Born out of the uncompromising world of avionics, Chord Electronics have been established as a world-leading manufacturer of high-performance hi-fi, home cinema, and professional audio equipment for over 30-years. The British brand is a technology-driven innovator, continuously delivering excellence through exemplary audio engineering, cutting-edge design, and true aesthetic understanding. Their products are trusted and admired by the world’s most famous studio professionals including Abbey Road Studios (London), Sony Music Studios (New York), Skywalker Sound (California) and later, the Royal Opera House (London).
The company took flight in 1989 from an idea founder, chief engineer and owner John Franks had in the early ’80s whilst working as an electronics engineer for Marconi Avionics. His idea was to apply the strict disciplines inherent in electronics for aircraft, where perfection must be achieved to guarantee safety, and pair them with his proprietary dynamically coupled ultra-high-frequency switch-mode power supply designs and custom MOSFETs, to produce highly accurate, transparent and reliable, high-end audio amplifier designs.
In their early days, the company was focused solely on analog technologies. It was in 1994 that John Franks met Rob Watts, a talented digital consultant, and designer, working for massive clients at CES Las Vegas. Just like John, Rob had his own approach to digital: he had his own technologies to reach precision and truth in audio playback, at the time when digital was at its infancy. Rob’s stance was important because John knew that this was the future: that digital would become the number one format and that digital-to-analog converter chips, used by most manufacturers, were never good to be good enough for high-fidelity playback.
Together in 1997, Chord Electronics introduced its first digital product, the DSC 1500 and later in 2002, a (now legendary) product named the DAC 64. Overtime their presence rapidly expanded internationally as a result of the quality and craftsmanship of their products, but it was the introduction of the Hugo, a transportable DAC, in 2014 that drove their popularity amongst a much younger demographic. Hugo 2 became a landmark with legendary status.
Today, Rob Watts is held in the highest regard and is responsible for most digital designs (DACs, upsamplers, CD players/transports) at Chord Electronics. His award-winning digital designs are famed for using advanced FPGAs loaded with custom code that is typically 500x more complex than rival designs.
Join us in welcoming Rob Watts as he explains to us, the inner workings of his acclaimed DAC technology.
Location: Dubai Audio Flagship Showroom
Dates: 20th & 21st January 2020