July 5, 2012

The Minimum Entry. The Chord Company Crimson Plus Interconnect.

The Chord Company Crimson Plus RCA interconnect.

Got a call from Kenny Sea of Wo Kee Hong Malaysia sometime ago, brimming with excitement, he told me of a new budget product that he'd like me to try. I agreed.

And that's how The Chord Company Crimson Plus, single ended 1 meter interconnect ended up in my place. Once un-pack, the flexible and lite weight crimson red PVC jacket of the cable looked striking. Even more curious are those rather thin on metal/plastic, low mass, gold plated RCA plugs, currently in fashion since the advent of the Eichmann Bullet plugs.

It's been a long, long time since I've had an RCA connection in my system. I plugged The Chord in between my digital source, a Bryston BDP/BDA-1 combo(on the output of the BDA-1) and my Pass Labs X-0.2 pre-amp.  All review notes are based on the grossly un-fair reference to my resident Audioquest Sky XLR, a one time top dog in cable kingdom. I played The Chord for over 50 hours before any actual evaluation took place to take care of the running in "factor".

It's already a fore gone un-fair conclusion that The Chord won't win this slug fest. It was a matter of much it didn't do, or did less. I'd start with the fairly obvious, it's less transparent, as in many low level musical cues that I am used to hearing ain't there. There's less band width too, but to be fair, what ever that passes thru The Chord, was handled very evenly, with a slightly warm, golden hue in tone, which I found very pleasant for music enjoyment. When comparing transient and dynamics, the un-balanced RCA cable is certainly at a technical dis-advantage, due to the 6db signal to noise ratio gain offered by the balanced XLR cable. However, I've never found The Chord noisy in anyway, as in it did not induce hiss or hum to the back ground which may effect clarity of music. In fact, I found The Chord offered a rather silent back ground.

Let's discuss more on to it's slightly warm, golden hue in tonality here. The highs are not the most extended nor most airy, but there was never a hint of dryness either. The highs were rather silky smooth too, with no forward leanings what so ever commonly found on budget hifi equipments. The mids have that British just a touch of prominence, but never excessively so, to throw all musical instruments un-recognise able in tone or accuracy. The bass flows tunefully, without too much extension on this end either, but it's solid enough not to make this cable feel lean. There's a rhythmic flow in the musicality that makes this cable easy to like.

I must say that for a budget cable, it certainly can stand proud, not being totally crushed by the alpha AQ Sky. Technical and cost considerations aside, this a superb value for money interconnect which will do well, when partnered with other budget equipment(which normally comes with a few rough edges), because of it's forgiving nature.

I asked Kenny how much The Chord Crimson Plus interconnect retailed, and got a shocker!!! The recommended retail price is only RM$250.00/pair, available from all good Wo Kee Hong dealers, you know, the stores that usually sell Marantz and Denon stuff too.

Eat your heart out, Van Den Hul D-102MKIII(my past budget reference interconnects)!

For dealer info and location, contact Wo Kee Hong's Kenny Sea at 019-3395186.

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