Chord Company’s new XLPE technology gives two further loudspeaker cables the X factor. The New OdysseyX and EpicXL are the latest cables to benefit from the XLPE-tech performance upgrade. Check them out at The Bristol Hi-Fi Show.
Chord Company has introduced its latest insulation technology, XLPE, to two further loudspeaker cables. The Wiltshire A/V cable specialist, who has been hand-building its cables in England since 1985, has upgraded both its Odyssey and Epic cables with XLPE as part of its commitment to continual improvement.
The new OdysseyX and EpicXL have both been upgraded from PTFE (often referred to as Teflon) to XLPE (Cross-Linked Polyethylene) and will join the rest of the recently launched loudspeaker cables offering improved performance over their predecessors.
XLPE doesn’t suffer the same phase issues as PTFE and following extensive listening tests at the factory, the phase properties of XLPE became apparent, giving a marked improvement over the previous PTFE insulation; the benefits of the new XLPE-equipped speaker cables will be a focus for Chord Company’s demonstrations at The Bristol Hi-Fi Show 2019.
XLPE made its first appearance in the September 2018-launched SignatureXL speaker cable and has since trickled down into RumourX and ShawlineX, which have now been joined by OdysseyX (A/V cable) and from Chord Company’s mid-price options, EpicXL.
OdysseyX is a heavier-gauge version of Chord Company’s RumourX loudspeaker cable. It uses the same materials as RumourX, yet its heavier-gauge conductors (also found in Chord Epic and EpicXL speaker cables) bring more detail and dynamics, along with greater control and definition across a range of A/V loudspeakers, large and small.
The original Odyssey was launched in 1998 and quickly set new standards for performance at the time. Its neutrality, broad compatibility and consistency of performance from system to system, rapidly made it one of Chord Company’s most popular loudspeaker cables.
The new OdysseyX has silver-plated OFC conductors in a twisted-pair configuration. Its white PVC outer jacket has an 8mm diameter which is discrete enough to be unobtrusive in a typical A/V system.
EpicXL combines elements of Chord company’s Epic and (more expensive) SignatureXL speaker cables. Bringing together the separately shielded conductor design from Chord SignatureXL with the silver-plated, XLPE-insulated 12AWG conductors of Chord Epic, the cable takes a crucial step forward in performance by using separate shields for each conductor. Expect greater neutrality, less noise, plus a bigger and more immersive soundstage.
Furthermore, there is also a specially chosen soft PVC inner jacket which is added to correctly space the shielding as well as minimising mechanical noise. A high-density braid and foil shield is applied to each set of conductors which is protected by a translucent outer jacket; again, chosen to reduce unwanted mechanical noise.
The conductors are twisted together and clamped in place before being terminated with either ChordOhmic 4mm banana or ChordOhmic spade connectors. By separately shielding the positive and negative conductors of each speaker cable run, this version of Epic sounds markedly more refined and musically coherent. EpicXL is particularly good at carrying micro-dynamics and detail and brings excellent separation and definition to instruments and voices. EpicXL is built to order and factory-terminated.
A FEW WORDS ABOUT XLPE
Chord Company’s design engineers devoted considerable time investigating the different types of XLPE. Firstly, the research was for SignatureXL and then for the subsequent models. Following extensive listening sessions, the team selected a version which, during testing, was found to be superior to the previous dielectric.
With material technology continually developing and improving, alternatives to PTFE, such as XLPE, have allowed Chord Company to make performance improvements where the prohibitive cost of the flagship Taylon insulation otherwise prevents its use at a given price point. Additionally, the new, improved speaker cables have been developed to harmoniously complement the company’s unique ARAY technology interconnects.
The latest XLPE-based speaker cables offer a notable performance upgrade over their predecessors and come with a lifetime guarantee (subject to terms).
Naturally, the latest ChordOhmic plugs are fitted to all factory-terminated speaker cables.
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
OdysseyX is available now priced at $40 per metre.
EpicXL is available now priced at $792 for a factory-terminated 1.5m pair;
$265 per extra (mono) metre.
OdysseyX and EpicXL cables are available both off-the-reel or terminated at the UK factory.
Demonstration sets are available at most Chord Company retailers.
Visit Chord Company for more information.