Which non-Naim Dac are you using?

Its great to see so much feedback to this topic... and to know that there are so many happy Chord users. 

To elevate this discussion: How many of you feel that the dac that you are using surpasses the performance of your Naim cd player?

I use my dac to convert the signal from both my Teac PD-501HR cd player (coaxial cable) and the Auralic Aries streamer (usb cable).

But I still much use the Naim CD5x / Flatcap2x as my digital reference, because it sounds sooo good... maybe I'm biased towards the Naim sound signature

MacBook Pro - Audirvana Plus into a Halide DAC HD self powered DAC with integrated cable into 552.    Sounds really great for streaming and downloading music.    Can't find the Halide anymore for some reason.  

This does not touch my NaIm CDP but I could live with it if necessary.   

naka posted:

How many of you feel that the dac that you are using surpasses the performance of your Naim cd player?

The Naim DAC fronted by a UnitiServe showed me more music than the CDS2/XPS it replaced. The Resonessence Mirus did the same thing to the nDAC. The Pro version of the Mirus took a while to get used to, but it's a keeper.

NAKA I also have the Teac PD 501-HR,which I mostly use for DSD playback,how does the DSD compare to cd playback on your CD 5X?I tried feeding the digital signal from the Teac(cd's) to my Hugo,then to the 272 versus the Teac digital out directly into the 272 and did not find much of a difference,so I pulled the Hugo out of the chain completely.I may re-visit this again,but the 272 has a really good dac,according to my ears,I now use the Hugo just for headphones.I am also thinking of trying a Micro-Rendu into the Hugo,then feed the 272,but I don't have the Micro Rendu yet.

naka posted:

: How many of you feel that the dac that you are using surpasses the performance of your Naim cd player?

 

For me that question misses the point. Quality DACs often have the ability to surpass CDP DACs because they can play different sample rates and even different encoding formats such as DSD. However if you treat the CDP (and its DSP/DAC) as a source along side your quality DAC, phono and tuner, you can enjoy the CDP for what is. For example I really enjoy playing heavy blues through my CDX2. Sure the Hugo plays it more accurately, with more resolution etc, but for that sort of music often the CDx2 can render it more enjoyably  - especially when listening with friends and a few beers. Play some Sandy Denny,  Beethoven symphonic music, Chopin piano music or DJ Krush then the Hugo wins out... I choose the source to match the genre and mood.

I was a very happy Hugo user. Now I am an even happier Dave user.

Hugo was great, very 'musical' (some people say analogue-like), and I would be happy with it now, but I heard Dave and had the opportunity to buy - and it is in another league, making me just want to play music, sneaking a listen whenever I have time to squeeze in an album, or sometimes less. As I stated on another thread, its a bit like having a mistress secreted in the house...!

I use a Schiit Yggdrasil with my system .. the only drawback with it that I've experienced is that it's silver and not black.  The company will tell you they produce black ones every so often.  You can't order a black one mind you, you have to keep looking at the order page on their web site and wait for a black one to be listed.  

It feels almost like the black ones get produced as some sort of genetic defect ..

GraemeH posted:

Chord Hugo TT direct to 250DR.

G

Graemeh,

how do you find the Hugo directly into the 250Dr compared to using a pre-amp? 

Im also very interested in your thought re sound quality at lower volumes when compared to using a pre-amp  

many thanks in advance

David

 

 

Elevensheep posted:
GraemeH posted:

Chord Hugo TT direct to 250DR.

G

Graemeh,

how do you find the Hugo directly into the 250Dr compared to using a pre-amp? 

Im also very interested in your thought re sound quality at lower volumes when compared to using a pre-amp  

many thanks in advance

David

 

 

I'm not Graemeh :-) but I did the same- DAC with volume control direct connect to a 250DR. For me, it sounds much more open with an incredible good sound stage. Bass is tighter, more swing without any pressure in the mids.  I came from NAC 282 and later on 252, before that Linn Klimax pre. You should give this set-up a try imho....

David I have been told it is impressively and surprisingly good and this is from a Naim dealer  - and if I did not want any analogue inputs I would be seriously considering it. The point of note is that Naim amps can be a little fussy on what drives them - not all non Naim preamps are necessarily well suited - but the Hugo / TT preamp  seem to work very well with Naim amps - well apparently at least the 250DR and 300DR

S

Elevensheep posted:
GraemeH posted:

Chord Hugo TT direct to 250DR.

G

Graemeh,

how do you find the Hugo directly into the 250Dr compared to using a pre-amp? 

Im also very interested in your thought re sound quality at lower volumes when compared to using a pre-amp  

many thanks in advance

David

 

 

Hi David

It's excellent - Very transparent and rhythmic at all volumes.

I do use Chord Signature TA 2RCA-XLR which is not exactly cheap mind. I couldn't comment on other configurations.

G

GraemeH posted:
Elevensheep posted:
GraemeH posted:

Chord Hugo TT direct to 250DR.

G

Graemeh,

how do you find the Hugo directly into the 250Dr compared to using a pre-amp? 

Im also very interested in your thought re sound quality at lower volumes when compared to using a pre-amp  

many thanks in advance

David

 

 

Hi David

It's excellent - Very transparent and rhythmic at all volumes.

I do use Chord Signature TA 2RCA-XLR which is not exactly cheap mind. I couldn't comment on other configurations.

G

Graeme / Simon / T38

Thanks so much for your replies  

Im very interested in trying the Hugo TT into NAP250DR set up especially as cost of the TT is actually less than a 282, and it appears from what I read the sound quality is at least comparable in skipping the pre-amp  

If connecting directly to a power amp, does the TT have a programmable default start up volume setting (couldn't find it in the manual)? If this is not programable, how loud is the TT's default volume from start up when connected directly into a power amp in your experience?

I'm concerned that the default start up volume may be too loud, as wife and kids would also use this set up and they may forget to turn down TT's sound volume immediately after start up, which may result in shock and damage to speakers  

Thanks again

David

 

 

 

 

Happy Chord TT user: CORE/userve -> HugoTT -> 272 -> 250DR

A while back, I found the 2Qute more natural than the NDS (I did blind listening tests!), thus moved to 272 and later Hugo TT.

Minor woes: With the Core, Internet radio will no longer be possible. Also, I wonder when I'll need to have the batteries replaced on the TT. And I wish there was an external 'DAC loop' on the 272. As it happens, the new unitis have no digital output (except Core), thus making external DACs more difficult.

Elevensheep posted:
GraemeH posted:
Elevensheep posted:
GraemeH posted:

Chord Hugo TT direct to 250DR.

G

Graemeh,

how do you find the Hugo directly into the 250Dr compared to using a pre-amp? 

Im also very interested in your thought re sound quality at lower volumes when compared to using a pre-amp  

many thanks in advance

David

 

 

Hi David

It's excellent - Very transparent and rhythmic at all volumes.

I do use Chord Signature TA 2RCA-XLR which is not exactly cheap mind. I couldn't comment on other configurations.

G

Graeme / Simon / T38

Thanks so much for your replies  

Im very interested in trying the Hugo TT into NAP250DR set up especially as cost of the TT is actually less than a 282, and it appears from what I read the sound quality is at least comparable in skipping the pre-amp  

If connecting directly to a power amp, does the TT have a programmable default start up volume setting (couldn't find it in the manual)? If this is not programable, how loud is the TT's default volume from start up when connected directly into a power amp in your experience?

I'm concerned that the default start up volume may be too loud, as wife and kids would also use this set up and they may forget to turn down TT's sound volume immediately after start up, which may result in shock and damage to speakers  

Thanks again

David

 

 

 

 

TT does not remember the previous volume setting. It starts up on either red or green which for my ATC scm40a active speakers is loudish but not loud enough to cause any problems. It's about as loud as I ever listen, I never go past green.

Halloween Man posted:
Elevensheep posted:
GraemeH posted:
Elevensheep posted:
GraemeH posted:

Chord Hugo TT direct to 250DR.

G

Graemeh,

how do you find the Hugo directly into the 250Dr compared to using a pre-amp? 

Im also very interested in your thought re sound quality at lower volumes when compared to using a pre-amp  

many thanks in advance

David

 

 

Hi David

It's excellent - Very transparent and rhythmic at all volumes.

I do use Chord Signature TA 2RCA-XLR which is not exactly cheap mind. I couldn't comment on other configurations.

G

Graeme / Simon / T38

Thanks so much for your replies  

Im very interested in trying the Hugo TT into NAP250DR set up especially as cost of the TT is actually less than a 282, and it appears from what I read the sound quality is at least comparable in skipping the pre-amp  

If connecting directly to a power amp, does the TT have a programmable default start up volume setting (couldn't find it in the manual)? If this is not programable, how loud is the TT's default volume from start up when connected directly into a power amp in your experience?

I'm concerned that the default start up volume may be too loud, as wife and kids would also use this set up and they may forget to turn down TT's sound volume immediately after start up, which may result in shock and damage to speakers  

Thanks again

David

 

 

 

 

TT does not remember the previous volume setting. It starts up on either red or green which for my ATC scm40a active speakers is loudish but not loud enough to cause any problems. It's about as loud as I ever listen, I never go past green.

thank you, very helpful feedback

Hugo TT and Nap250 DR seems to be A fascinating combo, quite expensive though.

There are some second hand 250's (non DR) around. How would TT sound with these?

Would it beat Hugo plus SN2 which is my current setup? I use my SN2's pre amp due to its handy and family friendly volume control.

 

Zachris posted:

Hugo TT and Nap250 DR seems to be A fascinating combo, quite expensive though.

There are some second hand 250's (non DR) around. How would TT sound with these?

Would it beat Hugo plus SN2 which is my current setup? I use my SN2's pre amp due to its handy and family friendly volume control.

 

Moving from an NDX SN2 (+ various add-ons including Hugo & 2Qute) to NDX 282/SCAP/nDac/XPS/250.2 to NDX/TT/250DR I can definately say I should have missed out the middle stage. The TT direct through 250DR mainlines the music direct to the brain.

All imho of course.

G

Zachris posted:

Hugo TT and Nap250 DR seems to be A fascinating combo, quite expensive though.

There are some second hand 250's (non DR) around. How would TT sound with these?

Would it beat Hugo plus SN2 which is my current setup? I use my SN2's pre amp due to its handy and family friendly volume control.

 

The cost has to be considered in conjunction with quality, and some people may feel the improvement over Hugo isn't worth the extra (which also depends on rest of system). However if you only have digital sources and so don't need to have a preamp, TT  suddenly seems very reasonably priced.

Simon-in-Suffolk posted:

Elevensheep (David) on my standard Hugo, there is no line out level memory.. however  I leave it powered on, and it has a battery to act like a UPS if there is a power cut etc... and I then feed into my Naim NAC, a 252DR

The Hugo manual says  that when you switch to line level the default is light blue (I don't know if that is what others call turquoise), and by implication will come back on again at that same level if switched off - so, unless the manual is wrong, if that is the desired setting and you don't adjust it then you can switch off and on again without having to reset anything. 

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