Chord Electronics Unveil New ULTIMA PRE 3 Preamplifier

Coming off of the well-received Mojo 2, Chord is already looking to their next venture with their latest pre-amp. This brand new analog system is completely built from the ground up, inspiring a fresh design not seen before in Chord’s selection. With 30 years of experience and expert craftsmanship, the Ultima Pre 3 aims to bring the latest in low-distortion power with Chord’s notorious circuit design.

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

Externally, the ULTIMA PRE 3 benefits from a completely redesigned front panel. The new fascia offers a perfectly symmetrical design, centered on a circular power on/off sphere which uses the company’s familiar polychromatic indicator lighting, giving 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.

All casework is precision-machined from solid aircraft-grade aluminum, including the Integra legs. A black acrylic side-block alternative to the Integra legs is also available as a no-cost option. The upper panel features a pleasing vented design, which is enhanced with a dimmable LED light.

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


  • Frequency response: 10 Hz-200 kHz +/- 3 dB
  • THD: 0.002 % 20Hz-20 kHz
  • Signal to noise ratio: -105 dB on all inputs
  • Input impedance: 100 kΩ
  • Output impedance: 560 Ω
  • Input maximum voltage: 10 V RMS
  • Output maximum voltage: 17 V RMS
  • Gain: x1
  • Channel separation: 100 dB
  • Operation voltage: 80-250 V AC auto-switching
  • Power consumption: 40 W
  • Dimensions with legs: 485 mm (w) x 355 mm (d) x 130 mm (h)
  • Weight: 12.7 kg

The Chord ULTIMA PRE 3 is available to order now from their website here.

Find more from Chord Electronics at Audio46.

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