DAC-V1 vs. Hugo TT

So, the Hugo broke down again and I just wanted to run music from my MacBook while I worked, so I just needed a DAC. Apart from being more expensive, the streaming options seemed a lot of fuss.

The rest of the system is Hi-Cap, 202, 200, Dynaudio Contour SR (bookshelf speakers, no port, for the rear of a multichannel system) and Dynaudio Sub 250 (active) and Naim cables.

Much to my surprise, I could tell the difference and the Naim was not worse. The rhythm that Naim is known for I noticed for the first time. And the music seemed faster (as in more beats per minute). It can’t be faster in real life, but since noticing that I heard a bass player on Youtube saying that playing the bass note earlier in the bar makes the music sound quicker. My theory is that the faster attack on the sounds makes everything sound faster.

What do you think of the speaker choice? I got them because they were half price without listening to them, because :man_shrugging:. The system sounded pretty bad until go the Hi-Cap and sub. I needed the Hi-Cap to have a place to plug the sub. I really like it now. I’ve got RCA cables from the DAC to the preamp. Any point upgrading?

1 Like

Correction: “earlier in the beat” not bar. Too, I know that Dynaudio has a good reputation with Naim.

1 Like

Yes micro timing changes the feel or groove of music, and perception. Playing behind the beat can give a softer more laid back feel, and ahead of the beat a more urgent or upfront feel… and in music you can ebb and flow these rthymically typically to create an overall groove or feel.

However with things like DACs and amps, especially when from different manufacturers you may find they don’t couple perfectly… and the audio frequency impedance response into say a preamp stage would most likely differ between vendors. A change in frequency / impedance response will inevitably change presentations so some items may be masked and others exposed.
Synergy between source and amp is key.
The Hugo is a cracking DAC source, but does need high end cans or amplification to appreciate it… otherwise you won’t likely hear the benefits so use something else instead.

When I master music productions I actually use my Hugo mk1 driving my empyreans instead of my studio masters… I hear a lot more that I need to get right … but when mixing and recording I use my my more regular studio DAC and monitors as well as empyreans.

But yes with the Hugo mk1 (and I am assuming the TT as well ) the secret is not to over charge … and keep cool… and know how to replace the batteries. It’s a slight labour of love but as it is so special I believe it’s worth it, and later products from Chord electronics are massively improved in this regard… but sonically it’s a very special piece of kit… in the right circumstances…

Enjoy the DAC v1. That is a fine more traditionally designed DAC.

BTW Welcome to the forum - I see this is your first post - hope this is the first thread of many

4 Likes