It was also the biggest, stiffest, brightest cable Chord had ever made. The conductors were oxygen free copper, the insulation was gas foamed Polyethylene, Shielding was a three layer braid and foil combination, effective to high frequencies and the outer jacket a flexible polyethylene. It was just flexible enough to fit into a system. Signature speaker cable was another product that didn’t need a press release or a review, it took off so fast by word of mouth, that for a while there was almost a permanent waiting list.
It remained unchanged for about ten years, until Chord could apply improved building techniques and materials such as more efficient shielding, silver-plated conductors and PTFE insulation that would produce a more neutral tonal characteristic and a cable better able to carry detail, dynamics and timbre. This became Signature Reference.
Signature Reference, like most of Chord’s cables, used PTFE insulation (often referred to as Teflon™) and until the arrival of Taylon®, was Chord’s “go to” material. Although expensive, it offered the best performance.
Material technology is constantly developing and improving and alternatives to PTFE are now available. While the high cost of Taylon® prevents Chord from using this in their Signature range, they were able to find a suitable family of insulation materials known as XLPE (Cross-linked Polyethylene). One version of this material looked particularly interesting and following listening tests, proved to be clearly better than the PTFE in Signature Reference.