Chord Blu MkII FPGA-Based Upsampling CD Transport

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Chord Blu MkII FPGA-Based Upsampling CD Transport

Chord Blu MkII FPGA-Based Upsampling CD Transport

$10,588.00

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Chord Blu MkII FPGA-Based Upsampling CD Transport

$10,588.00

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  • Product Ratings (No Rating)

    Average Rating
    54321

    Choose How Many Stars (5 Being the best)

  • Description


     

    MY TAKE: The Blu Mk II takes CD replay to an entirely new level of performance. Play your CDs on a Blu Mk II and hear them like never before - but far more than justa  great CD transport, the real advantage of the Blue is as an up-scalar for your digital devices. This is a absolutely magical product! I can't give it a stronger recommendation - BUY ONE! - Galen Carol

     

    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.
     

    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. This 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 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.

     

    REVIEWS:

    Audio Bacon - "The Chord Blu Mk. 2 offers an unprecedented level of:

    • Organic resolution – Not in the hyper-detail sense but in a way we hear in an actual acoustic space or studio. Notes carry themselves and diffuse naturally and you hear every bit of it. So it’s not more “hi-res” in the artificial sense but a natural sense.
    • Physicality – I’ve repeatedly mentioned “exertion” while listening to these tracks. That’s a descriptor I’ve never used to describe what I hear from a sound system, but yet here it is. During a live performance, we could feel the amount of energy and access the physical capabilities of our favorite artists as they belt out a song or send air rapidly through a trumpet. The Blu2 recreates this sensation in a startling way. The listening room is constantly filled with this dimensional and musical tension. This tactility and delicacy also apply to the textural notes of instruments.
    • Depth – The Chord DAVE had the most depth I’ve ever heard from a DAC. The Blu2 breaks all the walls and the notion of depth doesn’t exist. It’s completely unrestrained as far as soundscape.
    • Percussive definition – I’ve gone through quite a few percussive tracks and boy…I’ve never heard such definition and power in kick drums, cymbals, tambourines, or bells with this much speed, impact, detail, and dynamics. It’s not tight, it’s not clean, it’s not brilliant. It just sounds real. Drum brushes, in particular, have an organic sound to them.
    • Intelligibility – Until I A/B’ed with DAVE, I didn’t fully realize exactly what the intended style, character, and “motivation” of these recordings were about or how emotionally involved the musicians were. With BluDAVE, you get a physical presence and individualism that provides clear and coherent delivery of artistic technique, whether it be the finger work on a saxophone or the way the bow slides across a violin.
    • Dynamics – I thought the DAVE was superbly dynamic. You won’t realize how dynamic some of these recordings are until you hear the BluDAVE. Even within softer passages, you hear every textural note, at the proper speeds and if a kick drum or saxophone were to enter, its power and weight are fully realized without interrupting the more relax portions of the recording. Its capabilities in this provide a sense of authenticity adds that extra layer of realism that is nonexistent on most systems.
    • Imaging & Focus- This is one of the standouts of the Blu2. It takes stage recreation into another stratosphere. Most of the systems I’ve heard have great depth and separating but the imaging seems a bit piecewise and contrived. With the Blu2, you don’t have to try to visualize the band in front of you. You know precisely where the drummer is and the movement of the vocalist as he/she walks across the stage. With the help of the thicker and more rounded tone of the BluDAVE, you’re even able to gauge the size of the players and feel like you could reach out to them. You just have to hear it. Seriously.
    • Tone & Timbre – Woodwinds, brass, percussion, duets, everything just sounds as it should.
    • Sonic control – Everything from the layering to imaging, to explosive dynamics, the Blu2 does in proper (oh so British) fashion.

    The Chord Blu MK. 2 is the embodiment of what all audiophiles are striving for: A compelling and accurate reproduction of the original recording. If you’ve canceled your order, I would reconsider. You get perfect resolution, tone, timbre, velvety contours, layering, infinite soundstage, and surreal imaging. There are always tradeoffs but with the Blu2, you get all the important pieces in one package. With the proper cables in place…there’s not a single thing I could knock it on. We’re usually “content” with our systems but deep down inside, we always feel there’s something missing. With the BluDAVE, this notion never crosses my mind at all. The Chord Blu MKII is perfect in so many ways. It is unequivocally a game changer for digital audio and is worthy of making Audio Bacon’s Finest Cuts."

     

    FEATURES:
     

    Materials: Precision machined Choral aluminum 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 Option88.2kHz & 176.4kHz

    1x Optical44.1kHz, 88.2kHz, & 176.4kHz

    1x Single BNC S/PDIF Mode88.2kHz, 176kHz, & 352.8kHz

    1x Dual BNC S/PDIF Mode176.4kHz, 352.8kHz, & 705.6kHz

     

    USER CONFIGURABLE OPTIONS:

    Selectable upsampling: 1x selectable switch providing three sample rates

    Dither: On/Off (Only operational with 16bit source)

     

    TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS:

    Chipset: Chord Electronics custom coded Xilinx XC7A200T FPGA

    Tap-length: 1,015,808 (16FS filter)

    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

    Check out our full review in Featured Products

Product Ratings

Average Rating
54321

Choose How Many Stars (5 Being the best)

Chord Blu MkII FPGA-Based Upsampling CD Transport

$10,588.00

Loading...

Description


 

MY TAKE: The Blu Mk II takes CD replay to an entirely new level of performance. Play your CDs on a Blu Mk II and hear them like never before - but far more than justa  great CD transport, the real advantage of the Blue is as an up-scalar for your digital devices. This is a absolutely magical product! I can't give it a stronger recommendation - BUY ONE! - Galen Carol

 

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.
 

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. This 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 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.

 

REVIEWS:

Audio Bacon - "The Chord Blu Mk. 2 offers an unprecedented level of:

  • Organic resolution – Not in the hyper-detail sense but in a way we hear in an actual acoustic space or studio. Notes carry themselves and diffuse naturally and you hear every bit of it. So it’s not more “hi-res” in the artificial sense but a natural sense.
  • Physicality – I’ve repeatedly mentioned “exertion” while listening to these tracks. That’s a descriptor I’ve never used to describe what I hear from a sound system, but yet here it is. During a live performance, we could feel the amount of energy and access the physical capabilities of our favorite artists as they belt out a song or send air rapidly through a trumpet. The Blu2 recreates this sensation in a startling way. The listening room is constantly filled with this dimensional and musical tension. This tactility and delicacy also apply to the textural notes of instruments.
  • Depth – The Chord DAVE had the most depth I’ve ever heard from a DAC. The Blu2 breaks all the walls and the notion of depth doesn’t exist. It’s completely unrestrained as far as soundscape.
  • Percussive definition – I’ve gone through quite a few percussive tracks and boy…I’ve never heard such definition and power in kick drums, cymbals, tambourines, or bells with this much speed, impact, detail, and dynamics. It’s not tight, it’s not clean, it’s not brilliant. It just sounds real. Drum brushes, in particular, have an organic sound to them.
  • Intelligibility – Until I A/B’ed with DAVE, I didn’t fully realize exactly what the intended style, character, and “motivation” of these recordings were about or how emotionally involved the musicians were. With BluDAVE, you get a physical presence and individualism that provides clear and coherent delivery of artistic technique, whether it be the finger work on a saxophone or the way the bow slides across a violin.
  • Dynamics – I thought the DAVE was superbly dynamic. You won’t realize how dynamic some of these recordings are until you hear the BluDAVE. Even within softer passages, you hear every textural note, at the proper speeds and if a kick drum or saxophone were to enter, its power and weight are fully realized without interrupting the more relax portions of the recording. Its capabilities in this provide a sense of authenticity adds that extra layer of realism that is nonexistent on most systems.
  • Imaging & Focus- This is one of the standouts of the Blu2. It takes stage recreation into another stratosphere. Most of the systems I’ve heard have great depth and separating but the imaging seems a bit piecewise and contrived. With the Blu2, you don’t have to try to visualize the band in front of you. You know precisely where the drummer is and the movement of the vocalist as he/she walks across the stage. With the help of the thicker and more rounded tone of the BluDAVE, you’re even able to gauge the size of the players and feel like you could reach out to them. You just have to hear it. Seriously.
  • Tone & Timbre – Woodwinds, brass, percussion, duets, everything just sounds as it should.
  • Sonic control – Everything from the layering to imaging, to explosive dynamics, the Blu2 does in proper (oh so British) fashion.

The Chord Blu MK. 2 is the embodiment of what all audiophiles are striving for: A compelling and accurate reproduction of the original recording. If you’ve canceled your order, I would reconsider. You get perfect resolution, tone, timbre, velvety contours, layering, infinite soundstage, and surreal imaging. There are always tradeoffs but with the Blu2, you get all the important pieces in one package. With the proper cables in place…there’s not a single thing I could knock it on. We’re usually “content” with our systems but deep down inside, we always feel there’s something missing. With the BluDAVE, this notion never crosses my mind at all. The Chord Blu MKII is perfect in so many ways. It is unequivocally a game changer for digital audio and is worthy of making Audio Bacon’s Finest Cuts."

 

FEATURES:
 

Materials: Precision machined Choral aluminum 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 Option88.2kHz & 176.4kHz

1x Optical44.1kHz, 88.2kHz, & 176.4kHz

1x Single BNC S/PDIF Mode88.2kHz, 176kHz, & 352.8kHz

1x Dual BNC S/PDIF Mode176.4kHz, 352.8kHz, & 705.6kHz

 

USER CONFIGURABLE OPTIONS:

Selectable upsampling: 1x selectable switch providing three sample rates

Dither: On/Off (Only operational with 16bit source)

 

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS:

Chipset: Chord Electronics custom coded Xilinx XC7A200T FPGA

Tap-length: 1,015,808 (16FS filter)

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

Check out our full review in Featured Products