FrontRunners: Striking All the Right Chords

When the British hi-fi company Chord debuted the first component in its distinctive Choral Series a year ago, reaction was immediate: “Give us more!”

The unconventional dimensions of the digital-to-analog converter’s casing (similar to a 2-inch-tall shoe box with softened corners), round jewellike glass window exposing a soft ocean blue glow, and engraving-free and nearly button-free design was unlike anything available.

Recently in London, Chord (www.chordelectronics.co.uk) unveiled three more components: a preamplifier, a power amplifier, and a phono stage. A CD/DVD player is also planned. The Choral range is based on the preamplifier, which has a digital display, balanced and unbalanced inputs and outputs, and a controller that operates as many as 10 devices. The power amp is rated at 30 watts per channel, but it can be bridged with another amp if more power is needed.

The matching solid aluminum rack on which the components sit enhances their untraditional look: The components are stacked vertically and angled toward the listener to showcase the design.

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