There are a lot of musicians working at the Chord Company and a good few play in bands. Someone had done some recording and copied the master CD to a laptop so he could burn a few copies. Out of curiosity we compared the master to a copy. The copies were beyond dreadful in comparison to the master, shockingly bad. Since we were using one of the first DACs with a USB input we listened to the copy on the laptop next; not good, better than the CD we’d burnt but nowhere near the master. So we started to investigate ripping programmes and playback management – big improvements. Lesson one was if you’re ripping music use a decent programme, a ripped CD will ultimately be as good as the programme you rip it with. So now we could make a pretty decent CD copy of the master but there was still the copy on the laptop. We knew it was good – we’d burnt the CD copies from it but uncomfortably straight of the laptop and into the same DAC via USB it wasn’t as good.
So we did what you’d expect any self-respecting cable company to do; just listening with a selection of available USB cables showed that USB cables were worth exploring. The result was the Chord USB SilverPlus; it is a USB cable with silver-plated conductors and high frequency effective shielding. The only thing the Signature Tuned ARAY USB shares in common with a USB specification cable are the plugs. They are cables fitted with USB plugs for use in audio systems.
In the case of the Signature USB that means 4 separately shielded conductors. The signal conductors are silver plated, insulated with PTFE and fitted with dual layer high frequency effective shielding and a Tuned ARAY conductor geometry developed for USB cables is used. The 5 volt cables are pure copper with a gas foamed Polyethylene insulation and a high density braided shield. All connections are soldered and the USB plugs are Silver-plated to our specification in the UK.
There are quite a lot of storage and streaming devices available and the Signature Tuned ARAY USB is an obvious choice to try with these. Don’t pass the chance by to try the Signature Tuned ARAY USB with a computer/laptop though. If it’s full of decent rips of your own CD collection, high quality downloads or is being used for streaming something like Tidal and you have a decent DAC try the Signature Tuned ARAY USB.
One of the sources that we use in the dem room is a Dell laptop with solid state storage full of DB Power amp CD rips and some down loaded high resolution tracks. Put it on the rack connect it with a C-USB – the replacement for the original USB Silver Plus – and it’s fine. Change the C-USB to a Shawline and we’ll sit and listen happily. Go up the Signature Tuned ARAY USB and it becomes a serious source component.
The Signature Tuned ARAY USB is available in standard 1 metre lengths. Custom lengths are available to order.
Micro USB connections are just too small to fit any of the cables we use to. The problem is that are some outstanding DACs with micro-USB connectors. Curiosity drove us to experiment with adaptors so we could hear what happened when we used different USB cables with a DAC that only had a micro USB connection. We were glad we did so much as we don’t like adaptors we end up using them with all our USB cables if needed. Compromise it is but a very worthwhile one.
Chord’s top-of-the-line Signature Tuned Aray – voted the best USB in 2014! From the outset, it was patently clear we were auditioning a very ‘mature’ sounding cable, possessed of great control – delivering energy and passion when required as slickly as it revealed subtle details. Chord’s flagship Signature Tuned Aray cable sounds richly detailed and...
The Right Chord Jon Myles brings together a one-make cable system from Chord to show how just such a consistent approach can pay dividends The beauty here is that with the Chord loom in place you can happily look to upgrade your components over time with obvious benefit. Swap the Creek to something of the...