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DAC blind ABX test results: Hegel h390 internal DAC vs Chord Hugo TT2


Apr 30, 2021
Hearing macroscopic differences between DACs, such as more detail, wider stage or better rhythm can be compared to watching a video and switching signal cable. By switching cables the people in the picture are suddenly better dressed...

Those devices operate on single samples, with nano-second precision... If the samples are put down imprecisely, additional tones and increased noise floor are introduced, not 'material' effects like suddenly hearing fingers sliding over the guitar strings.


Active Member
Jan 10, 2020
Great to see these ABX blind tests being carried out as best as possible. Only wish there were far more of these and perhaps encouraged by dealers, which will never happen.

The other thing is why are we constantly getting a new DACs released from makers like SMSL and Topping with miniscule differences. Can we now have better features like parametric equalisers or things that can actually make a difference to the overall sound presentation and tonality.

I'd like to see more blind listening testing of DACs, because measurements are one thing but scientifically testing on humans is also a significant measurement to record. Many factors like emotional connection is something that may not show on a meter but it recorded over a measured study. Some of the highest price digital sources have got the most out of music I've ever heard, I only wish I could have been sure, a blind controlled test is the only way I could have really known was it the equipment or was it just me?
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