Cables

The Chord Company Sarum T Digital Cable Review

Intro

Contents

The Chord Company is undoubtedly one of the most well-known cable manufacturers in the world. It was formed by Sally Gibb in 1984.

It started when a few Naim USA retailers were looking for high quality interconnects. With the help of music lovers at Naim Audio, she started designing cables – including the packaging and logo. Soon after, the first “Chrysalis Cable” was shipped off – and the rest was history.

It was named “Chord” for its musical connotations – and obvious relationship to “cords” in the American market. Today, we see many of their sleek and colorful boxes at many retailers.

In fact, my first digital audiophile cable was the Chord Company SilverPlus USB. It had fantastic soundstage, bass, clarity, and tone. For the money (~$100), I had no complaints. And so it stayed my reference for a few years.

I’ve probably heard over 500 digital cables since then. It became obvious a single digital cable could make or break a system – so I made a quest to listen to as many of them as I could.

I’ve received quite a few emails regarding the Chord Company Sarum T digital cables. Specifically with the BNC connectors. So let’s take a look.

What is Taylon?

The Chord Company brings trickled down tech to the Sarum T from their pricier flagship ChordMusic line. In paritcular, their proprietary dielectric called Taylon.

Some of the characteristics of Taylon:

  • used in military and space application to ensure predictablity of a signal in every condition.
  • has a slightly lower dielectric constant vs PTFE.
  • is phase-stable at room temperatures – which supposedly helps with improvements in timing an audio signal.

Sarum T builds on the success of our acclaimed Sarum Super ARAY range and introduces our breakthrough proprietary insulation material, Taylon®, bringing a major performance upgrade. Sarum T brings the remarkable benefits of our proprietary dielectric at a new, more accessible price level. Previous generations of Sarum Super ARAY cables have featured a PTFE dielectric. The upgrade to Taylon® introduces a raft of performance benefits.

Earlier versions of Sarum cables can be upgraded to Sarum T specification. Contact your nearest Chord Company Sarum retailer for prices and further information. Demonstration cables are also available, should you wish to try Sarum T in your own system.

Build

  • High purity silver-plated OFC copper in Taylon dielectric
  • two layers of shielding (vs seven layers of shielding of the ChordMusic line)
  • Hand-made constructions
  • Non-coaxial geometry (flat). Same as Super ARAY topology with mechanical optimization.

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Jay Luong

Mr. Audio Bacon himself. An open-minded electrical engineer and software developer by trade. I have an obsession with the enjoyment of all things media - specifically in the realm of music and film. So much heart and soul (and money) go into the creation of this artistry. My aim is to find out which products get me closer to what the musicians and directors intended.

View Comments

  • I'm NOT an audiophile persè. However, I do like music reproduction from gear that I can afford. My speakers are DIY, all other gear are unmodified originally designed and only "tweaked" withers the usual spikes, cones and anti-vibrational materials. That being said, I do hear differences in quality cabling, be it power, speaker or interconnects. What I do not understand is a cable other than Toslink fiberoptic between transport and Dac, or Dac to amp/preamp. Why introduce a digital link that cans to carry the signal through a medium other than light? I've not ever read a comparison of optical links! If there is any loss of signal from this medium truly the word "negligible" applies here. All things having their own sonic signature are we not tailoring our playback by the coloration rather than purity of signal?

    • Well, even optical cables sound different. Try a Mapleshade vs a generic. Every cable will have some kind of color - no matter what. And that could be the difference between something you enjoy and something you think it's good or OK. Digital interfaces are also very different. So even if the signal were pure, it'll depend on the D/A implementation. For example, the optical input of the Denafrips Terminator sounds inferior to USB. Not to mention you can't send DSD or 384/24 PCM signals.

  • I have a set of Sarum T XLR cables I am auditioning and I have to say they are absolutely stunning. I am just gutted because they are so God damn expensive but they really are very, very good. Chord unfortunately charge a pretty penny, like Audioquest and have to maintain their marketing costs somehow which always turns my stomach and has me looking elsewhere but as much as it annoys me to say it, I am a tad smitten with these cables. I want to demo some Habst so I'm hoping these will impress me just as much and for a considerably more palatable price

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