Chord CPA8000 Preamp

Great Britain has long been home to many excellent high-end audio companies, including Chord Electronics. One of its newest offerings is the uncompromising CPA8000, Chord's ultimate 2-channel preamp.

Looking very retro-cool, the CPA8000 incorporates a dual-mono design with separate, isolated power supplies for each channel, which helps bring the noise floor down to –135dB. Not only that, the THD is spec'd at an extremely low 0.002% from 20Hz to 20kHz.

The inputs include four balanced and four unbalanced pairs, and there are three balanced and three unbalanced outputs, providing plenty of flexibility. Also available is a separate balanced AV Bypass input that avoids the volume control so it can be fed directly to an external A/V processor. High- and low-frequency EQ controls are provided for each channel, and highly accurate VU meters with BBC ballistics can be enabled or disabled as desired.

Of course, high-end audio at this level doesn't come cheap—the CPA8000 carries a price tag around $50,000. But if 2-channel audio is your thing, it's likely to strike the right chord.