Signature Reference

Signature Reference

Category:

Silver Plated Conductors. Chord Signature speaker cable was the first shielded speaker cable that chord produced and it’s been part of their range of speaker cables for the past ten years. The original Signature speaker cable is still as impressive as it ever was, but with the development of their flagship Sarum speaker cable, Chord have learnt so much that they have been able to completely re-design Signature speaker cable to produce Signature Reference speaker cable.

They have improved the shielding, made changes to the spacing between the conductors and the shield, changed all the materials. The new Signature Reference features silver-plated conductors in combination with PTFE insulation and the new shield is of a higher density.

The changes have brought all the improvements they were hoping for and more. It isn’t as though the original Signature was exactly lacking when it came to levels of detail with its ability to carry dynamic information and the coherence and involvement it brought to any system it was put into. The new Signature Reference though takes everything to another level and there’s more than a hint of the outstanding capabilities of Sarum speaker cable.

Extremely neutral, musically transparent and capable of producing profound improvements in all the systems we’ve tried it in.

Signature Reference is built in the same way as the original Signature. Each set is made to order and the two conductors are held in place with a precision machined aluminium clamp and twisted along their length to improve flexibility (Signature Reference is markedly more flexible than the original Signature). The aluminium clamp is designed to hold the cable securely but avoid any compression on the cable itself. Like Signature, Signature Reference is available in red and black and also in all black as well. They loved the look of the original Signature but they think that Signature Reference looks wonderful in all black.

Specifications

Conductors: 2 x 10 AWG multi-strand silver-plated oxygen free copper.

Configuration: Individually shielded twisted pair configuration.

Conductor Insulation: PTFE (Polytetrafluoroethylene).

Shielding: Dual layer, high density, high frequency effective braid and overlapped foil.

Jacket: Translucent PVC used to minimise mechanically induced noise.

Diameter: 2 x 9mm.

Colour: Red/black or all black.

Terminations: Chord 24 karat gold-plated banana plugs, direct gold-plated copper spade connectors and BFA Camcon connectors. Because of the complexity of construction, Signature Reference speaker cable is only available in factory-terminated lengths. Shortest available length is 1.5 metres.

Every set of Signature Reference speaker cable is produced to order and although the conductors are separately shielded, the cable is arranged in twisted pair configuration to improve flexibility and ease of installation.

Given its cost, the original Signature speaker cable found its way into some surprisingly reasonably priced systems. The combination of really effective shielding and heavy gauge conductors made it a cable that could bring drive and dynamics and coherence and detail to just about any system it was put into. Signature Reference has all those characteristics and more.

Brand

Chord Company

Chord Company

THE CHORD COMPANY BEGAN

The Chord Company was formed in 1984.

It all started over dinner one night in Salisbury, when a group of visiting Naim Audio USA retailers asked Naim Audio UK for a good-quality DIN-to-RCA interconnect.

At the table, was one Sally Gibb, then married to a Naim Audio executive, who made the (historic) suggestion that she make the cables and start a business.

With the blessing of Naim Audio, the journey to make cables for America began.

With USA referring to cables as ‘cords’, the name The Chord Company, with its obvious musical connotations, seemed perfect and it quickly stuck. Sally drew a logo, designed the packaging and started testing prototypes. Completely British design and construction, although difficult to source at the time, was paramount and days of searching eventually led to suppliers of sufficient quality.

Friends at Naim Audio provided expertise and advice, with many of them helping to build the cables.

The first prototype was named “Chrysalis Cable” and the Americans swiftly returned with an initial order of 250! Cables were built, tested, packed and taken along to the Post Office.  Invoices were typed on a typewriter! After two steady years,

The Chord Company got its first press review (by Malcolm Steward) and then the phone started to ring…