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Chord Electronics Ultima Pre 3: Preamplifier with balanced circuitry in symmetrical design

Chord Electronics Ultima Pre 3 preamplifier
Chord Electronics Ultima Pre 3 preamplifier

The analog preamplifier Chord Electronics Ultima Pre 3 is suitable , first of all, for the company’s power amplifiers – stereo Ultima 5 and Ultima 6 or Ultima 2 and Ultima 3 monoblocks. However, not only these models will work with the preamp: Ultima Pre 3 is quite universal, on board – both balanced and unbalanced outputs, there is a 12V trigger and an IEC power input.

For signal sources, five analog inputs are provided – two balanced and three unbalanced, as well as a separate AV Bypass. The novelty provided a USB Type-A 5 V / 3 A power output for peripheral devices, primarily, of course, branded Chord Electronics, Qutest and Hugo 2 DACs.

Chord Electronics talks about the completely new design of Ultima Pre 3, both outside and inside, about “development from scratch” – this is on the one hand. And on the other – about using the company’s 30 years of experience, up to the concept of the founder and owner of Chord, John Franks (John Franks).


The result is a fully balanced system with increased “purity” power supply. All inputs are individually buffered and provided with selective RFI filtering. Switching control is microprocessor-based, and the switching itself is implemented on hermetic relays.

All this is packaged in a symmetrical case made of solid aircraft-grade aluminum on branded Integra feet, just like in the previous model, Ultima Pre 2. In the center of the symmetrical front panel is a round indicator, as if surrounded by an encoder of a combined volume control based on a Blue Velvet ALPS potentiometer .

Above is a perforated grill for ventilation, decorated with adjustable LED lighting. The novelty is available in Jett black or silver Argent.

In the US, the Chord Electronics Ultima Pre 3 is priced at approximately $7,400.

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