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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. Hooster
    Yes, what a poster said. Sooner or later you will be in a position to enjoy a good speaker system. When that time comes you can put this headphone madness behind you.
  2. musickid
    Madness? Headphones give me total freedom to listen when i want night or day and be totally immersed in the music. Where i live now speakers are not practical. I had a speaker system years ago and would like one now to compliment headphone listening but i can't.
    blueninjasix likes this.
  3. mlxx
    That 1% for headphones just happens to be some of the best headphones in the world.
    For speakers it probably can't drive 99% of them.
    That is a pity because for a top class system you will probably need an amp.
    The TT2 as good as it may be is not in the same league.
    "Dave DX" could combine the Dave and the TT2 amp and is doable today.
    2-5 years, "Dave DX 2" can still have its place where the DAC side is improved.
    So yes, more power please!
  4. N Quarter
    I live in an apartment building, and I am at work right now (nights) but when I get home in 2 hours I fire up my Dynaudio excite 12’s running directly off my TT2. The low volume listening is off the charts good using the TT2 this way. I fall asleep with the music playing every night, never had one noise complaint.you do not need to play it any louder than you would play your TV, not sure where you live, but that volume should be OK anywhere.
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2019
    JamieMcC, musickid and ZappaMan like this.
  5. GreenBow
    Finally trying TT2 direct with speakers, using RCA connection. Speakers are 6ohm, 86dB sensitivity. (At 6 ohm, I probably have 8W power, rather than 7W at 8ohms.)

    In high gain mode.

    -25 to -20, is about where I would listen normally with music.
    0 is loud enough for any music I think.
    about -8 seems to be loud enough for steaming from Amazon Prime. (Might need a touch more for even quieter programs or moments.)

    For point of reference is this relates to Hugo 2 users. Blue which is about 2.0V to 2.5V level out on Hugo 2/Mojo is about -8 on the TT2. (Normally line level is 3V on Mojo and Hugo 2, but we know four clicks down on Mojo. Then the corresponding colour on the Hugo 2.) …. However I do not know if the voltages are the same at the same colours for the TT2. (The numbers are just a scale that the TT2 shows when changing volume. It runs from about -72 to +22.

    Yes it is another step clearer without amplifier and RCA interconnect in the chain. However my makeshift adaptors are not insulated at all, and overall I could make a lot better job of them. I could buy some speaker cable to make the adapters with, which would match my existing speaker cable. At the moment I am using bits of regular old copper wire. There is still a lift in detail and transients though.

    I am honestly not sure what I am going to do. I run an amplifier because I sometimes run a Qutest for gaming or YouTube. Meaning I generally reserve TT2 for music only, although I quite often use TT2 for everything.

    Also I have a DAB radio which I can attach to TT2 or Qutest, which I do. I sometimes run the DAB though RCA to the amp though, just to save on running a DAC. Having TT2 powering speakers means taking out the amplifier though.

    I could comfortably manage with this much volume. I think even very quiet games or video, would still come with plenty of volume from the TT2. However it does feel odd turning the TT2 up from zero volume at -73 to e.g. -18 to play music. It might be better to go the balanced route, for a more normal volume range. The balanced option might cause more heat though. Plus I didn't know yet how hot the TT2 could get in single ended mode. Mostly though it looks like my speakers are running on less power than TT2 line level. I am most likely wrong though.

    I also wonder about using the top end of the TT2, although this is not at the top end of volume. Only because normal integrated amplifiers often sound best in their first half of volume control. When amps get loud they can harden up in the sound, but I doubt this applies to the TT2. Since the TT2 is meant to drive difficult load headphones. These loads have been reported running the TT2 at +5 and a bit more, so nearer the top end than my speakers need. Honestly 0 on the volume is loud in my smallish TT2 room.

    It's about weighing up the sound. Unless building better connectors, or buying Atlas Cable cables, improves sound. A better amplifier and better RCA might do the same. I would need to listen much more to determine that though. There is quite a lot more detail.

    I want to check out how bass sounds and what it's like when the volume goes up. Meaning if it runs out of power in the bass, as some have claimed lack of bass driving speakers.

    Using the TT2 in DAC mode and with headphones on the volume wheel feels normal. It's tempting to go with the better amp option. Direct driving has that 'oh so, it sounds right' feel to it though. Even with my amp though, the sound was really nice.

    (Sorry moderators, cross posted from Hugo 2 thread. I meant to post in the TT2 thread.)
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2019
  6. musickid
    Just delete the hugo 2 post and write hello in it's place or something else.
  7. GreenBow
    Bass so far is holding at quite loud volumes. I don't understand what folk are saying that the TT2 is weak in the bass running speakers direct. Maybe they are using their speakers in a larger room than I am. (Of course room size dictates speaker size requirement.) Then folk may have needed to push the volume higher. However no-one as yet has quoted volume settings and their speakers when saying TT2 has weak bass direct.

    Or maybe it's that their amps have exceptional current delivery. (No idea how that is compared to TT2 though. Please don't bite my head off for just wondering, when I don't know.)

    I actually find my TT2 signature almost identical to when I use my amp as when I use TT2 to drive speakers. Just goes to show how neutral my amp is. There is not quite the same level of detail though with the amp, but it is shocking how well my amp does.

    Anyway I am going to see if I can pick up a metre of Audioquest Rocket 22 today. Then I can make some better quality adapters, because the copper cable I used is nothing special and not shielded.

    It's funny to think about quiet close field music listening like this. At -25 on the TT2 volume gauge, I think it is less than line level out supplying an amplifier. Meaning TT2 might actually run cooler.
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2019
    JamieMcC likes this.
  8. ZappaMan
    I play my hd800s se at -25h.
  9. N Quarter
    Glad to hear you finally got around to trying this GreenBow. I found that using the XLR output was much more to my liking,I struggled to hear any loss in transparency when I switched from RCA to XLR, but the bass really filled out, much better overall sound, and immediately I just knew this was the right way to go for my current speaker 86 DB’s/4 Ohm. I am hoping to take a trip to my dealer in the next few weeks to try a few different speakers driven this way, I will bring my cables to use, he has a TT2 on site. Are you using an Mscaler in this setup? I still don’t have one, just TT2 direct. I also plan on listening to a couple of amps with the speakers I demo, in case I prefer the sound that way. The amps I intend to try are pretty high end, Nagra and LFD, so that should give me a good idea of where the TT2 direct stands compared to top notch amplification. The speakers I want to demo are Harbeth compact 7 ES3, Proac Tablette 10 signature and Kudos super 10. Good luck, and keep us updated on your findings.
    jarnopp and blueninjasix like this.
  10. Triode User
    How hot the TT2 runs will be a mixture of the digital processing being done by the DAC and of the current delivered to the output device. This current depends on the TT2 output voltage as indicated by the volume setting and also on the impedance of the speakers, headphones or amplifier it is connected to.

    Having a TT2 connected to the input of an amplifier will result in the least current being delivered by the TT2 no matter what the volume setting (even very high) because of the high impedance of the amplifier input.

    A TT2 connected to headphones will supply more current for any given volume setting but this will still be a small fraction of the current supplied to speakers at the same volume setting.

    Therefore even on low volume settings the TT2 will get hotter when connected to speakers. For instance with your example of you listening with TT2 on volume -25 connected to speakers, it will run hotter than say a TT2 on volume +3 connected to the input of an amplifier.
  11. CreditingKarma

    I am not sure what you budget is for speakers but maybe check out the magico A1 too.
  12. rkt31
    I think amt tweeter sounds lot cleaner and faster and can be had lot cheaper too like hedd, raidho, piega etc. There are some higher sensitivity design too. Anybody driver such speakers directly from TT 2 ?
  13. N Quarter
    Those are out of my budget right now, but possibly I will have a look down the road.
  14. GreenBow
    I am actually messed up about the current (amps) situation. I am thinking of abandoning direct drive and going back to an amplifier, although my thinking could be totally wrong.

    What I was thinking about was how quality hifi amplifiers are designed to be able to deliver high currents. (At high impetus too.) Amplifiers have large toroidal transformers, and e.g. Simaudio, use oversized transformers. That's so they never run out of current. The theory being lots of current delivery to speakers.

    The TT2 will deliver bursts of current fast if it needs it. However I am not sure it really designed for this kind of load; but that's where I am confused. To listen to the TT2 like this, you would say it is OK. It sounds great, and contrary to N Quarter on RCA single ended, there is real bass. Or to be more accurate I think, there is the right amount of bass at the volume I am using.

    It may be that the TT2 is really only OK driving very efficient speakers. Mine are not that efficient though at only 86 dB. What I don't know enough about is the characteristics of my speaker's load. Or the TT2.

    Like with IEMs they say they need current because the impedance is low, so current flies around. However contradictory to that, IEMs do not need much gain, so less voltage is used. Meaning less current. … I can't get it straight in my head.

    What I know is they say good amplifiers can provide lots of current if needed. I would say my speakers are on the harder to drive end of things, with low sensitivity. What it means overall is that I am nervous about running speakers straight off the TT2. Given a quality amplifier and quality RCA, might equal quality drop over TT2 speaker adapters; it's a toss up. (What I don't want to do, is put my TT2 under any risk.)

    There is no denying though, that the TT2 sounds excellent driving speakers. It's enough of a step up, that it's going to take time to fully get used to.

    Actually in the lasts edition of one of my hifi mags, they mentioned the Kudos Acoustics Titan 505 again. Someone was asking about speakers. They replied saying given their review of the Titan 505. Customers interested in speakers at this price point, should grab their card and run to the nearest Titan dealer.

    I might end up going RCA because they would be easier to wire. Although the RCA plugs I have might not take thicker speaker cabling.
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2019
  15. GreenBow
    On a positive note though, I got my Focal Stellia today. It's a good day then. .. Can't wait to get them run-in, and playing on the TT2, Hugo 2, and Mojo.

    Plus I bought some better speaker cable to use on the TT2 adapters. I will also be looking for something like 'PTFE cable insulation' on Ebay. Then I can attempt to insulate the adapters right up to the plugs.
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2019
    THGM likes this.
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