(Editorial note: As many AVguide readers know, the British high-end audio firm Chord Electronics has launched a sub-brand called Chordette whose mission is to make the Chord sound available in a range of small, attractively styled, and affordably priced products. For most of us, the first glimpse of Chordette came through exposure to the firm’s first product: the Chordette Gem High Definition Bluetooth Decoder/USB DAC.
Now, however, the firm’s North American distributor Bluebird Music (www.bluebirdmusic.com) has announced an all-new and greatly expanded range of new-generation Chordette products—including an updated version of the Gem. Below, we present the text of the Bluebird Music product announcement along with images of the new Chordette models.).
The Chordette Gem is now upgraded to include APT-X, the Gem delivers true high end sound from cell phones, PDAs, PCs and music servers to any hi-fi system – wirelessly or via it’s USB input.
Chordette Peach, below, is an enhanced version of the Gem offering additional optical and coaxial inputs. The Peach also offers a five position input selector switch allowing you to connect up to four different sources and easily switch between sources. The fifth position on the switch passes control to a pre-amplifier allowing you to change sources via the pre-amplifier's remote control.
Chordette Prime is a pre-amplifier designed as the control center for your Chordette or existing hi-fi system. Up to four RCA sources can be connected via the analog inputs and a USB connection allows direct digital connection to a personal computer. The USB input will not only playback music but will also allow you to record the audio from any of the analog inputs directly onto your computer. During playback via USB an optical TOSlink output can act as a digital record monitor or as a digital feed into another DAC or AV system. Featuring a clear, easy to read display and with full remote or manual control the Prime offers all the functions of much larger pre-amplifiers but is the same size case as all Chordette products. The Prime is shown below.
Chordette Scamp, below, is a stereo amplifier with control for both digital and analog inputs. It has been designed as a small but extremely capable amplifier. The Scamp delivers 2 x 40 watts and features USB and high gain RCA inputs, a built in DAC, a rotary volume control on the rear and a pair of high quality speaker binding posts.
With it's own RCA phono inputs, USB input and gain control, this little power house can be used as a stand alone integrated amplifier with a single source or as a power amplifier when combined with the Chordette Prime. This gives great flexibility, but there's even more; by just pressing a switch on the back the Scamp can also be bridged into a high power 80 watt mono block amplifier!?
Although the Scamp is small, very little has been compromised. When bridged, this compact beauty will supply an output in excess of 80 watts rms of pure music power – this truly amazing unit does this without resorting to fatiguing 'D' Class digital technology but uses instead an innovative common drain, vertical mosfet design, class 'AB' amplifier supplied by a truly innovative 4 transformer 500 kHz unique power supply.
Chordette Toucan is a high quality headphone amplifier which adds advanced, fully adjustable headphone connectivity to both traditional and computer based hi-fi systems. The Toucan, shown below, features gold plated RCA phono and true balanced XLR inputs for analog sources and has two headphone jacks so two can listen at the same time. With the addition of a USB port the Toucan can be connected to a personal computer and will seamlessly appear as an audio device by the operating system. Any music played on the computer will be digitally decoded and then converted to a hi-fi quality signal for playback.??
The listening experience has been further enhanced by the addition of a cross-feed network filter. When selected, this will provide a spatial effect giving the feeling that the music has moved outside the head. This results in a more coherent soundstage and lifelike presentation. A manually operated solid aluminum volume control makes for precise and easy volume adjustment.
Chordette Dual is a high quality phono amplifier for MC phono cartridges. The Dual, below, features selectable input impedance and gain options that allow for perfect matching to your cartridge. The advanced circuitry gives superior performance and applies the appropriate RIAA equalization for outstanding sound quality. A Rausch slope filter removes rumble from low frequency music. ?
An onboard analog to digital converter with USB output allows you to record from your vinyl to your PC or MAC. RCA analog and optical TOSlink digital outputs are also provided.
Chordette Mogul high performance PC is the heart of this highly flexible highly advanced and stunningly styled home computing/entertainment solution. Running the latest Windows™ 7 operating system the Mogul supports a vast range of multimedia applications with full internet access and support. Whether you want to play music, download and playback a missed television program, check your email or just browse the internet the Mogul is the perfect solution. Small and discrete it will sit neatly under a TV or monitor in any room or office and function as a full sized PC or multimedia player.?
Each of the new Chordettes have an internal USB D to A converter or A to D in the case of the Dual. So the Prime, Toucan, Scamp, Gem, Peach and Dual can all be connected into the Mogul by way of USB. With both wired and wireless network support you can stream media content to and from any other compatible product giving total flexibility and compatibility within the home or office network.?
The Mogul, shown second from the bottom in the system below, also has an internal DAC with RCA outputs which when combined with a pair of active speakers creates a luxury high end solution to home computing.??
The Mogul not only offers total flexibility with the rest of the range but it also allows dual VGA and simultaneous HDMI (including digital audio) output so you can watch a downloaded movie on your Projector and do email at the same time on a normal LCD PC monitor.
The ultra compact Mogul supports 2GB of DDR2 system memory and leverages a power-efficient, high performance 1.2GHz U2500 VIA Nano processor to provide a very capable and power system for the size.