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Chord Huei Phono Preamp Review

beefkabob

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#82
Psych Nope Sike....Sike definitions. Filters. (slang) Indicating that one's preceding statement was false and that one has successfully fooled one's interlocutor. interjection.
Psych psych psych!
 
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#85
@amirm I am an owner of one of these and had issues with noise in MC mode and after some fault finding I traced it back to the unbalanced inputs not being tied to ground. I inquired with Chord and they told me that the early batch of devices did not come with the grounding plate. They sent me one and it eliminated the noise. Could this be causing some of the issues with the measurements?

This is the part I’m referring to:
A204DDD8-99A4-47FA-931F-B1C6F08CAE2E.jpeg
 
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EchoChamber

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#86
Looks like this product main purpose is to complement Chord’s DAC line and look nice next to some of their DACs. Fit and finish is high and I actually like the weird product design (if it could only be functional)... But if the innards don’t follow, what’s the point? It can’t be that hard to produce a decent phono pre-amp, just get a Schiit Mani and copy the circuit. That alone will give almost twice better SINAD.
 

3125b

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#90
... with hundreds of possible combinations that would be a days work - and certainly a sight to see :)
The user interface is just insane. It needs dials (or a pixel matrix display and remote) badly. They could still put their little lights on top to keep their design language.

Could this be causing some of the issues with the measurements?
Only if that affects the XLR outputs too, those are just as bad.
Even if it were only that, at 1500$ a mistake like that may not happen and if it does needs to be corrected by the manufacturer without the customer asking.
Cords DACs, though arguably overpriced, perform solidly.
 

Phorize

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#91
@solderdude Not recommend is a fail. And on top, they sometimes measured bad.
For you maybe, but Amir was clear they there is no disputing the excellent objective performance of the qutest-he just didn’t like the lack of features/price or the obscurantist controls.
 
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#92
... with hundreds of possible combinations that would be a days work - and certainly a sight to see Only if that affects the XLR outputs too, those are just as bad.
Even if it were only that, at 1500$ a mistake like that may not happen and if it does needs to be corrected by the manufacturer without the customer asking.
Cords DACs, though arguably overpriced, perform solidly.
Yes it will affect the XLR too as the noise is at the input side due to the floating ground.

I agree with you. It is not good when the customer has to chase the problem and ask for a solution. I am scratching my head wondering if it was a design oversight (hard to imagine), or they designed it that way for compatibility reasons due to different turntables using different grounding schemes.
 

boXem | audio

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#95
What’s the bet that an engineer accidentally left a firmware flash function in there lurking to bite someone in the ass?
The existence of a firmware flash function for a 20 years old PIC has a quite low probability ;)
 

Angsty

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#96
@amirm I am an owner of one of these and had issues with noise in MC mode and after some fault finding I traced it back to the unbalanced inputs not being tied to ground. I inquired with Chord and they told me that the early batch of devices did not come with the grounding plate. They sent me one and it eliminated the noise. Could this be causing some of the issues with the measurements?

This is the part I’m referring to:
View attachment 92285
Does it seem weird that the unit even requires such a "grounding plate"? It almost seems like a field retrofit for an engineering flaw. I've owned a few phono stages, but have never seen or heard of anything like this before. It would be good to see the manufacturer's response.
 

Francis Vaughan

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#97
Does it seem weird that the unit even requires such a "grounding plate"? It almost seems like a field retrofit for an engineering flaw. I've owned a few phono stages, but have never seen or heard of anything like this before. It would be good to see the manufacturer's response.
Very much agree. Some devices have a ground lift switch on the back, which serves the same purpose. However I doubt the plate addresses the core noise issue. The spectrum of the noise neatly follows the RIAA curve, with maybe a tiny bit of additional 1/f noise. So this tells us that the noise source is early in the device and pretty much white noise. It jumps in amplitude with additional gain. No surprise here. It is not indicative of external noise to be fixed with grounding. It is consistent with Johnson noise in the device itself.
I can think of weird ways a stupid flaw in design or construction might cause noise like this to be reduced with changes in grounding but they are pathological mistakes that should never happen.
Clearly use of the grounding plate is intended to be optional, depending upon the final configuration of the signal chain. So we would assume that many users will need to leave it off anyway.
 
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#98
Does it seem weird that the unit even requires such a "grounding plate"? It almost seems like a field retrofit for an engineering flaw. I've owned a few phono stages, but have never seen or heard of anything like this before. It would be good to see the manufacturer's response.
100%. I mentioned above that I am scratching my head as to whether it was a design oversight or some strange way of adding some sort of compatibility feature for different grounding schemes.
 
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#99
Very much agree. Some devices have a ground lift switch on the back, which serves the same purpose. However I doubt the plate addresses the core noise issue. The spectrum of the noise neatly follows the RIAA curve, with maybe a tiny bit of additional 1/f noise. So this tells us that the noise source is early in the device and pretty much white noise. It jumps in amplitude with additional gain. No surprise here. It is not indicative of external noise to be fixed with grounding. It is consistent with Johnson noise in the device itself.
I can think of weird ways a stupid flaw in design or construction might cause noise like this to be reduced with changes in grounding but they are pathological mistakes that should never happen.
Clearly use of the grounding plate is intended to be optional, depending upon the final configuration of the signal chain. So we would assume that many users will need to leave it off anyway.
I am wondering if they made mistakes implementing different ground planes on the PCB and the grounding plate not only ties the input stage to ground, but possibly other planes on the board, causing some irregularities. Just a random thought/guess.
 

Angsty

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I am wondering if they made mistakes implementing different ground planes on the PCB and the grounding plate not only ties the input stage to ground, but possibly other planes on the board, causing some irregularities. Just a random thought/guess.
Perhaps you can ditch it on an auction site before word gets around and quietly procure a Cambridge Audio Duo. I'm amazed at the Duo's measured performance for such a reasonable price. Better the Cambridge than the Rega Fono MM MK3 to match the P6. ...
 
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