Chord Electronics Ultima Pre-amplifier
Chord Electronics Ultima Pre
What we Say:
The Chord Electronics Ultima Pre is the top model of two pre-amplifiers in the Chord Ultima range. It is built in a full size chassis standing at roughly double the height of the Ultima Pre 2. This allows the design to be split so each channel has it’s own input PCB so effectively dual mono in approach. Multiple inputs and outputs are available on both single ended RCA and balanced XLR connectors.
The font fascia is very striking with a pair of rows of LEDs which illuminate to indicate current output level. Above the large weighted volume and balance knobs are 4 rotary controls that look more like controls that you may find on a submarine rather than an amplifier. The case is constructed from large milled and anodised aluminium slabs which ooze quality and craftsmanship. As with most Chord Electronics products part of the inside is visible from vents in the top cover. The inside is illuminated using Teal colour LEDs which give the product a striking glow. Metalwork is available in Silver or Black. The pre-amp sits on Integra legs which enable stacking if required.
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What they say:
Designed to be entirely uncompromising, the ULTIMA preamp is a world-class amplifier with advanced proprietary Chord Electronics technology. A product of three decades of research, design and engineering here in the UK, it benefits from true dual-mono construction with separate ultra-high-frequency power supplies for each channel, giving the best possible separation. With the addition of valuable low-noise circuitry, the noise floor performance is exceptional, at beyond -117dB.
Featuring impressive double-height dimensions, the ULTIMA preamp has been created to perfectly complement the flagship ULTIMA mono power amplifier, also the most advanced in the company’s 30-year history. With wide-ranging inputs and outputs, including balanced connectivity, ULTIMA offers complete flexibility for high-performance partnering equipment, enhanced further by the fascia-mounted separate frequency EQ adjust controls for the left and right channels. Headphone outputs offer further flexibility for late-night and personal listening in style.
Each ULTIMA preamp is hand-made in the Kent factory, with the various stages of build and production carefully overseen by one highly skilled technician. Sensitive internal circuit features are protected by solid milled aluminium shielding to prevent RF interference and Chord Electronics’ legendary UK-produced aircraft-grade aluminium provides a solid and resonance-eliminating enclosure for the electronics within, complemented by the famous Integra Leg System.
ULTIMA is the ultimate expression of the finest high-performance, ultra-fast, ultra-high-power amplifier technology available today.
Inputs & Outputs:
8 Stereo Inputs and 3 Stereo Outputs
- 4x Stereo Balanced XLR Inputs – Line In 1, Line In 2, Line In 3, and Line In 4
- 4x Stereo Unbalanced RCA Inputs – Line In 5, Line In 6, Tape 1, and Tape 2
- 3x Stereo Outputs – Selectable – Either via Balanced XLR or Unbalanced RCA
- 1x Stereo Balanced XLR AV Bypass Input
2.5Hz – 200kHz +/- 3dB
Total Harmonic Distortion:
0.002% 20Hz – 20kHz
-125dB on all inputs
Signal to Noise Ratio:
-117dB on all inputs
20Hz @ 110dB, 1kHz @ 105dB, 10kHz @ 100dB, 20kHz @ 95dB
Input Max Voltage:
17v RMS Balanced – 8.5v RMS Unbalanced
Output Max Voltage:
17v RMS Balanced – 8.5v RMS Unbalanced
0mV (Both Channels)
0dB 0.5dB, -20dB 0.2dB, -60dB 0.24dB (13seconds Full Travel)
All inputs subject to six levels of switchable gain (x0.5, x1, x1.5, x2, x2.5, x3)
100 kΩ Balanced – 50 kΩ Unbalanced
100Ω (Short Circuit Protected)
85v – 270v AC (50Hz – 60Hz) Auto Switching
Dimensions Without Integra Legs:
420mm (w) x 355mm (d) x 310mm (h)
Dimensions With Included Integra Legs:
480mm (w) x 355mm (d) x 350mm (h)