As mentioned on another thread, here is a brief review/impression of the Hugo TT. Took a while since it was launched but finally collected a black version from Nintronics last saturday. Let's go through a few motions. First the packaging. Its a much bigger box than the Hugo itself. A rather dull plain cardboard colour with Chord logos unlke the full technicolour of its smaller sibling. The cardboard itself is of good, high tear resistance thickness. The unit itself is much heavier weighting and suspended in foam. Included in the packaging is what appears to be the same AC/DC adapter as the Hugo. Accesories include a remote control, USB B cable and a more robust optical cable (to those hairline types in the Hugo). And that's it. The supplied remote is one of those credit card sized types. Made of solid metal with recessed buttons. The TT itself is also solid and well-built. Chord have clearly learnt from the Hugo MkI and the casing is much more finished. Buttons have a good tactile feel and all connections properly sized so cables fit snugly. Overall built quality is as good as anything in the high-end world like Linn or Naim. Nevertheless, the Hugo TT is still slightly short on a full "consumer" product. The display screen is rather rudimentary. But at least there is one. The unit is powered on with a nice robust power switch in the middle of the front panel. No, it cannot be powered on remotely. In fact the remote control has many buttons which do nothing. Its really to change inputs and volume. But these are minor annoyances. I ride Ducati motorcycles so am used to the idiosyncrosies of boutique companies. You can read the full feature set from the website. But I'll go through some of the salient aspects. The core of the TT is the same as the Hugo, using the Xilinx Spartan 6 FPGA. Connectivity is also similiar. The USB HD and SD inputs are now USB B instead of micro USB so you can splurge on expensive USB cables. SPDIF comes in standard optical and Coax flavours. 3 headphone outputs the same sizes as the Hugo (one 3/4", two 0.5") and a pair of phonos. In addition to the Hugo are a pair of balanced XLR outputs. The layout is not much more tabletop (TT) oriented with the speaker outputs and inputs at the back of the casing, display, power switch and headphone outputs at the front. Like the Hugo, it can play every conceivable PCM or DSD format as well as aptx-Bluetooth. So what else is new besides the remote remote and display to justify the hike in price? The trickery lies in input and output parts of the DAC. The HD USB now has galvanic isolation. According to Rob Watts (designer of the Hugo) himself, he now feels that is the best input for the TT vs optical for the Hugo. The TT is equipped with Super Capacitors much like the KERS system in F1 cars. the idea is it has a much faster and accurate response to current demands. the XLR outputs aren't only for show either. There is an invertor which converts the output analogue signals to fully balanced. But I know the most burning question for youi all is, how does it sound? More to the fact, how does it sound compared to the Hugo? Ok, so here is/was my system with the 2 DACs. Both are fed USB from my PC. My Hugo goes into a Simaudio 350P balanced premap which converts the single ended inputs into balanced and feeds into an ATI 6005 fully balanced power amp. The ATI unit is the OEM version of the Datasat power amp and also Mark Levinson's latest offering (in 2 channel dual mono configuration). Speakers are a pair of B&W CM10s. All cables are from Mark Grant. The Hugo TT feeds the ATI directly through its balanced outputs. So how does it sound? Given that they use the same FPGA, I would say the charactor of the sound is the same. Without going into the technical reasons, in comparison to other DACs, the key difference in the Hugo is how rich and whole the sound is. The overall impression is warm and analogue like vinyl. The Hugo seems to be quite divisive. Their fans swear by it; beating £5k DACs whle detractors wondered what the big deal was. then the middle of the road ones who feel there are DACs who do some bits better. The DACs which I have spent time with are the onboard ones on my Anthem MRX510, the Linn Majik DS, the two Hugos and the exaSound e28. (I have listened to the e22 but on other systems). While the Hugo is clearly head and shoulders above the Linn, compared to the exaSound, it is well, less exact. There is a lot of warmth and juicy analogue detail, but sometimes the delivery can be a bit clumsy. The e28 and e22 are much more precise and controlled. Usher in the TT, and all these flaws disappear. Every note, every tone is now razor sharp. But not in a digitally enhanced way. Just accurate. No more, no less. Bass and percussions are more dynamic. Most surprising of all is how the whole sound stage has been enhanced. If you though the Hugo delivered deep bass, the TT makes the CM10 sound like a subwoofer. The additional accuracy gave the bass an accuracy and texture i only heard from accurate subs like the Prardigms or my Ken Kriesal DXD808. Treble extension is also increased without sibilence. little mid-range details come through even when playing at low volumes. The totality of this improvements is an expansion of the sound stage; both in width, depth and height. One of the most perceptible differences of DACs as one moves up the price range is there is "more sound". the core processing may be the same, but the enhancements of the TT's "preamp" side, and maybe the galvanic isolation means there is much more sound coming through. And the results are profound. Its almost as if any material gain additional resolution. The better the material you throw at it, the more astounding. High res material come through like a concert hall. Redbook never sounded more analogue and textured. Most surprising is how it improves low res material. 128kbps internet radio could pass off as CD quality from lesser DACs. Its made my CM10s sound like the 800 Diamonds! Overall, compared to the Hugo, the TT just sound more assured, refined and accomplished. It adds class to the Hugo's quality. Polishing the Hugo's rough cut diamond into a crown jewel. And no, that's not because i fed the Hugo through a preamp. (the 350P actually helps to reduce noise floor through its balanced conversion). Its late at night and I couldn't be asked to do extensive testing of the various outputs and inputs. I leave that for other esteemed users/reviewers. I also won't go into technical explanations and theories on the resultant sound quality. All I can say after going through a few of my usal test tracks on Sunday night, was "Wow". Its like a Cinderalla transformation. I look at the TT now with awe and respect. I bought the TT on the back of faith in respected insiders like DavidF and Adam of Nintronics who declare it sounds better than the TT, even though its not apparant. And I can say my faith in these two have not been misplaced. the TT IMHO is easily half a league above the Hugo. Is it worh the additional £1.6k premium? Well like all Hifi stuff, only you can decide. I can see why Chord electronics and Rob Watts seem to be underselling the TT a bit. Just when you thouigh there isn't anything new in DACs, out comes the mouldbreaking Hugo, then superseded by the TT. All I can say is, after one listening session, no regrets.