13 posts / 0 new
Last post
George680's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 weeks 1 day ago
Joined: 28/06/2009 - 17:54
Posts: 12
Chord electronics
English

Hello, 

How does the Chord Electronics Qute HD DAC compare to the Chord Electronics Hugo. I mean, as a DAC in a proper hifi home-system. Is there anybody who has heard both, and would like to share his experience with me? I think the Qute HD would be more practical, but don't know if that's true. Off course I'm also interested in how they both sound. 

I'm planning on upgrading my Chord Electronics Chordette 'Gem' for one of these. I love the sound, and I simply want more of it now !!

Thank you very much for your kind respons!  Biggrin

David@FrankHarvey's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 hours 57 min ago
Joined: 27/06/2008 - 11:03
Posts: 11301
Technically, the Hugo does

Technically, the Hugo does have a better DAC. But that's not to say that the Qute HD - or the Qute EX that has replaced it - is a slouch. I've had the Qute HD at home running from my Sonos Connect, and even low bit rate stuff from Naoster sounded much more impressive! I want a Qute EX, but as the Hugo is better, that should be the first choice. The Hugo adds various benefits like being run from the battery rather than directly frm the mains, can be used as a pre-amp, and you can plug your headphones (or two) directly into it. I like the idea of it being a high quality pre-amp running into a juicy power amp running some nice speakers! 

As the Qute was upgraded fairly recently, I don't see that changing for a while yet.

DavidF @FrankHarveyHiFi, Coventry.

"Long is the way, and hard, that out of hell leads up to light"

adamrobertshaw's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 22 hours ago
Joined: 10/11/2011 - 21:51
Posts: 133
I bought a Qute HD two weeks

I bought a Qute HD two weeks ago. £749 new vs £990 for the Qute EX. A bit like Cyrus, it can be sent back to Chord as a HD and come back as an EX. As well as being 128 DSD capable there is some train of thought that the HD model had jitter issues really high res stuff. No issue to me as I just play 44.1 most of the time.

There was a bit of set up running music from Audirvana / Mac or J River19 / PC but it's worth the effort.

As I type I'm listening to a 320kps podcast upscaled to 192khz and it sounds fab.

I actually have a Pathos Aureum on pass through between the DAC and the amp, so if I want to listen on my headphones it's a simple process.

I've not tried it on Coax. I do have a BNC adaptor but it is plumbed into a Mac / PC set up and no source like a CD transport or streamer in sight of it.

I considered the Hugo but I was concerned about carrying a valuable portable device around. At some point you'll put it down and lose it, drop it on a hard surface etc.

The issue with going for the Hugo is that you'll need a top rate set of headphones to make the most of your £1,400 outlay.

The benefit of the Hugo is you can play using the battery power. The power source for the Qute HD is awful. An uprated power supply unit is £250!!

Main. Stream X Signature, CD T, DAC XP Signature, X Power, 2x PSX-R, PMC twenty.22  Snug. Stream X, Mac Mini, Qute HD, 8XPdQX, X Power, PSX-R, Pathos Aurium / HD800, MA GX50

 

David@FrankHarvey's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 hours 57 min ago
Joined: 27/06/2008 - 11:03
Posts: 11301
adamrobertshaw wrote:The

adamrobertshaw wrote:
The issue with going for the Hugo is that you'll need a top rate set of headphones to make the most of your £1,400 outlay.
That's IF you want to use it as a headphone pre-amp. Some people are buying these who don't even own headphones, and using it as a stand alone DAC, or as a pre-amp with digital inputs.

Quote:
The benefit of the Hugo is you can play using the battery power. The power source for the Qute HD is awful. An uprated power supply unit is £250!!
Still sounds great!

DavidF @FrankHarveyHiFi, Coventry.

"Long is the way, and hard, that out of hell leads up to light"

adamrobertshaw's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 22 hours ago
Joined: 10/11/2011 - 21:51
Posts: 133
 

 

I tried listening with the Qute HD for the first time on my headphones via a headphone amp and the lows were horrendous / distorted. Like listening to tupperware being struck / having someone cup and uncup their hands on the open backed drivers. I couldn't cure it.

I thought the headphone amp / headphones were broken but when I plugged everything into my Cyrus system (DAC fixed outs), everything was perfectly fine again.

Is there a gain issue / frequency mismatch with the output from the Qute HD going into my Pathos Aurium? The Aurium has a tape pass through that I put into the analogue inputs of a Cyrus integrated amp and there was absolutely no distortion coming out of my speakers.

The fact that there's a ground post on the Qute HD makes me think Chord see secondary market power supplies as a possible upgrade path. But it does sound fine with the supplier invertor.

I also now know that the digi coax is fantastic. Better than USB.

Main. Stream X Signature, CD T, DAC XP Signature, X Power, 2x PSX-R, PMC twenty.22  Snug. Stream X, Mac Mini, Qute HD, 8XPdQX, X Power, PSX-R, Pathos Aurium / HD800, MA GX50

 

Overdose's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 hours 32 min ago
Joined: 08/02/2008 - 18:23
Posts: 3585
adamrobertshaw wrote:

adamrobertshaw wrote:

The issue with going for the Hugo is that you'll need a top rate set of headphones to make the most of your £1,400 outlay.

The benefit of the Hugo is you can play using the battery power. The power source for the Qute HD is awful. An uprated power supply unit is £250!!

I'd say there was something terribly wrong with a simple digital audio device costing over £700 that needed an aftermarket power supply, because the one the designers put in it is sub-standard.

George680's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 weeks 1 day ago
Joined: 28/06/2009 - 17:54
Posts: 12
Thank you very much for your

Thank you very much for your helpful respons!

I tended towards the Qute HD first. That would be good enough for me, concerning its sound reproduction. Because most of the music that I listen to is coming -and will be in the (near) future- from original CDs, that I still like to buy. Not SACD or High Resolution Audio. For me, there's still so much to discover with my favourite CD albums.

But now, I'm really beginning to like the Hugo a bit more than I did before. 

I didn't like the idea of it being a multifunctional 'gadget'. I expected it to be more beautiful than functional. In the end, I only want to enjoy my music. But still in every possible way. Through bluetooth (I will miss that on the Qute DH!), with headphones, or as a portable. And off course in my home system. With this I can. That's why I think I will go for the Hugo now.

George680's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 weeks 1 day ago
Joined: 28/06/2009 - 17:54
Posts: 12
still not sure

Maybe I was a bit too fast with my last reply. I'm still not sure wihch one to choose, the Qute HD or the Hugo. But it has to be a Chord Electronics product DAC, and I saw there are some new models coming up also. I read about the new MX series. Will it be out soon?

They look very nice also, but except from some photos and information on the Chord Electronics website there is not much to find. Does anybody have some information or personal experience to share with me? I'd like to hear some more about it  Smile 

For now, I'm switching too much between the safe option of the Qute HD (that's missing Bluetooth) and the much better featured Hugo (that's a lot more expensive).

Thank you very much!  Biggrin

adamrobertshaw's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 22 hours ago
Joined: 10/11/2011 - 21:51
Posts: 133
If you looked lower down in

If you looked lower down in the forum DAC section, I started a thread stating I'm having problems getting USB playback to run smoothly on my Qute HD. I've written to Chord wanting some answers.

I've tried re-installing the drivers so I may have another go. I might also demo another software player.

I'm just running it on a coax connection at present. Plays on and on in a sublime fashion on coax. If that's your input of choice, you may be able to pick up one of the last of the Qute HD at a discount.

I haven't bothered getting an external linear power supply. In the USA this seems to be a must have upgrade. If you trawl the internet you usually find Americans waffling on about their user experience, power set up and clean USB signal solutions.

The Qute EX has an updated chipset and broader hi-res music file capability.

If coinage allows, I advise you to go for the Hugo. Better decoding and chipset, battery power, pre-amp, 3.5mm and 6.3mm headphone amp, mobile, no computer drivers necessary.

BTW, the MX range is basically the Chordette range in a square ended case. So both versions will run side by side so customers are able to match the case shape to their exiting kit (should they have any)

 

 

Main. Stream X Signature, CD T, DAC XP Signature, X Power, 2x PSX-R, PMC twenty.22  Snug. Stream X, Mac Mini, Qute HD, 8XPdQX, X Power, PSX-R, Pathos Aurium / HD800, MA GX50

 

audylubis's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 days 8 hours ago
Joined: 07/05/2014 - 13:29
Posts: 12
Chord Hugo

I'm currently using Chord Hugo for my desktop system. The sound is amazing and I have no issue with connectivity. I bought it used and you can find many used ones in here: http://www.head-fi.org/f/6552/source-components-for-sale-trade.

adamrobertshaw's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 22 hours ago
Joined: 10/11/2011 - 21:51
Posts: 133
I seriously gave the Hugo

I seriously gave the Hugo consideration. But as I have a DAC XP Signature (dual mono 32 bit DAC / dual mono balanced pre-amp) and a quality headphone amp, I decided to go for the Qute HD as it has USB. I'm trying to get more into hi-res stuff via a Mac.

Yesterday I tried the Qute HD on a Macbook Air straight from I-Tunes. The fault re-appeared so I think unfortunately I just got a duff one ... as far as USB goes anyway. Time to send it back.

Main. Stream X Signature, CD T, DAC XP Signature, X Power, 2x PSX-R, PMC twenty.22  Snug. Stream X, Mac Mini, Qute HD, 8XPdQX, X Power, PSX-R, Pathos Aurium / HD800, MA GX50

 

audylubis's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 days 8 hours ago
Joined: 07/05/2014 - 13:29
Posts: 12
Looks like there is something

Looks like there is something wrong with your QuteHD. I'm using Chord Hugo with macbookpro via USB and works fine.

adamrobertshaw's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 22 hours ago
Joined: 10/11/2011 - 21:51
Posts: 133
I tried it on Sunday using a

I tried it on Sunday using a Macbook Air and an Amarra demo. Total disaster with a strange pulsing in the music signal.

Tried the same with Audirvana and it was badly behaved for 5 mins. Switched off and on, took USB out and put back in again. Worked perfectly for hours.

It's definitely a driver / software problem rather than a hardware problem. Loads of forums point to this.

Reinstalled the Chord driver on my Mac Mini today, which is where I really want it, and tried with Audirvana. Worked perfectly for an hour. Then tried the demo of Amarra and it's still behaving perfectly. Fingers crossed and hopefully I've not just jinxed it all.

The only issue I have now is that Amarra 3, to my ears, is better than Audirvana. It's possible to move back and forth on the fly between Amarra audio and Core Audio to hear the improvement. The soundstage is more open and balanced. It auto corrects frequency and OSX funcyionality to optimise playback. I've selected a room corrector on the EQ which has worked wonders on bass control.

The price is lower at the moment too. Decisions, decisions. And fingers still crossed.

Main. Stream X Signature, CD T, DAC XP Signature, X Power, 2x PSX-R, PMC twenty.22  Snug. Stream X, Mac Mini, Qute HD, 8XPdQX, X Power, PSX-R, Pathos Aurium / HD800, MA GX50

 

Log in or register to post comments