Audio by mark jones

Every CH Precision product starts life as a blank sheet of paper, its task analysed, the performance parameters defined and the optimum engineering solution selected. There are no preconceptions. In each case, the chosen solution might be found in the digital domain or the analog, selected for its ability to deliver the best possible results in each given situation. The result is that no CH Precision product is either wholly digital or absolutely analog.

Other Products by CH Precision
P1 Dual Monaural Phono-Stage
Starting at $31,000 USD

Thirty years ago few people predicted that, not only would we still be listening to records in the 21st Century, we would still be pressing them too. For many listeners, the vinyl record is more than just a viable source – it’s the pre-eminent source of recorded music that reflects both the inherent qualities and character of analog sound, but also the fact that record replay has significantly upped its game in the face of ever-increasing competition from high-res digital sources. These days, serious record collectors and listeners wanting the best possible sound will seek out rare original pressings, appreciate the virtues of mono (as opposed to many stereo) releases and purchase their discs, new and used, from all over the world.

Likewise, the once simple process of playing those discs can achieve levels of sophistication and record-by-record optimization we never dreamed of, back when the vinyl LP was the only high-quality format.

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P1 Dual Monaural Phono-Stage technical specs
  • MC current-sensing input impedance< 100mΩ, virtual ground
  • Equivalent Input Noise (EIN)< -135dBu without X1, <-138dBu with X1 / 1Ω termination, gain +70dB, 22kHz BW
  • MM/MC voltage input impedanceVariable from 100kΩ to 20Ω
  • Playback EQ curves accuracy+/- 0.1dB
  • Max analog output level8V RMS balanced4V RMS single-ended
  • Total Harmonic Distortion + Noise< 0.01%, 1kHz, output level 3V RMS, 22kHz BW
C1 Digital to Analog Controller
Starting at $32,000 USD

We describe the C1 as a Controller because it is more, much more than just a digital to analog converter. While creating a world-class DAC could be considered a sufficient challenge on its own, the use of modular component architecture and the power of sophisticated software control opens up opportunities as well as offering solutions: opportunities that transform the role, capabilities and versatility of the C1.

Of course, it is digital conversion that lies at the heart of the C1. The perfect preservation of time and amplitude information is critical to reproducing musical signals stored in digital format. Noise and jitter performance is central to the design of any high-performance DAC, but at CH Precision we believe that the solutions we have adopted for the C1 take digital performance to a whole new level.

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C1 Digital to Analog Controller technical specs
  • Standard InputsFactory fitted with CH-Link HD, AES/EBU, S/PDIF and TosLink digital inputsThe CH-Link HD interface allows for synchronized transfer of high definition audio content (up to 32bit/768kHz) and DSD, offering the ideal interconnection to the D1 CD/SACD Transport or other CH-Link HD equipped units
  • Optional Digital InputsThe C1 can accept up to three digital input boards to allow multiple digital sources to be connected
  • Conversion typeLinearized R-2R, 4x PCM1704 per channel24 bit / 705.6kHz & 768kHz
  • DSP processingCH-PEtER upsampler, synchronous, DSD to PCM conversion and resolution enhancer
  • Signal to Noise Ratio> 120dB
D1 SACD/CD Transport/Player
Starting at $38,000 USD

Despite advances in high-resolution file-replay, the optical disc remains the reference standard for digital music replay. Those who have predicted the imminent demise of CD and who already danced on the grave of SACD, might want to take a look at the rude health of the vinyl LP, a format long ago consigned by many to the dustbin of audio history. In fact, there have never been so many CD and SACD titles available – and they have never been so affordable, making them the most consistent and stable digital source currently available. They are a source that’s going to be with us for years to come, making a high-performance optical disc player central to any high-end audio system.

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D1 SACD/CD Transport/Player technical specs
  • Supported FormatsStereo and Multichannel SACD, CD, including finalized CD-R/RW
  • Dynamic range> 96dB for CD and > 120dB for SACD
  • Signal to Noise Ratio> 120dB for both CD and SACD
  • Optional Hardware2-Channel Digital Output Board – four digital outputs (CH-Link HD, AES/EBU, S/PDIF and TosLink). Up to three Digital Output Boards can be mounted in the D1 to allow multi-channel SACD reproduction2-Channel Analog Output Board – 1 pair XLR, 1 pair RCA. Up to three boards can be used in the unit to allow multichannel SACD reproductionMonaural Analog Output Board (XLR, RCA, BNC). Sold as a pair, for Left and Right front channels only. Turns the D1 Transport into a reference stereo playerClock Synchronization Board – allows the D1 to receive clock synchronization from an external master clock generator, the C1 Digital to Analog Controller, I1 Integrated Amp, or to itself become the system master clock
L1 Dual Monaural Line-Stage
Starting at $34,500 USD

On the face of it, all a line-stage has to do is allow you to select between sources and set the system level. Sounds simple? Yet, not only is the quality and performance of the line-stage an absolutely key factor in determining overall system performance, there are fewer contenders for stateof-the-art line-stage honors than in any other product category. Maybe designing the best possible line-stage isn’t quite so simple after all.

Any great line-stage must possess transparency, ultra-low noise performance and absolute stability. It must anchor the incoming signals and deliver them onwards, propelled from a firm footing that ensures dynamic and musical authority. It must pass the source signals in your system, without limitation or disturbance, leaving no trace of itself on their passage. Any great line-stage needs to be the next best thing to sonically and musically invisible, the hi-fi equivalent of effortlessly enacting its own audio super power.

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L1 Dual Monaural Line-Stage technical specs
  • ModularityDual Monaural (Left & Right channels in a single enclosure), 8 inputsTrue Monaural (one channel per enclosure), 8 or 16 inputs
  • Inputs and Outputs8x line-level inputs (4x balanced XLR, 2x single-ended RCA, 2x single-ended BNC)4x pre-amplifier outputs (2prs balanced XLR, 1pr single-ended RCA, 1pr single-ended 75 Ohm BNC)
  • Volume Control20bits R-2R ladder network118dB range in 0.5dB steps, from -100dB to +18dB
  • Power SupplyDedicated discrete regulated linear power suppliesUltra low noise, high accuracy regulation
X1 External Power Supply
Starting at $17,000 USD

When you listen to your audio system, you are quite literally listening to your AC supply. Just as the performance of a car depends on the type and quality of fuel you run it on, so your audio system’s performance can be undermined by a poor quality electrical supply and, within your system, no components are more vulnerable to compromise than the digital and low-level units.

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X1 External Power Supply technical specs
  • Digital and analog power supplies monitoringOver- & under-voltageOver-current
  • DC outputsOne or two independent output boards as specified
  • OutputsUp to two units can be connected to a single X1 (with the addition of a second regulation board)
  • Internal TopologyDedicated mains filter for each transformer primaryTwo oversized power transformers dedicated to the digital and analog power supply sections of the connected unit(s) respectively
  • Component CompatibilityCan be used to further improve the performance of the D1 CD/SACD Transport, C1/C1 Mono DAC/Controllers, P1 Phono-Stage and L1 Line-StageHoused in the same mechanically grounded enclosure as the rest of the 1 Series units, so that it fits in perfectly with your system
A1.5 Two-channel Power Amplifier
Starting at6 $39,500 USD

Like its bigger brother, the M1.1 Reference power amplifier, there’s a lot more to the A1.5 than meets the eye – just in a more compact and more affordable form.

Faced with exactly the same challenges as the M1.1, the A1.5 embodies the same sophisticated, modular and scalable approach. It might be (slightly) smaller than the M1.1 and around two-thirds of its weight, but it’s still four amplifiers in one. It still offers the same adaptable, software controlled topology, adjustable input configuration and gain, user selectable global feedback ratio and cost-effective upgrade path. It offers exactly the same, incredibly short signal path, fully discrete, fully balanced and fully complementary circuit, built with the same carefully selected components to the same exacting standards. Even the casework, although shorter, has the same footprint, uses the same construction and includes the same mechanical grounding/stacking system. In fact, in every important way, the A1.5 is, quite literally, an M1.1 writ small – or, in Hollywood terms, “Honey, I shrank the amp…”.

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A1.5 Two-channel Power Amplifier technical specs
  • Output power2x 150W / 8Ω, 2x 275W / 4Ω, 2x 450W / 2Ω in stereo and bi-amp modes1x 275W / 4Ω, 1x 450W / 2Ω, 1x 700W / 1Ω in monaural mode1x 550W / 8Ω, 1x 800W / 4Ω, 1x 1200W / 2Ω in bridged mode
  • Total Harmonic Distortion + Noise< 0.1% (0% global feedback)< 0.01% (100% global feedback)
  • FeaturesPhysical And Conceptual ModularityAnalog Input StageAnalog Output Stage
M1.1 Two-channel Reference Power Amplifier
Starting at $54,000 USD

Traditionally, power amps have always been the simplest of audio components, at least on the outside: little more than a set of inputs, a set of outputs and a power switch. Until now.

The problem is that although power amps themselves might appear simple, their job is anything but straightforward. Caught in a sandwich between the output of a line-stage or DAC and the load requirements and sensitivity of any number of different loudspeakers, they must be able to accommodate the widest range of partnering equipment and interface parameters presented to any unit in the audio system. Achieving optimum results under such varied conditions demands a capable and versatile performer – yet as we’ve already established, most power amps offer a single, brute force solution to the problems they face, instead of adopting a more sophisticated response. It’s time for a change – it’s time to meet the CH Precision M1.1, a new-paradigm in power amplification.

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M1.1 Two-channel Reference Power Amplifier technical specs
  • Output power2x 200W / 8Ω, 2x 350W / 4Ω, 2x 600W / 2Ω in stereo and bi-amp modes1x 350W / 4Ω, 1x 600W / 2Ω, 1x 1100W / 1Ω in monaural mode1x 700W / 8Ω, 1x 1200W / 4Ω, 1x 1600W / 2Ω in bridged mode
  • Total Harmonic Distortion + Noise< 0.1% (0% global feedback)< 0.01% (100% global feedback)
  • FeaturesPhysical And Conceptual ModularityAnalog Input StageAnalog Output StageUser Adjustable Input Gain
M10 Stereo Power Amplifier
Starting at $93,000 USD

Rewriting the record books is never easy – especially when it comes to audio and musical performance.
Sometimes that challenge is more than just sonic. In the case of the M10 we had to answer practical and physical demands as well.

In a few short years, our M1.1 has become a classic, setting the standard in terms of both performance and versatility. So superseding it, establishing a completely new level of musical capability was always going to demand a major effort and a complete re-think, re-examining every part down to component level. The result was a unique new input stage that significantly outperforms existing circuits, all new circuit boards, re-laid to minimise induced noise and distortion and upgraded components throughout the signal path – all contributing to a dramatic increase in low-level resolution, transparency, natural tonality and musical flow. But at the other end of the scale, headroom is a major limitation on amplifier performance. Dynamic swings can test even the M1.1’s generous 200 W/Ch rated output, so for the M10 we didn’t just increase that by 50%, we doubled the power supply capacity too, creating an output stage with massive musical potential. That reservoir of power doesn’t just come into play on musical climaxes. It gives the quietest passages and instruments the same stable clarity and presence you hear in real life, it precisely traces changes in level and musical density, it holds instruments separate but places them precisely within a single space. It recreates the energy and chemistry of the original performance – and when that performance reaches its climax, the M10 reproduces that too. Effortlessly!

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M10 Stereo Power Amplifier technical specs
  • Output power2×300WRMS / 8Ω, 2×550WRMS / 4Ω, 2×900WRMS / 2Ω in Stereo and Bi-amplification mode 1×600WRMS / 4Ω, 1×1’000WRMS / 2Ω, 1×1’600WRMS / 1Ω in monaural mode1×1’100WRMS / 8Ω, 1×1’700WRMS / 4Ω, 1×2’500WRMS / 2Ω in bridged mode
  • Total Harmonic Distortion + NoiseLess than 0.01% at 0% global feedback (100% local feedback)Less than 0.002% at 100% global feedback (0% local feedback)
  • FeaturesAnalog Input StageAnalog Output StageA versatile topology and user configurable operating parameters makes the M10 four amps in one, with output configurable for stereo, bi-amp operation, high-current or high-power mono – in which mode it delivers over 1KW into an 8 Ohm load. The modular input options have been simplified and users can now adjust global feedback ratio (damping factor) in 1% steps, allowing even finer speaker and system matching.