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Chord Hugo M Scaler with Qutest DAC.

Discussion in 'audio' started by K'ford Pikelet, May 24, 2019.

  1. Over the last few months I've noticed a lot of press coverage of the M Scaler used mainly together with the Hugo TT2. In particular Noel Keywood's article in Aprils HiFi World in which he rates its impact on sound quality very highly when used with CD as a digital source. I would be grateful to hear if anyone has tried the M Scaler with a Chord Qutest fed with CD ripped as FLAC or for that matter any other digital source using the DBNC input. Though very expensive at £3,495, if the upscaling brings about the dramatic sound improvements outlined I would certainly consider auditioning it. Many thanks.
     
  2. AndyU

    AndyU pfm Member

    I’ve had an M Scaler for a good while, though not with a Qutest, and have never enjoyed my music so much. I got mine from Fanthorpes, who are very straight to deal with. I’m sure they’d let you try one out so you can make up your own mind.
     
  3. tuga

    tuga European

    HQ Player has a filter setting called xtr which emulates the M-Scaller's high-tap upsampling and filtering...and a dozen more alternatives if you don't like what it does.
    It's a lot cheaper and can upconvert PCM to DSD if you wish, and perform digital correction EQ of the frequency response.
     
  4. Foot Tapper

    Foot Tapper Foot Tapper

    I recently auditioned a Chord Qutest alongside several other higher end dacs including DAVE. For all comparisons, we were using my cds ripped on to a Melco server. The rest of the system was very high resolution, so would take no prisoners (Naim 552/500 + Wilson DAW floor standers).

    The dealer demo'ed it first without M Scaler and it was really not to my taste. It was as though basslines were being played 1/8 of a beat behind the other musicians - most disconcerting. Basslines were also relatively ill defined. Chord's famous imaging capabilities were also not evident. I am sorry to say that I was most unimpressed to the point of not knowing why this dac receives such great reviews.

    Then he put the M Scaler in. Gosh, that's different. Very different. Timing improved markedly, feet started to tap, voices sounded more natural, imaging was in a completely different league, most importantly, music just started to flow.

    The M Scaler does wonderful things for a DAVE. However, it does far more for a Qutest. A tremendous improvement that I can only highly recommend.

    Hope this helps, FT
     
    ToTo Man and Darren like this.
  5. TheDecameron

    TheDecameron Unicorns fart glitter.

    The cynic in me wonders why ( we’ll I actually do know) the processing could not have been included in the dac in the first place. It’s the old naim psu marketing strategy all over again. The inexpensive Onkyo app will convert flac to dsd on Apple devices and it does sound better than native when fed into a Hugo which confirms with a dsd flag. I hate extra boxes, extra wires, extra mains connections- and it’s why I like Devialet so much. A lot of functionality and very good SQ in one compact device. I’m a fan of chord DACs so I think I need to stay away from the M-Scaler. Actually that’s not working- I just remembered I’m going to a Rob Watts dem next week...
     
    MattSPL and tuga like this.
  6. TheDecameron

    TheDecameron Unicorns fart glitter.

    Andy can you elaborate on what you’re hearing with it?

    Just watched Rob Watts talking about it and for fiscal reasons I wish I hadn’t :eek:

     
    406v6 likes this.
  7. Darren

    Darren All Business

    Gosh..... you would have hoped that the DACs had a better performance baseline, before the scaler thingy was introduced, wouldnt you?
     
    MattSPL and Linds like this.
  8. linntroika

    linntroika pfm Member

    I read a review on headfi last month of a Dutch reviewer , who compared hugo tt2 , qutest , m scaler and external power supply for the DAC. To summaries value for money wise , the outcome was hugo tt2 with external power supply outperformed qutest with M scaler for around the same price . I really liked the hugo in my system and if I ever change my source I would contemplate hugo tt2 first and they audition the additional kit afterwards when funds are available :)
     
  9. scotty38

    scotty38 pfm Member

    To be fair £1200 to be able to change the bassline of your recordings doesn't seem like a bad deal, must be quite complex to achieve that! :)
     
    Foot Tapper likes this.
  10. gustavm

    gustavm pfm Member

    The MScaler costs more like £3.5k....
     
  11. scotty38

    scotty38 pfm Member

    Yes but he was talking about the Qutest without the MScaler
     
  12. Foot Tapper

    Foot Tapper Foot Tapper

    Errr, well yes. It came as a bit of a surprise really, as did the CDS Bartok's inability to time properly. Quite a surprise at its price point!
     
  13. Clay B

    Clay B pfm Member

    In fairness, I just don’t hear the Qutest as Foot Tapper does. It’s an excellent DAC. No issues with dragging baselines and lack of base clarity. This through Mac C-22, First Watt SIT-3, Wilson Sasha 2’s. I don’t doubt his hearing for one minute but I do believe that compatibility and setup differences can really impact perception.
     
    richarm and TLS like this.
  14. Foot Tapper

    Foot Tapper Foot Tapper

    Hi Clay, I fully agree.
     
  15. Bourneendboy

    Bourneendboy pfm Member

    Maybe if the bass player used a genuine Fender rather than a Squire copy, the same could be achieved.
    Not trying to be funny, but an interesting point:)

    I assume you are talking about timing, but one of those bass's will sound better than the other.
     
  16. clivem2

    clivem2 pfm Member

    M Scaler has had me intrigued for a while. I hope this doesn't become expensive. What I'm not clear on is whether M Scaler connected via USB or dual coax is the preferred method. If USB is fine then HQ Player could be an alternative as tuga mentioned.
     
  17. TheDecameron

    TheDecameron Unicorns fart glitter.

    I’d be using it with a Melco N1. Would the Melco recognise it?
     
  18. tuga

    tuga European

    As far as I know, you can only oversample to the highest 768kHz setting into the 3 Chord DACs because you'll need to connect using two parallel S/PDIF cables thus 2 inputs.

    Other than that, it should work at 4x oversampling with any DAC with an S/PDIF input but don't take my word on it, email Chord.
     
  19. TheDecameron

    TheDecameron Unicorns fart glitter.

    I checked and my Hugo 2 does indeed take the dual connection, so should work fine. Melco recognises Chord DACs but since the m scaler would sit after the Melco, it raises the question about compatibility. I shall ask Rob Watts or a Chord person next week
     
  20. Blackmetalboon

    Blackmetalboon pfm Member

    TheDecameron likes this.

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