Scaler (or any recent Chord Dac for that matter), does source matter at all (assuming optical on a particular source doesn't have more Jitter than Chord's threshold?)

    Given that Chord Dacs are largely immune to jitter, and you have 100% galvanic isolation, has anyone heard any differences?

    I have an Auralic Aries Femto and an Auralic Aries Mini. I had previously used the Femto > USB on the Dave and the Mini with my Chord Hugo 2 in my bedroom.

    I have switched and am using the Aries Mini (with upgraded PS) with my Mscaler > Dave via optical as it can reach 192khz and the Femto I have can't.

    I only have a few DXD albums, which Roon downsamples to 176 or 192, and for my DSD albums I have Roon convert them to 176/24 on the fly. It's transparent to me and sounds superior to USB on either (less noise). I have no USB tweaks and would probably get a new streamer rather than by a bunch.

    Looking at Innuos and the Auralic Aries G2, but it seems with Chord Dacs, the only benefit I could hope for - after spending a lot of money - is to get USB to be equal to optical on a modest Aries Mini. I'd actually prefer the G2, because I need the flexibility of Wifi. Otherwise, I'd need an extender or a mesh system. I had previously used Orbi, but it was close to my system and the interference was noticeable.

    I would like to understand if my logic makes sense, or if there are further benefits to getting a server/streamer that can deliver via USB for increased bandwidth AND increased sound quality.

    For those using an Innuous do you find USB equal to or better than optical from another source? Anyone have any experience with the Aries G2? I find the Aries Femto actually sounds brighter than the Aries Mini via USB, and I don't know exactly why. The G2 is more easily demoed - for me - than any of the Innuous gear.

    Curious as to the perceived benefits of improving the transport specifically with Chord M Scaler / Dacs vs a modest streamer via optical. Or is it just a situation of sleeping better at night? Any thoughts are welcome.
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2019
    ZappaMan likes this.
  9. miketlse
    @Drewligarchy you are raising interesting questions.
    I don't have MScaler, but hope to have one eventually.
    In the meantime, with both Mojo and Hugo2 I find optical to be my preferred inputs.
    But it is curious to me how changing the upstream devices, can cause any difference, unless they change the amount of RFI passing from the source power supply, to the MScaler/dac power supply.
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2019
  10. ray-dude
    I can not explain why, but definitely, yes, with a Matrix Audio XSPDIF 2 USB to optical TOSLINK DDC, I hear differences in upstream components and configurations. Complete madness. Any hypothesis I have to why is clutching at straws (induced noise from jitter or other signal integrity issues). Makes absolutely zero sense to me, but there it is.
    xxx1313 and miketlse like this.
  11. Drewligarchy
    Thanks for the thoughts, Ray!

    I think signal integrity issues are possible. With cables and sources that more easily link to higher bandwidth's (192 vs 96) - I think I hear a slight difference, though it could be placebo. Maybe a transmitter and a more robust Toslink cable. Maybe there is not enough loss for a droupout - but there could be small errors of some kind which affect the sound.

    Also, the power supply of the source could have an effect - in terms of what it's putting into the mains.

    I haven't been able to hear a clear difference, but I don't have enough sources to test.

    I'd love to be able to eventually use USB. Does anyone have a source that is so good that USB is actually an improvement over toslink?
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2019
  12. miketlse
    I have been thinking about exploring the several brands of USB to optical cables, eg https://www.amazon.com/Optical-Cables-Corning-Cable-Meter/dp/B00M2FYSYA
    However I am thinking that one would need to ensure that the 'receiver' end of the usb cable was powered by battery (or powerpad), to ensure a full isolation from RFI.
  13. ZappaMan
    Here’s an interesting review, can add digi signature board, for optical out I believe, low cost but good performance.

  14. dmance
    Careful... the Corning optical usb have a thin copper wire to carry power to the optical demod circuits on the receiver. I tried them ...they don't galvanically isolate.
    FYI ,Their thunderbolt 2 cables are 100% glass as will be their USB-C.
    There are commercially available USB-over-Fibre extenders with power needed at both ends ...but they are expensive.
  15. Triode User
    Well Innuos prefer to use usb rather than optical for their high end sources to the point where the lower models have optical outputs as well but the top models have usb output only. I think I remember the explanation being that they measured the noise produced by the optical converter and realised that it was worse than a well implemented usb solution. I have the Innuos Zenith SE which only has usb and is obviously some rungs below their also usb only Statement model but I have been very happy with it and do not wish for an optical connection.
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2019
    Ragnar-BY and HughF like this.
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