Chord Hugo 2

Discussion in 'Digital: DACs, USB converters, decrapifiers' started by Cellist88, Jan 5, 2017.

  1. drgumbybrain

    drgumbybrain Science Nut

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    Even Chord Hugo2 thread in Head Fi turn to be a place for sound disappointment, failure units reports and a lot of emotional speech about fans losing their faith in chord. The outmost WHATTHEFUCK moment, was when rob watts appeared and insinuated that " dark forces" were infiltrated in the thread trying to burn chord pristine reputation. He also said that NO ONE in the world could do such perfects Dacs, as Chord.
    Man, this is getting better than Game of Thrones!!!
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2017
  2. purr1n

    purr1n Desire for betterer is endless.

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    Some thoughts:
    1. It was gracious of @k4rstar to use the Eitr and give the Hugo 2 as much an advantage as possible. In all likelihood, something like an Eitr wouldn't be used. Wrong use case for portable gear.
    2. "Dark forces": bhwhaha hahahahahagag agaghahahahaha. Seriously? Do these dark forces include my my ability to omit Force Noise on AC lines to screw up JA's 24-bit -90db measurements of the DAVE so badly that JA couldn't / wouldn't publish them?
    3. For better or worse, this site does encourage some people on HF to be more critical in their assessment of gear.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2017
  3. purr1n

    purr1n Desire for betterer is endless.

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    Definitely true. I call it the Samsung LED TV effect at Best Buy.

    There is also the contrasting situation. I remember someone on HF a while back defending the Yggdrasil saying the background was not gray, but rather the Yggdrasil was so resolving that we were not getting the "blackgrounds" that we were used to.

    I think this is only partially correct. A tweak to the Yggdrasil outputs (ripping out and jumpering a few parts) or taking directly from the chip output reveals that a blacker background and clarity is possible.

    It's good to know that people understand or are trying to understand my terminology and efforts to communicate sound phenomenon. Hasn't been an easy thing to do.
     
  4. TwoEars

    TwoEars Friend

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    All the Chord DAC's are programmed FPGA DAC's with software written inside them on how the decode the signal. If you don't like one of their models you're unlikely to enjoy any of the others. The more expensive models of course have better power supplies and output stages, but the basic principle is very much the same across the range.
     
  5. purr1n

    purr1n Desire for betterer is endless.

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    The FPGAs are for the digital filter / upsampling using the 100000000 taps. After that, there are delta sigma D to A converters, implemented in discrete parts.

    This is according to CHORD block diagrams. Hard to say. Lots of fluffery (proprietary terminology) and opaqueness from CHORD marketing materials and designers. It's like they want to keep the audiophools fooled and smarter people guessing.

    Schiit does this too to a lesser extent, but at least they are self deprecating with stuff like mega-combo-burrito-filter.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2017
  6. Mshenay

    Mshenay Barred from loaner program. DON'T SEND ME GEAR.

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    Nice thank you for the impressions, I too agree the Hugo 2 is soft and compressed

    However the Geek Out v2+ balanced out regardless of filter while maybe having a wider sound stage, doesn't resolve nearly as well as the Hugo 2. So let's get that straight, with my un-biased ear's and modest collection of gear it was obvious the Hugo 2 resolved more detail than the Geek Out v2+, in fact the Geek Out v2+ often simplified and exaggerated transients information in comparison... now HOW much better is an entirely different story. Is it worth $2000... most certianly not, a $400 Geek Out is about 95% of the Hugo 2 at 20% the cost!!! The problem is the Geek Out v2+ doesn't seem to be in production any more, and for that matter the $2300 Hugo 2 didn't impress me when compared to my HM901 PicoPOwer combo either... I spent half as much and got a slightly better sound sig [imo]

    Plus I wasn't a fan of the build quality either.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2017
  7. luximal

    luximal Made things right

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    I hadn't even bothered to try the usb on the hugo becuase if the hugo 2 sounded bad with the eitr, what's the point in making it sound worse?

    and yeah it's worse. Even more compressed than before, with the typical usb glare, and even more smeared sounding. I regret even bothering with installing the hugo 2 usb drivers.



    Agreed, I feel like while background detail can influence one's impressions on blackground initially,if you know that component well enough you should be able to tell the difference and quality of the background detail and the blackground itself. I do think you can definitely get a black background while having great micro detail as well.


    It's definitely hard to understand this stuff since it's so abstract, but hearing alot of gear and matching what you hear to a experienced listener's impressions helps.
     
  8. Lyander

    Lyander Official SBAF Equitable Empathizer

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    Call me a heathen, but I actually love the Chord aesthetic; their stuff looks ballsy (HAH) as f**k when compared to all the sleek black boxes you usually see other people make, kinda like post-modern tubes for people who grew up around hippies that loved Buck Rogers.

    Had a Mojo for a few months, and got to play with Hugo 1 extensively. Suffice to say I actually preferred my iDSD combo thingy to the both of them, though in the case of it v. Mojo it was just a matter of the iFi having bigger headroom. I do admit I was kinda excited to play with the Hugo 2, but this thread killed off all enthusiasm, lol.

    Incidentally, the whole "blackground" thing was really very well explained. @Marvey, you should seriously publish an ebook or something, your writing helps people understand more difficult concepts with relative ease. Think KISS should be in the title somewhere.

    (Another way of looking at it: bas reliefs vs. high reliefs: Blacker background, sure, but at the expense of less prominent detail, i.e. what can be seen with more resolving gear that lets you view the sculpture from other angles than head-on.)
     
  9. purr1n

    purr1n Desire for betterer is endless.

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    GOV2'a greatest strength has always been with its microdynamics. Its near instantaneous ability to change volume and render every small gradation of volume. How it captures the ebb and flow of dynamics. It's the primary factor that makes it musically engaging.

    Only the FRM filter is listenable to me. Warm full-bodied sound with little digital nasties, although FRM does smooth things over a bit.

    Balanced out from GOV2 is a must. LH Labs should have also sold adapters, but those guys love shooting themselves in the foot. Or head for that matter.
     
  10. TwoEars

    TwoEars Friend

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    Yeah.. Chord is not very clear on this and they don't have D/A converters in the traditional sense, certainly no regular D/A chip. They have the programmed FPGA and then they have an analogue output stage. Of course the output stage has to be Digital to Analogue since an FPGA is entirely digital, and of course the output stage has to be analogue because.... duh. But I personally strongly suspect that the "sonic qualities" of the Chord DAC's come from how the FPGA is set up. When I had the Chord Mojo there were some subtle but weird shit that it did that no output stage should ever be the cause of.
     
  11. purr1n

    purr1n Desire for betterer is endless.

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    I figure it's power supply since DAVE doesn't have any of that weird prickly high end of the Hugo TT, Hugo, Mojo.

    P.S. Read up on the CHORD PowerPoint presentations.
     
  12. TwoEars

    TwoEars Friend

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    Could be. The Mojo I thought sounded very artificial after prolonged listening, it had a little bit of a wow effect and nice midrange glow but then it got irritating. And I've never heard the DAVE because.... umh.... I don't like the color..

    But you're saying the DAVE is alright then? Maybe not worth the money compared to an Yggdrasil but not a bad DAC in objective terms?
     
  13. Mshenay

    Mshenay Barred from loaner program. DON'T SEND ME GEAR.

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    I'm with you there! I enjoyed the GOv2+ balanced output enough that I finally asked @Bill-P to build me a balanced 3.5mm Cable for our ES10 after he swore I'd never need it!

    Back to the Hugo 2 and the Blackground concept, I'd like to think I can grasp that. My biggest gripe with the Hugo 2 was it's lack of micro dynamics, especially compared to everything else I own. While it was very black with a lot of micro detail the music was too intimate, soft and often un-engaging, Hotel California via the Hell Freeze's over album has this palpable tension in that intro, when the second guitar comes in and the crowd get's louder. It builds and builds and builds till finally the crowd goes nuts just before quieting down, the Hugo 2 didn't capture that tension... I felt it did a poor job rendering both the sound of the crowd and the small gradual increase in volume of the guitar's them selvs....

    How do you improve on the power supply of something like the Hugo 2, and what aspects of the power supply might be holding it back
     
  14. Lyander

    Lyander Official SBAF Equitable Empathizer

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    Kinda veering off-topic but yeah, it'd make for an interesting read. Sure there're lots of references on this forum, but packaging it up all nicely might make for good fun, if a PITA for whomever's actually writing it XD
     
  15. Galm

    Galm Still looking for Little Red Riding Hood

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    @luximal what headphones were you using to listen to Hugo 2 with? Did you try it with iems and its in built amp? Or more flagship over ears and speakers?

    @TwoEars Generally DAVE is regarded as an excellent dac. Better than Yggdrasil. The big BUT is that that is not including price. It's one of like 2 dacs that have a + sign on Torqs dac shootout. But Torq wouldn't buy one because of the price.

    iirc correctly though, isn't your stance on Chord still that they are not bad sounding products but overpriced? Mojo has audible flaws, but was still a significant upgrade over my Oppo HA-2 and was actually usable in a pocket unlike the Black Label. I'm only saying this because I think sometimes people's opinions steam roll into just bludgeoning products that have problems but aren't like literal garbage.

    My needs have changed, and I had been looking for a device that'll power purely iems but less emphasis on in the pocket, more on desk. I've unfortunately hated all the daps I've tried except the Sonys, but no Tidal streaming is a deal breaker and I gotta be honest I hate the Android OS implementations on the AKGs. Tidal works horribly Torq is right... So I'm now down to Hugo 2... I'm not a Chord fan in that I like the company, but I don't see many other options except the GOv2+. I also have no delusions of it beating desktop dacs in its price range.

    I wasn't going to post anything here until my Hugo 2 arrived, but now that I'm posting anyway I might as well say that I'm super excited that I'm going to pick up a Hugo 2 at an actual audio store now. My contact there encouraged me to bring my own gear to compare with some of the stuff there. So I'm going to be able to compare my Yggdrasil Gen 5 with Hugo 2 and Dave directly in a quiet room with my Ragnarok... I can't remember the last time I was so excited for a trip to a store haha. There will also be the Questyle Gold Reference System and some other gear from Medusa, Cavalli etc... If there is anything I should be listening for / general advice or recommendations of headphones to try (most things non electro stat or LCD-4 will be there) I'm all ears. (pm me that kinda stuff)
     
  16. luximal

    luximal Made things right

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    I used the he6 plus the McIntosh mc2505, HD 650 and a few cheapos like the koss Porta pro and ksc75.
     
  17. HitmanFluffy

    HitmanFluffy Hoping to see real genitals someday!

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    You still gave it 5 stars on HF, praising its "soft, natural sound".
    [​IMG]
    https://www.head-fi.org/showcase/chord-hugo-2.22209/reviews#review-19082
     
  18. Mshenay

    Mshenay Barred from loaner program. DON'T SEND ME GEAR.

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    Yea I did, because for some people a soft sound is what they want. Head fi is a place for all people an I know how to separate my preference from a products performance but hey thanks for quoting my review out of context,
     
  19. Grahad2

    Grahad2 Red eyes from too much anime

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    You understand that "soft sound" and "soft natural sound" are two very different things?
     
  20. Mshenay

    Mshenay Barred from loaner program. DON'T SEND ME GEAR.

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    well Natural is what we aim for it's the entire purpose of fidelity, I felt the tone or frequency response of the Hugo 2 was natural, how ever the presentation was softer than reality, So I chose to modify natural with soft, but again the "pros" are just buzz words, the substance is in the review. I hope that people how see that pro take the time to read the specifics, not just harp on the specific parts that are useful for what ever stance they have. But what I want, and what people do are two different things,

    Though hopefully, I get to hear some truly "natural" gear as my reference points aren't the best. That's really why I'm here, and thank you for the criticism @Grahad2, I do need to make my wording more transparent and thank you @HitmanFluffy I had 4 stars originally, but I felt I was being overly negative. Should have stuck with my gut, though I miss those half stars!
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2017

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