Chord Huei with SN3

Another day, another (small) problem!

I’ve taken a couple of phono amps on demo. The idea being to give an immediate uplift on my SN3 phono stage and also to future proof for possible/likely upgrade to pre/power boxes later this year. My source is an LP12 magik+, I.e with Lingo4 and Karousel. It has the older jelco arm and adikt cart.

I tried the Aria Mk2 first. Nice detail and wider soundstage than the SN3 but totally lacking in the low mids and bass. Quite clinical. Not warm, or all that musical.

Next up is the Chord Huei. Much better suited. Super musical and the low mids are back! It all hangs together very nicely. A touch on the warm side but that’s ok - it sounds like vinyl again!

The only problem is that it sounds best with the highest gain, but this produces a huge amount of background white noise. Fine when music is playing , but between tracks and even with no signal going through it’s really annoying.

Am I missing something with the Huei setup? I’ve tried the lower gain settings but this leads to having to ramp the volume pot way up and the background noise is still there…

No such issues with the Rega which was totally silent.

Any ideas? Thanks

Is it close to any transformers?
I need to move my Trichord Diablo away from the power supply in my V281 headphone amp.

It sits on top of my “brawn” rack. In the shelf below is an XPSDR. I’ll try moving it below the power supplies.

Was quite surprised a £1k item comes with a wall wart…


Tests on another site suggest the Chord Huei is noisy.

So does the qutest DAC. Rob Watts doesn’t believe in LPSUs.

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Here’s a suggestion for you. Get a used Prefix - they are MC only I think, and get it installed in your LP12. It will work from the powered socket on the SN3 and on that of a Naim preamp you may get in the future. If you want to keep the Adikt you may as well stick with the SN3 phono stage. It’s really very good.

Have I understood correctly that you’re using a MM cartridge on a MC setting on the Huei? If so, I suspect this is why you’re hearing the background noise. If this sounds better to you, I can’t argue with that, but if the gain is turned up high, you’re going to hear more background noise.
Where is the Huei situated? You might find it picks up less noise if it, and it’s cables, are kept away from other electronics, so you could try moving it around a bit. Also, is the earth lead conected to the terminal on the back of the Huei?

The Chord website says that the Huei is MM-compatible, so hopefully @WhiskyGuy isn’t using it in MC mode.

The Lejonklou Gaio phono stage was designed for the Adikt and is purportedly very good. This would be a great item to audition if you can.

Another contender would be the Dynavector P75 – if you think you may get into MC cartridges in future, this would be a good, future-proof option.

I can confirm that I am using it in MM mode. Have moved it around so it’s miles away from the PSUs and other cables, and also connected the earth, but with no change.

Might be a faulty unit? Seems a shame because when the music is playing it’s sounds good.

How long are the leads going in and out of the Huei? Are they routed carefully to avoid other cables as well as electronics?

Input comes direct from LP12 using Linn RCAs. Output also Linn interconnects 1m long. Have also tried Chord and QED cables with no difference.

In terms of separation have even held the unit in the air so the cables are not resting on anything and no change at all. Have also tried different inputs on the SN3.

It’s like the Huei is super sensitive and with the gain up full is amplifying background noise like crazy but not really doing the same with the signal. I expect some background noise from a phono stage, but this is x10 or more than with the Aria or internal SN3 stage!

Hmmm, that doesn’t sound too promising. If Chord can’t come up with any ideas I think I’d be looking elsewhere.

I also own a Chord Huei and I can confirm it is indeed noisy… It Is not faulty.
It is less noisy on MC mode rather than MM. It’s a pity because It sounds very well. You should use It with low to medium output and use gain as low as possible… No other Huei…Sorry, way…

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