It has often been said that designing a budget hi-fi product is far harder than a cost no object state-of-the-art gargantuan product.
To design a budget cable that is genuinely a significant improvement over its predecessor is a tough task. To make it better in communication of music as well as traditional hi-fi requirements is doubly tough. Chord CrimsonPlus rises to the challenge, bows and takes the applause.
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Of course, it is easy to think they have just added a screen – as Chord do. The question is what type of screen, and what other changes does this entail to produce a balanced design?
The story is as simple as balancing the design elements isn’t. The twin twisted-pair configuration conductors remain multi-stranded oxygen-free copper insulated with low-density polyethylene. Each conductor is surrounded by a high-density over-lapped shield.
A new heavy-gauge foil is precisely applied which covers both conductors and their respective shields. A new soft PVC sleeve surrounds the foil to minimise mechanically produced noise. The final element is the hard and extremely strong outer PVC layer to ensure a high level of protection.
Chord’s own heavily gold-plated RCA plugs including PTFE insulation blocks are hand soldered to ensure the best quality connection. The internal wiring configuration adopts the pseudo balanced (matched send/return conductor) configuration used throughout the Chord range.
The additional screening brings benefits in a significantly lower noise floor allowing micro-dynamic changes to become easier to hear, bringing improved dynamic character and more definition of instruments. It is easier to tell a Gibson from a Fender as an example. The superior shielding also brings improvements to soundstage and instruments and voices are easier to locate.
One significant side benefit of the extra shielding is that CrimsonPlus is ideal for long cable runs as may be used for Sub-Woofers. The performance increase is greater than would be expected from a reduction in the noise floor.