Chord Hugo TT2 dac and Hugo M Scaler

caesar

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All these names are still very much "in flux", so you can call it server, streamer, whatever.
Innuos will replace everything, and work as a complete digital transport, outputting USB or Ethernet.
No extra box needed for streaming Tidal/Qobuz.
I do agree some care will be required on the network itself, a good switch with LPS, etc.

cheers,
Alex
Thanks. Whatever they are doing is outstanding. The founder did a comparo between the "basic" model and the Statement at Axpona. The "basic" model was awesome on its own - just great sound. Then he plugged in the Statement, and it was WOW!!! A really genuine guy, on top of all.

How are you using it with MSB? Don't you have the MSB ethernet renderer module also? Thanks
 

Audiophile Bill

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Is this really the internals of the Innuos Statement?

C29D0D84-334C-4054-A958-D92736067596.jpeg
76CE591C-E17D-4F4A-9DD7-44DC9676EF67.jpeg
 

asiufy

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Thanks. Whatever they are doing is outstanding. The founder did a comparo between the "basic" model and the Statement at Axpona. The "basic" model was awesome on its own - just great sound. Then he plugged in the Statement, and it was WOW!!! A really genuine guy, on top of all.

How are you using it with MSB? Don't you have the MSB ethernet renderer module also? Thanks

Yes, so far we've preferred the USB over the USB input, and since the Innuos outputs both, it's easy to compare on the MSB, as long as you have both modules in, of course. USB doesn't sound bad, but the Ethernet/Renderer is just cleaner and smoother overall.
 

adyc

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I had the DAVE on a day long demo and although good, was behind the Kassandra by some margin in terms of realism and removing digital 'haze'

It shows the choices of DAC is really personal. I had Kassandra in my system for a few months. It is way behind DAVE. Careful audition in your own system is definitely the way to go.
 

the sound of Tao

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Graham, it is absolutely the official company line, if two in depth reviews are to be believed. Warranty voided if aftermkt LPS spikes damage. Rob the designer is bullish his stock SMPSs can't be meaningfully impvd upon.

Tbh if I go down the Chord route, I'm not going to test this out. And I'll be v happy to start w TT2 dac alone and progress onto using it w the M Scaler

For me, choice of dac will be whether Chord w it's proprietary FGPA can do the detail/natural warmth balance, or whether a Ladder dac like Holo Springs, Lab12 or Aqua La Voce, achieves this better. I am very sensitive to any digital that is leading edge/digital sheen type presentation, and my Eera cdp is a great data point, as is my hugely non euphonic, fast and precise tt front end.
I’m really looking forward to hearing what you find on this set of auditions Marc.

Even just that you are using Innuos rather than Sotm will probably make differences in outcomes but still the data points are always interesting.

It’s hard to get a balance in short auditions in unfamiliar systems between doing research before hand to not come from completely in the dark to having thought too much and coloured the outcome with expectations.

One thing I’d never suggest is any kind of blind audition.

A mate I know a few years back did some major changes to his system and wanted me to come and hear. I turned up with a bottle of really good riesling because his wife had cooked a beautiful whole steamed fish with ginger (not relevant to the story, just a nice memory :) ) and we ate and laughed and had a fantastic lunch.

Then I went down towards the downstairs listening room where he had his Maggie 20.7s and my mate said he wanted to try it with me blindfolded so I wouldn’t react to the sound in the way I guessed he must have expected me to react.

So blindfolded I was. First thought I had, if he was a serial killer then I’m f$:*ed.... what if I take off my blindfold and he is doing a routine up on strippers pole (sorry Shakti, just couldn’t resist)... or what if he’s done a really scary upgrade, must be not a good one from what he knows might be my expectations.

Suddenly I had all sorts of horror cross my mind. Was he going to play me something on a class d amp. Shivers Marc literally ran down my spine.

The (in reality) slight anxiety caused by my being blindfolded actually didn’t open my mind to anything but instead was just unsettling enough to set the adrenals ever so slightly on edge which probably closed down any opportunity for any dopamine release so my usual music pleasure centre was completely closed down making it just more difficult for me to hear with any confidence.

In the end after saying how much I enjoyed the changes and how his system was sounding I was released from blindfold and realised that he now had a marvellously tasty valve preamp and two new hybrid (but not class d amps) in place driving his 20.7s better than ever.

Ps and am still here so the serial killer theory at least is quietly put to rest.

Is this story helpful for you... well no I just enjoyed reliving one of the many wonderful and weird things committed audiophiles will do in preparation for an audition. Antissipaastion is great... it is definitely good to go into an audition a little blind but not completely so you probably have now a good foundation to start from. So just a thought, I’d doubt that they’ll audition the TT2 on headphones since your using it as a dac but it does have one of the very best headphone amps available and while the TT2 isn’t portable it is enough so that if you go on holidays you can easily take some really high end music making with you... just another possible small factor to take into account in your decision making.

Am looking forward to your audition journey.
 
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adyc

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Graham, it is absolutely the official company line, if two in depth reviews are to be believed. Warranty voided if aftermkt LPS spikes damage. Rob the designer is bullish his stock SMPSs can't be meaningfully impvd upon.

Tbh if I go down the Chord route, I'm not going to test this out. And I'll be v happy to start w TT2 dac alone and progress onto using it w the M Scaler

For me, choice of dac will be whether Chord w it's proprietary FGPA can do the detail/natural warmth balance, or whether a Ladder dac like Holo Springs, Lab12 or Aqua La Voce, achieves this better. I am very sensitive to any digital that is leading edge/digital sheen type presentation, and my Eera cdp is a great data point, as is my hugely non euphonic, fast and precise tt front end.

I use after market LPS for HMS. So far there is no issue. But I really think power supply comes with Chord DAC is really fine.

To me, DAVE has thunderous bass, explosive dynamics, accurate timbre and deep soundstage. However, I would definitely not use warmth to describe Chord DAC. It would not smooth out the edges for every music you feed them. It may not be your taste.

Streaming is a rabbit hole. It can easily go above budget. If you really just use it for streaming, you should also consider LUMIN. It is a one box solution supporting Tidal and Qobuz.
 
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the sound of Tao

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Thanks adyc, great to know and hear. I also think the stock supply is quite good but definitely even it can be improved if you go through and upgrade the wire and connectors. Probably may stay underground about any changes over to a linear psu on the mscaler (just in case) given the warranty issues at any rate.

I’d imagine that the smps (which doesn’t seem significantly noisy) is also then feeding the supercapacitors in the TT2 could make the stock Chord 15v smps perhaps even less of an issue for it.
 

spiritofmusic

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Al M.

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It shows the choices of DAC is really personal. I had Kassandra in my system for a few months. It is way behind DAVE. Careful audition in your own system is definitely the way to go.

Interesting. In which ways is it behind DAVE in your judgement?
 

spiritofmusic

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Adyc, any thoughts as to the verdict of a review which despite praising the Dave as having greater detail resolution than the TT2, preferred the TT2 for greater texture and tonality.

And concluded TT2 plus M Scaler definitely surpasses Dave.
 

adyc

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I don’t have experience on TT2. But I agree TT2 + HMS is better than DAVE. Since you have a budget on digital, I would suggest you take DAVE off your list. HMS is adding something that DAVE cannot provide.
 
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spiritofmusic

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Adyc, the ability to upgrade from TT2 to TT2 plus MScaler appeals to me, caveated obv on me liking the Chord signature.

Esp if that combination exceeds the top dac on it's own. That's win/win in lots of ways.
 

adyc

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Good luck on your search. Best to borrow a Chord DAC in your system. Warmth is never a word I would use to describe Chord DAC. But neither the word bright I describe Chord DAC as well.
 
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the sound of Tao

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One of the guys over here also sold his dave/blu2 combo and bought a TT2/hms.

He primarily listens to the TT2 as a dac rather than as a headphone unit.

Initially he had concerns after the swap not about the TT2 but rather the sum influence of the hms itself.

The TT2 he preferred over the Dave because he felt that the TT2 was richer and more organic even if not ultimately as resolved (am paraphrasing here so hope that was it for him). I should add that many dave owners don’t agree with the idea that TT2 can be a better choice so it comes down to apples and oranges and most Dave owners prefer the Dave’s neutrality and resolution.

Wrt his initial concerns about hms it ultimately came back to issues that he also found with the stock digital bnc cables. After changing the digital cables he also fully signed on to the consensus that the m scaler was indeed the best thing since sliced bread. I paraphrase again.
 
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Al M.

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thunderous bass, explosive dynamics, accurate timbre and deep soundstage. These attributes I rate Dave highly.

Thanks. Wow, now I am really astonished. From the reviews I read, bass, dynamics and tone are supposed to be areas where the Kassandra excels.
 

adyc

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Kassandra is very good in these areas as well. DAVE + HMS is just better in MY system. I emphasis my statement is not absolute or universal.
 

Al M.

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The TT2 he preferred over the Dave because he felt that the TT2 was richer and more organic even if not ultimately as resolved (am paraphrasing here so hope that was it for him). I should add that many dave owners don’t agree with the idea that TT2 can be a better choice so it comes down to apples and oranges and most Dave owners prefer the Dave’s neutrality and resolution.

This reminds me of the Schiit Yggdrasil vs. Gungnir Multibit debate. Neutrality and resolution vs. "richer" sound.

Wrt his initial concerns about hms it ultimately came back to issues that he also found with the stock digital bnc cables. After changing the digital cables he also fully signed on to the consensus that the m scaler was indeed the best thing since sliced bread. I paraphrase again.

Digital cables are extremely important. My MIT AES/EBU cable from CD transport to DAC is more expensive than my Simaudio Moon CD transport and almost as expensive as my Yggdrasil DAC. It is necessary to reveal to the fullest the astounding qualities of these components. With a cable of lesser quality you just don't realize the full potential.
 
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Al M.

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Kassandra is very good in these areas as well. DAVE + HMS is just better in MY system. I emphasis my statement is not absolute or universal.

Thanks. How would you rate detail resolution on the Kassandra?
 

the sound of Tao

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This reminds me of the Schiit Yggdrasil vs. Gungnir Multibit debate.



Digital cables are extremely important. My MIT AES/EBU cable from CD transport is more expensive than my Simaudio Moon CD transport and almost as expensive as my Yggdrasil DAC. It is necessary to reveal to the fullest the astounding qualities of these components. With a cable of lesser quality you just don't realize the full potential.
Yes, Al so many times where I hear the comment digital sheen the very first place I think of is in the cables. That greyness and glare can so often be higher order noise coming in as RFI.

With digital I think taking a hazmat approach for all cabling and connectors is a wise one.
 

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