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January 04, 2009
Chord, Van den Hul or Nordost Hi-fi Interconnects?
In a previous posting I discussed my decision to choose an Arcam FMJ T21 FM tuner over a DAB model. As I pointed out there this has left me with a subsidiary issue of what intrconnects to use which I will run to my Quad 77 Integrated Amp. Choosing cables seems very boring compared with choosing nice bright new components which can give a sense of pride of ownership but cables are only seen by you and rarely at that. Yet trialling a few rapidly shows up differences in fine musical detail and soundstaging. Another problem is finding cables right for your current set up.
Currently my best analogue interconnects are Chord Chameleon IIs which are now no longer available. Chord do an updated Chord Chamelon Silver Plus. They seem to be much cheaper from this supplier who happens to be my local dealer than most internet prices.
Chord Chamelon Silver Plus Interconnects
Another couple of candidates for the short list include the Van den Hul Integration. I was particularly attracted towards these as a review available through the Van den Hul website from Hi-Fi News had compared these cables very favourably with the reviewers own Chord Signatures which are approximatly three times the price and well out of my price range.
Van den Hul Integration Interconnects
Another cable which came up in the course of research was from the Nordost company whose prices go into the stratospere and are not for th like of normal mortals who struggle to put together th bst systems they can on very limited budgets. One does need to b able to purchase music and go to live events as well after all. Anyway Nordost do a budget cable which is in the budget of about £120. Going through a couple of fora and review sites is changing my mind about ths cables. I listen to mainly classical / contmporary classical as well as a good range of Jazz and crossover types of music. These are often delicate and detailed and have a wide dynamic range. reports are signifying that the Nordost is rather lean and whilst 'fast' sacrificees the sublety.
Nordost Blue Heaven Interconncts
I thought I would check out Kimber cables next. I quickly noted in one review that the insulation wasn't great. Even though it didn't seem to create a problem why leave yourself open to the risk? following that I checked out Ixos but nothing attractive there. I have Ixos video cabling but my gear isn't good and isn't a major intrest from the upgrade perspective. I thn chckd out Audioqeust as I have Indigo + biwire speaker cables. It was difficult to get good information and pricing and I could find no useful reports at the affordabl end of the market. I trawled around BADA dealers on the web to see whether there wereany other makes worth considering within the price range. I discovered Atlantic cables but some discussion fora comments gave them bad comparisons with Chord Chamelon Silver + which is on my shortlist.Of more interest is the .Ecosse Maestro MA2 but at around £160 it breaks the budget and I would be comparing it with the next upgrade in the Chord line the Chord Chorus. This is an interesting independent review of those cables from the TNT site which is a good discovery if you are into audio.
Well it has taken me a considerable part of the day tracking down information, going through fora etc. however is was quite fun. I know that the Chord Chamelon Silver + would be a safe bet and a cheaper option than the Van den Hul Integration. Some would argue that having th sam cable throughout the system in a 'loom' would bring about system synergies but it ain't going to happen. Money would better spent on cleaning up the mains more efficiently. Pure inquisitiveness has dcided me upon The Integration in fact apart from the Chord Van den Hul's own products seem to provide the closest competition. This link to The Van den Hul blurb also has several influential reviews. I'll report back when all the gear is in place and do a bit of cable comparison.