Ultima Pre 3 Preamplifier


5 analog inputs, fully balanced, Blue Velvet ALPS Potentiometer, and more - a streamlined pream… More details

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The Chord Electronics ULTIMA Pre 3 Preamplifier is an advanced preamp with a slimmer and more streamlined I/O than the ULTIMA 2 model. The ULTIMA 3 is equipped with 5 analog inputs - two balanced and three unbalanced, or single-ended, all of which benefit from individual buffering and are selectively filtered against potential ingress from radio frequency interference.

The ULTIMA 3 Pre 3 works seamlessly in your hi-fi system along with your DAC, power amplifiers, headphones or loudspeakers, streamers, and more. The build quality from Chord is second to none, and the ULTIMA Pre 3 is a true audiophile-grade preamplifier. Just like the Mojo, Qutest, Hugo 2, the ULTIMA Series represents the best that British sound has to offer, and the Ultima Pre 3 is the successor to the popular Ultima Pre 2. Works well with other ULTIMA Series power amps like the Ultima 5 and the Ultima 6 stereo power amplifiers.

Dragon Cable Recommendation: The Silver Dragon Interconnect is one of our best-selling cables at Moon Audio and our top recommendation to pair with the Chord Etude. Sold in Pairs, the Silver Dragon V2 is our top-of-the-line silver conductor-based interconnect. With a braided geometry and amazing shielding, this interconnect is a remarkable solution where noise isolation is key.

Inputs & Outputs: 5 Stereo Inputs and 1 Stereo Output

  • 2x Stereo Balanced XLR Inputs – Line In 1, Line In 2
  • 3x Stereo Unbalanced RCA Inputs – Line In 3, Line In 4, Line In 5
  • 1x Stereo Output – Either via Balanced XLR or Unbalanced RCA
  • 1x Stereo Balanced XLR AV Bypass Input

A High-End, Modern Preamplifier for Everyday Use

The ULTIMA Pre 3 preamplifier from Chord is literally built from the ground up to take advantage of the very latest developments in advanced low-distortion power supplies. The ULTIMA Pre 3 offers exceptionally low noise and amplification efficiency. Coupled with Chord's latest design developments the ULTIMA Pre 3 offers the latest and greatest in amplifier performance.

Externally, the PRE 3 benefits from a completely redesigned aesthetic with a central circular power sphere flanked by a new volume control and balance/AV bypass selector, both of which benefit from a new ergonomic knob design. Additional features include an AV bypass, plus a 5 V charging USB Type-A port.


  • HF Switch Mode Power Supply
  • Blue Velvet ALPS Potentiometer
  • Advanced Shielding Technology
  • Fully Balanced Circuitry
  • Analogue Signal Path
  • Convection Cooled
  • Included Top Light Ring
  • Solid Aluminium Chassis

What's in the Box?

  • ULTIMA PRE 3 Quickstart guide
  • Safety instructions
  • 10A Mains IEC cable
  • IR system remote control
  • 2x AAA batteries

Press and Reviews

Chord Ultima Pre 3 Forbes Review
Ultima Pre 3 Review

by Forbes
May. 2022

Inputs2x stereo balanced XLR inputs, 3x stereo unbalanced RCA
Outputs 1x stereo XLR, 1x stereo RCA and 1x 5 V charging USB Type-A port, 1x stereo balanced XLR AV bypass input, 1 x 12 V trigger output/input
Frequency response10 Hz-200 kHz +/- 3 dB
THD0.002 % 20Hz-20 kHz
Signal to noise ratio-105 dB on all inputs
Input impedance100 kΩ
Output impedance560 Ω
Input maximum voltage10 V RMS
Output maximum voltage17 V RMS
Channel separation100 dB
Operation voltage80-250 V AC auto-switching 
Power consumption40 W
Dimensions with legs:485 mm (w) x 355 mm (d) x 130 mm (h)
Weight:12.7 kg