Hugo TT 2 by Chord Electronics - The Official Thread
Feb 19, 2024 at 8:19 AM Post #18,706 of 18,980
Feb 19, 2024 at 9:48 AM Post #18,708 of 18,980
There’s no going back. Enjoy!
I agree — this is my 2024game (since "endgame" is never true).
I went through a few amps before settling on this! Here's my journey:

I went through a lot of DAC/Amp combos with Utopia. Here's my noob journey (in this order):
  1. Direct to M2 MacBook Pro
    • Drove the Utopia better than expected. A bit thin sounding, but much better detail and power than you'd think
  2. JDS Labs Element III Mk.2
    • Warmer than I'd like, not as much detail, but sounded pretty full. Lots of power for a small box.
  3. Chord Mojo 2
    • Sounds amazing. Level of detail is superb, timing is impeccable and "fast" — great match for the Utopia. Only criticism is that it could feel a tiny bit underpowered for the Utopia, which, as essentially a deck-of-cards, is still amazing.
  4. Focal Arche
    • Somewhere along the path of the JDS but with better soundstage and tonality, and detail. This was made for the Utopia and makes the Utopia sound very enjoyable for hours and hours.
  5. Mojo 2 → Ferrum Oor + HYPSOS
    • I tried doing a 3V out from 3.5mm to dual XLR. This was a temporary setup until I got my WANDLA. The Oor steamrolled the detail and speed of the Mojo with gooey-ness and warmth. There was also some clipping at higher frequencies.
  6. Ferrum WANDLA → Ferrum Oor + HYPSOS
    • This brought together the best aspects of the Arche and the Mojo 2, creating a warmer sound that's also very detailed. It was still about 10-20% less detailed and resolving as the Mojo 2, however. I found myself using the Mojo 2 more often because the Ferrum stack was missing some minor details and about 5% less resolving. Overall, I feel like there may be better options out there for a $5,000+ stack, but it's still solid. Second only to Chord stuff, in my opinion.
  7. Chord Hugo TT2
    • Just received my endgame (for now) and first amp where I feel like I can't find any deficiencies. It's like a grown up, fuller, and more powerful Mojo 2, solving the only gripe I had about the Mojo 2. The only (extremely minor) con of the TT2 is that it could be a tiny bit fatiguing. Using the FIL4 filter which makes it warmer + rolloff HF does help. Also, all Chord products are built really well. Also (this obviously doesn't affect SQ but) the TT2 is not the prettiest amp I've seen 😛, but the sound gives it a worthwhile spot on my table.
 
Feb 19, 2024 at 4:55 PM Post #18,715 of 18,980
If you'd be using it for headphones only, you don't have to just pretend it doesn't exist, you can rest assured it hardly makes any difference.
This is so sooooooo not true, saying it had hardly no difference…. It depends if you think it is worth the extra, but without I would not have bought the tt2 with it I was sold. But yes the tt2 is amazing on it’s own as well.
And I am one of the very very sceptical one’s

I do have to say, the difference on full hifi set is even more of a difference than headphone alone.
 
Feb 19, 2024 at 7:07 PM Post #18,716 of 18,980
If you'd be using it for headphones only, you don't have to just pretend it doesn't exist, you can rest assured it hardly makes any difference.
It depends on the headphones. I have auditioned an M Scaler at my local Hi-Fi shop and it does audibly change the sound when using Utopia. It makes the sound deeper and more nuanced, while the straight TT2 is more direct. If you're using less than top-tier headphones, then I can see how you wouldn't be able to tell a difference.

I will definitely buy an M Scaler when I feel like I need an "upgrade"
 
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Feb 20, 2024 at 12:59 AM Post #18,717 of 18,980
It depends on the headphones. I have auditioned an M Scaler at my local Hi-Fi shop and it does audibly change the sound when using Susvara or Utopia. It makes the sound deeper and more nuanced, while the straight TT2 is more direct. If you're using less than top-tier headphones, then I can see how you wouldn't be able to tell a difference.

I will definitely buy an M Scaler when I feel like I need an "upgrade"
You already hear it easily with a arya or even the new ananda easily. Maybe a planar let’s you hear the difference better
 
Feb 20, 2024 at 5:29 AM Post #18,720 of 18,980
As someone who's about to sell his M Scaler I'd like to chime in...I was definitely underwhelmed when I first used it with my TT2. I had to do extensive A/B tests to get it. Eventually it DID click, and without it music does sound a little thinner.

But blind test? Couldn't swear I could tell.

The major thing for me is that the M Scaler cost me £2600 used on ebay. The TT2 cost £2400.

At some point there has to be a formulation made between cost and performance, and for something to cost MORE than my DAC – and the TT2 is spectacular compared to what went before it – it has to be significantly improved.

And this is with Wave Storm BNCs too. They're fantastic. Make a huge difference compared to stock cables. Everything you've heard about them is true. But when I think what else I could buy for nearly £3500 combined cost of the Waves and M Scaler, it's not good value for money to me.

I'm fine with accepting at a certain level, you won't get exponential improvements in a system. But where does that argument end? Do I spend £300 to get rid of a bit of USB noise from my computer or £3000? It's all relative to performance, and for me the M Scaler and Wave cables don't represent a big enough improvement for the cost.

I could either keep them or buy some ZMF Atriums instead, or some other headphone that adds colours to my music.

That said, many others would disagree strongly with me and that's all good too.

Only you can decide whether it's worth it. My 2 cents.
 

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