Chord Electronics introduces ULTIMA PRE 3 preamp

Chord Electronics has launched the ULTIMA PRE 3, a new ground-up-design analogue preamplifier, benefitting from the latest Chord Electronics preamplifier technologies, as well as a new fascia design.

As the brainchild of the company’s founder-owner, John Franks, the ULTIMA PRE 3 harnesses more than 30 years of British amplifier-building expertise and takes advantages of the very latest developments in advance low-distortion power supplies, which offer exceptionally low noise and outstanding amplifier operation. A new circuit design ensures the preamplifier offers high levels of performance.

Featuring five analogue inputs, two balanced and three unbalanced, plus a separate AV bypass input, all five of the ULTIMA PRE 3’s main inputs have individual buffering and are selectively filtered against potential ingress from radio frequency interference. Selection switching is performed via sealed relays, controlled by microprocessors.

In addition to its five inputs, the ULTIMA PRE 3’s rear panel features both balanced and unbalanced outputs, a 12V trigger and IEC power inlet, as well as a convenient 5V/3A USB Type-A output to power peripheral devices, including Chord Electronics’ DACs such as the Qutest and Hugo 2.

Introducing a new design, the new preamplifier has a completely redesigned front panel, with a symmetrical design, centred on a circular power on/off sphere which uses Chord Electronics’ familiar polychromatic indicator lighting to give a clear and simple indication of the amplifier’s playing status. The power sphere is flanked by a newly designed combined volume and input selector, plus a combined balance and AV bypass control.

The preamplifier is ideal to pair with a wide range of power amps, including the ULTIMA 5 and ULTIMA 6 stereo power amplifiers. It can also be used with the ULTIMA 2 and ULTIMA 3 monoblocks.

Hand-built, the ULTIMA PRE 3 is available now in Jett Black or Argent Silver, with a suggested retail price of £6,000. It will make its European debut at High End, Munich at the end of May.


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