Red Reference Mk. III

Reference CD Player

Stunning looks and the incredible resolving power of a harmonious relationship between the reference laser, upsampler, and FPGA digital to analogue converter make the Red Reference Mk. III the ultimate Chord CD Transport.

Range: Reference
Colour options:

The latest update to our full sized CD player range now takes the Red Reference to Mk III status. This update makes a major technological change to the disc loading mechanism to incorporate a geared motor drive. The door will now open or close seamlessly at the touch of a button. Additionally the latest USB technology has been added to provide a true asynchronous 192KHz input allowing use of the internal DAC to playback high resolution music stored on a computer. As before the stunning looks and state of the art design remain. The ground breaking DAC technology gives the most accurate reproduction of compact disc or stored media that can be obtained. With internal 176.4KHz upsampling data transfer, selectable RAM buffer clock retiming and now 18000 tap length filtering the RED Reference Mk III earns its reference status in the Chord range.

Find out why the UK’s biggest-selling hi-fi magazine Hi-Fi World awarded this player its top accolade of five globes in the reviews section of the site. Editor Noel Keywood described it as: “A player so advanced there is nothing remotely similar”.

Other accessories & custom options

Raw solid CNC machined aluminium Integra leg option.

Black anodised solid CNC machined aluminium Integra leg option.

Nickel plated solid CNC machined aluminium Integra leg option.

Gloss black acrylic side block option – replaces aluminium Integra legs.

Main Features:

  • 44.1kHz 16bit Normal Operation
  • Built-in up-sampler to 88.2kHz or 176kHz with 4096 Tap Length WTA Filter
  • CNC Milled Aluminium Chassis
  • Remote Control Functionality
  • Word Clock Input – 44.1kHz via BNC


Switchable Inputs:

  • 1x AES Balanced XLR Input
  • 1x Optical (TOSLink) Input
  • 1x USB Type B Asynchronous 44.1kHz to 192kHz input


Digital Outputs:

  • 1x BNC Coax Output
  • 1x Optical (TOSLink) Output
  • 2x AES Balanced XLR Outputs (To be configured for dual data 176.4kHz or 192kHz operation)


Analogue Outputs:

  • 2x Unbalanced RCA Outputs
  • 2x Balanced XLR Outputs



Key Features

Chord Custom FPGA DAC
Philips CD Pro 2 Mech
Advanced Upsampling
HF Switch Mode Power Supply
Ultra Clean Power Distribution
192kHz USB Type B Input
192kHz Optical Input
96kHz AES Input
Supports up to 192kHz
Wordclock Input
Convection Cooled
12v Trigger Input
Solid Aluminium Chassis
IR Remote Control Included

Included Accessories

1.5m Type A to Type B USB Cable
1.5m Optical Cable
Soft CD Removal Tool
1.5m 10a IEC Mains Power Lead
Reference Red Reference Remote
Red Reference Owners Manual

Harmonic Distortion: < -107dB (1kHz, 24bit @ 44.1kHz) – < -115dB (100Hz, 24bit @ 44.1kHz)

Signal to Noise Ratio: >120dB

Channel Separation: 125dB @ 1kHz (>100dB @ 22kHz)

Dynamic Range: 122dB

Output Max: 6v RMS Balanced. 3v RMS Unbalanced.

Output Impedance: 75Ω (Short Circuit Protected)

Power Supply: Universal Input High Frequency Supply – 65v to 265v AC

Dimensions Without Integra Legs: 42omm (w) x 355mm (d) x 150mm (h)

Dimensions With Included Integra Legs: 48omm (w) x 355mm (d) x 190mm (h)

Weight: 14kg

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