The new Chord HUGO DAC and headphone amplifier is powered by 12V DC and uses a traditional switch mode power supply to charge the internal Hugo battery.
If you intend to use the HUGO as a portable headphone amplifier the linear power supply is not needed, if you however you intend to use the HUGO as a dedicated DAC in your hi-fi or AV system then the linear power supply can be used to keep the battery fully charged and improve the sound compared to the smps charging the battery.
Using our power supply will negate the need to keep re-charging the battery when it goes flat when used in a hi-fi system.
MCRU have available one of their award winning fully regulated linear power supply’s for this DAC. Our power supply’s are designed and built in the UK by Longdog Audio, owned and run by respected UK audiophile Nick Gorham, the power supply’s have won 5 Hi-Fi Choice 5 star awards for sound quality and will improve the performance of any equipment connected to them.
The HUGO DAC is powered by 12V DC and as standard ships with a SMPS wall wart psu. Our PSU delivers a regulated 12V supply based on a 2 box design, see the design rationale at the bottom of the page.
Our power supply ships with a standard mains lead which can be up-graded using the menu system as well as a better fuse or iec inlet, we can also supply 120V versions and the mains lead to suit your country, UK, Schuko for Europe, USA or Australian / New Zealand so it really is a universal design which users worldwide can benefit from.
We have also installed the new Oyaide audiophile quality DC power plug on this new PSU.
The design thoughts behind the 2 box PSU are below.
When thinking of regulation, it’s worth remembering the Roman god Janus. Who was the god of gateways, and was a two faced god looking in both directions. Likewise a good voltage regulator is required to look in both directions at once. From one direction you have the mains supply, with the ever increasing noise, distortion and random variation that exists on our household mains supply. In the other direction you have the device you are supplying power to. The load will be asking constantly varying current, and the job of the regulator will be to ignore the varying load and to supply a rock steady voltage that ignores the changing load.
To ask a single regulator to perform both tasks means that it can not do either as well as it could. We don’t ask our regulators to be two faced, we split the two functions into two separate regulators and put them both where they can do the best job.
The first regulator is close to the mains supply, its job is to take the incoming mains and convert it into a low(ish) noise DC supply, and to isolate the mess that is our household power lines from what follows. In most power supplies on the market, the output of the first stage would be directly connected to the load device, and that would certainly be an improvement over the supplies that most manufactures provide. But we can do better by adding the other face of Janus to the system.
The second regulator is supplied with a clean low noise supply, and its job is to handle the changing demands of the load. To do that, it needs to be as close to the load as possible. So we remove the second regulator from the main box, and place it close to the load, both electrically and physically, that removes it from the noise and interference of the mains supply, and allows it to spend its time looking towards the load. Typical commercial voltage regulator chips are general purpose devices, but are not quiet enough for the task on hand, so the second regulator uses a bespoke regulator based on a low noise multi stage filtered voltage reference, a low noise error amplifier and a high current low resistance mosfet. To allow it to handle the changing load it also needs to supply current on demand, so all the remaining space in the second regulator is filled with low impedance capacitors to act as a local energy source.
Using the two stages of regulator, we achieve a noise floor equal or better than most battery supplies, and a effective source resistance of the order of 0.02 ohm (and the short cable run to the load avoids increasing this valve by adding copper where its not needed, and the use of a discrete regulator design allows that tiny value to be maintained way above frequency any audio device operates at.