MAF 2024: Art et Son, Chord Company / Neat Acoustics, Exposure, Chord Electronics, Innuos, English Electric

MAF 2024: Art et Son, Chord Company / Neat Acoustics, Exposure, Chord Electronics, Innuos, English Electric


Chord Company’s Patrick Mitchell

Prices listed in Canadian dollars.

Chord Company makes cables and is not to be confused with Chord Electronics known for making bestselling DACs. And Chord Company’s cables have quite the following, which includes me. I have tried 16 pairs of various interconnects and would include their Anthem cables in my top 3 cable products. In my system, they beat out many of the much pricier ones.

The system Chord Company and retailer Art et Son put together was modestly priced compared to many others but still sounded top-notch. It comprised a pair of 2-way floorstanding Neat Acoustics Elite Classic speakers ($5999/pr), a pair of 80W Exposure XM9 monoblock amplifiers ($3499/pr), an Exposure XM7 preamp ($2799), a Chord Electronics Hugo TT2 DAC ($7500), and an Innuos ZEN Mk2 music server ($4850).

Playing a couple of tracks from the album Dirty South by Drive-by Truckers proved this was a well put-together system. It had swagger and drive and was organized—nothing sounded smeared or messy, sounds were distinct. I imagined this was exactly what the mastering engineer had intended the music to sound like before it was released. Sure, speakers and electronics play the biggest part in a system’s overall sound quality, but when the whole system comes together and punches way above its weight, the cables used to transfer the signal deserve credit for doing it correctly.

I can tell you from personal experience that there are some cable companies selling overpriced cables based on dubious claims. I can also tell you from personal experience that the Chord Company isn’t one of them.

Cables and network filter used in the demo:

  • Chord Company Epic X speaker cable ($144/1m, unterminated)
  • Chord Company C-Stream streaming cable ($111.38/.75m)
  • English Electric EE1 noise isolator ($450, including the above cable)
  • Chord Company interconnects: Chord Company Sarum T RCA -RCA ($3780/1m, from source to preamplifier)
  • Chord Company SignatureX power cable ($1890/1m, for source and preamp)
  • Epic power cable ($936/1m, for each monoblock amplifier)

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