Chord aims for sonic accuracy with gorgeous Ultima Integrated amp
Following an international debut at the High End audio show in Munich last year, UK hi-fi brand Chord Electronics has now announced global availability of its "class-leading" 125-watt Ultima Integrated amplifier.
For Chord's first integrated amplifier in seven years, company founder John Franks has designed the full-width integrated hi-fi amplifier using technology found in its flagship mono power amps and pre-amps, to set "new performance standards for an integrated design."
The striking chassis is fashioned from aircraft-grade aluminum with a vented lid and LED light ring. A 28-mm-thick front panel is home to an illuminated spherical power button with a volume control to one side and a combination balance/AV bypass on the other.
The amp rocks a combination of proprietary high-end power supplies plus the latest low-distortion power supplies, outputs 125 watts into 8 ohms, and features technology that monitors signals and corrects any errors before they reach the output stage, for improved fidelity and accuracy. It lacks a dedicated headphone out but can be paired with a DAC/headphone amp for private listening, as shown in the hero image above. And there's a balanced pre-amp output for onward connection to additional power amps.
Around back you'll find one balanced and three unbalanced inputs – each employing a buffer and filtering to nip any radio frequency interference in the bud. The system has an overall frequency response from 10 Hz to 200 kHz, 90-dB signal-to-noise ratio on all inputs and 0.01% total harmonic distortion.
The Ultima Integrated hi-fi amp is priced at £8,500 (which converts to just short of US$10,750) and is being made available through Chord's international retailer network across 54 countries.
Product page: Chord Ultima Integrated