Chord Electronics Hugo 2 DAC Review & Comments

muljao

Well-known Member
I think it's getting even a more niche product, certainly the input cables required been not easily purchased. You mentioned that the 2 headphones 3.5mm allowed comparison on the original, could that still be done using the 3.5 and 6.3 if you use an adapter on one?

Your bonkers design comment is so true though
 

Ed Selley

AVF Reviewer
You could but the gain will differ slightly.
 

daveyu

Active Member
Just wondering what you think more expensive dacs such as Auralic Vega, MSB Analog, Chord Dave etc give you that the Hugo 2 does not
 

daveyu

Active Member

Collusion

Novice Member
In what way?
MSB has better resolution, more natural frequency balance ( Chord's products have a slight midrange boost ), better 3D soundstage and especially something I would describe as an analogue ambiance ( = zero digital sibilance ). However, Chord's presentation can be more colourful, but in my opinion it is a bit artificial even if it can blow some extra life into some recordings. If you are into this sort of things, you would probably want to audition Chord Dave.

Of course MSB is much more expensive and has less features than Hugo, which is still a fine dac at its price range. But I am confident when I am talking about MSB destroying Hugo, since IMHO it is better in all thinkable ways.

I just sold my Hugo and now I am pondering if I should go for Hugo 2 as I originally planned, or just take the plunge and buy MSB instead.
 

invisiblekid

Distinguished Member
I haven't heard the Hugo 2 yet, but MSB Analog DAC absolutely destroys the original Hugo.
That sentence reads like a You Tube video featuring a news channel talking about Trump! :p

Given this is audio we are talking, it's not a definitive, this sounds better than that at this price point at least. If something was much cheaper and compares to this then you have some leeway. The MSB is erm, not cheaper, or looking to be the same thing. They are very different products, that happen to be doing a similar job. I cant imagine carting around the MSB to connect with different systems.

However, the OP raised to point about the MSB etc compared against the Hugo and if the MSB handles music like you say it does, then I'd happily be interested in it. But ouch. Not at nearly 3 1/2 times the price. It looks better though. I am really not sold on the Hugos' looks. The Mojo is fine, but a "big version" of the Mojo (yes I know, the Mojo is actually a small version on the Hugo), for £1800 and it's glowing Skittles for buttons? Hmmm, but with some active speakers doing not much else but gathering dust, I'm kinds interested.
 

mainaman

Well-known Member
I haven't heard any of them yet,but if portability is not a priority,anyone shopping for a DAC in this price range should check out the offerings from Holo,Denafrips,Soekris,Schiit and others.
 

Canti1982

Active Member
Hopefully we will see a successor to the 2Qute based on the Hugo 2, I would not really need portability as I would only want it as a dac for my main system. Saying this I would probably spend all my money on vinyl and never afford one anyway :laugh:
 

daveyu

Active Member
Hugo and Hugo 2 certainly great dacs for the money, I have a Hugo but digital does not come close to my Vinyl setup, just wondering if spending more would be worth it and what it would bring, yes for the price the MSB Analog or similar would have to be spectacular to even consider it
 

Collusion

Novice Member
Hugo and Hugo 2 certainly great dacs for the money, I have a Hugo but digital does not come close to my Vinyl setup, just wondering if spending more would be worth it and what it would bring, yes for the price the MSB Analog or similar would have to be spectacular to even consider it
As a digital converter MSB is the closest thing to an actual LP player I have ever heard. It shares many traits with the 'LP signature sound' (if you can call something that) but it never sounds bloated nor is it prone to other unwanted characteristics of LPs.

Schiit Yggdrasil is based on similar conversion technology as MSB, but is much cheaper at ~2600 euros. I have not heard it yet, but it surely seems like an interesting product.
 

psikey

Distinguished Member
Should have one to try soon as part of the Head-fi UK Hugo 2 Tour. Will see if its 4x better than my £399 Mojo. I'm sure its going to be better but will it be worth spending 4x as much? Maybe not for just IEM use.

Will be testing purely with my Shure SE846's as not really a headphone person.
 

KDoggy

Novice Member
Should have one to try soon as part of the Head-fi UK Hugo 2 Tour. Will see if its 4x better than my £399 Mojo. I'm sure its going to be better but will it be worth spending 4x as much? Maybe not for just IEM use.

Will be testing purely with my Shure SE846's as not really a headphone person.
I don't think it quite works like that. The Dave would have to be 21 times as good as the Mojo ; )
 

psikey

Distinguished Member
I don't think it quite works like that. The Dave would have to be 21 times as good as the Mojo ; )
Exactly! Which is why I would never buy one. Even a Hugo2 is pushing it for my cost acceptance level but couldn't turn down a free trial so will give it a try.
 

daveyu

Active Member
Exactly! Which is why I would never buy one. Even a Hugo2 is pushing it for my cost acceptance level but couldn't turn down a free trial so will give it a try.
I do wonder how they justify the price of the Dave
 

daveyu

Active Member
All individually made, low volume items plus a decent profit. Not forgetting Rob Watts needs paying for all his excellent work.
True, but most dacs (and other hifi gear) are low on part count, I can buy a car for the price.
 

Southern soul

Active Member
i'm not being funny but who wants to carry around an £1800 theft magnet? i can just imagine thieves eyes lighting up when they see this!

Chord need to concentrate on more affordable static dacs with better connections and aftermarket power supplies.

I will stick with what i have!
 

psikey

Distinguished Member
i'm not being funny but who wants to carry around an £1800 theft magnet? i can just imagine thieves eyes lighting up when they see this!
Not really. Most opportunistic thieves wouldn't have a clue what it is or to its value. How do you think we get these purchases past out wives !! :D
 

camelot1971

Well-known Member
Bought one of these this week to replace an Arcam D33. All I can say is amazing (and the Arcam is no slouch). It won't ever leave the house :)
 

imightbewrong

Distinguished Member
Interested in maybe getting back into having a DAC again - had a Chord DAC 64 a few years ago which I thought sounded fantastic - I sold it for some reason when I switched from a music-oriented system to film-oriented.

Anyway - is there a short answer to "does the Hugo 2 sound better than the DAC 64?" and if so what is it? :)

Thanks
 

DroidSkin

Distinguished Member
Interested in maybe getting back into having a DAC again - had a Chord DAC 64 a few years ago which I thought sounded fantastic - I sold it for some reason when I switched from a music-oriented system to film-oriented.

Anyway - is there a short answer to "does the Hugo 2 sound better than the DAC 64?" and if so what is it? :)

Thanks
Never heard a DAC 64, but I can tell you the Hugo2 sounds fantastic.

If you can, get to London CanJam later this month and have a listen. There are good show discounts to be had too. I got 15% off of my Hugo2 last year.
 

Ed Selley

AVF Reviewer
Interested in maybe getting back into having a DAC again - had a Chord DAC 64 a few years ago which I thought sounded fantastic - I sold it for some reason when I switched from a music-oriented system to film-oriented.

Anyway - is there a short answer to "does the Hugo 2 sound better than the DAC 64?" and if so what is it? :)

Thanks
Yes- subjectively, there is less sense of processing and, thanks to the filters, the ability to tweak the upper registers to suit your preferences and equipment.

I would say though that if you just need a DAC rather than a DAC cum portable headphone amp/preamp, I uploaded a review of the Qutest today that might be worth waiting for.
 

imightbewrong

Distinguished Member
I'm not looking for portability - my DAC's purpose would be sitting between my Sonos and my Amp - exactly where my 64 used to be.
 

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