Chord Hugo M Scaler

For the uninitiated in the digital realm of HiFi, the exact purpose and functionality of the M Scaler can seem perplexing. A unit that sits between your digital source and your DAC to drastically improve the digital signal....isn't it all ones and zeroes at that stage? How can you make ones and zeroes better?

Well, it's all about the Taps...the digital Taps that is. Taps refers to how many times and therefore how accurately the unit revisists the algorythm that's going to create the analogue Wave Form from the sample rate that's given by the source. Normally DACs would perform this function themselves but no DAC, not even Chord Electronics very own Dave comes even close to the amount of Taps that the M Scaler has. Normally an ordinary DAC would have a 100-tap filter, the Dave has 164,000-tap filter but the M Scaler has 1,015,808-tap filter!

In Rob Watts own words "If you have a conventional filter with 100 taps, you will recover some of the transient information. A 100-tap filter gives you sufficiently good frequency-domain performance, but not in the time domain. . . . Every time you increase the number of taps, you improve the perception of pitch, timbre gets better—bright instruments sound brighter, dark instruments sound darker—the starting and stopping of notes becomes easier to hear, the localization of sounds get better. There is less listening fatigue—the brain has to do less processing of the information presented to it to understand what's going on." 

And that perfectly sums up what you hear when you add an M scaler to a Chord Hugo TT2 or the Dave. It's an opening up of the musicality getting this normally step wise wave form of a CD player or 44kHz back to the most accurate analogue Wave Form you can possibly get. 

And this is where the M Scaler is particularly special because it's the most accurate digital device out there by a long margin. And that's because of the Taps. Turn on the Taps!

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Product Description



Tap-length filter: 1,015,808 (16FS filter)

Connectivity (input): 1x Galvanically isolated Type-B USB, 2x Coax BNC and 2x Optical

Connectivity (output): 1x Galvanically isolated dual BNC (enables upscaling to the maximum 768kHz), 1x BNC S/PDIF and 1x Optical

PCM support: 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, 96kHz, 176.4kHz, 192kHz, 352.8kHz, 384kHz, 717.6kHz, and 768kHz. 16 – 32bit

Driver support: Driverless with Mac OS X and Linux, driver required for Windows OS

Additional features: 

The most advanced digital filter in the world

Adjustable sample rate output (with pass-thru mode)

Video mode (for lower latency)

Auto video and source selection

‘DX’ controls for a future product design

The Hugo M Scaler is a highly advanced standalone upscaler capable of redefining sound quality from digital audio. It uses Rob Watts’ (our Digital Design Consultant’s) unique filter technology, the most advanced in the world, to upscale standard 44.1kHz digital audio up to 705.6kHz (16x CD’s 44.1kHz native resolution), ready to be passed to a suitable DAC; Hugo M Scaler extends its upscaling performance to 768kHz (from 96kHz input data) for our dual-BNC-input DACs: Qutest, Hugo 2, Hugo TT 2 and DAVE.

The Hugo M Scaler brings the unrivalled advantages of our ground-breaking FPGA-based WTA (Watts Transient Alignment) filtering technology to digitally connected audio devices, dramatically improving sound quality. Although optimised for use with selected Chord Electronics DACs (for the maximum 768kHz upscaling/decoding benefit), the Hugo M Scaler can be used with other DACs with suitable inputs, subject to their decoding capability.

The Hugo M Scaler’s compact form factor aligns with the TT (Table Top) series and has been designed to be stackable with other units in the range, including the TToby stereo power amp and the Hugo TT 2, to form a highly advanced yet space-saving system. In line with other models in the Hugo and Hugo TT series, the device features a number of illuminable fascia-mounted spherical controls, governing input selection, output sample rate and video mode for lower latency. The control spheres display data visually including input source and the incoming sample rate, using a polychromatic scale.

When partnered with either of Chord Electronics’ 768kHz-capable dual-BNC-input DACs, the Hugo M Scaler sets an astonishing technical benchmark for digital audio performance at it price point, redefining sound quality from digital audio.

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