Chord Leyline speaker cable came into being during the first wave of home installation. Often, the amplifiers for all the rooms were installed in one place. This meant long (and sometimes very long) runs of speaker cable throughout the house. It also meant that the cable had to be discrete and affordable. There were already a lot of really cheap cables available, so we set out to see if we could develop something better. Size restrictions meant using 16AWG conductors. Long runs meant using a twisted pair design – which suited us as we already using twisted pair geometry to produce speaker cables anyway. Cost ruled out silver-plating or using PTFE, so after much thought we settled on oxygen free copper conductors and low-density polyethylene insulation for conductors. The problem came with longer runs and a loss of high frequency detail along with space and coherence.
We solved the problem by tin-plating the conductors. Tin-plating didn’t make an overly bright cable but it did make a cable that would carry high frequency detail really well over longer runs. The final version of Leyline featured tin-plated oxygen free copper conductors, low density polyethylene insulation, a twisted pair conductor configuration and a protective PVC outer jacket. The only change made between then and now is that the PVC outer jacket has been changed to polyethylene as it’s a low smoke, zero halogen material (LS0H), meaning Leyline can be installed in public buildings.
We had a cost effective speaker cable, designed for installers, although a lot of retailers started buying Leyline too. Home cinema was getting popular and we’d made the perfect cable for budget home cinema systems. Leyline is also a great choice for rear speakers in bigger systems. It can be used with pretty much whatever level of speaker cable you choose for the front speakers, with no loss of overall balance.