Hugo 2

Halloween Man posted:
Not having galvanic isolation means it's not really fit for purpose for home\main system duties.

Sorry, but nothing could be further from the truth. There are just too many people with Hugos in their main systems enjoying excellent digital reproduction for the smallest outlay that they ever thought possible, myself included, be it via coax, Toslink or USB. By all means a good source feeding the Hugo makes a big difference, and if chosen poorly then the lack of galvanic isolation could be an issue. But there are many ways around that, again for not substantial outlay in the context of the achievable SQ.

SamS posted:
Halloween Man posted:
Not having galvanic isolation means it's not really fit for purpose for home\main system duties.

Sorry, but nothing could be further from the truth. There are just too many people with Hugos in their main systems enjoying excellent digital reproduction for the smallest outlay that they ever thought possible, myself included, be it via coax, Toslink or USB. By all means a good source feeding the Hugo makes a big difference, and if chosen poorly then the lack of galvanic isolation could be an issue. But there are many ways around that, again for not substantial outlay in the context of the achievable SQ.

Have to agree with Sam on this and have previously reported my findings... having used a galvanically isolated Chord 2Qute via USB, I found a non-galvanically isolated Hugo to outperform the former via USB despite them supposedly being pretty much the same DAC. Hugo may be improved if it had galvanic isolation, I don't know, but I wouldn't rule it out of your main system on that basis.

Mayor West posted

Have to agree with Sam on this and have previously reported my findings... having used a galvanically isolated Chord 2Qute via USB, I found a non-galvanically isolated Hugo to outperform the former via USB despite them supposedly being pretty much the same DAC. Hugo may be improved if it had galvanic isolation, I don't know, but I wouldn't rule it out of your main system on that basis.

Interesting that you find the Hugo to sound better than the 2Qute via USB as most folks on Stereonet(an Australian forum) have found the complete opposite. Must be other factors at play here.

Type "Hugo vs 2Qute" and the Stereonet link will appear.

SamS posted:
Halloween Man posted:
Not having galvanic isolation means it's not really fit for purpose for home\main system duties.

Sorry, but nothing could be further from the truth. There are just too many people with Hugos in their main systems enjoying excellent digital reproduction for the smallest outlay that they ever thought possible, myself included, be it via coax, Toslink or USB. By all means a good source feeding the Hugo makes a big difference, and if chosen poorly then the lack of galvanic isolation could be an issue. But there are many ways around that, again for not substantial outlay in the context of the achievable SQ.

Indeed - galvanic isolation - despite what some people think - is purely about avoiding earth loops and breaking low frequency ground plane noise. A device does need to have galvanic isolation if there is no risk of this.

However one has to be careful with Galvanic isolation - by its nature certain forms of Galvanic isolation such as with magnetic coupling will introduce a degree of phase shift of the digital bit stream though the isolator dependent on the preceding voltage values of the bit stream - simplistically this will produce signal dependent jitter in the receiver - which can couple into processing systems and cause noise.

Therefore it is best to use only the minimum galvanic isolation necessary - and  on a system to system connection ensure  only ONE isolator is in use in that link.

Now with SPDIF, Naim streamers (NDX)  have according to my measurements Galvanic isolation and therefore for optimum performance the DAC it connects should NOT have Galvanic isolation - the Hugo achieves this on SPDIF.

Toslink of course provides Galvanic isolation with none of these drawbacks but has other potential issues.

Regards

Simon

ryder. posted:
Mayor West posted

Have to agree with Sam on this and have previously reported my findings... having used a galvanically isolated Chord 2Qute via USB, I found a non-galvanically isolated Hugo to outperform the former via USB despite them supposedly being pretty much the same DAC. Hugo may be improved if it had galvanic isolation, I don't know, but I wouldn't rule it out of your main system on that basis.

Interesting that you find the Hugo to sound better than the 2Qute via USB as most folks on Stereonet(an Australian forum) have found the complete opposite. Must be other factors at play here.

Type "Hugo vs 2Qute" and the Stereonet link will appear.

Perhaps the DAC behaves differently when they are in the Southern Hemisphere ? ;-)

ryder. posted:
Mayor West posted

Have to agree with Sam on this and have previously reported my findings... having used a galvanically isolated Chord 2Qute via USB, I found a non-galvanically isolated Hugo to outperform the former via USB despite them supposedly being pretty much the same DAC. Hugo may be improved if it had galvanic isolation, I don't know, but I wouldn't rule it out of your main system on that basis.

Interesting that you find the Hugo to sound better than the 2Qute via USB as most folks on Stereonet(an Australian forum) have found the complete opposite. Must be other factors at play here.

Type "Hugo vs 2Qute" and the Stereonet link will appear.

I'm probably in a minority but my favourite input on my Hugo, albeit with a jitterbug, USB regen and linear power supply in the chain, is the USB input.  More natural and with greater dynamic range to my ears.  My Hugo with Audirvana still surprises me with how good it is on an almost daily basis, best value hifi component I've ever bought by a mile

SamS posted:
Halloween Man posted:
Not having galvanic isolation means it's not really fit for purpose for home\main system duties.

Sorry, but nothing could be further from the truth. There are just too many people with Hugos in their main systems enjoying excellent digital reproduction for the smallest outlay that they ever thought possible, myself included, be it via coax, Toslink or USB. By all means a good source feeding the Hugo makes a big difference, and if chosen poorly then the lack of galvanic isolation could be an issue. But there are many ways around that, again for not substantial outlay in the context of the achievable SQ.

Sorry but it is true. Hugo 2 without galvanic isolation does not differentiate itself enough from Mojo, you might as well just buy Mojo. Many people, myself included and the designer of Hugo 2, Rob Watts, use a laptop or computer with an extremely noisy USB only output that just will not get the best out of a DAC such as Hugo. That's a fact.

Yes, there are options such as a high quality source like Simon's NDX, Intona USB, or optical. Personally I do not want to nor should I have to introduce these options into my system.

ryder. posted:
Mayor West posted

Have to agree with Sam on this and have previously reported my findings... having used a galvanically isolated Chord 2Qute via USB, I found a non-galvanically isolated Hugo to outperform the former via USB despite them supposedly being pretty much the same DAC. Hugo may be improved if it had galvanic isolation, I don't know, but I wouldn't rule it out of your main system on that basis.

Interesting that you find the Hugo to sound better than the 2Qute via USB as most folks on Stereonet(an Australian forum) have found the complete opposite. Must be other factors at play here.

Type "Hugo vs 2Qute" and the Stereonet link will appear.

I was surprised myself, and my wallet would have preferred to have stuck with the 2Qute as well!

I'll have a read of the Stereonet threads when I get chance

sometimes I do think the point of the Hugo/Mojo/2qute/Hugo TT gets overlooked, and why they were created in the first place.

The world isn't short of DACs that can do clarity, but these Chord DACs are also (to my ears) very musical.

I'm not sure everyone agrees with this though.

Mayor West posted:

I was surprised myself, and my wallet would have preferred to have stuck with the 2Qute as well!

I'll have a read of the Stereonet threads when I get chance

An interesting post which I found on the Computer Audiophile forum. Perhaps the differences between Chord DACs might not be as large as some folks have reported? The more I read the more I get confused. The 2Qute is supposed to be very similar to the Hugo in terms of sound quality but John Franks said the 2Qute is very close to the Hugo TT. That would suggest that the differences between the 2Qute, Hugo and Hugo TT are marginal?

Since links are not allowed on this forum, this is the post taken from ComputerAudiofile:-

So i spent a nice time with Rob Watts and John Franks of Chord today. We talked about many things. Some highlights:
* the TT and the 2Qute both have USb inputs that are galvanically isolated, with 2 picofarads separating/cutting the grounds.
* because of this Rob now prefers the USB over the toslink as his favorite input (read: no more need to do things like use the Hugo sd USB input and the Olimex isolator)
* unlike the HD and EX in the Qute series, the 2Qute now uses the same drivers and same chip (UAC2) as the Hugo, that allows driverless lLinux and OSX implementationsr
* when I asked which of the new Hugo platforms would have better SQ John answered very Frankly (sorry, couldn't resist) that it depends on the setup....that those users like me who have little need for a headphone preamp or digital preamp function (i.e use their own preamp) that the SQ of the 2Qute will come very close to that of the TT. They are simply intended for two different audiences (TT adding a legit remote controlled-preamp amd headphone amp plus state of the art battery power using supercapacitors). Rob added that he worked some magic on the more robust ps in the 2Qute and doubted I would find better sound with an external linear like i did especially with the Qute HD.

 

analogmusic posted:

sometimes I do think the point of the Hugo/Mojo/2qute/Hugo TT gets overlooked, and why they were created in the first place.

The world isn't short of DACs that can do clarity, but these Chord DACs are also (to my ears) very musical.

I'm not sure everyone agrees with this though.

I have not listened to any of these DACs and I might be wrong with my assumption, but I am getting a feeling that although there are sonic differences between all these DACs, they might quite marginal. As the Chord designer has hinted, the differences in these DACs may be more toward the features that exist on these DACs which are aptly reflected in the different pricing of the DACs.

All are great sounding designs.

In the grand scheme of things the differences are marginal - but its in these margins I suspect we discover the musicality in our recording we strive for... 

Now two of these devices I have spent some time with are the TT and Hugo - they are, to pluck a number out of the air, 99% the same in SPDIF performance but the TT had a slightly more dominant lower mid presentation.. it was noticeable to me - I guess I or we are sensitive to that part of the frequency range - now if I had got used to the TT from the start it would have been fine, but I was used to the Hugo - and that had a slightly more spritely performance that I had matched my system for - and so I passed on the TT and took my Hugo back... but I could have listened to either - and yes the TT perhaps looked more the part on my Fraim - though some guests do ask what that funny little silver box does on top of my Fraim stack when they come around...

Simon-in-Suffolk posted:

In the grand scheme of things the differences are marginal - but its in these margins I suspect we discover the musicality in our recording we strive for... 

Very true indeed. I have said the same thing earlier when describing between the NAC 202 and NAC 282 or any other gear for that matter - "it's the small differences that make all the (big) difference".

I actually compared the TT to Mojo today (see posts for Mojo in a main system) and would happily live with either. They both sounded superb. Mojo was connected to Apple Airport Express via optical. TT was connected to battery powered laptop via USB (has galvanic isolation). Music was 44\16 Apple lossless.

dayjay posted:

I'm probably in a minority but my favourite input on my Hugo, albeit with a jitterbug, USB regen and linear power supply in the chain, is the USB input.  More natural and with greater dynamic range to my ears.  My Hugo with Audirvana still surprises me with how good it is on an almost daily basis, best value hifi component I've ever bought by a mile

Seems like there isn't any Chord product that is not loved. Not even the cheapest Mojo. Although I already have the QBD 76, my 2nd DAC will also be a Chord. The QBD 76 does wonders in my system, and all the good words on the Mojo, Hugo and Hugo TT have reinforced my belief that all these DACs are excellent at their respective price points.

It's either the Hugo or 2Qute for me. The 2Qute appeals to me more than the Hugo as there are more connection options and it's designed for home use. Also, I don't need the headphone features.

Enjoy the Hugo. Listening to Pat Metheny The Falcon and the Snowman now while typing this. Sounds glorious.

This is all subjective, nobody has heard the Hugo 2, but we are not talking about mobile phones. Even with those, the updates are now incremental, like for instance between iPhone 6S and 7.

The Hugo 1 is already extremely good, so it will improve on that, but I am 100 % sure Hugo 1 won't sound broken next to Hugo 2.

How do I know? Because I use Mojo in my car daily and enjoy listening to music on it, and use Dave in my Main rig.

 

ryder. posted:
dayjay posted:

I'm probably in a minority but my favourite input on my Hugo, albeit with a jitterbug, USB regen and linear power supply in the chain, is the USB input.  More natural and with greater dynamic range to my ears.  My Hugo with Audirvana still surprises me with how good it is on an almost daily basis, best value hifi component I've ever bought by a mile

Seems like there isn't any Chord product that is not loved. Not even the cheapest Mojo. Although I already have the QBD 76, my 2nd DAC will also be a Chord. The QBD 76 does wonders in my system, and all the good words on the Mojo, Hugo and Hugo TT have reinforced my belief that all these DACs are excellent at their respective price points.

It's either the Hugo or 2Qute for me. The 2Qute appeals to me more than the Hugo as there are more connection options and it's designed for home use. Also, I don't need the headphone features.

Enjoy the Hugo. Listening to Pat Metheny The Falcon and the Snowman now while typing this. Sounds glorious.

Hi Ryder - don't get put off by the 'headphone' feature - its is simply a volume controlled line out driven by a class A driver stage for optimum quality that can drive headphones, some high efficiency speakers and preamp/amp inputs alike.

The volume control on the Hugo is a big big plus with Naim preamps - I just can't overstate it enough. It allows the level to be set for optimum coupling performance with the Naim preamp - and this really does make a worthwhile musical difference in terms of enhancing breathability, organic naturalness and musical flow - which are the attributes that many appreciate from the Hugo.  This is where the 'turquoise' setting comes from - its the the output level from the Hugo that seems to work best with Naim NACs and also gives a more useful range of the volume control on the Naim NAC

Simon-in-Suffolk posted:

Hi Ryder - don't get put off by the 'headphone' feature - its is simply a volume controlled line out driven by a class A driver stage for optimum quality that can drive headphones, some high efficiency speakers and preamp/amp inputs alike.

The volume control on the Hugo is a big big plus with Naim preamps - I just can't overstate it enough. It allows the level to be set for optimum coupling performance with the Naim preamp - and this really does make a worthwhile musical difference in terms of enhancing breathability, organic naturalness and musical flow - which are the attributes that many appreciate from the Hugo.  This is where the 'turquoise' setting comes from - its the the output level from the Hugo that seems to work best with Naim NACs and also gives a more useful range of the volume control on the Naim NAC

Hi Simon, I believe you are referring to the Hugo 2, not the TT. I have been investigating this Hugo 2 on Head-fi forum and got to know that it is higher spec than the Hugo 1 in many areas and has additional features not available on the original Hugo. The Hugo 2 has four filters that will produce different sound signatures. This is a rather interesting feature to me. Not too sure on the volume control feature on the Hugo that will enhance the NAC's performance through optimal coupling though (with the turquoise light setting). It is useful that you brought this up.

As we all know, superior technical specifications may not necessarily translate to real world performance or results, and this is where actual experience will come in handy. The 4 filters on the Hugo 2 may offer more flexibility than any other DAC in the Chord lineup. In the event the user finds the Hugo and Hugo 2 to be sound-wise indistinguishable, he can switch to a different filter and obtain a different (possibly better) sound.

Does anyone know if the Hugo 2 will come with the connecting cable? I just found out that it doesn't have a USB Type B input. All the inputs on the Hugo 2 are in mini or micro types.

ryder. posted:
 ..... Does anyone know if the Hugo 2 will come with the connecting cable? I just found out that it doesn't have a USB Type B input. All the inputs on the Hugo 2 are in mini or micro types.

If packaged like the original Hugo it will have a couple of USB A to USB micro B cables in the box, a short one and a longer one.

There might have even been 3 but I haven't looked in the box in a long time.

 

james n posted:
Simon-in-Suffolk posted:
 enhancing breathability, organic naturalness and musical flow.

Damn - i just needed 'Inky Blackness' and i'd have had a full house ! 

but other than that it sounds sh*te 

i will have to come up with a more original metaphor for sounding more natural, un forced and un congested....

nickpeacock posted:
Simon-in-Suffolk posted:

...though some guests do ask what that funny little silver box does on top of my Fraim stack when they come around...

Ahem - clearly you should have bought the Hugo in its black chassis version, Simon...

alas - silver was the only option when i bought mine.. black would be nice. The TT I borrowed for a while was back and it looked the part.

 

ryder. posted:
Simon-in-Suffolk posted:

Hi Ryder - don't get put off by the 'headphone' feature - its is simply a volume controlled line out driven by a class A driver stage for optimum quality that can drive headphones, some high efficiency speakers and preamp/amp inputs alike.

The volume control on the Hugo is a big big plus with Naim preamps - I just can't overstate it enough. It allows the level to be set for optimum coupling performance with the Naim preamp - and this really does make a worthwhile musical difference in terms of enhancing breathability, organic naturalness and musical flow - which are the attributes that many appreciate from the Hugo.  This is where the 'turquoise' setting comes from - its the the output level from the Hugo that seems to work best with Naim NACs and also gives a more useful range of the volume control on the Naim NAC

Hi Simon, I believe you are referring to the Hugo 2, not the TT. I have been investigating this Hugo 2 on Head-fi forum and got to know that it is higher spec than the Hugo 1 in many areas and has additional features not available on the original Hugo. The Hugo 2 has four filters that will produce different sound signatures. This is a rather interesting feature to me. Not too sure on the volume control feature on the Hugo that will enhance the NAC's performance through optimal coupling though (with the turquoise light setting). It is useful that you brought this up.

As we all know, superior technical specifications may not necessarily translate to real world performance or results, and this is where actual experience will come in handy. The 4 filters on the Hugo 2 may offer more flexibility than any other DAC in the Chord lineup. In the event the user finds the Hugo and Hugo 2 to be sound-wise indistinguishable, he can switch to a different filter and obtain a different (possibly better) sound.

Does anyone know if the Hugo 2 will come with the connecting cable? I just found out that it doesn't have a USB Type B input. All the inputs on the Hugo 2 are in mini or micro types.

Are the filters not the same ones that the Hugo has to change the headphone sound so that they sound more like speakers?

dayjay posted:
Are the filters not the same ones that the Hugo has to change the headphone sound so that they sound more like speakers?

Not according to what I read - they're 2 different flavours of the original Hugo's sound and 2 of the Mojo's (apparently slightly warmer or smoother, I forget which word was used) presentation. The speakery headphone effect is also there as a separate feature.

Simon-in-Suffolk posted:
nickpeacock posted:
Simon-in-Suffolk posted:

...though some guests do ask what that funny little silver box does on top of my Fraim stack when they come around...

Ahem - clearly you should have bought the Hugo in its black chassis version, Simon...

alas - silver was the only option when i bought mine.. black would be nice. The TT I borrowed for a while was back and it looked the part.

 

Mine is a nice black one...playing a 24/88.2 just now and I get a nice 'naim green' indicator light on top.

Sounds superb!

G

Nick from Suffolk posted:

Heard the Hugo (original silver model) in Tony's system today. Having bought it purely as a toy to drive my headphones on occasional long flights I was gratified that it did not sound out of its depth in a slightly (?) revealing system.

Many thanks for the long loan Nick. The Hugo really is a remarkable device - it looks rather incongruous snuggling down amongst the big black boxes, it really shouldn't sound as good as it does. 

dayjay posted:

Are the filters not the same ones that the Hugo has to change the headphone sound so that they sound more like speakers?

From what I read the filters in the Hugo 2 are new features not available on the Hugo 1. This new four filter option was a special mention on the Head-fi forum by Chord Electronics alongside the 49,152 taps (Hugo has 26,000 taps). I think the feature which changes the sound of the DAC to mimic headphones is the crossfeed function. Both Hugo and Hugo 2 have this function though it appears that the crossfeed in the Hugo 2 was further improved. Not too sure on the details and not relevant to me as I don't use headphones.

SamS posted:

If packaged like the original Hugo it will have a couple of USB A to USB micro B cables in the box, a short one and a longer one.

There might have even been 3 but I haven't looked in the box in a long time.

 

Thanks for the information. Looks like they have got everything covered.

ryder. posted:
SamS posted:

If packaged like the original Hugo it will have a couple of USB A to USB micro B cables in the box, a short one and a longer one.

There might have even been 3 but I haven't looked in the box in a long time.

 

Thanks for the information. Looks like they have got everything covered.

Two USB and an optical, pretty insubstantial things really and clearly designed for a portable device.

Likes (0)
×
×
×
×