The Chord Company makes an enormously wide range of interconnects and other cable types, Indigo Plus being the reassuringly expensive cream of the crop.
It is available in various fixed and custom lengths and is also comes with fittings other than the single-ended phonos on our test cable, including XLR balanced and DIN.
Indigo Plus is based loosely on The Chord Co's Signature Plus and is constructed similarly, except that Indigo uses stranded silver-plated copper conductors – Signature uses solid cores – and a better-quality Teflon dielectric.
Indigo Plus incorporates two separately insulated cables which are linked at each end and provide separate primary and secondary signal return paths. The secondary signal return is also multi-stranded and the cable is said to have an extremely wide bandwidth.
The secondary return path is said to enhance timing, dynamics, detail, depth, soundstaging and noise rejection, though a balanced cable construction will be superior in this respect; if your main system is appropriately equipped.
The connectors are extremely firmly anchored, and look as though they will sustain a lifetime of hard knocks, which is not always the case even with some very costly cables from elsewhere.
One aspect of this cable that we were less than happy about was its stiffness. It won't bend easily around tight corners, while the last few inches behind the plugs will barely bend at all. One of the most appealing elements of the Indigo Plus, however, is the use of low-mass, silver-plated RCA plugs, with vibration damping acrylic plug casings polished to a pleasing mirror-finish.
We were pre-warned that Indigo Plus takes a long time to run in, so it was used continuously for more than a week (with the volume setting at zero) before putting it to the acid test.
The main test bed was the flagship Denon CD/SACD player and amplifier pairing, the PMA-SA1 and DCD-SA1, with a Nordost Valhalla balanced interconnect, the unused cable removed from the active circuit when not in use.
Other components included Monitor Audio Platinum PL300 speakers and Atlas Mavros speaker cable. Concerned about the stiff cable construction, we did check for microphony, but without success. This doesn't necessarily mean it is not an issue, but it is certainly not a dominant concern.
By any standards, this cable is very good though as so often in its class, the distinguishing characteristics can be subtle and system dependent. It may not be ideal for Naim systems, for example, though there is good reason to believe it works well with Denon and other similar makes.
It is a very clean, transparent-sounding cable, with a clear, translucent treble, which is slightly brighter and less muscular than some comparable cables, such as the Atlas Mavros (which, unlike the new Atlas Asimi cable, was available for comparison).
The bass is also extremely fine; characteristically lean in balance (perhaps, just in contrast to the treble) there is no perceptible bloom, but we did feel it was not quite as subtly nuanced as a Nordost Valhalla balanced cable. However, this may have more to do with the balanced operation, which is partly determined by the occluding effect of the treble.
Stereo imagery, on the other hand, is always very precisely articulated Coming to a balanced assessment of a cable as costly as this is far from easy and the bottom line depends critically on the character of the host system. But this is a thoroughly dynamic and musical cable which shines in high-resolution, high-end systems.
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