This year we got to see two new Hi-Fi products from Chord Electronics at Munich High End show; the Choral Etude which is a stereo power amp with the first fundamentally new analogue amplifier topology design since 1989, and the Hugo TT 2 DAC/headphone amplifier.
Chord Electronics Choral Etude stereo power amp
With an intention to expand on the capabilities of analogue amplifiers, Chord Electronics decided to create a completely new amplifier topology design, one that’s more powerful, offers wide bandwidth, low noise and low distortion. This new topology was uncovered for the first time in Munich High End Show this year, and it’ll be definitely incorporated in future Analogue Amps from Chord Electronics.
The Choral Etude is similar in terms of design to Chord Electronics’ Flagship DAC DAVE, the Choral Etudes uses design elements that we’ve seen in the DAVE and it also does a great job trying to offer a better sound experience based on the loved sound elements of DAVE; meaning we’ll get a better dynamics, a life-like delivery of transient information, plus effortless control over loudspeaker drive units all thanks to the new topography.
Choral Etudes’ amplifier power is rated at 150 watts into 4 ohms and 300 watts in bridged mono mode, offering high power output with low distortion across the audio band, up to 30kHz. This power comes from three proprietary Chord Electronics’ ultra-compact power supplies; one operates the auxiliary rails and the other two feed the high-current active power rails.
Connections include balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA inputs, plus high-quality gold-plated speaker binding posts offering 6mm spade and 4mm banana connectivity. The amplifier is bridgeable, offering 300 watts into each channel/speaker.
The new Choral Etude uses aerospace-grade machined aluminium chassis and casework, and will be available in both silver and black finishes. It will start shipping later this year for around 5200 USD.
Chord Electronics Hugo TT 2 DAC/headphone amplifier
The Hugo TT 2 DAC/headphone amplifier comes as the latest addition to Chord Electronics’ line of Table-Top (TT) DAC/headphone amplifiers, and it’s supposed to be second best coming right after Chord Electronics’ DAVE DAC, even though there’s an almost 30% price gap between the two.
Under the new casing design, Hugo TT 2 offers incredible output power and flexible new features, it also 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. The Hugo TT 2 uses the new Artix 7 FPGA chip that’s custom-coded by Chord Electronics’ Digital Design Consultant, Rob Watts.
With the enormous power the Hugo TT 2 offers, you’ll be able to drive any type of headphones, even difficult headphones, including high-impedance IEMs/CIEMs; and with the right cable set you can even drive efficient compact loudspeakers.
You can use the new connections that include HD USB-B, 2x optical and 2x coaxial BNC (up from one each on the original) plus extended-range aptX Bluetooth. Three headphone outputs are also included: 2x 6.35mm and one 3.5mm, with simultaneous operation.
On the front side of the Hugo TT 2 you’ll find the (Menu, Set and Power) buttons that you can use to cycle between and select filtering and crossfeed modes. Looking from the top you can see a little window that gives you an insight to what the heart of this device looks like. You can also find the improved LED display and the volume control sphere.
You can also use the remote control functionality to control the device, which is shared with the original Hugo 2.
Other features of the Hugo TT 2 include the ability to decode 768kHz PCM and DSD 512 from the galvanically isolated HD USB-B, 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 and the dual BNC coaxial inputs are 24-bit/768kHz- capable.
The Hugo TT 2 can be used in pure DAC mode, enabled for high-power when headphones are connected or used in amp mode for use as a digital preamp or when directly driving efficient loudspeakers. It will be available later this fall for around 5400 USD.
Browse the latest products from Chord Electronics at Samma3a Store