We continue the development of the super-grid-scale model initiated in [T. Colonius, H. Ran, A super-grid-scale model for simulating compressible flow on unbounded domains, J. Comput. Phys. 182 (1) (2002) 191–212] and consider its application to linear hyperbolic systems. The super-grid-scale model consists of two parts: reduction of an unbounded to a bounded domain by a smooth coordinate transformation and a damping of those scales. For linear problems the super-grid scales are analogous to spurious numerical waves. We damp these waves by high-order undivided differences. We compute reflection coefficients for different orders of the damping and find that significant improvements are obtained when high-order damping is used. In numerical experiments with Maxwell’s equations, we show that when the damping is of high order, the error from the boundary condition converges at the order of the interior scheme. We also demonstrate that the new method achieves perfectly matched layer-like accuracy. When applied to linear hyperbolic systems the stability of the super-grid-scale method follows from its construction. This makes our method particularly suitable for problems for which perfectly matched layers are unstable. We present results for two such problems: elastic waves in anisotropic media and isotropic elastic waves in wave guides with traction-free surfaces. 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.