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iChord from The Chord Company 

Don't stick with supplied cables, get the most from your audio source and upgrade.

Like anybody who knows anything about getting the best from their equipment I learn't a long time ago that cost cutting in the cable and wiring dept will cost you in terms of sound reproduction. The long held mantra is to spend at least 10% of your kits value on cables, I would go even further and say 15%; even the most modest of systems will benefit from speaker wire and interconnect cable upgrades.

So with this in mind when I recently started using iTunes music management software and Apple AirPort Express to wirelessly stream my music from my laptop to my main hifi system(see earlier reviews), it made sense to use a quality RCA audio cable to connect the Express to my AV receiver amp.

Searching the internet and specifically The Chord Company resulted finding the iChord.

I have used iChord equipment before (I have one of their mains cables for my plasma TV) and knew that they have an excellent reputation for high quality products. They claim to handmake all their cables, and when you actually look at their cables in the flesh you realise this is true. It's like having a bespoke cable made for you personally,

So when the iChord arrived (made in iPod white) I relished examining the beautifully put together 1 meter cable and the gold plated RCA plugs. Chord use top notch oxygen free componentry for their signal transference and shielding sections of the cable and place massive emphasis on minimising interference from other sources such as power and speaker cables that may be close proximity with each other.

I expected big things from this cable and from it's first use I was not disappointed.

Nothing is lost in translation with this cable. I rip my music at 224kps MP3 format, so although not lossless, it's pretty close.

Trebles are clearly defined and vocals beautifully separated from the instrumentals. Bass although a little mechanical at first (until the cable is run in, 20-40 hours) becomes deep and beefy without being boomy.

My first album with this cable was The Beatles Love album, which although recently remixed is still a 40 year old original recording.

I have long been a Beatles fan, but this was a new experience for me, the iChord effortlessly relayed the digitized stream of signals coming from my laptop via the Express into my amp ( a somewhat soulless description I know, but hey this is the future of music ) and such was the clarity and power of the transfer it was like listening to Paul and John live in my living room.

So what about the cost of the iChord. The item retails at £49.95, but the lowest price I found was £41 with free P & P from www.hificablesandaccessories.co.uk in Ayr, Scotland, sent by recorded delivery.

Definitely worth the cost and now the iChord is properly burned in, a magical piece of kit.

Link : http://www.chord.co.uk/chordweb/index2.htm

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Comment by abalem, May 25, 2010 9:42

First thing off, I don't believe in speaker cables burn-in, mostly a RCA cable ! Then, I also ordered this cable, which looks really neat indeed. I set it up in place, in exactly the same situation you describe here, and it never moved from where it was for the last 6 months. Now, suddenly one channel ceased to give sound, and I tried to check if perhaps the endings were not firmly in place into the sockets, the sound went on and off from the only speaker that was giving sound ! I'm sorry to say that even the cheapest piece of junk would have done the trick better. But this one was more than... 50 euros. Oo
So quality it may be, but not for me !
I'll give it another try though if I can get another cable as warranty. But if it fails, I'll stick to a 5 dollars RCA. Perhaps the sound won't be as rich (but honestly, how do you "really" know), but at least I will have sound coming from both channels. This is a difference I can make in sound resolution !

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