Chord Electronics debuts ULTIMA flagships

The DAC specialist unveils stunning new pre and power amplifiers

The premier of the monster ULTIMA preamp and monoblock power amps from Chord Electronics certainly drew big crowds eager to get a first look at the newest beasts to arrive from the Kent-based specialist audio brand at last year’s Hi-Fi Show Live held in Windsor. Launched to celebrate the company’s 30th anniversary with two ground-breaking introductions to its Reference range, the ULTIMA preamp (above) and twin mono power amps dominated one of the show’s largest demo spaces in a spectacular showcase that was joined by the company’s Blu MkII CD/ digital transport and DAVE DAC/preamp and partnered with probably the world’s most striking loudspeaker – supplied in the shape of KEF’s Muon flagship. 

A single ULTIMA power amp measures 480 x 350 x 670mm (WxHxD) and weighs in at 86kg. It’s rated at 780W into 8ohm (for 0.05% THD), rising to 1.4kW into 4ohm and 2.5kW into 2ohm. Each output stage comprises 64 of Chord’s proprietary dual die lateral matched MOSFETS, rendered highly linear by the use of dual-feedforward error correction.

The matching ULTIMA PRE (also £30,000 and pictured above) is slightly smaller, measuring 480 x 350 x 355mm (WxHxD) but still weighs in at 30kg. It is equipped with extensive input and output provisions, offering four balanced and four unbalanced inputs with six-step gain adjustment made via remote control or from the front panel. Three outputs are available, each balanced or unbalanced. Separate bass and treble adjust controls are also on hand for the left and right channels. Both are available now in black or silver finishes. You can find out more about the ULTIMA PRE here and the ULTIMA power amp here. Both are available to buy now.