Chord Electronics prep Hugo TT companion amplifier: TToby


munich_2016Compared to the 2015 event, this year’s Munich High-End show felt devoid of big news product launches, especially on the digital audio front.

Last year, the world’s audio press packed out Chord Electronics’ room for a first glimpse of DAVE, the UK manufacturer’s statement D/A converter designed by Rob Watts. This year, Watts stayed at home whilst CEO John Franks and co. played it more low key.

A digital DJ, controlling tunes with an iPad, pushed source material through DAVE, through the new SPM1050MKII power amplifier (£4995) and out through a pair of B&W floorstanders. Interspersed between audiophile classics (read: clichés) went real world classics (read: better). Well played, Sir. Literally.

Franks is no stranger to doing it different. He believes that many Chord customers must go through the shock of the new before coming around to his product’s unique visual styling and naming conventions.


“Where I go, Hugo“. Ya feel? With the Watts-coded, FPGA-fuelled portable headphone amplifier, many did. Ringing louder bells since last October has been the junior Mojo for which Chord now offer a carry case to prevent its buttons going pop in your pocket or bag. Yours for 65 quid. You can watch Franks introduce the double-catched clam-shell at the tail end of the video below.

Before that, we return to the similarly WTA-d Hugo TT D/A converter whose remote controllable pre-amplification outputs (balanced or single-ended) may now be diverted away from headphones and into loudspeakers via Chord’s all new companion power amplifier: TToby.

For those who know their David Jason comedies, if DAVE echoes Only Fools And Horses‘ Trigger (“Alright Dave”) then TToby nods in the direction of Open All Hours‘ stammering Arkwright (“G-G-G-Granville”). As Franks admits, he isn’t afraid of quirky names.

£2995 according to the press release – or £2750 according to Franks – gets you 130wpc into 4 Ohms (60wpc into 8 Ohms?) and the benefit of Chord’s high frequency switch-mode power supplies.

TToby will be available later this year.

Further information: Chord Electronics


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Written by John H. Darko

John lives in the NOW + HERE = NOWHERE. He derives an income from the ad revenues of DAR. John is also an occasional staff writer for Stereophile, 6moons and TONEAudio.

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  1. That’s a catchy name! “SPM1050MKII” just rolls off the tongue. And the price? 30 times more than a family makes in most of Equatorial Africa.