Chord HUGO M SCALER Standalone 1M-Tap Digital Upscaling Device

Using technology first seen in the flagship BLU MKII digital/CD transport, the Hugo M Scaler is a standalone upscaling device containing the world’s most advanced digital filter. When used with a dual-BNC-input Chord Electronics DAC, it is capable of redefining digital audio sound quality.

The Hugo M Scaler is a highly-advanced standalone upscaler capable of redefining sound quality from digital audio.

It uses Rob Watts’ (Chord’s 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 Chord’s 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.

Features

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, 358.8kHz, 384kHz, 705.6 and 768kHz – 16 to 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

     

    Specifications

    FPGA: Xilinx XC7A200T

    Filter tap length: 1,015,808 WTA taps

    Dimensions: 4cm (H) 23.5cm (W) 23.8cm (D)

    Weight: 2.55kg

    In my DAVE review, I concluded that that DAC’s “superb re-creation of soundstage depth, its sense of musical drive, and the clarity with which it presented recorded detail were addictive.” Listening to this new sample of the DAVE, that is what I heard. But with the DAVE working with CD data upsampled to the maximum rate of 705.6kHz or 768kHz, there was now even more image depth, an increased sense of drive, and even more clarity.

    Stereophile, John Atkinson, February 2020

    Quite candidly, the M Scaler makes substantial, across-the-board improvements to almost every qualitative aspect of the sound—so much so that you might feel like you are either A) listening through an altogether different and better headphone amp/DAC, or B) listening to delightfully re-mastered and/or much higher resolution versions of your favourite recordings. Once you hear the M Scaler in action, there’s no going back.”

    HiFi Plus, Chris Martens, September 2019

    “Digital disruption is the change that occurs when new digital technologies and business models affect the value proposition of existing goods and services.

    If the goal is to get digital music to be as lifelike as possible – this is it. In fact, I would even put the 4X (blue) mode against any D/A converter out there. When you’re looking to find that balance in your system – the Hugo M Scaler serves as the perfect digital foundation to build upon. Not only as an upscaler, but as a future-proof digital cornerstone.

    The Chord Electronics Hugo M Scaler offers up the highest level of tangible perspective. Not only in tonal contrast but in dynamic strength, depth, body, and timbre. My system has never sounded this articulate and goosebump-inducing since I’ve started this hobby. This is the next level. This is digital disruption.”

    Audio Bacon, Jay Luong, May 2019

    Download the Chord M Scaler’s Manual to Learn More

    Chord M Scaler User’s Manual