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CHORD M-Scaler Review (Upsampler)

Rate this product:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 338 88.9%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 12 3.2%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther

    Votes: 7 1.8%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 23 6.1%

  • Total voters
    380

Ken Tajalli

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Amir showed it doesn't do anything positive though, in fact it just made things objectively worse!

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JSmith
In the absence of independent confirmation of that finding, I stick to my words.
 
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amirm

amirm

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In the absence of independent confirmation of that finding, I stick to my words.
Rob confirmed that jitter performance of M-scalar is not good. We covered all of this for heaven's sake.
 

Ken Tajalli

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Rob confirmed that jitter performance of M-scalar is not good. We covered all of this for heaven's sake.
I shall re-read it, thanx.
Don't have the device, and my exposure was minimal, so I didn't follow everything.
Seriously? to that tune?
 
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amirm

amirm

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Seriously? to that tune?
Yes. It is a simple measurement. And as long as Rob has said that jitter performance is worse, we can have confidence in it.
 

MacCali

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I like Chord DACs. I have a couple, probably buy a TT2 in near future.
Having said that, when I heard the mScaler at CanJam London this year connected to a Dave, using my own headphones and a pair of DCA Stealth, I was not blown away!
Was it effective ? yes it was, at half setting mostly. It does improve perceived sound subjectively . Not a lot!
It is too expensive to have "value for money".
Is it snake oil? No, definitely not.
It is (to me) more of an indulgence, if one has the money.
But in the universe of Uber high end fancy hifi world, it is a cheap must-have! God knows what some are charging (in that universe) for devices that are useless at best, crap in some cases .
One should not compare it to the likes of Topping or other selected high value Chinese devices.
My experience was the complete opposite and done by stereo listening. I’m assuming chord products go either way.

To me the M scaler hurt both the TT2 and Dave. The Qutest maybe one to sound different with the M scaler, or most noticeable. However it may not be an improvement and rather a change which may or may not be pleasant depending on the user.

Clearly it maybe the very same thing when hooked up to Dave and TT2 besides showing objectively to hurt the sound. It may just be changing the sound and to me it’s unpleasant vs the stock product.

You simply add isolation feet to a speaker and even on A/B comparison you hear a difference but really can’t say is it actually definitively better but you are able to differentiate a change. Nothing has changed electronically and this is probably how a lot of these high end audio companies with word que’s and paragraphs of bs confuse a consumer to being like OMG I heard the difference it was amazing.

All it merely takes is an audible change. When I heard the iso acoustic demo I absolutely could not tell if the sound got better or worse but certainly you can hear the change. Then the guy is telling me can’t you hear the soundstage open up, imaging got better.. and it’s like no bro I absolutely did not hear any of that besides the fact it sounds different lol
 

Ken Tajalli

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My experience was the complete opposite and done by stereo listening. I’m assuming chord products go either way.

To me the M scaler hurt both the TT2 and Dave. The Qutest maybe one to sound different with the M scaler, or most noticeable. However it may not be an improvement and rather a change which may or may not be pleasant depending on the user.

Clearly it maybe the very same thing when hooked up to Dave and TT2 besides showing objectively to hurt the sound. It may just be changing the sound and to me it’s unpleasant vs the stock product.

You simply add isolation feet to a speaker and even on A/B comparison you hear a difference but really can’t say is it actually definitively better but you are able to differentiate a change. Nothing has changed electronically and this is probably how a lot of these high end audio companies with word que’s and paragraphs of bs confuse a consumer to being like OMG I heard the difference it was amazing.

All it merely takes is an audible change. When I heard the iso acoustic demo I absolutely could not tell if the sound got better or worse but certainly you can hear the change. Then the guy is telling me can’t you hear the soundstage open up, imaging got better.. and it’s like no bro I absolutely did not hear any of that besides the fact it sounds different lol
A lot of truth in that.
To me ISO acoustics has a negative effect , just to confirm your assertion .
 

MacCali

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A lot of truth in that.
To me ISO acoustics has a negative effect , just to confirm your assertion .
See your comment #1361 is exactly what I am talking about. I’ve heard that iso acoustic demo twice and honestly didn’t get any really massive improvement I can point out. But subjectively it did change, for worse or better who knows.

That’s all they need man, then they start using voodoo to manipulate you. I think this type of marketing has existed for 1000’s of years. Even psychologically we understand how the phenomenon works and these companies use it to their advantage.

So back to the point I think any difference regardless of direction, good or bad, is going to make you think it’s better. They use talk, price, all these things to further make you even more confident
 

Ken Tajalli

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See your comment #1361 is exactly what I am talking about. I’ve heard that iso acoustic demo twice and honestly didn’t get any really massive improvement I can point out. But subjectively it did change, for worse or better who knows.

That’s all they need man, then they start using voodoo to manipulate you. I think this type of marketing has existed for 1000’s of years. Even psychologically we understand how the phenomenon works and these companies use it to their advantage.

So back to the point I think any difference regardless of direction, good or bad, is going to make you think it’s better. They use talk, price, all these things to further make you even more confident
reply 1361 ?
I had to go back a good few pages, only to realize nah !
Funny thing was, with the mScaler ,that to my ears, at setting (mid), it seemed to cleanup the sound slightly on good recordings. At other settings, nothing to slightly less-life like sounding.
So it wasn't just a change (for me) , it was good on one setting, then nothing or slightly worse.
I certainly wouldn't buy one.
But my beloved Hugo2? I buy again, even knowing what I know now about alternatives.
Not at full whack though! I am thrifty :)
 

Ken Tajalli

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And here, we believe there is an equally nutritious, but far cheaper lunch!
Don't ruin lunch! :confused:
nutritious is not enough, cheap puts me off, I want flavour ..... texture, aroma ... even if it is not that good for me.
Hence the existence of boutique Hifi world. They've been there since the beginning, and they will stay there.
 

MaxBuck

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The fact that people buy and enjoy products like turntables and tube amplifiers demonstrates that high fidelity is not necessarily the end goal of every audiophile. And that's OK.

I have no quarrel with folks who buy and enjoy this thing. But there's no arguing about the fact it lowers system fidelity.
 

ahofer

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I have no quarrel with folks who buy and enjoy this thing. But there's no arguing about the fact it lowers system fidelity.
I'd go one further and say that even though there is no quarrel that it reduces measured fidelity, it is very unlikely that it could be distinguished by any listener from the vast majority of DACs (most vastly less expensive) in a level-matched blind comparison.

I could be wrong, the added distortion could be a pleasing effect. But the above is my working hypothesis, working from what we know about thresholds of audibility.

Incidentally, Archimago has a number of good posts on the Chord Mojo and upsampling extremes. TLDR - cool engineering, nicely implemented, can be simulated in computer DSP pretty easily, unlikely to be of audible benefit.

 

MacCali

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The fact that people buy and enjoy products like turntables and tube amplifiers demonstrates that high fidelity is not necessarily the end goal of every audiophile. And that's OK.

I have no quarrel with folks who buy and enjoy this thing. But there's no arguing about the fact it lowers system fidelity.
I am starting to preach the reality of audio to our ASR members in two forms. I will just mention the one which is undoubtedly undeniable and that is the fact that everything you listened to for a majority of your life has been dominated with mid tier to lower performance.

Clearly this includes headphones, speakers, etc.

On top of that we see that, unless you are hell bent on measurements, a lot of these extremely well measuring pieces of equipment are not enjoyable.

I think the main examples are the 789 and monoprice 887. Personally the benchmark amp is fairly the same with the 888, however I will say the HPA4 is far better in comparison to the rest of these, but clearly comes with a price.

I am not identifying these products as bad, but back to the point I was getting at the fact is the unit is so clean that it’s unlike everything you have been accustomed to your entire life so it seems odd when you hear it.

Can’t truly say what it is, but you must put something into that clarity which will add color otherwise that’s the presentation you will experience. If you love it so be it, I am not one to judge but it’s not my cup of tea.

Just merely touching on your point and bringing up another layer of something we must not forget.

I am also a devout believer in measurements and my system is where it’s at because of Amir and I greatly appreciate that. So don’t take this as an attack on anyone or anything :)
 

Blumlein 88

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I am starting to preach the reality of audio to our ASR members in two forms. I will just mention the one which is undoubtedly undeniable and that is the fact that everything you listened to for a majority of your life has been dominated with mid tier to lower performance.

Clearly this includes headphones, speakers, etc.

On top of that we see that, unless you are hell bent on measurements, a lot of these extremely well measuring pieces of equipment are not enjoyable.

I think the main examples are the 789 and monoprice 887. Personally the benchmark amp is fairly the same with the 888, however I will say the HPA4 is far better in comparison to the rest of these, but clearly comes with a price.

I am not identifying these products as bad, but back to the point I was getting at the fact is the unit is so clean that it’s unlike everything you have been accustomed to your entire life so it seems odd when you hear it.

Can’t truly say what it is, but you must put something into that clarity which will add color otherwise that’s the presentation you will experience. If you love it so be it, I am not one to judge but it’s not my cup of tea.

Just merely touching on your point and bringing up another layer of something we must not forget.

I am also a devout believer in measurements and my system is where it’s at because of Amir and I greatly appreciate that. So don’t take this as an attack on anyone or anything :)
Not sure what you are really going on about here. First blush is this being a covert attempt to re-insert subjective arbitration of fidelity. I'll take you at your word that you aren't attacking the approach informed by measurements.

So perhaps a good idea to start a new thread with you laying out in a little more detail what you really are thinking about. Also the "two forms" you mention above one of which you've given us a taste of in this post I'm replying to here.

I am starting to preach the reality of audio to our ASR members in two forms.
 

Ken Tajalli

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I am starting to preach the reality of audio to our ASR members in two forms. I will just mention the one which is undoubtedly undeniable and that is the fact that everything you listened to for a majority of your life has been dominated with mid tier to lower performance.

Clearly this includes headphones, speakers, etc.

On top of that we see that, unless you are hell bent on measurements, a lot of these extremely well measuring pieces of equipment are not enjoyable.

I think the main examples are the 789 and monoprice 887. Personally the benchmark amp is fairly the same with the 888, however I will say the HPA4 is far better in comparison to the rest of these, but clearly comes with a price.

I am not identifying these products as bad, but back to the point I was getting at the fact is the unit is so clean that it’s unlike everything you have been accustomed to your entire life so it seems odd when you hear it.

Can’t truly say what it is, but you must put something into that clarity which will add color otherwise that’s the presentation you will experience. If you love it so be it, I am not one to judge but it’s not my cup of tea.

Just merely touching on your point and bringing up another layer of something we must not forget.

I am also a devout believer in measurements and my system is where it’s at because of Amir and I greatly appreciate that. So don’t take this as an attack on anyone or anything :)
Allow me to save you a bit of bother.
"I am starting to preach to ASR" is a little disrespectful at best.
Here on ASR the consensus is that, objective measurement is reliable, because it can be repeated and re-measured re-confirmed.
On the other hand, subjective attributes are not reliable, for the very same reasons!
Confirming subjective changes (beyond that of a single person, single occasion) is very difficult, but a must.
However, the subjective attributes are what is driving the need for better objective measurements, after all if a certain superior objective attribute does not make a subjectively detectable improvement, then there is no point to it.
Let us say, increasing to 64bit audio will not make a favourable audible change, so no point in doing it. Indeed, even 24bit playback is too much!
So if a good measuring device sounds bad! it can mean one or more of the following:
- not everything that matters,, was measured (flaw in measurement).
- The subjective "bad sound" needs to be re-checked and confirmed.
It is almost impossible for a good measuring electronic audio device (transducers are another matter), to be confirmed subjectively to sound bad these days.
 
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