ChordMusic is The Chord Company’s latest effort to revolutionise the cable market, with it representing the UK manufacturer’s 30 years of cable design.
The cable range will sit at the top of its line-up and features some features never been used on audio cables before, such as the insulation material Taylon.
Describing Taylon, the Chord Company says: “The relationship between conductor material and insulation material is critical to the performance of any cable, particularly if the aim is to design cables that are tonally neutral – music is full of colour, cables shouldn’t be. “
“For a long time Chord has used a combination of PTFE – in various forms – and silver-plated conductors; this combination is not uncommon and once burnt in, it is pretty neutral and has less tonal influence on the signal it carries than other types of insulation.
“Chord’s Sarum Tuned ARAY and Super ARAY cables take this combination to its ultimate end point. The conductors are micro-polished prior to silver-plating and gas-foamed PTFE is employed as a dielectric. We have also fitted a PTFE RCA plug surround which improves upon the acrylic version previously used.”
“ChordMusic benefits from all of these advances; it uses the same Super ARAY technology and the same PTFE plugs. What sets it apart is Taylon – a unique insulation material that has never been used to produce audio cables before. Taylon is exclusive to The Chord Company and is the best-performing dielectric the Wiltshire specialist has ever used.”
While Taylon is being touted as the flagship feature of this flagship cable range, its dielectric constant is very slightly lower than PTFE. Despite that, Taylon is phasestable at typical room temperatures – which will likely excite cable aficionados.
“Dielectric choice plays a critical part in the performance of any audio cable and Taylon-insulated conductors, combined with the Super ARAY conductor configuration, produce the most natural, musically coherent cables The Chord Company has ever developed,” the company concludes.
While Taylon is an important aspect of ChordMusic, the new Super ARAY conductor configuration is also extremely important. The company says its role is to keep all the musical coherence of the Tuned ARAY design, which has been used on many of Chord’s cables, while also bringing big increases in the levels of musical detail the cable is able to carry.
The Super ARAY tuning process is different for each cable type; the end result, though, is said to be consistent.
The new Super ARAY configuration used in ChordMusic requires the same exacting build as previous Tuned ARAY cables and again, a combination of precision machinery and hand assembly is used.
“During the development of ChordMusic, it became very obvious that Chord were dealing with a level of musical transparency not encountered before,” the company notes.
“This led to further experimentation. Seemingly insignificant changes in construction brought surprising improvements.”
Because of this, the ChordMusic cables have three external layers of noise- reducing materials along their lengths. The first of these is designed to reduce levels of mechanical noise; the second was chosen to constrain the noise-reducing layer in a very precise way; finally, beneath the white braided finish, there is a metallic external braid. Each one of these layers contributes to the overall performance.
The ChordMusic range includes:
ChordMusic analogue interconnects are available in RCA, XLR and DIN terminations. The minimum length is 1m, but since each cable is built and tested at Chord’s own facility, custom lengths and custom terminations are readily available.
A Chord Music tonearm cable is currently in development and will be available later in the year and a ChordMusic power cable is currently at the design stage.
ChordMusic digital interconnects are available in coaxial digital and AES EBU configurations. Coaxial digital cables can be terminated with either RCA or BNC. We are also able to produce custom terminations, such as RCA to XLR (AES EBU) for use with Devialet amplifiers. ChordMusic streaming cables are fitted with high-speed RJ45 connectors and are available in custom lengths.
A ChordMusic USB cable is currently in development.
ChordMusic speaker cable
Each set of ChordMusic speaker cable is hand built by Chord and features the same mechanical noise-reduction layers as fitted to the analogue and digital interconnects, as well as – for the first time – an ARAY technology developed specifically for speaker cable. A new clamp design, unique to ChordMusic speaker cable, is currently at the prototype stage and in another first, ChordMusic speaker cables will be fitted with silver-plated rather than goldplated banana plugs and spade connectors. Chord’s silver-plated banana plugs are machined to their specification in the UK prior to being silver-plated.
Pricing and availability
Analogue: RCA 1m: £3,800; additional metres £1,700
Digital: RCA/BNC 1m: £3,500; additional metres £1,400
Streaming: RJ45 1m: £3,800; additional metres £1,700
Speaker: Banana plugs per terminated metre £1,100; 1.5m pair £3,300