Chord Electronics Blu MKII Upscaling CD Transport

Zoom in

What HFL Thinks

Chord Blu MKII - I think it is fair to say that there is no other audio brand out there quite like Chord Electronics, offering highend audio products with unique styling and stunning build quality which are all hand built in the UK in rural Kent. Possibly best known for their DAC’s they also offer a range of highend components. With customers like Skywalker Sound, Air Studios, and Even Sir Paul McCartney on their books along with stunning reviews that their equipment gets you can be sure that Chord really do offer some of the best products currently available today. So whatever you are after please pop into HFL to find out how Chord Electronics can enhance your music listening.

The Blu MkII is 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.

In More Depth:

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 BNC S/PDIF 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.

Features:

  • Materials: Precision machined Choral aluminium casing designed by John Franks
  • CD Resolution: 44.1kHz – 705.6kHz (user configurable)
  • Connectivity (input): 1x BNC S/PDIF: 44.1kHz – 384kHz (upsampled)
  • Connectivity (output): 1x Single AES Option 44.1kHz & 88.2kHz, 1x Dual AES Option 88.2kHz & 176.4kHz, 1x Optical 44.1kHz, 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)

Technical Specifications

  • 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
  • Weight: 7kg
  • Dimensions: 335mm (L) x 170mm (W) x 105mm (H)

HFL would also recommend...

HiFi Lounge is proud to be one of a select few Bryston dealers in the UK who now come under the new Bryston Centre of Excellence initiative.

PMC speakers (Brystons UK distributer) are re-affirming their commitment to the development of Bryston for domestic use in the UK through the creation of a network of Bryston Centres of Excellence, PMC have appointed Tom Barron to the position of Bryston account manager, here is what he had to say about the new venture - account manager, here s what Tom had to say on the new venture -

"I will be working with a carefully selected group of retailers across the UK so we have strong geographical coverage that puts Bryston within easy reach of audiophiles up and down the land. Each Centre of Excellence will receive in-depth training to ensure they are fully conversant with all aspects of the brand, to enable them to serve their customers with confidence."

HiFi Lounge have been big fans of Bryston for many years now, owning much of their equipment personally before starting HiFi Lounge. We even started the always active Bryston Owners Thread on AVForums to which we contribute regularly, so it really is a privilege to be part this new scheme. We have a vast knowledge regarding the current Bryston range of which we have most on demo, so if you have any questions or would like to come in for a listen please do not hesitate to get in touch. There is nothing we like more than talking about and listening to Bryston equipment.