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Review: Bring Your DAC into the Future with the Hugo M Scaler

Posted by The Sound Organisation on Jun 25th 2020

With streaming quickly becoming the standard for all music listening, and many music lovers still holding their vast music collection in media servers or CDs, Digital-to-Analog Converters (DACs) get quite a workout in the modern listener's sound system. No matter if your playing a CDstreaming on a service like Tidal or Spotify, or just listening to your iTunes library or NAS, you'll need a DAC to translate that music to an analog signal for your speakers. But, between the recording, compression, and then conversion, much data can be lost from the original analog recording. To help restore that lost data and make all digital recording sound supremely better, Chord Electronics produced the Hugo M Scaler.

The Chord Electronics Hugo M Scaler doesn't replace your DAC, but rather works with your DAC to vastly improve the digital information. The Hugo M Scaler does this by repairing the digital file with the information it lost during the digitization process. Using a complicated series of filters and sampling arrays, the M Scaler can reconstruct the analog signal, achieving a filter length of over 1 million taps. For those that are wondering how this is achieved or how the end result of the processing sounds, John Atkinson at Stereophile has taken a deep dive into upsampling and digital conversion in his review of of the Hugo M Scaler.

Rather than take Chord Electronics' word for it, Atkinson tested the M Scaler with multiple systems and made detailed measurements for those more interested in the technical results. In the end, Atkinson was impressed by the Hugo M Scaler, stating that it "does sound superb, and, as a bonus—in addition to upgrading the sounds of older DACs—the M Scaler adds a USB input with Roon compatibility to DACs that don't have one."

To learn more about the process and see the technical results, read the full review at Stereophile.com