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It's been a busy day down at Chord Electronics' HQ in Kent, with no fewer than eight new models joining the jewel-like Chordette range.
We're already familiar with the Chordette Gem DAC, complete with Bluetooth, and now there's a whole raft of additional models to choose from so you can build a complete Chordette system.
The most intriguing is the Chordette Mogul, a Micro PC which in effect acts as a Media Centre PC, albeit it in a tiny enclosure.
It runs the Windows 7 operating system, has a built-in DAC, 320GB hard drive, six USB ports, wired and wireless connectivity, ethernet, an HDMI socket with support for HD audio and Full HD video and comes supplied with a USB wi-fi adapter and wireless keyboard with touchpad.
It supports "a vast range of multimedia applications", says Chord, and has full internet access. You can use it to stream music, download and play back films or TV shows, surf the web and check your emails.
Dual VGA connections mean it can be connected to a TV/projector and a computer monitor at the same time, handy for multitasking, while VIA Chrome9 HCM graphics processing gives 1080p HD video playback.
Standard RCA outputs allow for the connection of a pair of active speakers if you want to take advantage of the internal DAC for music replay.
All this will cost you £2195. The rest of the new Chordette range is as follows:
• Chordette Dual (£799): Moving coil phono amp. Has selectable input impedance and gain options, onboard analogue-to-digital converter with USB output for recording vinyl to a PC or Mac, one RCA input, one RCA output and one optical digital connection for hooking up an external DAC.
• Chordette Toucan (£799): Headphone amp with USB and RCA connections, XLR inputs, two 1/4in headphone sockets so two people can listen at the same time, and a built-in DAC. A Toucan Blue version with the addition of Bluetooth costs £1495.
• Chordette Peach DAC (£799): Bluetooth-enabled DAC supporting A2DP and APT-X, rotary switch on the back for switchable inputs (USB, Bluetooth, TOSlink optical, coaxial), two pairs of RCA outputs, plus optional Bluetooth dongles for Apple iPods and iPhones.
• Chordette Scamp (£799): 40W stereo amplifier with USB input, a pair of RCA phono connections, gold speaker binding posts, manual volume control, built-in DAC. Can be used as a stereo power amp in conjunction with the Chordette Prime preamp, or bridged into an 80W monobloc by pressing the switch on the back.
•Chordette Prime (£1495): Four input preamp designed to match the Scamp. Includes a USB input for connecting to a PC or Mac, one pair of RCA phono outputs, plus one TOSlink digital output for recording or connection to another DAC or AV system.
Other new models in the pipeline are the Chordette Max power amp with Bluetooth and USB (£1495) and Scamp amp with Bluetooth, bringing the complete range to nine.
All the above models can be connected in to the Mogul Micro PC via USB. And if you want to order them in a different colour to the standard silver, it will cost you an extra £50.
We've brought one of the first Chordette Toucan headphone amps off the production line back with us, so will be testing it soon.