Chord Signature USB – Review

Hey guys,

As you may know I am a fan of the Chord Silver Plus Usb cable.  I remained with it since that review because I like very much the energy it gives to the sound.

I felt that the transients became faster with better attack and decay, good bass with very good punch and control, sparkly treble but without being bright.

I always wondered how would it’s bigger brothers, Chord Sarum, and Chord Signature would perform, and now I have got the chance to test the Chord Signature.

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When I saw the price I wasn’t pleasantly surprised and I would have wanted to say that it’s just a cable and it’s not worth it, but after some tests…

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Sound Impressions

Let’s get down to the sound performance, and do some tests on some songs.

The tests have been done with Burson Conductor,Audiobyte Hydra usb interface, PowerInspired AG500, Audeze LCD3, Sennheiser HD800, Chord Signature USB, Chord Usb Silver plus.

Arrested Development – Everyday People

The first thing I observed was a larger scene and details coming from everywhere. Then the drum started. Daamn, it packs a strong punch. The voice was exactly as it should be, on a different layer than the instruments having  the air and space to perform clean.

Hugh Laurie – Battle of Jericho

I became a big fan of Hugh Laurie, not only as an actor, but a singer and composer. The details on the guitars and the instruments are incredible. The attack on every pluck from the guitars is felt like the guitar is right there near you. The guitars, drums and all the other instruments have an excellent tactility that I got shivers.  Hugh’s voice is well delimited, clean separated from the instruments from such ease. When the female chorus kicks in, every voice has it’s separate layer and no blending in occurs.

Sherlock Holmes (Discombobulate)

The scene is again more opened and the details are amazing. The tactility of the instruments is lovely and each chord, each drum, each violin has a life of it’s own and come with an excellent feel and impact. The separation of the instruments is done with such ease that I imagine my system whistling with while reproducing the music.

Dire Straits -Sultains of Swing

I felt from the start more energy as the song became more livelier. I just love the PRAT with this cable, the force on the attack and the details. Again the drums and the guitars were amazing and the voice clean as a whistle.

Leonard Cohen – Here it is

From the start I noticed more extension on the women’s voices. They were better separated in space, cleaner & deeper . Leonard’s voice gained more texture, more tactility and I felt like the hoarse and thick voice was actually coming from my throat. Weird sensation.

Infected Mushroom – Noon

The bass is from the start more present and deeper. The punch and control is incredible. I always felt like the LCD3 had loss some impact in bass from LCD2, but with this cable I gained it all back. The PRAT was amazing, fast full of energy and worthy of headbanging.

Summary

Bass

The bass is fuller, with more control and incredible punch. As I said before I feel like I gained back the bass impact I lost with lcd3 since I gave away LCD2.

Details

The sound is more detailed and you can hear more from the songs, now the instruments in the back are heard  easier and are better defined.

Instrument separation & Layering

The layering of the sound is great. All the instruments are very well separated and don’t blend in at all.

Voices

The voices have more extension, are cleaner and gain more texture.

Transients

The transients with this cable are just awesome and I think this may be the root of all improvements, as it is about timing and this cable gets you timing. The transients are very fast and alive. The attack gain a lot of strength and punch and the decays are fast and natural.

Prat & Energy

The PRAT and energy transmitted are just to dance for. You just cannot listen and stay still, you have to move to dance.

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Dynamics

It’s really awesome how the quietest or farthest instruments have a life and tactility of their own showing very good dynamics and micro-dynamics.

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Conclusions

So is all of the above worth it? For me it is, but you have to decide that yourselves. Go to jack-fi or to any chord dealer and hear the differences with your own ears.

I know that my wallet already started hiding from me:

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I just couldn’t leave the headphones off my head since I had this cable. It is the most energetic and fun sound my system ever had. Also the details are amazing with it.

One other major thing I love about it is the fast transients with the incredible attack and  decay.

All the instruments gain more tactility because of that.

Pros:

  • Excellent bass with better depth, control and incredible punch
  • Details….details everywhere
  • Larger sound-stage
  • Improved dynamics
  • To dance for Energy and PRAT
  • Amazing transients
  • Cleaner voices with better extension and more texture

Cons:

  • Price

Damn it… it’s 5 AM again. This sound kept me awake again…Must get some sleep:

Chord Signature

P.S.

The subject of cables is old and well known. Some believe it, some don’t. I am a believer and nobody will change that as I am not going to argue with the non believers. Everybody is entitled to their opinions.

 I have tested many cables and only did reviews on the ones that I felt deserved it. It is all about your system and the synergy. Some cables may improve the sound in the directions you want with your system, but not with others.

 I had many situations where I bought more expensive cables and stuck with the cheaper ones as I thought they were better in my system and more on my taste.

 Once I stopped listening for a week to my system as I wasn’t so attracted to it any longer just to find out that the sound was too lazy for my tastes because of a thick copper cable which I liked at first.

 Cables won’t change HD800 to sound like LCD3 or the other way around. However I felt that a cable can improve details, transients, prat , open the sound, make the sound mellower, get more bass or better treble, make the sound warmer or brighter, etc..

Also, the differences will be felt more when you have a good transparent system and will be felt to a smaller degree or not at all on lesser systems.

So,  cable believers and non believers should try to get along . There is no war! :

Chord Signature