Chord’s Munich Surprise Review
Chord Electronics took the opportunity of the recent Munich High End show in Germany to launch two new products. Most talked about, and most surprising, was the Etude stereo power amplifier that features a brand new analogue topology – the company’s first for nearly 30 years. Designed by owner and Managing Director John Franks the Etude is said to have faster power delivery than existing Chord Electronics models to provide a more life-like delivery of transient information, as well as better control over loudspeaker drive units.
The Etude is rated at 150 Watts into 4 Ohms and features three proprietary switch-mode, high frequency power supplies. The unit is housed in Chord’s renowned machined aluminium casework and has both balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA inputs. Also debuting at Munich was the Hugo TT 2, the latest iteration of its well-regarded table-top DAC/headphone amplifier. This new model features improved casework and boasts an Artix 7 FPGA chip, uniquely custom-coded by Chord’s digital design consultant Rob Watts.
The company says output power is enough to drive efficient compact loudspeakers, with the right cabling. Technical specifications include a galvanically isolated USB-B connection capable of decoding 768kHz PCM data and DSD 512. The unit’s two optical TOSLink inputs are 24-bit/192kHz capable and the dual BNC coaxial inputs 24bit/768kHz.
Source : HiFi World