Posted on 11th May, 2018


Chord Electronics today unveiled Hugo TT 2, its next-generation Table-Top (TT) DAC/headphone amplifier to press via its packed room at the High End Show in Munich, Germany.

The updates include flexible new features and redesigned casework with a scheduled release for autumn this year.

The new Hugo TT 2 boasts “unrivalled technical performance” and is based upon new Artix 7 FPGA chip which has been uniquely custom-coded by Chord Electronics’ Digital Design Consultant, Rob Watts.

Its enormous power reserves come courtesy of a new super-capacitor-based power supply unit. This has been designed to drive even the most difficult headphones, including high-impedance IEMs/CIEMs. Watts told the audience there’s even enough power to drive efficient compact loudspeakers.

Amazingly, the new unit offers five times the processing power of the original Hugo TT (offering a 98,304-tap 16FS WTA 1 filter) and deploys 86x 208MHz DPS cores in parallel to create the WTA filters.

Additionally, it also benefits from an extremely low noise floor of -178dB with no measurable noise floor modulation.

The device’s highly advanced 12th-order noise-shaper, which uses 10 Pulse Array elements, is much improved over the original with well over 100,000 times more resolution than before, resulting in what Watts says is greater detail resolution and perception of soundstage depth.

A high-power discrete output stage with distortion-reducing second-order noise-shaping is integrated into the DAC output amp and filter.

Ditching the battery supply used in its predecessor, the new Hugo (Newgo?) instead uses six super caps in the power supply unit, capable of delivering huge, linear dynamic currents: peak output currents of 5A and 9.3V RMS.

As well as all the internal tech, the outer of the Hugo TT 2 has been reworked.

The number of digital inputs has risen to six plus extended-range aptX Bluetooth. Three headphone outputs are also included: 2x 6.35mm and one 3.5mm, with simultaneous operation.

Further outputs include balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA analogue connections, plus dual BNC DX outputs for use with future Chord Electronics’ devices.

The casework has been significantly redesigned to include front-panel buttons (Menu, Set and Power) to cycle between and select filtering and crossfeed modes, plus switch inputs and control power. The new design also includes a larger, top-mounted viewing window for the internal circuits, a larger volume control sphere, plus an improved LED display.

The Hugo TT 2’s comprehensive digital connectivity suite includes a galvanically isolated HD USB-B connection capable of decoding 768kHz PCM data and DSD 512. The unit’s two optical TOSLink inputs are 24-bit/192kHz-capable (with the appropriate source and cabling) and the dual BNC coaxial inputs are 24-bit/768kHz-capable for connection to Chord Electronics’ M-Scaler technology as seen in the BLU MKII digital/CD transport.

Hugo TT 2 can be used in pure DAC mode, enabled for high-power (incl. low- and high-gain modes) when headphones are connected or used in amp mode for use as a digital preamp or when directly driving efficient loudspeakers.

Despite its technical complexity and powerful output, the unit’s topology remains simple with just two resistors, two capacitors and one global feedback path, so the connection from the digital domain to analogue is very direct for maximum transparency.

Technical specifications

  • Dynamic range: 127 dB A wt.
  • Noise: 4 uV A wt., (high gain) 1.7 uV A wt., (low gain) no measurable noise floor modulation
  • Distortion: 0.00008% at 2.5 V 300 ohms; 0.00016% at 6 W 8 ohms
  • Single-ended OP power (@1% THD) 288 mW RMS 300 ohms; 7.3 W RMS 8 ohms  
  • Balanced XLR OP power: (@1% THD) 1.15 W RMS 300 ohms; 18W RMS 8 ohms
  • Output impedance: 0.042 ohms
  • Stereo separation: 9 V RMS 300 ohms -138 dB
  • 98,304 tap-length 16FS WTA 1 filter

The Hugo TT 2 will sell for £3,996.

For more information visit Chord Electronics.


      Jay Garrett's avatar

      Jay Garrett

      StereoNET UK’s Editor, bass player, and resident rock star! Jay’s passion for gadgets and Hi-Fi is second only to being a touring musician.

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      Posted in:Hi-Fi Headphones
      Tags: chord  highend2018