New Loaner Program - Chord Hugo TT2
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Todd

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Hi All,

We are lending our Hugo TT2 our to 5 participants who are interested in purchasing (a new unit not the loaner) it if they like it. Here is your chance to try the Hugo TT2 in you own system. Your cost? You must write a review of it in this loaner thread and pay for and ship it to the next loaner participant.
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Loaner Program Rules:

Send your name and address, telephone number and your Head-Fi user name to me (Todd) at todd@ttvjaudio.com. Do NOT PM me as you will not be included in the program without an email.

You will get the loaner for 1 week to use in your home with your system. After your one week is up, you must send it to the next loaner participant. Email me (todd@ttvjaudio.com) the tracking info so I can pass it on to the recipient.

You MUST write a review and post it in this loaner thread. It must be posted in the same thread as this announcement for the loaner program. Please post the review here first and feel free to post it somewhere else if you like!

Once you have received the loaner, email me to let me know you have it and I will send the address for the next person.

Our loaner programs are USA only. We are restricted from shipping/selling outside the USA on most products.


I am strictly limiting this program to 5 people who want to try before they buy.

Todd
 
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The Hugo TT2 should ship out by the end of this week. PLEASE keep the rules - 1 week from the day you receive it and then send it on to the next person on the list and write a review in this thread. I will provide the next shipping info once you have received the Hugo TT2.

Thanks to you guys for signing up. I hope you enjoy your time with the Hugo TT2 and I look forward to your impressions of the unit!

Hugo TT2 Loaner Program Participants



1 RobertSM

2 sennfan83261

3 geoffalter11

4 PeteSTRADAMUS

5 buffer

6 Pesors

7 Jp11801

8 fpalm69

9 Bobfa

10 jb77
 
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TTVJAudio.com Todd Stay updated on TTVJAudio.com at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
 
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PeteSTRADAMUS

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Awesome! Thank you, Todd! I will pair this with my Wells Audio Milo amp.
 
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szore

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I wish I had half the stuff id need to plug into this thing...
 
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Hi All,

I rearranged the loaner program order so that the unit would not be shipped from one side of the country to the other and back again - thus saving shipping time. The TT2 was shipped out on Tuesday so it is on the way to RobertSM and should be there Friday or Saturday.

Please - no more requests for this program. It has already bloated to 10 participants. I am happy to send it to the 10 signed up. It is possible once this program is completed that I will do a second tour. But I want to close this program out and let these 10 people have their time with the Hugo TT2.

Thanks and I am looking forward to the reviews here coming soon!

Todd
 
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I've got one with the mscaler and don't ruin the experience by using another third party headphone amp. The TT2 is so powerful.
 
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@musickid I plan to use and compare both the internal amp and my Eddie Current BA

I recently picked up a qutest along with a Mytek Brooklyn plus. I had a poor experience with the Hugo version1 and found it unlistenable. It was too bright and sharp on leading edge notes. My experience with the qutest has been extremely positive and I am curious to see how much better my system could be with the TT2.
 
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As promised my review of the Chord Hugo TT2.

I'd like to thank Todd with Todd the Vinyl Junkie for allowing me to join in on this loaner tour. Big Thanks!


Let me start off my review by sharing that I tested the TT2 out both as a headphone amp and DAC and in 2-channel mode using TT2 as a pre-amp. I know this is Head-Fi, but at this point I listen to music 95% of the time in my 2-channel system.

Unboxing. In my loaner box, the box where TT2 arrived, I found, 2 small boxes laying on top of the unit. Box one, contained the power supply. In this case we had a wall-wort style power supply. Small box two held a bubble wrap pouch with the remote control and a fibre-optic cable. I didn't use the cable, but of course used the supplied power supply and the remote. The remote was a small plastic unit. It wasn't anymore or less than what I expected. Also in the box was an owners manual.

As I took the TT2 out of it's thick plastic bag I took note. Solid heft and feel. The TT2 felt like a quality piece of gear. It's design, to me is that of modern style. It's got a clean smart look and of course has that cool roller ball in the center. I liked the look from the moment I got her in hand!

I first tested TT2 using it as a headphone amp using my set of Sony MDR-Z7M2's. As many know, these Sony's are mid-level closed back pair of cans. They have a strong following here on the forums. They are loved for the relaxed nature and for having the famous "Sony house sound". In this configuration I connected my Apple MacBook Pro to the TT2 using an Audioquest Coffee USB A-B connector. I opened up my "House Jams" playlist from Amazon Music. I have upgraded in the last month or so to the Amazon HD offering. Amazon HD does now offer 24bit-192Khz songs, though 95% of what I listen to is standard 16-bit 44.1Khz And then I listened. Not totally true...I learned.

I learned, that TT2 is one of the most flexible pieces of Hi-Fi gear that I've ever come across. During my first night of listening I really didn't listen critically. I listened with passing interest, but what I mostly did was learn about what TT2 did. I played with the filters and read through the users manual. I played and played and played some more. White, green, red I ran through the filters over and over again. I listened to songs that I've heard 100's of times. Red Hot Chili Peppers, Robert Plant, John Lee Hooker,Miles Davis all of my old favorites. Night one with TT2 was fun and again all about learning.

That night I took the owners manual with me to do some bed-side reading. I wanted to really learn about TT2. It's when I was reading at this point that I realized....I could use TT2 as a pre-amp and DAC to my powered speakers! A light went off...

As I already stated, most of my music enjoyment happens with speakers. Earlier this year I bought a pair of Genelec 8350's. Beautiful, linear and very very transparent! Genelec has a reputation as a speaker that many professionals use in the studio. So I connected the TT2 via XLR cables out to the Genelec's. This is where the magic took place! TT2 is an insanely great DAC, the best one I've ever heard. Connected to a speaker that tells the 100% truth was simply amazing. The separation and the imaging was unreal. Bass notes had decay. Snare drum had a tightness that I never realized was there. All of my old favorites sounded suddenly new again. With TT2 I wanted to listen deeply. I didn't want to just listen in passing. I wanted to study the music.

The rest of the week was spent using TT2 streaming music. Monday-Thursday 11am-4pm PST I stream music from a fantastic public radio station in Limerick, Ireland called RTE Lyric FM. The 2 shows that run back to back are Mystery Train with John Kelly and Blue of the Night with Bernard Clarke. Both shows are masterfully curated and run anything from blue-chip classical to classic rock, to delta blues to Hungarian wedding music to Lauire Anderson O Superman I mean, I found this station earlier this year and I just can't say enough about it. It's just perfect for me. Check it out.

Let me just say that TT2 is a heck of a machine. It's DAC section is like a samurai welding his katana. Swift, silent and deadly. TT2 reveals layers and layers to music that usually get forgotten about. TT2 as a headphone amp is strong and mighty. I did use a pair of Sennheiser HD-650's to test out it's ability to power the tricky 300 Ohm cans. TT2 easily powered the Senns and had power to spare. For me and how I listen is where TT2 really shined was when used as a pre-amp using it's DAC section to stream music. That's where I really personally see it's value.

How much did I like TT2? I like it enough to have it on my list of future buys. I can see myself owning one within the next 6 months. I'm aware that the TT2 has a sibling/mate the M scaler. I'm thinking already that when I buy TT2 I really should also get M scaler to get the most out of the pair. So that's what it all comes done to for me. I really view gear on it's ability to allow me to enjoy my music. To me that's really the value of TT2. It gets OUT of the way and allows the music to be fully expressed. And for that reason, I now have a deep level of respect for the Chord Hugo TT2.
 
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Hi All,

Anyone who buys a TT2 from us will also be able to audition our demo M-Scaler to see if it is also something they might want. We have our demo unit here and we are willing to put it into the hands of our TT2 customers for a week or two trial. Just ask us when you order and we will send it along with your new Hugo TT2. If you want to then purchase the MScaler we will arrange for a new unit to show up at your door and you return the demo back to us.

Todd
 
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First off, I want to say thanks to Todd of TTVJAudio for putting this brief tour together. As always, he simply requests loanees to provide their honest opinion of whichever gear is loaned to them. My opinion is mine and mine alone.

Signal chain for the majority of the loan period:
(a) Chord Hugo TT2 (DAC mode) > THX AAA 789 | Crown D-75A > HE-6 (modded prototype); or
(b) Chord Hugo TT2 (Headphone mode) > HE-6 (modded prototype)

Music Player: Musicbee (WASAPI)

Test tracks were largely FLAC (16/44.1 to 24/96)

Build quality and packaging: I don't have much to add to the packaging of this unit as @RobertSM already described it quite well his in review. I just want to add that the owner's manual was just a miniaturized print-out of the actual manual. The printing was already a bit faded and the font size was ridiculously small to read. Anyways, this print-out was probably due to the fact that this unit was going out on loan to several individuals. Thankfully, it was quite easy to find the pdf of the manual online (https://chordelectronics.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Hugo-TT-2-User-Manual.pdf), so I guess those without internet access are going to be inconvenienced by this if such a thing happens with other units.

As for the build quality, it feels solidly built, like a solid hunk of metal. To me, the styling is kind of retro-futuresque. I don't figure that the styling is going to be everyone's cup of tea. Overall, in regards to the its styling, I'm rather ambivalent to it and it's fine so long as it meshes well with the rest of my gear, which it does IMO (see above pic). Lastly, the connectors appear to be well-made and well-built, nothing seemed to rattle.

Sound and function: A disappointing thing with the unit is the lack of a 4-pin XLR output for headphones despite featuring two 1/4" TRS outputs and a 3.5mm output. I would've liked to tap into some of the 18WPC @ 8ohms provided by its 2 3-pin XLR outputs because the guesstimated 1.4W @ 50ohms using the SE output is not enough for the HE-6. Nor did I have time to order the components I needed to build a 4-pin XLR female to dual 3-pin XLR male adapter. Still, even 18WPC @ 8ohms (balanced), guesstimate 4.5W @ 50ohms, may not be enough for this can.

So, running the Hugo TT2 in DAC mode, feeding its XLR output to a passive preamp, and then to the Crown D-75A was something else. I never heard such tactility from my HE-6 with the SDAC-B as its source, especially in Jack Broadbent's "East is West" (24/44.1). Each strum of a guitar string and tap to the guitar's body was heard and satisfyingly felt. When playing the same track through the SDAC-B, after packing up the Hugo TT2 for the next loanee, I immediately noticed quite a large decrease in the HE-6's tactility. Sure, I could still hear the guitar strums and the tapping of the guitar body, but overall the tactility of such passages were far more muted on the SDAC-B. Granted, I never expected the SDAC-B to measure up to the Hugo TT2, but it was still interesting to hear how much more improvement can be had when one scales up in gear. Also, the SDAC-B's produced a more metallic, sharper sound (sometimes sounding a bit unnatural) than what I heard with the Hugo TT2. Additionally, the layering of sound from the SDAC-B was behind that of the Hugo TT2. One advantage that the SDAC-B had over the Hugo TT2 was when it came to switching sampling rates between different tracks. Going from a 16/44.1 FLAC to a 24/96 FLAC was seamless on the SDAC-B with the SDAC-B having little to no warm up. With the Hugo TT2*, there was a pause and then the track resumed several seconds into the track, thus missing the intro. This issue abated when the Hugo TT2 was fully warmed up after an hour or so.

As for the crossfeed feature and filters included in the unit, I was rather unimpressed by them and their effect on my HE-6. The crossfeed feature supposedly adjusted the sound such that there was less extreme left/right panning with headphones, an effort to create a more speaker-like presentation. When the crossfeed feature was engaged (headphone and DAC modes), the crossfeed settings (1-3, especially 3) distorted the sound to the extent that the upper mids and the treble sounded grainy. As for the tube filter, I didn't notice any appreciable warming of the sound, especially when compared to WaveArt's Tube Saturator VST. Therefore, I just left the filters, crossfeed feature, etc. off during my listening sessions.

*Switching tracks with different sampling rates occurred after the Hugo TT2's startup procedure completed and no sound was fed during its startup.

Conclusion: Overall, I enjoyed my time with the Hugo TT2 immensely. My HE-6 never sounded so alive and I was rather sad to see the Hugo TT2 go. There were a few niggles with it, and I haven't tried enough higher-end DACs than the SDAC-B to determine whether the >$5k price is worth it.
 
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PeteSTRADAMUS

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Does anyone know when it's headed my way? So I can arrange some extra gear to go along with my review.
 
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Does anyone know when it's headed my way? So I can arrange some extra gear to go along with my review.
I believe I am sending to you. I just got in the mail today. So, I will send to you next week. I will PM you with tracking the day I ship.
 
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I received the TT2 today. First and foremost, thank you Todd for this tremendous opportunity. You have been an absolute pleasure to deal with.

For anyone who hasn't worked with Todd before, he is a true professional. Expect top notch products with service to match.

So, the TT2. Wow! I have only listened for about an hr thus far. I hooked it up first with my Silver Dragon USB running USB decrapification thru my Schiit Wyrd. I have never owned a piece in this price bracket. I have owned a Wells Audio Milo and a Metrum DAC. My current system consists of a THX AAA 789, Headamp Gilmore Lite MK2 and a Vinshine R2R Reference DAC. I have always felt my system sounded good. At times, great. But, the TT2 is a different level. The detail, transparency and balance is startling. I unplugged it and went back to my system just to make sure I wasn't losing my mind. I became sad at how much less detail my system was extracting from my music. My Quad ERA-1 headphones sounded the best I have ever heard them. My Focal Elegia's went from being a pretty laid back listen to as close to reference as some reviews have stated. They just opened up in ways I wasn't expecting.

I am super excited to spend some time getting to know the TT2. When I asked Todd if the cables I currently owned would suffice, his response was a resounding yes. I would immediately hear what the TT2 was doing. With that, I am going to go back to listening and will provide a more thorough review next week.

Happy New Years fellow Head-Fiers.
 
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PeteSTRADAMUS

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I believe I am sending to you. I just got in the mail today. So, I will send to you next week. I will PM you with tracking the day I ship.
Awesome.
 
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