Watts Up...?
Oct 21, 2021 at 9:33 AM Post #2,761 of 2,850

Rob Watts

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Dual bnc's of 2m sound slightly better than 1m. For me would 0.5m dual bnc's between qutest//mscaler sound any different to 1m? 0.5m is more practical for mQutest but i would go with 1m if SQ is better.

For the connection from M scaler to the DAC, the longer the BNC the better the sound, as inductance increases with length, hence suppressing 2GHz current on the ground. I did try 5m from 2m but the difference was not worth the hassle of too long a length of cable. 2m is quite a big upgrade from 1m.

Hi Mr. Watts @Rob Watts,

Thank you for the reply. I retested the 2Go. Actually, It has the static noise on all inputs. I will email Chord support for that. My current Anker power banks will shut down the output when charging. Do you mean connect a power bank that can simultaneously charging and discharging?

Thanks again. Appreciated.

Sure - my PowerAdd can supply whilst being charged.

Understood. But if the app plays a 192/24 track, and then the next one is truly 44/24 but the HMS still shows 192/24, does that mean the app is playing the 44/24 track at 192/24 somehow, or is it just labeled as such?

As @technobear posted, the app is sending 192k - the M scaler can only report the data rate it sees.
 
Oct 21, 2021 at 10:57 AM Post #2,762 of 2,850

CaptainFantastic

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For the connection from M scaler to the DAC, the longer the BNC the better the sound, as inductance increases with length, hence suppressing 2GHz current on the ground. I did try 5m from 2m but the difference was not worth the hassle of too long a length of cable. 2m is quite a big upgrade from 1m.

@Rob Watts Based on this 2m vs 1m aspect, what are your thoughts on Chord suppling such short BNC cables with the unit? Presumably the average buyer does not spend time in this forum to find out these details and the manual is silent on it. I also know that my own Hifi dealer said nothing of the sort when I bought it, such as look into upgrading the BNC cables, right build and right length, etc.

Is this a disconnect at Chord that can be remedied with future products? I would expect that there's excellent communication between you and the company regarding your products.
 
Oct 21, 2021 at 11:22 AM Post #2,763 of 2,850

Kentajalli

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For the connection from M scaler to the DAC, the longer the BNC the better the sound, as inductance increases with length, hence suppressing 2GHz current on the ground. I did try 5m from 2m but the difference was not worth the hassle of too long a length of cable. 2m is quite a big upgrade from 1m.
Could we add a small inductor inline on the cable, to get away with a shorter cable?
 
Oct 21, 2021 at 12:52 PM Post #2,764 of 2,850

MarkusBarkus

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Based on this 2m vs 1m aspect, what are your thoughts on Chord suppling such short BNC cables with the unit?
...to further muddy the waters: I wrote to Chord a year or so back to ask about dual BNC length before a purchase, and the reply was they did not care about length. As long as required to mate the gear.

So, I bought a set of .75m cables for convenience/neatness, which I later replaced...with longer ones.
 
Oct 21, 2021 at 8:22 PM Post #2,765 of 2,850
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So are you thinking of the interconnects between Qutest and the amp? The best I used was 0.4mm solid core, individually insulated with PTFE and screened (8 cores signal 8 cores return multiple twists and heat treated with annealing after twisting). Since I always make my own cables, I haven't seen a commercial cable that I like the look of. For interconnect cables, shorter is better.
Did you screen the individual wires? 0.4mm is probably closest to 21 AWG, so that's quite interesting.

Lately I've been using reasonably priced wire from Nanotec in Japan. Their best cable seemed to sound as good as a $1500 VDH model, so I'm thinking to replace all my cables with it for simplicity and consistency.
 
Oct 22, 2021 at 1:25 AM Post #2,766 of 2,850

musickid

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Hello Rob,

As qutest was designed to drive amps and also accept dual bnc from the mscaler were there any special design requirements put in place so that the final mscaled output from qutest maintains high integrity once amplified? I ask because as a designer you know qutest will only be operating with amps.

I also wonder if there are any design features in the mscaler which also ensure the final mscaled output of chord dacs maintain a high level of integrity when the mscaler is part of a larger speaker set up with amplifiers such as etude or the ultima range. As a designer knowing the mscaler will eventually be a part of larger systems with such amps rather than just for headphone use..
 
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Oct 22, 2021 at 10:27 AM Post #2,767 of 2,850

Rob Watts

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@Rob Watts Based on this 2m vs 1m aspect, what are your thoughts on Chord suppling such short BNC cables with the unit? Presumably the average buyer does not spend time in this forum to find out these details and the manual is silent on it. I also know that my own Hifi dealer said nothing of the sort when I bought it, such as look into upgrading the BNC cables, right build and right length, etc.

Is this a disconnect at Chord that can be remedied with future products? I would expect that there's excellent communication between you and the company regarding your products.

The BNC cables supplied are to get you going, and not intended for the best performance. Also, I insisted the cables should be supplied, as a lot of digital cables are not technically correct - and since 768kHz is technically challenging for SPDIF if a user was getting drop-outs then we could confirm it wasn't a cable issue by using the supplied cables. Remember that not all users are 100% audiophiles who want the absolute best performance - and the BNC cables represent the top surface layer of the icing of the cake.

Could we add a small inductor inline on the cable, to get away with a shorter cable?

They are already fitted into the M scaler. It dramatically reduced the problem, but doesn't solve it 100%. To solve it completely, put solid core ferrites (2GHz type) on the BNC cables - or try Wave cables. Another way is to use battery power feeding the M scaler, as this will stop the currents into the DAC.

Did you screen the individual wires? 0.4mm is probably closest to 21 AWG, so that's quite interesting.

Lately I've been using reasonably priced wire from Nanotec in Japan. Their best cable seemed to sound as good as a $1500 VDH model, so I'm thinking to replace all my cables with it for simplicity and consistency.

No it was screened on the outside.

Hello Rob,

As qutest was designed to drive amps and also accept dual bnc from the mscaler were there any special design requirements put in place so that the final mscaled output from qutest maintains high integrity once amplified? I ask because as a designer you know qutest will only be operating with amps.

I also wonder if there are any design features in the mscaler which also ensure the final mscaled output of chord dacs maintain a high level of integrity when the mscaler is part of a larger speaker set up with amplifiers such as etude or the ultima range. As a designer knowing the mscaler will eventually be a part of larger systems with such amps rather than just for headphone use..

It was intended to drive easy amp loads, but I still put in the discrete OP stage (from Mojo) as this is much more linear, even with easy loads.

M scaler was developed both with speakers (TT2 driving direct) and headphones (with Dave). There is no special design requirements for each application; if it sounded better on transparent HP it sounds better on transparent loudspeakers too.
 
Oct 24, 2021 at 11:54 AM Post #2,768 of 2,850

thePhones

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Rob said in an interview that he started building and changing his hifi setup since his youth and that he were doing it because he could not hear the music, but just heard the equipment.
I had the same experience, except I just gave up and thought reproduced music will never sound like real music. Music listening was the thing I could do for one hour max. and then I was irritated to the point where I would tell everybody to make that noise machine silent😄
With Hugo I liked listening to music for the first time again. M Scaler with Hugo 2 was the first time I really enjoyed it.
Now with MDave (after adding ferrites to the bnc) is the first time I get exhausted emotionally because the music touches me so much, but never listening fatigue.
I can listen until my brain falls out and my body just gives up for the day😆
I still like to upgrade some things (like headphone cables/pads) but out of enjoyment, not because there is a problem to fix.

@rob
How is this for you now, still in unease about the gap to the real event… or is it good enough that you can completely relax while listening and then out of happiness try to better things that are already very good? If so, when was that point… was that point with Hugo already… or when you got the TT2 for the speakers…?
 
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Oct 24, 2021 at 12:49 PM Post #2,769 of 2,850

musickid

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I had a nad amp, dual turntable and celestion 3 speakers in the 90's as a teenager then i heard hugo in 2017 and i found it hard to believe that a small silver box sounded infinitely better than full size headphone amp/dacs from makes such as moon audio and naim. From that point on chord had me hooked. With hugo it filled my heart with special things....:relaxed:

1635096813234.jpeg
1635096874781.jpeg
 
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Oct 25, 2021 at 5:51 AM Post #2,770 of 2,850

Rob Watts

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Rob said in an interview that he started building and changing his hifi setup since his youth and that he were doing it because he could not hear the music, but just heard the equipment.
I had the same experience, except I just gave up and thought reproduced music will never sound like real music. Music listening was the thing I could do for one hour max. and then I was irritated to the point where I would tell everybody to make that noise machine silent😄
With Hugo I liked listening to music for the first time again. M Scaler with Hugo 2 was the first time I really enjoyed it.
Now with MDave (after adding ferrites to the bnc) is the first time I get exhausted emotionally because the music touches me so much, but never listening fatigue.
I can listen until my brain falls out and my body just gives up for the day😆
I still like to upgrade some things (like headphone cables/pads) but out of enjoyment, not because there is a problem to fix.

@rob
How is this for you now, still in unease about the gap to the real event… or is it good enough that you can completely relax while listening and then out of happiness try to better things that are already very good? If so, when was that point… was that point with Hugo already… or when you got the TT2 for the speakers…?

Yes the gap to the real unamplified sound is still very large; but fortunately every year that goes by I feel I am inching closer to the ultimate performance.

For sure I can completely relax and enjoy new music purchases now - but I am still getting those upgrades that mean one gets the feeling of hearing a brand new recording collection. When that happens it's very exciting, as your enjoyment of music goes up a step.

The big change for me was indeed Hugo 1, and the path that I am on all started from Hugo 1, as I realised that the assumptions I had been working on were wrong - the ear/brain was so much more sensitive to errors than I ever expected. And even today I am mining new seams of gold. Of course all of this coincided with huge capacity FPGAs - I am indeed finding more and more use for millions of gates as reducing these errors needs serious FPGA power. And of course Hugo 1 only came about with a step change in FPGA performance both in terms of power and capacity.
 
Oct 25, 2021 at 8:22 PM Post #2,771 of 2,850

UWOTM888

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Second question - yes adding the charger to Hugo 2 can make it sound brighter. If you were using Hugo 2 in desktop mode, I recommend using a battery power bank, and charge the power bank overnight - then Hugo 2 is in desktop mode, but you preserve the SQ benefits of battery mode. I haven't heard a reduction in depth though.

Hi @Rob Watts,

During the pandemic, I use the Hugo₂ solely in desktop mode so this information is helpful. I don't use traditional battery packs for audio-related because they are regulated. I need mOhms performance so I use only ultra capacitors for 5V. The down conversion on traditional battery packs is a deal breaker. I understand the need though for travel and zero noise purposes. I'm currently using an ultra capacitor @5V for USB optical, but I will test it with the Hugo₂ in desktop mode EOY before putting it in production for 2022. Ultra capacitors can run continuously 24/7 for 10-15 years without breaking a sweat. I'm at the point in 2022 where I will skip batteries completely and run exclusively ultra capacitors. Right now I'm using a combo of batteries + ultra capacitors. I need to eventually remove batteries from the equation as it will be a middle man that's not longer needed.

But anything passive power supply (Batteries or Ultra Caps or mix) is a net positive. Active power supplies like LPS are pure cringe. Applying a traditional audio solution like an LPS to a Modern DAC (Chord) is a big NO. Modern DACs need modern power solutions, not dinosuar tech like LPS's. Using a LPS to power a Modern Chord DAC is like using a Gas / Petrol combustible engine to power a Modern Tesla. Makes no sense and just pollutes the system as a whole. But some prefer the RFI signature of LPS since it's exciting. I don't trust impressions of LPS-powered systems since it's compromised.

I need as close to bare metal performance as possible with the Music servers (I2S Transportable, I2S Desktop and USB Desktop) so they are powered by ultra capacitors (mOhms performance) plus real-time OS kernel (extreme low-latency as I also load the OS entirely in RAM). It's addicting so I don't like being regulated to slow things down. Like they say, no going back. So anything audio-related I try to stay in the mOhms range. I'm also appreciative of the Hugo₂ mOhms output. Amazing design.

Thanks very much for letting me rediscover my love for Redbook. It wasn't until I went Glass Toslink that made this possible. But I'm giving USB another chance with USB optical since I want to scale CPU desktop power with the real-time kernel. It's not a traditional USB cable, but a USB optical extender + a USB PCB combo to the DAC. No traditional cooper wires that attract RFI and force their own sound signature. It's pure optical and decouples from the source if externally powered. Pure neutrality, no artificial coloring. It was discovered by @romaz.

Oh, I actually have a question.... I pre-ordered the Hugo₂ so the warranty is in the rear-view mirror. I was considering a Summer project to replace the RCA jacks on the Hugo₂. I'm using WBT connectors so wanted to pair with WBT jacks. Do you see any complications with this or it's pretty straightforward? I haven't taken apart my Hugo₂ to examine yet since it's in excellent condition. I only use solid core wiring and brand name solder so it should turn out fine.

Someone has done this with the Hugo₁:

chassis.jpg

I missed the boat with the Hugo₁ so it's quite a fascinating thread to read. Lots of juicy bits about the design of the output on that thread.

Here's a nice tidbit:

https://www.head-fi.org/threads/chord-hugo.702787/page-798#post-11936756

Since I'm only listening exclusively RCA OUT with CIEMs going forward on the Hugo₂, I may be able to justify this RCA modification if there is no objection on your part. Many Thanks.
 
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Oct 26, 2021 at 5:25 AM Post #2,772 of 2,850

Rob Watts

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I wouldn't do the modification, as the sockets I use are ideal single piece contacts, soldered direct to the PCB. Adding internal wires to large PCB sockets would degrade transparency, as you will end up adding more metal/metal interfaces. Plus of course your warranty would be voided.
 
Oct 26, 2021 at 7:01 AM Post #2,773 of 2,850

flyte3333

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It's not a traditional USB cable, but a USB optical extender + a USB PCB combo to the DAC. No traditional cooper wires that attract RFI and force their own sound signature. It's pure optical and decouples from the source if externally powered. Pure neutrality, no artificial coloring. It was discovered by @romaz.
Which model exactly? Can you share a link to the product.

Most I've seen seen have a thin copper wire for USB ground... so they don't galvanically isolate. Only data lines are optical isolated.

Audiowise make a send and receiver pair optically isolated but you still need a battery for the 'receiver' end. Otherwise again, you've only isolated data.

TOSlink is significantly more practical than all these solutions I've seen.
 
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Oct 26, 2021 at 7:47 PM Post #2,774 of 2,850

UWOTM888

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I wouldn't do the modification, as the sockets I use are ideal single piece contacts, soldered direct to the PCB. Adding internal wires to large PCB sockets would degrade transparency, as you will end up adding more metal/metal interfaces. Plus of course your warranty would be voided.

Gotcha. Thanks for your input. Soldering to the PCB is too much risk if your don't have easily replaceable boards and your right too many metal interfaces will just weaken the link. Subtraction by Addition. I'm already in Head-Fi heaven as there's nothing like listening to CIEMs out of the Chord DAC (esp w/ RCA OUT w/ premium cables w/ WBT) paired with a low latency real-time Music Server. Just Music as it should be, no artificial sound.

And as the source is super clean and transparent, less fatigue than with a normal source so I can listen for the full 5-6 hour session. That's another quality of Chord DACs is no fatigue for hours and hours where others I would have to take a break after 30 minutes. I'll check back in 2022. I have some Battery projects to wrap up on EOY. Nothing like real-time audio + a Chord DAC for CIEMs, nothing. Many thanks again, just something I thought I would never experience in my lifetime.

realtime.png
 
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Nov 7, 2021 at 6:02 AM Post #2,775 of 2,850

adrianm

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I can't give any details, but I had previously disclosed that much more complex M scalers is something I am working on, amongst other projects.
Hi Rob, Is there any chance a Blu 2 sized/priced M-scaler would also have an integrated streamer ?(hopefully better than 2go2yu). Or better yet, since I'm sure you can't confirm anything, Is there any reason why it COULDN'T?
I'm sure everyone has already considered this, it would be a logical successor to Blu2, and does seem easier to manage in the same box than a cd player. The increasing box count and managing batteries/Bnc cables is frustrating, especially when considering the costs.
 

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