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Hugo TT 2 by Chord Electronics - The Official Thread

Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by ChordElectronics, May 10, 2018.
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  1. JohnM-73
    I gave it 6 months. Sometimes you just have to go with your gut impressions, rather than trying to encourage yourself to enjoy something more. I don't need to get used to the sound of live music, for example. It just is. Also many get hung up on the term 'better'. I used to as well. These days I prefer to just pick what's more musical pleasing to me. Having said all that I'm very envious you get to hear TT2 M-Scaled! Currently beyond my finances alas.
    bluenight likes this.
  2. musickid
    Maybe with an mscaler all your doubts concerning tt2 sound signature would vanish? Mscaled transforms the presentation whilst remaining true to the dac's true nature. I'm enjoying some smooth Kirk Whalum right now on sax and the tt2 mscaled is taking me into another "zone" this sunny Friday afternoon. I can't understand why anyone would want to turn back the hands of time but each to their own i suppose.
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2019
    JohnM-73 likes this.
  3. JohnM-73
    Perhaps. But that'd be more expensive than a used Chord Dave, which is what I'm currently hoping to upgrade to. I just have to give up vinyl to afford a used one alas. Part of me is saying "just stick to TT - You've found the sound you love!".
    ZappaMan likes this.
  4. musickid
    A dave won't posses the musicality of an mscaled tt2 IMHO. The mscaler is key here. Without the mscaler the soundstage collapses. I conducted a number of "private" tests with h2 vs mscaled h2. The tt2 must sound more real to life than the tt and h2 by the very laws of physics. It is more authentic than a h2 which was designed to be moved around. There is zero colouration with tt2 just the music nothing more nothing less. Forget used dave go for the real deal tt2 mscaled. There is no easy choice i feel you there.

    NB: There are far too many tubes just floating about in this hobby IMHO. That's where more work needs doing i feel. :sunglasses:
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2019
  5. Triode User
    That is of course down to personal judgement. Having listened extensively to Dave and also to TT2 + MScaler (I’m talking months here to both alternatives) I much prefer Dave by itself and for me this it is not a marginal preference.

    This is of course a ymmv and imho thing as there are no absolutes in this hobby.
    THGM, bluenight, x RELIC x and 2 others like this.
  6. musickid
    My argument is that the mscaler cannot be sidetracked as no dac including dave can put into motion what the mscaler is doing. A dave mscaled would be the optimal solution but beyond me so i have chosen to go down the mscaler path for now placing the performance of the dac into second position if that makes sense. I have heard dave solo some time ago so i had some kind of reference. As always for me at least.....cost dictates and is paramount.:heavy_dollar_sign::heavy_dollar_sign::heavy_dollar_sign: Otherwise i'd have an mscaled dave ready to go in every room of my flat. On tap.:slight_smile:
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2019
  7. JohnM-73
    I know several who say the exact opposite :)

    Technically there’s no doubting the superiority of an M-Scaled source. But think about the complexity of everything else, combined. A DAC is the sum of its parts. What comes out can sometimes take the designer by surprise (see Rob’s comments about the original Hugo). The TT2 is awesome, no doubt. But not sure the ‘signature’ of TT2 will be changed with M-scaler. I know of one chap that ultimately preferred Hugo to Dave, subjectively (key word here). It’s all in the ears of the beholder ultimately. I may end up sticking with TT and just buy more music instead :)
  8. musickid
    A tt2 mscaled is far superior to a solo tt2 like any dual coax chord dac mscaled. I for one can't accept that a tt2 solo could be more pleasing to the ear than an mscaled one. That is pure nonsense as the improvements across the whole range of musical qualities are immediately apparent even with average headphones. I can accept someone preferring chord dac A to chord dac B solo that's okay. But never with the mscaler in and out of the picture with the same dac. Please audition one. It doesn't change the signature of the dac it just greatly enhances all of the musical qualities with immediacy. The mscaler is not a dac add on it is the brains of the operation. Arms and legs can't move unless the brain triggers an impulse to tell them how to move. In this case the arms and legs are the dac. I wouldn't be surprised if the mscaler "play it down crowd" have a hidden agenda which is common on these kinds of forums. The dave vs mscaled tt2 is a "special case" i admit that.
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2019
  9. JohnM-73
    It’s pure nonsense to you. But don’t denigrate what others might hear and prefer. Some do prefer the cheaper option, and that’s to be respected too.

    Whatever gets you into The Zone.
    AndrewH13 and JM1979 like this.
  10. musickid
    I didn't take into account cost at all in my evaluation only sound quality. Are they preferring it without the mscaler because it's cheaper or would they still prefer it without the mscaler if it were the same price? The latter i find hard to believe. A possible sweet spot on new gear would be an mscaled hugo 2. I ran that combo for a year till i upgraded to a tt2 because i believed it gave me the best sound quality for my limited budget based on all the evidence. At the end of the day it's all about:heavy_dollar_sign::heavy_dollar_sign::heavy_dollar_sign:and getting the very best sound quality that you can. You may like an mscaled hugo2 new without worrying about multiple things that could go wrong investing thousands in used gear. Around the same cost as a used dave. Maybe some streaming could also be better than buying all of one's music.
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2019
  11. Amberlamps
    Just think, when dave two comes out, nintronics will give you 100% trade in of your hms and tt2, making dave 2 oh so much cheaper. Audio nirvana may possibly just be a couple of years away.

    Wish my TT2 would stop bloody clicking, I'm positive that it's heat related, looks like I will have to join the stupid feet club and buy me some isolators to raise tt2 up off the mscaler.

    Edit so I can join the nonsense argument

    When I had Hugo 2, I thought it was the dogs bollocks, it sounded that good, but at times it felt overly clinical.

    When I got TT2, the first song I played on it I knew that the dogs bollocks just got cut off and replaced with a new set of meatier and less clinical sounding bollocks.

    With Hugo 2 on it's own and with the mscaler, on my HD800S it really was fatiguing after an hour or so, but with TT2 & HMS I can listen for hours and never feel fatigued.

    I don't think I could go back to using a hugo 2 now, and thats not me saying h2 is bad or anything, it's just a little too clinical for my liking, now that I've tasted better. Had I not tasted better, I would still be using Hugo 2, even though I would be having shorter listening sessions.

    I want a Dave, but will I end up going backwards to a more clinical sounding dac with less HP headroom ?
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2019
    bluenight likes this.
  12. musickid
    When is dave 2 arriving in ships? When it does arrive it will be a headfi milestone. I never seriously considered the arrival of a dave 2 and whether the mscaler will be built in. If they can build one into blu2 then surely they can build one into dave 2. After all a cd player can accommodate a dac even if blu is just a transport. I'm od'ing on hi res audio lol. It's too much. I've decided to preorder one dave 2 now so i'm number one in the UK queue. Early birds.
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2019
    Amberlamps likes this.
  13. GreenBow
    I find it hard to accept level criticism of the TT2 sounding in any way that's it's been negatively described. (Words like ruthless or bleached are either a mistake, trash talk, or potential trolling.) The TT2 is a natural sounding as any Chord DAC, and more accurate than most.

    I can relate to first impressions of the TT2 being a lot to take in. However it was no different for me going from:

    Meridian Explorer to Chord Mojo
    Mojo to Hugo 2
    Hugo 2 to TT2.

    When I got the Mojo is took almost two weeks before I realised the Mojo was right. Then many more weeks before I stopped longing for the thicker less detailed bloom of the Meridian Explorer. Similarly when I got the Hugo 2 there was so much detail, I could not see or hear straight. That was with music I knew on the Mojo. What I did was straight away focus on the tonal balance, and tonal warmth. I quickly decided tonal balance was perfect, and warmth was only a natural level or warmth. Just a case of sitting with it for month of solid music which I did, to adjust. Given what reviewers were saying about the Hugo 2, I knew I had no problems with it. Then it took me best part of a month to fully adjust to Hugo 2.

    Then TT2. With music I knew, again I was outfaced. However with music that I didn't know, like I had two new unopened CDs, the TT2 was astonishing. I could barely take it in. It was so together, and so perfect. Over time I adjusted to the TT2 with music I already knew. Now six months later and for a long time, I am totally relaxed with the TT2. I don't even think about it.

    Initially though with the TT2, I would sometimes find myself questioning some sounds. (I was like 'what?'.) However I knew the DAC was right. It was then a case of telling myself that was how that sound was supposed to sound. (Now months down the line, I was right.) However it doesn't detract from the fact that the TT2 was initially at times a lot to take in. That is only to be expected though. It is a very high end piece of audio equipment. It's going to sound unusual sometimes, if the listener is not used to such resolution and resolving power. It's going to make sounds, sound like we never heard them before, and in ways we'd never thought.

    (It reminds me of when I first got the Hugo 2. Not always but there were moments when it scared me with what it could do. I remember also clearly reading someone mentioned that the Hugo 2 was 'scarily good'.)

    One of the other steps in the experience is what cabling and electronics you are using. Never underestimate analogue cabling. Having bright cabling is not going to do any favours. I never buy cables unless I can see reviews. Like I won't just go on the AudioQuest website and think, that one costs more so it must be better. Sticking to neutral partnering kit is paramount. If you don't and criticise, then who cares. Honestly, if you are struggling with the TT2 at first give it time. If you are still struggling months later look at your cabling, electronics, and headphones.

    E.g. I recently changed a slightly bright cable for a neutral one. The result was that the soundstage that was a little forward, improved a noticeably comfortable amount. The overall quality of the cable was better too, in both sound reproduction and build quality. The sound was more civilised while more revealing, making the old cable sound a bit raucous. By civilised I don't mean boring or flat, I mean 'oh ….. right'. (To illustrate, the TT2 still instantly takes my head clean off if I give it some AC/DC.)
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2019
    Amberlamps likes this.
  14. musickid
    I'm going through that exact same process after around 6 to 7 sessions with tt2. i wasn't expecting that. it's very nice but a bit alien or strange to me. mH2 to mTT2. PM1 headphone with new pure silver cable. the brightness of h2 is gone or that "sparky" h2 nature.
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2019
  15. GreenBow
    I actually had the word alien in my post, but substituted it for 'unusual'. .. Don't worry though, it's right.

    (TT2 doesn't take whole six months to get used to by the way. That's just how long I've had mine.)
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2019
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