Hugo M Scaler by Chord Electronics - The Official Thread
Jan 1, 2022 at 9:13 PM Post #14,656 of 16,267

dac64

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@Christer You are welcome Sir! Check out another Guy Butter album - it brilliantly demonstrates how great Chord dacs deal with live music recordings (guitars and vocals in this case):

1641073927325.png



Again, adding an M Scaler to the chain makes this brilliant recording sound awesome.


out of curiosity, I bought a download copy. And the highest format available was Redbook.

I presume all albums are Redbook
 
Jan 1, 2022 at 10:20 PM Post #14,657 of 16,267

dac64

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So far the best playback I achieved was when I had music loaded on my SD card plugged into the MSI laptop , it sounds the most analog to me with the blackest background. I am not entirely sure how but somehow this noise makes its way even through toslink. Even playing from an NVME SSD or SSD one can hear a greyer background and slightly brighter sound. The SD card makes far less noise when playing back files, even though ultimately all of it should be loaded onto the ram.

Seems like just reducing the internal noise can have a big effect on the sound, less noise in less noise for Dave’s optical receiver.

I presumed that the SD card had less mechanical noises, and consumed less currents.

Well, I was very surprised that my 20 years old Apple 3rd generation ipod nano, ALAC format, sounded better that HMS/Qutest on my current system. The sound stage was unbelievably firm, more analogue, and efforless; HMS/Qutest was struggling here and there. I will revisit it to confirm.

In view of the above, I have purchased an SD card for a scientific research purpose! :L3000: and I will try to get a apple dock to digital out from the ipod (I have a few ipods laying around) to HMS :L3000:

Correction: Not my current system. Now I remember the upstream of the digital was now separated by fiber optic, and better BNCs (OCC) in between. Will verify again.
 
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Jan 2, 2022 at 9:40 AM Post #14,658 of 16,267

maxh22

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I presumed that the SD card had less mechanical noises, and consumed less currents.

Well, I was very surprised that my 20 years old Apple 3rd generation ipod nano, ALAC format, sounded better that HMS/Qutest on my current system. The sound stage was unbelievably firm, more analogue, and efforless; HMS/Qutest was struggling here and there. I will revisit it to confirm.

In view of the above, I have purchased an SD card for a scientific research purpose! :L3000: and I will try to get a apple dock to digital out from the ipod (I have a few ipods laying around) to HMS :L3000:

Correction: Not my current system. Now I remember the upstream of the digital was now separated by fiber optic, and better BNCs (OCC) in between. Will verify again.

I use to have a 2nd Gen iPod Nano and even though I mainly listened to mp3's at the time I remember the sound was very musical and non-fatiguing. Over the years I observed listening to music on the latest iPhones wasn't anywhere as pleasurable. The best-sounding iPhone was the iPhone 4S from my recollection. I have non-audiophile friends who still to this day prefer their iPod nano over their smartphone, when I asked them why they said it just sounds better.

Regarding the SD cards, from my limited research, some people prefer certain brands over others, Toshiba SD cards were mentioned as highly favorable. Personally, I am using microcenter 32GB card that I got for free as a promotion a couple of years back. I'm close to filling up the card so I'm starting to look at other options, 256Gb cards.

Sony came out with an Audiophile SD card several years ago, it can still be picked up on eBay but it's pretty pricy, not sure how good it is but according to them it outputs less noise than their other SD cards.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/3843376038...WCmPMFHQPtAtw%3D|clp:2334524|tkp:BFBMoI3Hs8Nf
 
Jan 4, 2022 at 6:29 PM Post #14,659 of 16,267

drew911d

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Christer, this is the optical cable I am using. It allows me to keep the Raspberry Pi well separated from the mScaler. It was highly recommended at one point around here, by Romaz, I believe.
https://shop.mapleshadestore.com/Clearlink-Optical-Cable_p_1228.html
I had a mapleshade connected from my TV to use for movies. It was laying across the floor and my dog chewed it...

I wanted a longer optical cable and found DH Labs on Amazon sells up to 6 meters. With that I was able to tack it to the wall up and over the doorway to keep it out of reach. I think it has better sound quality compared to the mapleshade. Just a bit more transparent.

I also have a Lifatec for my player to mScaler. That sound seems to be on par with the DH Labs. Although the DH Labs is more robust feeling, so I recommend the DH Labs overall. They sell in many lengths and for a little less than the other two.
 
Jan 5, 2022 at 1:12 AM Post #14,660 of 16,267

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I had a mapleshade connected from my TV to use for movies. It was laying across the floor and my dog chewed it...

I wanted a longer optical cable and found DH Labs on Amazon sells up to 6 meters. With that I was able to tack it to the wall up and over the doorway to keep it out of reach. I think it has better sound quality compared to the mapleshade. Just a bit more transparent.

I also have a Lifatec for my player to mScaler. That sound seems to be on par with the DH Labs. Although the DH Labs is more robust feeling, so I recommend the DH Labs overall. They sell in many lengths and for a little less than the other two.
Thanks for those thoughts on DH Labs optical cables. I have dipped into this conversation about different optical cables because I have finally got a streamer with an optical output and have been trying it into the MScaler. So far the results have been very disappointing (smeared sound, indistinct bass etc) compared to usb or bnc spdif and I wondered if this could be down to the optical cable. Are there any others available in the uk that are worth trying to see if I can get optical to sound as good as the other options?
 
Jan 5, 2022 at 1:25 AM Post #14,661 of 16,267

alxw0w

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Thanks for those thoughts on DH Labs optical cables. I have dipped into this conversation about different optical cables because I have finally got a streamer with an optical output and have been trying it into the MScaler. So far the results have been very disappointing (smeared sound, indistinct bass etc) compared to usb or bnc spdif and I wondered if this could be down to the optical cable. Are there any others available in the uk that are worth trying to see if I can get optical to sound as good as the other options?
I think different toslink cable won't change it. (But I don't know, maybe finally I should try higher ends toslinks) But be my guest and try :wink:
It's exactly how I see toslink sounding. Alas I still have hard time to decide which I prefer or which one suppose to be 'as much correct as possible'
 
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Jan 5, 2022 at 1:45 AM Post #14,662 of 16,267

barbz127

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Has anyone dabbled with feeding the mscaler via a DDC like the su6, Hermes, di20, etc?

My source us a lumin u1 mini with lps and I'm preffering the sound of the BNC output; just trying to confirm if I'm missing out on anything.

Thankyou
 
Jan 5, 2022 at 2:13 AM Post #14,663 of 16,267

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I think different toslink cable won't change it. (But I don't know, maybe finally I should try higher ends toslinks) But be my guest and try :wink:
It's exactly how I see toslink sounding. Alas I still have hard time to decide which I prefer or which one suppose to be 'as much correct as possible'
I guess I had been made to think that optical was a magic wand which gives the best isolation and best sound and so I was rather disappointed at how inferior it was when I tried it. I was using the optical output on the Antipodes K50 so there shouldn’t be any deficiencies with that.

Has anyone dabbled with feeding the mscaler via a DDC like the su6, Hermes, di20, etc?

My source us a lumin u1 mini with lps and I'm preffering the sound of the BNC output; just trying to confirm if I'm missing out on anything.

Thankyou
I have compared the direct bnc output from my K50 to taking its usb output through a SRC.DX usb to bnc ddc. They have subtle differences but with both sounding significantly better than the optical output. However I find that if I add an Innuos PhoenixUSB to the usb output from the K50 and then take that through the src.dx usb to bnc converter that is my preferred sound. Smooth and with deep and defined bass, soft but detailed top end and with no hint of smearing. I am wondering whether that is due to the Phoenix providing particularly clean 5v on the usb to power the dd.
 
Jan 5, 2022 at 3:01 AM Post #14,664 of 16,267

alxw0w

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I am wondering whether that is due to the Phoenix providing particularly clean 5v on the usb to power the dd.
Yes that could be the case. It's a bit pity that src.dx doesn't support external PS.
I'm wondering if using splited usb cable would work with src.dx. By splited I mean something like this:
1641369663780.png
 
Jan 5, 2022 at 3:11 AM Post #14,665 of 16,267

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Yes that could be the case. It's a bit pity that src.dx doesn't support external PS.
I'm wondering if using splited usb cable would work with src.dx. By splited I mean something like this:
That is a good idea. I will see if I can try it.
 
Jan 5, 2022 at 3:20 AM Post #14,666 of 16,267

naynay

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I use one of these Acoustic Revive USB-1.0SPS Triple C USB cable which has separate power and data cables so can be run from a good LPS.USB CABLE_.jpg

I have it connected from my second USB audio output the non powered USB output on my server into SCR-DX and works fine.
 
Jan 5, 2022 at 7:23 AM Post #14,667 of 16,267

ecwl

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Thanks for those thoughts on DH Labs optical cables. I have dipped into this conversation about different optical cables because I have finally got a streamer with an optical output and have been trying it into the MScaler. So far the results have been very disappointing (smeared sound, indistinct bass etc) compared to usb or bnc spdif and I wondered if this could be down to the optical cable. Are there any others available in the uk that are worth trying to see if I can get optical to sound as good as the other options?
I actually just use the stock Toslink cables that came with my M-Scaler and DAVE because I find third-party cables can often be so big that it's easy to incompletely insert the cable into the M-Scaler/DAVE socket, resulting in a smeared sound. Moreover, if you're going to compare, just make sure the USB & S/PDIF cables are unplugged because the whole point is to electrically isolate the streamer completely from the M-Scaler onwards.
That said, definitely I've seen some people prefer the sound of USB & S/PDIF, even after unplugging them and ensuring that the optical cable is properly inserted into the M-Scaler.
 
Jan 5, 2022 at 8:54 AM Post #14,668 of 16,267

drew911d

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Before going with the better toslink cables I mentioned above I tried the stock and one cheapo from Cable Matters. The stock sounded dull and smeared. The Cable Matters sound was more detailed, but had a digital echo that caused major fatigue. It couldn't play anything over 24/96 either.

The Lifatec, DH Lab and mapleshade all can play anything fine with no smear or digital echo. There is a difference, and for $100 - $200 it is a relatively cheap thing to try.
 
Jan 5, 2022 at 9:16 AM Post #14,669 of 16,267

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I actually just use the stock Toslink cables that came with my M-Scaler and DAVE because I find third-party cables can often be so big that it's easy to incompletely insert the cable into the M-Scaler/DAVE socket, resulting in a smeared sound. Moreover, if you're going to compare, just make sure the USB & S/PDIF cables are unplugged because the whole point is to electrically isolate the streamer completely from the M-Scaler onwards.
That said, definitely I've seen some people prefer the sound of USB & S/PDIF, even after unplugging them and ensuring that the optical cable is properly inserted into the M-Scaler.
Thanks. Yeah, I was of course just using/inserting one cable at a time. The optical cable I was using was the one provided with the Mscaler. I will try a different one or maybe two and see if it makes a difference. The track I was using was Gravity by Opium Moon and that made the difference between optical and other options very easy to hear.
 
Jan 5, 2022 at 11:20 AM Post #14,670 of 16,267

maxh22

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Thanks. Yeah, I was of course just using/inserting one cable at a time. The optical cable I was using was the one provided with the Mscaler. I will try a different one or maybe two and see if it makes a difference. The track I was using was Gravity by Opium Moon and that made the difference between optical and other options very easy to hear.

Try a whole bunch of optical cables until you settle on one you like, some can sound warmer with more body and others more detailed / precise/ slightly brighter compared to others. All about the synergy in your system .
 

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