Chord Electronics SPM 1050 MKII stereo power amplifier

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What HFL Thinks

Chord SPM 1050 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.

Chord Electronics new SPM 1050 MkII power amplifier, first unveiled at High End 2016, Munich, is now available worldwide. The new MkII version directly replaces the original and introduces the latest Chord amplifier technology, plus some key aesthetic improvements.

The latest-spec MkII model offers reduced output distortion for even greater transparency and fidelity, plus improvements to capacitance for cleaner power delivery. The second- generation version also includes enhanced isolation on the mains transformer to reduce interference and enhance sonic performance. In keeping with the original, the SPM 1050 MkII uses Chords low-distortion amplifier circuitry and features four proprietary lateral- structure dual-die MOSFETs per channel (eight in total), enabling even the most demanding loudpspeakers to be driven with clarity and precision.

The SPM 1050 MkII offers both balanced XLR and RCA phono inputs, plus two pairs of loudspeaker outputs with gold-plated connections. A single power button offers operational simplicity from stand-by mode and the amplfiers status is indicated on the faceplate by a simple two-LED sequence showing power and relay functions. The casework is luxuriously Chord: machined from solid aircraft-grade aluminium it offers a stunning aesthetic plus an enviably rigid environment to house the electronics and dampen unwanted vibration.

Aesthetically, the MkII version includes a new vented aluminium lid, akin to the DSX1000 streamer, plus a new piano-black acrylic side-panel option giving the power amp a fresh, contemporary look. Additional options include a choice of finish for the established Integra leg system supports, these include: nickel, satin-black anodised and aluminium.

Chord Electronics’ proprietary Ultra High Frequency power supply 

As with all Chord Electronics amplifiers, the new SPM 1050 Mk II features Chords proprietary 2KW high-frequency switch-mode power supply, which was originally developed for use in aerospace, telecommunications and data processing, where quality and power is needed in a very space-efficient design. The technology allows instantaneous power to be taken from both power rails simultaneously when the audio track demands, giving perfect balance and dynamic precision for music.

The technology is complemented by a large bank of energy storage capacitors that are recharged by the power supply many thousands of times a second, giving the amplifier huge reserves, plus the ability to react effortlessly to any signal. This configuration gives increased voltage swing, greater dynamic range, plus the ability to cope with even the most demanding loudspeaker loads. Unobtrusive protection circuitry constantly monitors the amplifier status and magnetic current-sensing will shut down the SPM 1050 MkII in the event of a short circuit, or DC overload.

The Ultra High Frequency power supply is a self-contained, self-monitoring module, which is common to all Chord amplifiers and is fundamental to their exceptional performance. A sophisticated mains input filter ensures that the power supply is exceptionally well shielded from disturbed mains input, and more significantly, the mains itself is completely untouched by emissions from the amplifier.

Specifications:

  • OUTPUT POWER: 200W RMS per channel @ 0.05% distortion into 8Ω; 350W RM per channel @ 0.05% distortion into 4Ω
  • DYNAMIC HEADROOM: 300W RMS per channel into 8Ω; 400W rms per channel into 4Ω; 1 kHz, 20 cycles on, 480 cycles off. Channel peak into 2Ω.
  • FREQUENCY RESPONSE (8 ohms): -1dB, 0.2Hz to 46KHz; -3dB, 0.1Hz to 77KHz
  • FREQUENCY RESPONSE (4 OHMS): -1dB, 0.2Hz to 39KHz; -3dB, 0.1Hz to 75KHz
  • SIGNAL TO NOISE RATIO: Better than -103dB A weighted two-thirds power
  • CHANNEL SEPARATION: Better than 95dB
  • PRE-AMPLIFIER INPUT CONNECTION: 2x gold-plated, fully balanced XLR sockets; 2 x gold-plated custom phono sockets, unbalanced
  • INPUT IMPEDANCE: 100kΩ, unbalanced/balanced
  • INPUT CAPACITANCE: <30pf
  • OUTPUT IMPEDANCE: 0.02Ω
  • OUTPUT INDUCTANCE: 2.6mH
  • OUTPUT CONNECTIONS: 4x touch-proof-gold plated binding posts
  • SLEW RATE: 70V per mS 1KHz 20V square wave
  • GAIN: 30dB
  • STABILITY: unconditional
  • DIMENSIONS (Standard): 420mm (W) x 355mm (D) x 133mm (H)
  • WEIGHT: 15Kg

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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.