Chord Electronics first took flight from the aviation world, where engineering without limits means uncompromising standards. This concept designed by company owner John Franks has helped shape our philosophy since the company’s inception in 1989. Our first amplifiers were supplied to the BBC, followed by world-leading studios including Abbey Road, Sony Music (New York) and later, The Royal Opera House.
THE ANALOGUE: Errors at 30,000ft simply cannot happen. Where safety nets do not exist, electrical engineering for aircraft must only be first-rate. Infallible. However, back in the 1980s where control systems were mostly analogue, engineers had encyclopedic knowledge. One such engineer was John Franks. John was not only a skilled engineer, but a passionate audiophile and knew that there was a clear crossover between avionics and high fidelity.
For his amplifiers, intelligently shielded switch-mode power supplies, able to refill the capacitors at a much faster rate than toroidal transformers, were the only way to reproduce bass frequencies with true precision, and for the amplification devices themselves, the MOSFETs, John worked tirelessly to develop his own unique and utterly transparent devices. Free of distortion and so musical, Chord Electronics’ analogue technologies are in a class of their own.
THE DIGITAL: Our digital master, Rob Watts, has been designing and perfecting DACs for decades but Rob was not just an engineer he was an audiophile, a surprising rarity amongst the profession. Disappointed by the constant limitations dictated by the package size and the obvious budget restrictions to make a chip a realistic commercial opportunity, he began designing his own using FPGAs, remarkable programmable chips. Restricted only by their physical processing power or ‘canvas size’, not by design, Rob developed the scalable WTA filter and Pulse Array technologies, and it is these incredible proprietary technologies, protected by military-grade encryption, which extract far more information from the original recording than ever before. As a result, our digital devices are unique, multi-award-winners and have up to 600x the resolving power of a chip DAC.
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