There’s a lot more to the Chord Blu MkII than CD replay. In fact this has to be the first CD transport that we’ve ever auditioned without even bothering with a CD!
Basically, put this between, say, a Melco or Innuos music server and Dave and you will hear more physical depth, space, content, music and ‘stuff’ than you ever realised was in the recording. It works with 16/44.1 CD resolution or hi-res 24/96 recordings. It’s bizarre and even Rob Watts the designer finds the reasons hard to fathom. For us, it was a huge revelation.
I should say that, now we have our own, we’ve used it as a CD player (quaint, huh?) and it is excellent. Switching on dither seemed like a very good idea.
Chord describe the Blu MkII as a compact, FPGA-based upsampling CD transport which offers the world’s most advanced filter technology. Used with DAVE, the combination delivers class-leading CD sound quality and technical performance.
“Put simply, the Blu MkII upscaling CD transport sets new standards for CD sound quality by using the very latest FPGA technology to implement advanced proprietary filtering and upscaling techniques. Our next-generation CD transport incorporates a powerful new FPGA core with extraordinary capability.
Blu MkII’s sophisticated WTA (Watts Transient Alignment) filtering and upscaling algorithms can output digital data at 705.6kHz (16 x CD’s 44.1kHz native resolution). When partnered with the critically acclaimed DAVE DAC/preamp, with its 705.6kHz-capable digital inputs, the Blu MkII sets a new technical benchmark for CD performance, while redefining sound quality from the medium.
At the heart of the Blu MkII lies an enormously powerful Xilinx FPGA. Rob Watts’ (Chord’s Digital Design Consultant) has used this to create his exclusive WTA M-Scaler technology, which incorporates the most advanced filter of its kind in the world. The Xilinx FPGA has also enabled a key breakthrough in tap-length (the technical indicator of how complex the interpolation filter is) taking Blu MkII to an unprecedented 1,015,808 taps.
A comprehensive suite of high-performance connectivity is offered and the Blu MkII also features a USB digital input, meaning that it can also be used a standalone high-performance upsampler, for use with other digital sources.
Further features include Chord Electronics’ legendary proprietary high-frequency switching power supply and a dedicated CD-only laser mechanism for an uncompromising performance.
Chipset: Chord Electronics custom coded Xilinx XC7A200T FPGA
Tap-length: 1,015,808 (16FS filter)
FPGA current draw: 10amps
Frequency response: 0Hz (DC) – 20kHz +/- 0.0000001dB
In-band ripple 0Hz-20kHz: +/- 0.0000002dB
Stop band rejection: -135dB
THD and noise (24bit input): -144dB
Noise 2.6 uV ‘A’ weighted: No measurable noise floor modulation
Signal to noise ratio: 126dB ‘A’ Weighted
Power supply: 90v AC – 24v AC Auto-Switching
Power consumption: 30w
Dimensions: 333.5mm (W) x 98.5mm (H) x 142 (D)
Materials: Precision machined Choral aluminium casing designed by John Franks
CD Resolution: 44.1kHz – 705.6kHz (user configurable)
Connectivity (input): 1x USB input: 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, 96kHz, 176.4kHz, 192kHz, 352.8kHz, 384kHz, 705.6kHz, & 768kHz
1x BNC S/PDIF: 44.1kHz – 384kHz (upsampled)
1x Single AES Option: 44.1kHz & 88.2kHz
1x Dual AES Option: 88.2kHz & 176.4kHz
1x Single BNC S/PDIF Mode: 88.2kHz, 176kHz, & 352.8kHz
1x Dual BNC S/PDIF Mode: 176.4kHz, 352.8kHz, & 705.6kHz
User Configurable Options:
Selectable upsampling: 1x selectable switch providing three sample rates
Dither: On/Off (Only operational with 16bit source)
Control options: Manual
Remote control (included – upsampling modes not accessible via remote operation)
Chord Custom Coded FPGA
Philips CD Pro 2 Mech
HF Switch Mode Power Supply
Upsampling to 768kHz
768kHz USB Input
384kHz BNC S/PDIF Input
AES Output to 176.4kHz
Dual Data Mode BNC to 705.6kHz
Solid Aluminum Chassis
IR Remote Control Included
1.5m 10a IEC Mains Power Lead Reference Blu Mk. II Remote Blu Mk. II Owners Manual
OTHER ACCESSORIES & CUSTOM OPTIONS
Precision machined from a solid block of aircraft grade aluminium, a work of art on its own, the Ensemble Stand is irrefutably the most satisfying way to display your Choral system components or stack.