What Chord gear do you have?

Yes for music listening at home (where Roon is available) for late night listening sessions, but that’s not happen very often.

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anyone owning their amps? curious about experiences…

I’ve got a Chord Hugo TT2 and M Scaler combo fed by a Sonore Signature Rendu SE (Optical) that I use for headphones and a Chord Dave / Blu Mk II combo fed by a Lumin U1 in my main listening room. They are fabulous units and I let them do all the upsampling so I don’t need to load up Roon DSP although I use a HAF convolution filter for room correction in my main listening room. I have not found kit I like more. Used to have a Hugo (Gen 1) which I loved but when I bought a A&K SP1000 I adopted it as my primary travel DAP as it was just more convenient. Can’t go wrong with Chord IMHO. Would also love to try their amps but haven’t gotten around to them yet…


I use a HugoTT to Utopia for my critical listening.
Hugo 2 to EE Legend X in the bedroom and
Poly/Mojo or AK SP1000 to 64Audio Tia Fourte for travel.
The Hugo 2 has a bit more detail but not the smooth power and blackness of the TT.


I’m one of the weird few that agrees with Rob Watts… Perfect incoming RF isolation and jitter is bottom of the list of concerns with his DACs…


What is the box next to the Hugo2 in the photo?

Is that box a usb to optical converter? And wouldn’t that still be affected by RF noise when doing the conversion?

miniDSP USBStreamer


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No, there is only light coming out of it and going into Hugo2… there is no electrical connection between Hugo2 and converter…

Optical connections are immune to ground loop / ground current issues and RF interference.

Jitter isn’t a concern with any of Rob’s DACs, from Mojo to Dave.


I picked up an old Mac mini that could output 24/192 optical because I wanted to be able to do hi-res from Qobuz with optical connection knowing it was supposed to be the best.

However, I brought my original Hugo home from work that I used with an iPhone and an Audioquest Cinnamon usb cable. I was wanting to compare the two dacs but the optical cable wouldn’t fit the original Hugo. So I compared using the usb cable. That’s when I discovered I actually preferred the usb cable out of the Mac mini. I was kind of surprised.

With Rob’s DACs he will tell you it is technically the best because it offers perfect RF isolation from the source… even his ‘galvanically isolated’ USB DACs can’t match this perfect optical isolation (which use digital isolators). And jitter is not a concern with his DACs, from Mojo to Dave.

Technically better doesn’t always mean everyone will subjectively like it better.

There’s plenty of subjective personal taste / preferences in this hobby and that’s perfectly fine!

Rob will say it’s better to get the taste/flavour you want by changing headphones/speakers, not spicing things up with cables and upstream side. We’ve all been naughty with doing the latter, at some stage.

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Thank you!

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Jitter is an inherent issue with the SPDIF protocol, regardless of what RW claims. Besides, there is a transmitter of the SPDIF stream also, which normally is the one inducing the jitter. Maybe he has it controlled to an extent that it no longer is of any considerable relevance, but there will always be claims of the opposite,

Here is Hugo2, USB vs SPDIF… there are greater concerns than jitter to worry about. RF interference for example… Optical is immune to RFI… USB is not.

By the way, with the newer APx555 measuring system, the levels are even lower than show here, at the lowest limits of the machine and again USB and SPDIF measurements match… it’s the same from Mojo to Dave…

The RME ADI-2 is the same too on it’s TOSlink input, so it’s not just Rob that’s essentially solved jitter (to the point where there are other things more important).

But Optical SPDIF requires two extra format conversions, i’m not convinced they are flawless? (Unless there are true optical DACs that i am unaware of) These are also potential inducers of jitter as well as other forms of noise and distorsion.

The reason i’m sceptical is that optical is a compromise that offers the advantage you typed and i quoted, immunity to EMI/RFI. But it’s a compromise, just as everything else.

Whether we like it or not is a different story, and to me optical spdif is still the most mechanical and digital sounding interface, on all of my DACs, including the Chords. I will say though the the Hugo TT has the best optical input i’ve heard yet, compared to USB and electrical SPDIF.

Understood and I never used the word flawless. There are other things some of these designers prioritise in design now, over jitter, because TOSlink input jitter is at the limit of the measuring gear…

To put it in other words, if you talk to Rob Watts, the RME guys, Ted Smith about jitter with TOSlink input, they will respond with “what jitter?” and point to the measurements…

Rob told me once - change speakers and/or headphones to get the sound you prefer. Don’t tweak with the digital side. We’ve all been guilty of this.

Of course TOSlink has sample rate limitations. Some TOSlink sources can only output the TOSlink spec of 96kHz and at best PCM192kHz. So this rules out TOSlink for some people.

Anyway, just some fun friendly conversation here. Nothing too serious here, in the big picture of life ! :grin:


Exactly! I like the discussion too, you always learn something new or dislearn perhaps! :smiley:

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If only all MQA discussions could end on a good note like this :joy:


Sold my Qutest recently and I am waiting on my TT2 being delivered to the store for collection. A few months after, I plan to audition an M scaler with it.

Any feedback from the M scaler + TT2 owners would be great

The only feedback I can offer is one of envy. TT2 + MScaler = the stuff that dreams are made of :heart_eyes:

Alas my system wouldn’t be commensurate with such a level of D/A quality and I can’t moan at only having a Qutest :blush: