The Chord Company has been in the audio business for a very long time and has built up a substantial range of cables. The recent launch of Chord’s current entry-level offering, gives a chance to revisit the portfolio.
It’s a harmless-looking product, actually not quite crimson in colour, of modest size and good flexibility, fitted as standard with good- quality phono plugs, although other terminations (minijack etc.) are also available. Construction is pseudo-balanced – two conductors twisted together, live and earth, with the screen connected to ground only at one end – which can make performance directional in some installations. Directivity isn’t marked explicitly, but we adopted the usual convention of the signal following the direction of the text printed on the jacket.
Expectations of a cable at this price may not be particularly high, but we were pleasantly surprised by the attainments of this model.
It’s very much an all-rounder, with good detail, firm and extended bass and clear treble and should have no trouble persuading the doubter to upgrade from giveaway cables. It does have a particular speciality, though, in the delicacy of acoustic decay, something that occasionally evades even quite upmarket cables. Here it is very well preserved, which is quite an achievement.
Tonally there’s a trace of lower-midrange lift which slightly affects male voices and lower melody instruments, but it’s nothing serious. A good first upgrade cable, well suited to decent budget systems.