The Chord Company has launched a new version of its highly successful Signature speaker cable. the new cable has been completely redesigned and builds on its predecessor’s 10-year reign as one of the world’s most popular high-performance shielded speaker cables.
The all-new Signature Reference has been created using the lessons learned developing The Chord Company’s flagship speaker cable, Sarum. This development has enabled the Chord Company’s engineers to transform the original Signature cable, by implementing new shielding, a new conductor-spacing configuration and new materials in the shield.
The new Signature Reference is still hand-crafted in the same meticulous way as the original Signature, with each set made to order in The Chord Company’s purpose-built Wiltshire factory. The cable’s two high-quality conductors are held in place with a precision-machined aluminium clamp and are twisted along their length (twisted-pair configuration) to improve flexibility; Signature Reference is markedly more flexible than the original Signature.
The special aluminium clamp has been designed to hold the cable securely whilst avoiding any compression — The Chord Company’s research and experimentation has shown that compression of the shield and insulation on either speaker or interconnect cable, can alter its performance characteristics.
The new Signature Reference takes the performance of the original Signature to another level, with incredible detail-resolution and dynamic performance. It is extremely neutral, musically transparent and capable of producing profound improvements in a wide variety of differently priced systems. It also introduces many of the outstanding and widely documented capabilities of the flagship Sarum speaker cable.
It has been over a decade since The Chord Company invented the concept of cable shielding, something that is now both widely appreciated and widely copied. The original Signature speaker cable played a big part in The Chord Company’s history: it was the company’s first shielded speaker cable and led to the development of critically acclaimed and much loved cables such as Epic, Carnival SilverScreen, Epic Reference and, of course, the flagship speaker cable, Sarum. Just like the original Signature, Signature Reference is available in red and black, plus a stealth-like all-black version.
Signature Reference has 10 AWG multi-stranded conductors, like Signature. However, where the Signature conductors were oxygen-free copper, the Signature Reference has silver-plated oxygen-free copper conductors, which bring it into line with Epic Reference and Sarum models.
The insulation has been changed, too: Signature Reference has PTFE insulation where the original Signature had polyethylene.
There are two changes here: a higher density braided shield has been applied to the Signature Reference, and the spacing between the conductor and shield has been optimised to improve performance.
Both Signature and Signature Reference have PVC outer jackets. However, the new Signature Reference has a different density of PVC which is used on several of The Chord Company’s cables to help minimise mechanical noise.
As standard, Signature Reference is fitted with The Chord Company’s own custom-machined gold-plated banana plugs. These are produced in the UK to Chord’s specification and are plated with 24-carat gold. Chord can also fit gold-plated spade connectors and BFA Camcon connectors. Like Signature, Signature Reference is available in either red and black, or all- black.