If one type of interconnect has always challenged the Chord design team, it would be the AES/EBU connection. The problem has always been that whilst Chord can develop AES/EBU cables in isolation, when it comes to listening tests, they almost always find that the coaxial connection produces the more musically involving sound. The Signature AES/EBU changes that. So if your equipment is fitted with AES EBU outputs and inputs, the Signature AES/ EBU is well worth listening to.
The unique wiring geometry is a result of extensive experimentation with signal paths that remain shielded from each other along the length of the cable. The conductors are built from the same ultra cast copper that we use exclusively for digital connections. The insulation is a specially developed low-density gas foamed polyethylene.
There is a proviso however. If your components have both AES/EBU and coaxial connections, we recommend that you try to listen to both types of connection for yourself. In our experience it will be easy to decide which one better suits your system.
The Signature AES/EBU is built from three conductors, each separately shielded with a composite twin layer shield. Single crystal Continuous Cast Copper carries the signals, insulation is a gas foamed polyethylene and the composite dual layer shield functions both as an effective shield and a very resistive conductive layer, which makes it perfect for use with digital cables. The tri-coaxial configuration is unusual but extremely effective. Chord use the same construction method with many of their XLR terminated analogue interconnects as well, including the mighty Sarum balanced interconnects.
The Signature AES/EBU is heavily influenced by Chord’s Sarum cables. The tri conductor configuration means that they can produce a balanced digital cable that closely follows the wiring geometry they use in so many of their other high performance cables. The Signature AES/EBU is fitted with theeir favourite Neutrik XLR connectors, and crucial to the performance, great care is taken with strain relief in order to avoid an impedance changing compression on the cables.
During extensive testing, the Signature AES EBU was compared to several alternative cables and produced a class leading performance. However, Chord would suggest that it is always worth comparing the connection options available on your components. Try the AES EBU against the standard coaxial output and see which one you prefer.