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Chord

Discussion in 'AV Pre-Amp/Processors & Power Amps' started by Knightshade, Aug 26, 2004.

  1. Knightshade

    Knightshade
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    I have the opportunity to get these new at a very reasonable price.
    Anyone had any experience?
    Chord SPM 1200C Power
    Chord CPA 3200E Pre
    All comments good or bad greatly appreciated.
     
  2. ShinObiWAN

    ShinObiWAN
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    I had a Chord SPM2000 5ch power amp up until a couple of months ago.

    I can honestly say that it was the best I've owned and in hindsight I made a huge mistake selling it. If you ever get an amp that you fall in love with never part with it.
     
  3. BLACK_MAGIC

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    Chord im my opinion make the best amps. The 1200c is a great amp. Tight and controlled with its base. Honest neutral sound. It will drive just about any speaker. It will make your music sound fantastic im more then sure of that.
    BTW how much you getting the cpa 3200e for?
     
  4. Knightshade

    Knightshade
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    Hi Black Magic,
    At the moment we're talking about £5000 - £6000 for both. I'm still haggling ;) at the moment.
    I'm going to have a good listen over the next few days. But they really are starting to seem quite attractive, I'll be comparing them to the 47 labs (Home grown amps (which are the best i've heard so far) i've got a bad feeling i'm going to like them. Not sure about a stereo power amp though.....
    We'll see.
     
  5. BLACK_MAGIC

    BLACK_MAGIC
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    Ohh thats cheap. If your getting them from a shop could you let me know which one cause im after a Chord CPA 3200E myself.
    Thanks.
     
  6. gwc

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    I have the 3200E and the 1200E and I used to have a DAC64 (till I upgraded).
    Actually I have still got it, haven't got around to selling it yet.

    The sound is fanatastic, it could be a bit bright some times (with the 64) but the soundstage and "timing" (for want of a better word) is exceptional. If you can get it for £5K to £6K then grab it.

    Cheers

    gwc
     
  7. Knightshade

    Knightshade
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    Thanks for all your replies,
    I've now got them on Demonstration.
    Setup is this:
    Exposure 3010 DAC 64
    CHORD PRE/POWER
    ATLAS ELECTRA Balanced OCC interconnects.
    PMC OB1
    Speaker cable is Atlas IKOR BI WIRE
    I've only had it set up for a day and not listened extensively. Bass extension is superb, midrange is smooth and transparent and the sound stage is excellent. What i've noticed is the brightness!
    I'm having problems convincing the wife that they're not ugly as it is!
    'No dear there just functional, not at all like huge aluminium breeseblocks, yes I know the displays don't match, and the control knobs are gold, But....'
    And this is where I fall over. At the moment my 3010 combination is performing better overall! Admittedly I haven't tried it without the DAC 64 yet but the DAC in the exposure I know won't get the detail of the DAC 64.
    Can anyone reccomend a way round this problem? GWC you have this kit what can you suggest? Different cabling maybe? I've tried blue heaven and that just made it worse!
    Help me people!



    In case your wondering why it's not on my main system. I couldn't afford enough poweramps, don't want to listen to it incase I like it...
     
  8. gwc

    gwc
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    On the cabling front I orginally had the following:

    Balanced Red Dawn Analogue Interconnects
    Chord Chorus Digital interconnect (Balanced)
    Red Dawn Speaker Cable

    But it was too bright so I change interconnects to a Transparent Music Link Plus which help a lot but due to lack of funds could only buy one set. I found that the connection between the pre-power to give the best results (don't know why).


    Cheers

    gwc
     
  9. Knightshade

    Knightshade
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    Switched interconnects around, from balanced XLR to RCA and so on and so forth. Didn't really make a lot of difference. Most of my cables sound similar so I wasn't expecting a huge difference. The system was still bright! Actually painfully bright! As the volume crept up so it was getting difficult not to cringe!
    Before chucking them out I decided to give my Ascent/Apex speaker cable a go despite being assured this would only make things worse as it's not as good a cable as the IKOR. Result: The brightness has gone! Now they're starting to sound how I imagined they would. Much better, the sound stage is huge, timing is great, good attack everythings just tightened up! And the treble is smooth and wonderfully controlled.
    Think these may be what i'm looking for.
    Just goes to show don't listen to everything you are told!
    The Cat 5e cable comes somewhere in between, better than the IKOR (£70 per metre!!!!!) not as good as the Apex/Ascent (£25 per metre)
    Well you live and learn.
    Time to throw some music at these babies.....
     
  10. alexs2

    alexs2
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    I've heard a fair number of Chord amps,both integrated and separate over the years and have never failed to be impressed with the sound and build quality,plus the overall definition and control.
    At that sort of price level,it's well worth trying several different cable types until you find a combination that suits your amps and your ears,but if you want something to take the edge off the upper ranges,it's also worth looking at some of the more expensive Kimber ranges,which should smoothen things out nicely,and certainly work very well with things like my Krells,which have a very similar overall sound balance.

    With the overall brightness in mind,there is also the amp/speaker combination to take into account,plus the fact of partnering a £6K amp with £2.5K speakers,and the potential performance mismatch there(another excuse for an upgrade later perhaps!)....enjoy!
     
  11. Knightshade

    Knightshade
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    Ah yes Alex but have you ever heard this 2.5K speaker? I was surprised, They're not far off the quality of the Akurates and certainly outperform most 4K speakers. Never judge a product by it's price tag. Especially not in this game.... I listened to some home made amps the other day and if i'd done the test blind I would've put them in the same league as the Chords! i.e. 4 - 5K for each power amp. Turns out the whole lot only cost about 2K! :eek:
    On the cable side, thanks for the advice I'll take a look at the kimber range and maybe try them out. Never used them before so you never know. I'm not so desperate now as I seem to have solved the problem.
    Ah well, the slippery slope to poverty and good music......
     
  12. alexs2

    alexs2
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    I have....but didnt really find it to my liking overall,as whilst the treble I thought was very nice and open,I just found the bass to be a bit slow,although certainly not lacking in depth,but I've found that with a number of other transmission line designs previously....just a case of what one person likes or dislikes!
    The home made amps werent the Gainclone amps by any chance were they?....
     
  13. Knightshade

    Knightshade
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    Hmmmm.... 'Fraid so. I'll tell you, built into some nice cases with a little more weight in the base I'd buy get them over the Chords anyday!
    I'm still looking into some of the more powerful systems people are starting to produce.
    I'll agree with you on the slightly slow response of the transmission line designs but it comes down in the end to all round performance. Which apart from the bass is superb.
    However having said all that i'm in the middle of hooking the amps up to the CD12 and the Akurate's (My wife is gonna flip!) i have a horrible wallet renching feeling about this..... :suicide:
     
  14. alexs2

    alexs2
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    I can see what you mean about the Gainclones and value for money,but I can't see them getting anywhere near the Chord's for bass power and control,as that sort of thing is very difficult to attain without serious power and reserve in the power amp section,and one of the many reasons(money of course also!) why I hang onto my somewhat elderly Krells,as the only amps I've heard which are better in the bass end are the equally elderly but even more pricey Levinson 20.5's(these still fetch over £4k now).
    One thing that transmission lines do require is an amp with decent damping and power in the bass regions,if timing isn't to suffer,and the Chords should do very well there......I'm working on a way of slipping a set of 300B valve amps into my collection without my wife noticing,but like you,I think that she'll go mad if/when she finds out!
     
  15. robfitzp

    robfitzp
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    I bought a 1200C a couple of weeks ago and I think it is a fantastic bit of kit for the money (4yr old, £1600). Unless you are going to spend a *lot* of money I don't think you will get anything a lot better.

    Playing with cables is all part of the fun......

    Cheers
    Rob
     
  16. BLACK_MAGIC

    BLACK_MAGIC
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    Which kimber cable are you using at the moment with your krells?
     
  17. alexs2

    alexs2
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    Sorry for not replying sooner...spent yesterday replacing a dud(NEW!) video card in my PC....I'm currently using a biwired set of cables,having tried single wiring with the N805's and even my wife noticed the difference when I changed it(she normally only notices the cost!).
    Kimber 8TC for the bass,and 4TC for the treble.....works very nicely,smooth overall balance without emphasizing any part of the spectrum.
    For something like your system,I'd recommend trying 8TC,and possibly some of the more expensive Kimbers,which you can get on 60 day trial from the UK distributor,Russ Andrews.....there is a fair amount of hype on his website,but the cables are genuinely good,and well worth trying.

    Nordost are also worth a go,but tend to have a brighter overall balance,and may not provide as smooth a balance overall,but the Red Dawn cables are superb and relatively affordable(!).

    www.russandrews.com
     
  18. Knightshade

    Knightshade
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    Hi Alex,
    Do you know of any stockists of Kimber cable in the south west area?
    Thanks
     
  19. alexs2

    alexs2
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    AFAIK Russ Andrews is the sole distributor.

    His mail order service is very efficient,and the 60 day trial period is very useful(I've used it many times myself!),and from the point of returning anything you don't like or want to buy,I'd go with him for that.

    www.russandrews.com
     

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