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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. GreenBow
    I was just thinking about TT2 driving direct again vs amplifier.

    Then remembered how shorting an amplifier speaker terminals can blow an amplifier. I thought about that because my adapters from TT2 to speaker cables are still in a makeshift state. I could accidentally drop something conductive over the two female speaker plugs. The rear of them is exposed.

    Overall though, the risk involved in making my own cables, scares the living daylights out of me. (It's because I am so often well exhausted. Like you may have noticed a few times recently I had to say stuff like I said stuff wrong. Like tonight I had to change what I said about needing volume level from TT2. E.g. like I did in Post #7165 of 7185. … That's just me sometimes. Exhausted but fighting to stay awake.)

    Having tested the TT2 directly driving speakers, I have to agree with everyone in saying it's stunning. That overall further level of insight is addictive. However it really is the case that making cables could so easily go wrong. It only takes one whisker of copper to short. Like N Quarter said recently, it was worrying looking back and thinking about having made adapters.

    For me it's:

    Buy a good amplifier and RCA at no risk vs TT2 driving speakers direct, and risk in making cables.

    A good amplifier would cost a lot vs adapter risk, and adapter drop in quality across home made connections.

    Amp pros:
    • power if I need it later
    • no question about driving my speakers which are not particularly sensitive (finding sensitive speakers in the type I needed was impossible)
    • zero cabling/adapter risk
    • flexibility, like being able to use Qutest for Youtube and gaming. Am not always happy using TT2 for menial audio work like video clips on newspaper websites. With TT2 and Qutest flexibility I prefer using TT2 only for music.

    TT2 driving speaker pros:
    • already said; excellent timbre and unbelievable sound quality.
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2019
  2. N Quarter
    This is the bottom line for me really, maybe Nick can expand his cable making business, to include adapters for single and XLR use with the TT2. Enabling us to simply plug in our existing speaker cables. Peace of mind does help, knowing you are not about to damage your expensive toy.
  3. Rob Watts
    Yes you are correct - there are two distinct mechanisms for sound quality degradation - one is clipping, which you can easily hear and tell when it's happening. The other is a gradual hardening up of the sound, with sound stage collapsing. This mechanism (when it happens with low impedance loads) is due to increasing distortion with current output - and this is mostly down to two elements - crossover distortion with the OP stage switching from Class A to Class B - and increasing distortion due to the OP stage not being linear with respect to current, which is often due to simple current limiters that start to work well before the required current limit.

    With TT2, I have eliminated crossover distortion completely, by use of the 2nd order analogue noise shaping. Also, I don't use current limiters either - the OP stage is designed to give larger currents than the PSU can actually give, so current limiters are not needed. So as the current output increases, the distortion hardly changes at all. I actually design my OP stages for loudspeakers so that they work with a two ohm load - why is this needed when typical loads are 8 ohms? It's because a loudspeaker load is dynamic and reactive, so can have loads two or three times lower than usual under dynamic conditions. Hence with dynamics much larger peak currents are needed, and with conventional amps the linearity degrades, resulting in a hardening SQ and collapsing sound stage.

    With an 8 ohm load TT2 will only clip at +7dB on the volume (single ended), so keeping it below that level will be absolutely fine - even with reactive loads that drop to below 3 ohms like the B and W 803 D3.

    It works perfectly with my 803 D3, single ended driven; and that is 89dB SPL sensitivity, in a moderate sized listening room. It obviously depends upon the size of room, (or how far you are from the speakers) and the volume levels you actually listen too.

    The display noise is down to the display LEDs multiplexing - that's why it's different with different display settings. Display off is silent. It's up to you whether it's annoying enough to get it serviced. When this issue first became known, Chord QA added an inspection stage to check for this problem, to ensure that it is currently not an issue.
    Chord Electronics Stay updated on Chord Electronics at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
    https://www.facebook.com/chordelectronics https://twitter.com/chordaudio http://www.chordelectronics.co.uk/
  4. GreenBow
    @Rob Watts hi thank you.

    (By the way, I am not sure if you forgot or have compensated, but the website says 90dB for the 803 D3. I could not resist taking a peek.)

    I have 6 ohm 86dB sensitivity speakers. Not sure if that means I would be able to go slightly above +7dB on the volume scale. It sounds like it though since you said your reactive load goes under 8ohm. I'll keep to +7dB as my limit though.

    I would not need to go to +7dB on the volume scale anyway though. My speakers pretty much are loud with anything at 0dB on the TT2 volume scale anyway. Even quieter tracks or recordings so far don't need pushing to 0dB. 0dB was just me pushing the volume up a bit, then seeing 0dB and thinking round number - stop there then. There may be something that will need possibly need a bit more than 0dB for me though. Like maybe a quiet passage in a classical piece, on an already quiet recording.

    It could suggest moving to XLR for direct drive for me, even if I am around maximum 0dB. I guess best to stick with SE and see how it goes.
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2019
  5. Triode User
    I think that sticking with SE and seeing how that goes is by far the best conclusion. It is after all also the most transparent option.

    Only consider going to XLR if you are really struggling with the volume being too low with SE.
    JM1979 and JohnM-73 like this.
  6. JohnM-73
    Deleted. Wrong thread.
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2019
  7. jarnopp
    The other good reason is that you need the second set out outputs (like to drive a sub, for example).
  8. Triode User
    Never has a sub been allowed in my house and I don't intend starting now . . . . . . (on the other hand my bass drivers on my speakers are 15") :grinning:
  9. GreenBow
    I was thinking about this. As said, Atlas Cables make TT2 cables. They are flexible about being able to use almost any of their cabling for TT2 cables. I wonder if they could be convinced into making quality TT2 adapters for our existing speaker cables. Or maybe sending them some female speaker sockets, and asking them to use them.

    Like for example the female speaker sockets I bought are exceptional quality. In fact they look all but identical to the ones on my Dynaudio Special Forty. To have a look at the female speaker sockets I have, search for the following on Amazon. Hifi Lab Binding Post Bananna Plug Socket Jack Female Audio Connector Speaker Amplifier Terminal 24k gold-plated solderable 4 pcs.

    They come with the highest recommendation. I only wish I could find some equally nice RCA plugs.

    EDIT I found a picture of my TT2 adapter speaker posts. They genuinely do feel solid, heavy, and excellent quality.

    HiFi Lab speaker posts.png
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2019
  10. mightyKyn

    I was going to buy ELAC NAVIS active speakers and SVS SB3000 powered sub and plug them into TT2 direct.

    I was going to go XLR to the NAVIS

    RCA to the SUB

    Is this possible??? Are both outputs (RCA & XLR) active in AMP mode?

  11. JM1979
    Music recommendation: check this out

    Sting & Shabby
    Morning is Coming

  12. jarnopp
    Yes, both are active. But the RCAs will be 6 dB down.
    Hooster likes this.
  13. jarnopp
    I hear you. Different philosophy. No crossovers at all when using a single driver speaker and active sub with DSP. Working very well direct from TT2. (My space is small and set up near field.). It’s a lot more relaxing for working than wearing headphones because you aren’t tethered. I know you only listen to speakers, but for others who are wondering.
  14. mightyKyn
    how should i best compensate? set up the system to accommodate the 6DB difference?

    obviously just crank up the SVS subs - apparently great app tuning....

    any other suggestions?

    dual svs with the navis might really be interesting!
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2019
  15. jarnopp
    I have an active sub, running off the RCA. I used a frequency analyzer to calibrate the level while adjusting the crossover point. Depends on your sub, but the Elac 3030 let’s you adjust crossover point, roll off and volume. Mostly I followed the spectrum analyzer app but also tweaked a bit to get about the same bass level as I could feel on headphones. This was after first running the sub self-calibration for setting itself up for a neutral response in the room.
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