Signature Tuned ARAY USB Prices from £400.00 (UK RRP) 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 copy was beyond dreadful. Since we were using one of the first DACs with a USB input, we listened to the copy on the laptop next. Not good, but better than the CD version. So we started to investigate higher spec ripping programs and playback management – big improvements. 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 OK, as we’d burnt the CD copies from it, but straight out of the laptop and into the same DAC via USB it wasn’t as good. Like any self-respecting cable company, we listened with a selection of available USB cables and found that USB cables were worth exploring. The result was the Chord USB SilverPlus – with silver-plated conductors and high frequency effective shielding. The Signature USB features four 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. 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 we use in our demo room is a Dell laptop with solid state storage full of DB Power amp CD rips and some downloaded high resolution tracks. Put it on the rack, connect it with the Signature Tuned ARAY USB and it becomes a serious source component. The Signature Tuned ARAY USB is available in standard 1m lengths. Custom lengths are available to order. NB. 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.