Chord Electronics has added an upscaler to its line-up of digital products. The Hugo M Scaler uses FPGA-based digital filtering to upgrade incoming digital signals from 44,1/16-bit (the Red Book standard) to 705,6 kHz (or even 768 kHz in the case of dual BNC-input DACs).
The M Scaler effectively acts as an upscaling bridge between digital devices (including smart devices, laptops, computers, streamers and disc players) and D/A converters. While the M Scaler is clearly designed to partner dual BNC-input DACs such as Chord’s own Dave and Hugo TT, it works with a wide range of DACs from other makes, too.
Chord claims the M Scaler will improve the sound quality of digital-source systems. It is equipped with five digital inputs – 2x BNC, 2x optical, and 1x galvanically isolated USB Type B – ensuring a broad range of connection options.
The USB input is both PCM and DSD compatible (up to DSD256). DSD is converted to PCM for improved attenuation of DSD noise and distortion, according to Chord.
The output array consists of Toslink optical, SPDIF, and galvanically isolated dual-BNC (allowing maximum upscaling of 768 kHz from 96 kHz data) for compatible DACs. The output sample rate can be adjusted within the technical constraints of the output type – 192 kHz for Toslink optical, 384 kHz for SPDIF, and 768 kHz for dual-BNC.
The upscaler’s compact form factor matches Chord’s Hugo TT2 DAC and TToby power amp. Chord fans will also recognise the illuminated fascia controls that indicate input source and sample rate using different colours.