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before you buy a hugo… read this.


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One of the reasons I bought a Hugo was because it was so consistently compared (and largely favourably) with much more expensive models in various reviews.

 

from Chord's pricing to date, I imagine that this "desktop" version is likely to retail at between 2 and 4 times the cost of the current Hugo, all the more reason not to wait..

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One of the reasons I bought a Hugo was because it was so consistently compared (and largely favourably) with much more expensive models in various reviews.

 

from Chord's pricing to date, I imagine that this "desktop" version is likely to retail at between 2 and 4 times the cost of the current Hugo, all the more reason not to wait..

 

imo, hugo = sounds great + fun portable factor = outstanding value-for-money

but, in the rep referenced, John Franks announced the “Hugo TT” (as in 'table-top”), to be launched tomorrow at CES 2015.

what he said TT brings to the table =

1) ‘full size’ inputs - no more issues with fat cables/plugs

2) larger board + added chip

3) mini display - for those who dislike the colour coding system

4) higher batt capacity

5) remote

interesting to note =

6) no mention of this being successor to qbd76

7) no mention of better sound, more ‘taps’, etc

8) no firm confirmation of additional inputs, although was a mention of XLR

for me, added attributes which are of interest = 5) remote + c) add inputs (if any). would allow more convenient use of TT as pre-amp alternative.

and yes, we can expect:

a) reports of TT sounding different/better.

b) debates on 2x better for 2x price?

c) reiterations that it is "not as good as higher-end dacs" that cost more

d) proclamations that it (still) decimates DSD (unless the bigger casing also houses a secret iFi iDSD Nano inside)

cheers.

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I mention both new dacs in another thread. My biggest interest is to understand how much better a $4500 TT will be over a $1599 2Qute with a $400 linear 12v ps. And whther current Qute owners will have an upgrade path (although at msrp of $1599 there is likely little room for real upgrade credits at the end of the day...dunno). I will meet with them tmrw.

 

And yes, a new QBD announcement is likely coming this week, too (Rob has intimated on a few forums that this dac will have the next gen of FPGA work done in it). I would expect an $8k entry point too, as other QBD's have been. Stay tuned.

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I mention both new dacs in another thread. My biggest interest is to understand how much better a $4500 TT will be over a $1599 2Qute with a $400 linear 12v ps. And whther current Qute owners will have an upgrade path (although at msrp of $1599 there is likely little room for real upgrade credits at the end of the day...dunno). I will meet with them tmrw.

 

ted_b,

 

if/when you get a hold of the TT for review, pls post a comparo vs Hugo. good to know the added features, better to know, iyo, what audible benefits super caps + bigger board + upgraded PS bring to the table.

 

And yes, a new QBD announcement is likely coming this week, too (Rob has intimated on a few forums that this dac will have the next gen of FPGA work done in it). I would expect an $8k entry point too, as other QBD's have been. Stay tuned.

 

slick product line-up compartmentalisation/marketing by chord-e: hugo = portable, TT = desktop, QBD successor = highest-end ref.

 

to me, $8k entry point makes QBD 'aspirational', while $4.5k TT is 'ticklish' or 'itchy-fying' ...and, as such, more 'dangerous'.

 

pls post on your findings.

 

tia.

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Doesn't seem to be any galvanic isolation on the Hugo TT (though maybe I'm wrong). If so, it's a great pity imo - will people still have to use an Olimex USB isolator, as Rob Watts does with his Hugo, and remove other cables to get the best SQ from redbook? Kinda messy, especially considering that it's more than doubled in price.

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I mention both new dacs in another thread. My biggest interest is to understand how much better a $4500 TT will be over a $1599 2Qute with a $400 linear 12v ps. And whther current Qute owners will have an upgrade path (although at msrp of $1599 there is likely little room for real upgrade credits at the end of the day...dunno). I will meet with them tmrw.

 

And yes, a new QBD announcement is likely coming this week, too (Rob has intimated on a few forums that this dac will have the next gen of FPGA work done in it). I would expect an $8k entry point too, as other QBD's have been. Stay tuned.

 

TT has preamp, remote control, headamp and headphone outs, so brings more features to the table than 2Qute. however, with a SR3, I could see it losing a SQ contest to the 2Qute!

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Interestingly, though there is no mention of galvanically isolated USB on the TT, according to this the much cheaper 2 qute will have galvanically isolated CLASS 2 USB. It says of the 2 qute

 

"The device features a Class 2 USB input which, because of the 2Qute’s home-system orientation compared to Hugo’s more mobile aspirations, has been galvanically isolated for greater sonic performance. This has been achieved using a novel technique which allows for very high data rates of up to 384kHz; the input is driverless on Apple and Android devices, with (ASIO included) drivers for Windows devices"

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Interestingly, though there is no mention of galvanically isolated USB on the TT, according to this the much cheaper 2 qute will have galvanically isolated CLASS 2 USB. It says of the 2 qute

 

"The device features a Class 2 USB input which, because of the 2Qute’s home-system orientation compared to Hugo’s more mobile aspirations, has been galvanically isolated for greater sonic performance. This has been achieved using a novel technique which allows for very high data rates of up to 384kHz; the input is driverless on Apple and Android devices, with (ASIO included) drivers for Windows devices"

 

There is galvanic isolation which is also isochronous, so jitter is completely eliminated as the timing now comes from the FPGA

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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 implementations

* 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 litttle 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.

 

Two announcements i am allowed to make:

1) Chord will have a Qute replacement/upgrade program for the 2Qute, but my feeling is that, like many upgrade programs, the Qute owner may rather find better dollars doing a sell, rebuy. Plus then one doesn't own a "hybrid" (new board, old case) a more difficult value prop for resale down the line.

2) Chord has moved the QBD announcement until the Munich Show, when they will be ready to deliver this new generation of Rob's WTA filter technology.

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Thanks for your update, Ted.

I like the sound of this: "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"

No extra outlay for a Linear PS is a bonus.

I see you can already buy these (2Qute) online from Custom Cable. Can't wait for the reviews!

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Since the 2Qute does not have to perform any volume control, is it possible that it will not decimate DSD?

 

In reading how the original Hugo processes DSD, it seemed like the main reason it decimated DSD was due to the need for volume control. The 2Qute is the first "Hugo" based DAC that does not perform volume control, so hopefully it handles DSD differently. I don't believe the current Qute (HD and EX) DACs decimate DSD.

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Does the 2Qute use the same, 12V PSU as the Qute EX ? I'm asking, since I have the Qute EX in my desktop system with 12V Teddy Pardo LPSU I would like to keep.

Adam

 

PC: Hot rodded CAPS v4 Pipeline: Teradak ATX linear PSU, MojoAudio super regulator, Pink Faun Ultra OCXO USB card

Digital: Lampizator Pacific DAC

Amp: Dan D'Agostino Momentum Stereo

Speakers: Magcio M3

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Since the 2Qute does not have to perform any volume control, is it possible that it will not decimate DSD?

 

In reading how the original Hugo processes DSD, it seemed like the main reason it decimated DSD was due to the need for volume control. The 2Qute is the first "Hugo" based DAC that does not perform volume control, so hopefully it handles DSD differently. I don't believe the current Qute (HD and EX) DACs decimate DSD.

 

It definitely will, all input is upsampled to mega high rate PCM on the Hugo and this is the same board. The main reason it was done like this is that Rob Watts thought it sounded beter and that no native rate DSD processing can sound better. He said so himself at headfi.

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