Hugo M Scaler by Chord Electronics - The Official Thread
May 12, 2021 at 3:29 PM Post #13,576 of 13,830

hmartin

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Have you compared optical vs. coaxial outputs?
Yes, I could not detect any difference in sound quality. Using optical now as that atleast avoids galvanic connection.

I first had it on the bottom shelf (it was free) and later moved it to the suspended top shelf and that made a clear difference to the better.

I use Solid tech radius with the optional isolation top shelf.
 
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May 12, 2021 at 10:51 PM Post #13,577 of 13,830

muski

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I am currently using the USB input into my Mscaler/DAVE combo, fed from an Antipodes CX & EX . I have had this setup for about a year now and have been very happy with it to date. However, recently, for reasons not particularly relevant to this post, I needed to borrow another source for a short period of time. My local dealer was kind enough to lend me a CD transport, along with with a Black Rhodium digital Co -axial cable , which I think sells for around £1000. The transport itself sells for under £400 and was replacing what is a +£10K source. Now I am not suggesting the CD transport was better, but considering the price difference I was astounded at the increased soundstage depth and layering it gave over the Antipodes, which incidentally, I had selected originally over other servers/streamers I home demoed, as that combo gave the most three dimensional sound stage in my system. The CD transport also sounded more flowing and natural, vocals in particular seemed to convey more emotion. (The negatives were the soundstage was not as focused, instruments occupied a larger space and overlapped more) Now this has got me questioning a few things, but specifically for this forum, I would be interested to know if people feel the Co-axial SPDIF input on the MScaler is in anyway superior to the USB input? The spec's would suggest the opposite, as the USB is galvanically isolated whereas it appears that the BNC inputs are not. (I think the outputs are)

I am familiar with the argument that a CD transport, due to its low power and simplicity generates less noise than, say, the dual processors of the CX & EX, but surely something like the Antipodes would mitigate that effect, especially against a £400 transport? This is why I am asking could it be more to do with input type and format into the MScaler? I am now thinking could I replicate this sound and still keep the convenience of a server by using a D-D converter and feed the Mscaler via SPDIF. (My antipodes only outputs USB or Ethernet)
Not an inexpensive option, but you might find an Innuos Phoenix USB reclocker of interest.
 
May 13, 2021 at 4:48 AM Post #13,578 of 13,830

burbster

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What it was? I’ve read a lot of good reviews for Cambridge CXC which is in similar price range.
It was the audiolab 6000CDT, and the CXC is its main competition. I have not heard the CXC but was impressed with the audiolab.
 
May 13, 2021 at 4:59 AM Post #13,579 of 13,830

burbster

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Not an inexpensive option, but you might find an Innuos Phoenix USB reclocker of interest.
Yes thanks muski, I have been looking at one of these for a while and have asked my local store to get hold of demo unit for me. Seem to get almost universal praise. i still have this niggling feeling though, in my system at least, that USB may not be the optimal solution.
 
May 13, 2021 at 5:29 PM Post #13,580 of 13,830

marcus2704

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Having an initial listen after receiving an M Scaler today, is there any reason not to leave the M Scaler on setting white, for max 768 upsampling)?

Edit - one thing I notice is that when in white mode, movement on the Susvara's 6.3 cable causes the music to 'glitch' momentarily, which doesn't happen when I leave it on blue. Thought that might be a one off, but my testing so far is pretty consistent that white causes distracting audio breakup.
 
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May 13, 2021 at 5:44 PM Post #13,581 of 13,830

ra990

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Having an initial listen after receiving an M Scaler today, is there any reason not to leave the M Scaler on setting white, for max 768 upsampling)?

Edit - one thing I notice is that when in white mode, movement on the Susvara's 6.3 cable causes the music to 'glitch' momentarily, which doesn't happen when I leave it on blue. Thought that might be a one off, but my testing so far is pretty consistent that white causes distracting audio breakup.
Nope, I always keep it on max upscaling. The BNC connection between the MScaler and TT2 is very touchy, any movement of either device may interrupt the data stream. This depends on your cables and the connection fit. I have tried a couple of different cables and noticed the longer the pin length on the connector, the less that happens.
 
May 13, 2021 at 5:51 PM Post #13,582 of 13,830

marcus2704

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Nope, I always keep it on max upscaling. The BNC connection between the MScaler and TT2 is very touchy, any movement of either device may interrupt the data stream. This depends on your cables and the connection fit. I have tried a couple of different cables and noticed the longer the pin length on the connector, the less that happens.

Interesting, as it is, I don't feel I can use the max upscaling at the moment because of the glitches. I am not certain my ears can tell the difference between blue/white on my initial listening. Soon I will be able to use a Balanced XLR 4 Pin Female to Speaker Taps adaptor I am awaiting to arrive which will enable me to use the Susvara's directly into the TToby, perhaps that might improve things.
 
May 13, 2021 at 5:54 PM Post #13,583 of 13,830

CaptainFantastic

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Having an initial listen after receiving an M Scaler today, is there any reason not to leave the M Scaler on setting white, for max 768 upsampling)?

I keep it on red, by-pass when not actively listening to music. It might be just a personal thing, but why waste processing power, generate heat, etc. if I am focusing on work or something else with just some background music playing.
 
May 13, 2021 at 5:56 PM Post #13,584 of 13,830

MatW

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I keep it on red, by-pass when not actively listening to music. It might be just a personal thing, but why waste processing power, generate heat, etc. if I am focusing on work or something else with just some background music playing.
Interesting and admirable. You could just leave it off altogether in that situation?
 
May 13, 2021 at 6:08 PM Post #13,586 of 13,830

ra990

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Interesting, as it is, I don't feel I can use the max upscaling at the moment because of the glitches. I am not certain my ears can tell the difference between blue/white on my initial listening. Soon I will be able to use a Balanced XLR 4 Pin Female to Speaker Taps adaptor I am awaiting to arrive which will enable me to use the Susvara's directly into the TToby, perhaps that might improve things.

If you're having that many glitches, you should definitely change out your BNC cables. Try a lighter cable that isn't putting too much weight on the connections. If you have a heavy cable, make sure it's supported by something and not just hanging off the back.
 
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May 13, 2021 at 6:11 PM Post #13,587 of 13,830

teknorob23

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I have tried to optimize my USB source (ultraRendu) with power supplies, using unshielded Ethernet cables, grounding all my Ethernet devices (cable modem, NAS, routers) and while each optimization improved my USB source sound into M-scaler, it doesn't sound the same as my wireless iPad plugged battery powered into the USB port or Toslink. So in the end, I took out an ancient USB to Toslink converter and I finally got the sound I want.

I think the problem is that there can be a lot of ground loop leakage currents running from your cable modem into the router into the antipodes into the M-Scaler that even with all the galvanic isolation in the world, a tiny bit of RF noise sneaks through into the DAC. Obviously, if you're playing of a CD transport, the only noise that can come through would be from the power supply of the CD transport which may not even exist. That's probably why you like the sound of the CD transport more. Hence, I would suggest trying a cheap USB to Toslink converter from Amazon and using the Toslink cable that comes with the M-Scaler/DAVE to start. It's a cheap experiment, even cheaper than the CD transport. The main downside is that with Toslink, you're limited to 96kHz or 192kHz or DSD input and not a higher sample rate. To me, the sonic improvement was worth it. And it made me stop obsessing about how to get rid of that last bit of noise which was slowly driving me nuts.

Sorry to but in, but one quick question, are you running your router directly into the antipodes? If so, this maybe why its not performing to the level of the CD player. I know the antipodes quite well and its an incredible sounding streamer/server, but it, as any streaming device can sound flat, harshe, etc, if RFI is being allowed to piggy back the data stream and enter the streamer. One simple solution, is to add a dedicated switch between the router and the streamer, ideally with a quiet PSU. This will act as a buffer and prevent much of the noise coming from the router getting through. As with anything with mains connection in the streaming chain it will emit some of its own noise too, which can be mitigated to degree with the addition of a quiet power supply. A quick and inexpensive, but generally effective solution is to to try something like a D-link DGS105 with and ifi Ipower, which together shouldnt set you back more than £70, plus it can be purchased and returned if you dont hear a benefit. More expensive "audiophile" switches might improve on this, but this is a very good and inexpensive starting point. RFI is the main enemy of good sound via streaming, stop this and you anitpodes will work at its full potential and very few sources will sound as good... just my two penneth and apologies if you've tried this already :)
 
May 13, 2021 at 6:12 PM Post #13,588 of 13,830

CaptainFantastic

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If you're having that many glitches, you should definitely change out your BNC cables. Try a lighter cable that isn't putting too much weight on the connections. If you have a heavy cable, make sure it's supported by something and not just hanging off the back.

I'm having zero glitches.
 
May 13, 2021 at 7:21 PM Post #13,589 of 13,830

ra990

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