Hugo TT 2 by Chord Electronics - The Official Thread
Feb 22, 2021 at 11:12 AM Post #12,691 of 15,645

nwavesailor

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Nov 14, 2009
Posts
2,135
Likes
1,812
That is good news! Do you happen to know the business name or have any contact info for them? I am hoping my problem with the Qutest can be at least diagnosed, if not solved remotely. Thanks
TSO, The Sound Organisation (yes with an 'S') the US distributor for Chord. I think you will need to get a RA from your dealer.
 
Feb 22, 2021 at 11:18 AM Post #12,692 of 15,645

bpcans

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jan 14, 2012
Posts
1,838
Likes
1,000
Location
Madeline Island, La Pointe, Wisconsin
Very few dac/amps can be analog pre amps correct? Since they are all in ones I assume.

I'm going from Qutest without M Scaler to TT2 with M Scaler.

Feeding this to Auris Nirvana and then Susvara headphones.

Just wanted to make sure headphones with M Scaler would be a worthwhile upgrade from the Qutest alone. Since Susvara are so resolving I'm assuming it would be?
Redflamingolingo, I went from the Qutest to the TT2, and I heard a tremendous amount of difference and improvement that was unbelievable to my ears👂. Especially on recordings that I had been listening to for over 50yrs. One in particular was Bill Evans Live at the Village Vanguard. I was lucky 🍀 enough to have seen Bill Evans play in person, and the HMS/TT2 combo has gotten me the closest to that live experience than any other playback format that I’ve ever heard. That includes 33rpm vinyl, reel to reel Tascam 4-track tape, and SACD’s and DSD recordings. 30yrs of Rob Watts research and programming has really taken listening to music to whole better level of enjoyment.
 
Feb 22, 2021 at 11:19 AM Post #12,693 of 15,645

aut0maticdan

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Apr 1, 2010
Posts
171
Likes
100
Very few dac/amps can be analog pre amps correct? Since they are all in ones I assume.

I'm going from Qutest without M Scaler to TT2 with M Scaler.

Feeding this to Auris Nirvana and then Susvara headphones.

Just wanted to make sure headphones with M Scaler would be a worthwhile upgrade from the Qutest alone. Since Susvara are so resolving I'm assuming it would be?

It really depends. Many all-in-ones are just headphone amps or preamps with a dac installed (analog out from dac goes to analog input of amp internally) so they can take analog in just fine--it just bypasses the dac. I have a violectric amp, for example, that can have a dac card/board installed. These are totally different animals than chord dacs. I'm no authority, but the TT2 is probably the more unique design. It has literally been years since I read the early parts of this thread or the H2 or the mojo thread, but Chord dacs are very non-traditional in the amp perspective as the feed right off the dac is attenuated and put right into your headphones, effectively removing a component from the chain and leaving a lot more transparency (of course amplification is still occurring on the DAC output but with lower than normal impedance). In the case of the TT2, it has a row of super capacitors which makes it capable of handling the spikes required to power the very power-hungry cans. In my experience the mojo and h2 are no slouch, but the TT2 has enough juice to power efficient speakers well. All this without having a traditional amp stage.

Not doing the topic much justice, I recommend reading through early parts of this thread or checking out Rob Watts thread where he talks about the circuit design of his DACs.

I can't help you on the Susvara. You are adding a lot of hardware at once. My expectation would be that you'll be much better off with TT2 and no extra amp on the Susvara (unless you wanted to add some coloration--no judgement). I think you'll probably have a difficult time hearing a big difference between the Quetest and the TT2 going through another amp 99% of the time. I can't tell you what to expect from adding the mscaler--I haven't spent quality time with one outside of noisy show conditions. It probably won't hurt, though!

You have a lot of great toys to play with. Just try all the combinations and have fun. Make sure to try SE and balanced out of the TT2. It is always nice to have a tube amp when you are in the mood, so TT2 + Nirvana is a sweet set of options. I'm an EL34 fan. You should add some ZMF headphones to the mix as they will love the Nirvana and TT2 alike! Here I go spending money for you.

(btw, I just moved from Walnut St out pretty close to the Jersey Shore)
 
Feb 22, 2021 at 11:21 AM Post #12,694 of 15,645

Redflamingolingo

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jan 31, 2021
Posts
116
Likes
154
Location
Philadelphia
I have the Qutest, the TT2, and the M Scaler. The leap from the Qutest without the M Scaler to the TT2 without the M Scaler offers quite a significant improvement on its own. Adding the M Scaler to the TT2 just magnifies the gap even further.

Nice, thank you! So TT2 with M Scaler I'll hear a difference with upgraded cables, Auris Nirvana tube amp, and Susvara headphones?

I ask because the money was tough to swallow for TT2 and M Scaler. Compared to Qutest or Qutest with M Scaler I hope it is worth it.

Since my system is high resolving I'm assuming I'll notice the impact. The cost seems insanely high for the upgrade, though, especially since Qutest sounds so good by itself already.
 
Last edited:
Feb 22, 2021 at 11:24 AM Post #12,695 of 15,645

aut0maticdan

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Apr 1, 2010
Posts
171
Likes
100
I just realized a battery I am using by the bed for night listening is 12v/2.5a out. I saw that Rob recommends 3a. Everything has been playing fine. I use relatively efficient headphones (ZMF Eikon) in this configuration. Anything to worry about? I'll probably pick up another one just to be safe as I have some less efficient headphones on the way (Aeon 2 Noire) and don't want any trouble.
 
Feb 22, 2021 at 11:25 AM Post #12,696 of 15,645

Redflamingolingo

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jan 31, 2021
Posts
116
Likes
154
Location
Philadelphia
Redflamingolingo, I went from the Qutest to the TT2, and I heard a tremendous amount of difference and improvement that was unbelievable to my ears👂. Especially on recordings that I had been listening to for over 50yrs. One in particular was Bill Evans Live at the Village Vanguard. I was lucky 🍀 enough to have seen Bill Evans play in person, and the HMS/TT2 combo has gotten me the closest to that live experience than any other playback format that I’ve ever heard. That includes 33rpm vinyl, reel to reel Tascam 4-track tape, and SACD’s and DSD recordings. 30yrs of Rob Watts research and programming has really taken listening to music to whole better level of enjoyment.

That's what I needed to hear!!! Looking forward to it, then. The cost from Qutest to TT2 and M Scaler was just hard to swallow. But if the improvement is that noticeable I'll try it out and be on the hunt for used equipment asap.

What's your setup? Speakers or headphones? If headphones, which do you own/listen to most with your equipment?
 
Feb 22, 2021 at 11:43 AM Post #12,697 of 15,645

SaddleSC

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jan 21, 2014
Posts
202
Likes
262
I know this has been discussed, but I have been using Low Gain with both the Hifiman Arya and the HD800S. I have plenty of headroom and just don't seem to need more power, but I read somewhere that using Low Gain adds an extra resistor to the circuit, meaning, theoretically High Gain would be the most direct signal path. Is that the case? Has anyone noticed an audible difference between LG and HG?
 
Feb 22, 2021 at 11:45 AM Post #12,698 of 15,645

Redflamingolingo

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jan 31, 2021
Posts
116
Likes
154
Location
Philadelphia
It really depends. Many all-in-ones are just headphone amps or preamps with a dac installed (analog out from dac goes to analog input of amp internally) so they can take analog in just fine--it just bypasses the dac. I have a violectric amp, for example, that can have a dac card/board installed. These are totally different animals than chord dacs. I'm no authority, but the TT2 is probably the more unique design. It has literally been years since I read the early parts of this thread or the H2 or the mojo thread, but Chord dacs are very non-traditional in the amp perspective as the feed right off the dac is attenuated and put right into your headphones, effectively removing a component from the chain and leaving a lot more transparency (of course amplification is still occurring on the DAC output but with lower than normal impedance). In the case of the TT2, it has a row of super capacitors which makes it capable of handling the spikes required to power the very power-hungry cans. In my experience the mojo and h2 are no slouch, but the TT2 has enough juice to power efficient speakers well. All this without having a traditional amp stage.

Not doing the topic much justice, I recommend reading through early parts of this thread or checking out Rob Watts thread where he talks about the circuit design of his DACs.

I can't help you on the Susvara. You are adding a lot of hardware at once. My expectation would be that you'll be much better off with TT2 and no extra amp on the Susvara (unless you wanted to add some coloration--no judgement). I think you'll probably have a difficult time hearing a big difference between the Quetest and the TT2 going through another amp 99% of the time. I can't tell you what to expect from adding the mscaler--I haven't spent quality time with one outside of noisy show conditions. It probably won't hurt, though!

You have a lot of great toys to play with. Just try all the combinations and have fun. Make sure to try SE and balanced out of the TT2. It is always nice to have a tube amp when you are in the mood, so TT2 + Nirvana is a sweet set of options. I'm an EL34 fan. You should add some ZMF headphones to the mix as they will love the Nirvana and TT2 alike! Here I go spending money for you.

(btw, I just moved from Walnut St out pretty close to the Jersey Shore)

Haha, I used to live on Walnut Street. I'm in Mount Airy now. We might have been neighbors!

Thank you for such a detailed response!!!

I have a pair of ZMF Verite open that I'm about to sell. They are great, especially with Nirvana, but the Susvara is just on such another level that I can't go back to the ZMF. Ditto for the Utopia. When I'm listening to music, I go right to the Susvara. The Utopia just weren't to my liking. Susvara is my jam unless I try the Abyss 1266 cans.

So at this point the TT2 with Auris Nirvana is probably overkill due to TT2's ability to drive the Susvara and even speaker set ups. The only reason to keep the Auris Nirvana would be if I prefer the tube sound versus solid state? That and it is a beautiful piece of equipment.

If I got the TT2 as a DAC/pre amp only, maybe money could have been spent elsewhere? Though I heard/read that using it with M Scaler is much better than Qutest, which is what I'm looking for.

And I just tube rolled some beast brown base Muklard XF1s and a Telefunken diamond label that really make the tube amp sing.

God, what have I gotten myself into? Haha.

This all started with a pair of ZMF Verite and a Qutest three weeks ago!
 
Feb 22, 2021 at 11:51 AM Post #12,699 of 15,645

SaddleSC

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jan 21, 2014
Posts
202
Likes
262
Haha, I used to live on Walnut Street. I'm in Mount Airy now. We might have been neighbors!

Thank you for such a detailed response!!!

I have a pair of ZMF Verite open that I'm about to sell. They are great, especially with Nirvana, but the Susvara is just on such another level that I can't go back to the ZMF. Ditto for the Utopia. When I'm listening to music, I go right to the Susvara. The Utopia just weren't to my liking. Susvara is my jam unless I try the Abyss 1266 cans.

So at this point the TT2 with Auris Nirvana is probably overkill due to TT2's ability to drive the Susvara and even speaker set ups. The only reason to keep the Auris Nirvana would be if I prefer the tube sound versus solid state? That and it is a beautiful piece of equipment.

If I got the TT2 as a DAC/pre amp only, maybe money could have been spent elsewhere? Though I heard/read that using it with M Scaler is much better than Qutest, which is what I'm looking for.

And I just tube rolled some beast brown base Muklard XF1s and a Telefunken diamond label that really make the tube amp sing.

God, what have I gotten myself into? Haha.

This all started with a pair of ZMF Verite and a Qutest three weeks ago!
The difference between the Qutest and the TT2 + M Scaler is about as dramatic a difference as I have ever heard upgrading my audio chain. You can rest easy...the differences are not at ALL subtle. Night and day.
 
Feb 22, 2021 at 11:56 AM Post #12,700 of 15,645

aut0maticdan

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Apr 1, 2010
Posts
171
Likes
100
Haha, I used to live on Walnut Street. I'm in Mount Airy now. We might have been neighbors!

Thank you for such a detailed response!!!

I have a pair of ZMF Verite open that I'm about to sell. They are great, especially with Nirvana, but the Susvara is just on such another level that I can't go back to the ZMF. Ditto for the Utopia. When I'm listening to music, I go right to the Susvara. The Utopia just weren't to my liking. Susvara is my jam unless I try the Abyss 1266 cans.

So at this point the TT2 with Auris Nirvana is probably overkill due to TT2's ability to drive the Susvara and even speaker set ups. The only reason to keep the Auris Nirvana would be if I prefer the tube sound versus solid state? That and it is a beautiful piece of equipment.

If I got the TT2 as a DAC/pre amp only, maybe money could have been spent elsewhere? Though I heard/read that using it with M Scaler is much better than Qutest, which is what I'm looking for.

And I just tube rolled some beast brown base Muklard XF1s and a Telefunken diamond label that really make the tube amp sing.

God, what have I gotten myself into? Haha.

This all started with a pair of ZMF Verite and a Qutest three weeks ago!

I was in the Riverloft. I lived in Philly for several years while I was working on a startup, and we were just acquired to kick the year off.

There is no shame in being into the Nirvana. If you think you want that sound for a while, my thinking is that the Qutest is where it is at. If you want to up the digital a bit, try the mscaler + Qutest. Of course you will get conflicting opinions around here as there are many happy TT2 + tube amp users. It is a better DAC than the Qutest. It is just not how I would spend my money and I fully admit it is a hard choice. I was pretty happy with just a mojo + amp for a long time, but I got the TT2 because I wanted the absolute in transparency and plan to add some efficient monitors like P3ESRs and leave amps and tubes for when I listen to vinyl.
 
Feb 22, 2021 at 12:56 PM Post #12,703 of 15,645

SaddleSC

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jan 21, 2014
Posts
202
Likes
262
@bpcans @SaddleSC

@Audioraider disappeared some pages back after he added the scaler to his TT2 + Tube Amp. Which is probably a good sign!
More and more I am moving to the internal amp on the TT2...it is just so freaking good and I am loving the detail and transparency. Now that I have added the M Scaler, I will be using the internal amp exclusively for a while. I have come to the conclusion that all external amps do "color" the sound and that takes me a bit further away from what Chord is trying to accomplish. I am becoming a Chord "house sound" purist now:)
 
Feb 22, 2021 at 1:00 PM Post #12,704 of 15,645

Redflamingolingo

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jan 31, 2021
Posts
116
Likes
154
Location
Philadelphia
More and more I am moving to the internal amp on the TT2...it is just so freaking good and I am loving the detail and transparency. Now that I have added the M Scaler, I will be using the internal amp exclusively for a while. I have come to the conclusion that all external amps do "color" the sound and that takes me a bit further away from what Chord is trying to accomplish. I am becoming a Chord "house sound" purist now:)

Can't wait to compare and contrast internal TT2 amp to Auris Nirvana. I'm assuming like anything it is system dependent which works and sounds best.
 
Feb 22, 2021 at 1:12 PM Post #12,705 of 15,645

bikutoru

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Dec 2, 2007
Posts
294
Likes
245
Location
🌎 Inner Mongolia/NYC/c-137
TSO, The Sound Organisation (yes with an 'S') the US distributor for Chord. I think you will need to get a RA from your dealer.
If it is still under warranty they'll take care of it, no dealer RA required, they'll ask for an original receipt info. E-mail them, they are super easy to deal with and turn around was quicker than I ever experienced.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top