Sarum Cables – a musical revelation
We have spent 20 years researching, experimenting, designing and producing interconnects and speaker cables. We understand the critical elements needed to produce cables that can carry a signal without any loss or interference and we understand how to produce cables that work synergetically to create outstanding performances from the systems to which they are connected.
Years of experience has produced a musically spectacular collection of products - Chord Sarum cables. Speaker cable, interconnects and mains cables - conceived, designed and built to deliver a truly exceptional performance.
Sarum cables won’t just reveal the real performance capabilities of your hi-fi components. They will allow you further and deeper into the thrilling emotions within a musical performance and will show the true musical prowess of your favourite musicians and singers. To achieve the extraordinary performance levels that Sarum cables bring to a system, we have reinvestigated and refined almost every element and technique previously used. From the conductors onward, every component that makes up a Sarum cable has been examined and improved.
Contact your nearest Chord Sarum dealer to arrange a demo.
Like many cables in the Chord Company range, Sarum cables use silver-plated multi-strand oxygen free copper conductors. In the case of the Sarum however, each strand that makes up the conductor has been precision polished to ensure a microscopically smooth surface before being plated with a heavy layer of silver. This treatment aids accurate signal transfer, particularly in the high frequency region. The Teflon™ insulation (used throughout the Sarum cable range) contributes to the cables’ extremely high signal speed and its outstanding ability to carry dynamic and micro dynamic information.
The insulation chosen for Sarum cables is another example of The Chord Company's commitment to refining and improving materials and techniques.
Teflon™ is used extensively throughout the Chord cable range. It has an extremely low dielectric value and we believe its use is critical when employing silver-plated conductors. The Sarum cable range uses Teflon™ as insulation but goes a step further. Sarum interconnects and power cables both employ foamed Teflon™ insulation, whereas the speaker cable uses air-spaced Teflon™. In both cases, this produces an extremely effective insulation with a very low dielectric value.
Experimentation shows that reducing the dielectric value of the insulation produces a cable capable of carrying extremely accurate macro and micro dynamic information. The Chord Sarum cable range sets a new standard in its ability to accurately transfer dynamic information, making music more coherent, rhythmically more intelligible and above all, involving and exciting.
The Chord Company pioneered the use of high frequency effective shielding on interconnects, speaker cables and power cables. Chord believes that high frequency effective shielding is critical to the performance of every signal-carrying cable in a hi-fi system.
All the cables in the Sarum range are fitted with extremely effective high frequency shields.
Existing shield designs were revisited, refined and improved; the shields fitted to Sarum cables offer the highest degree of signal protection available.
Sarum interconnects and mains cables are fitted with a single over wrap of very heavy gauge silver-plated foil in combination with an extremely dense silver-plated flat braid. Because of its unusually heavy gauge the silver-plated foil is technically challenging to apply, but when combined with the more conventional silver-plated braid, the results are exceptional. The shielding offers a higher level of protection than any that Chord has previously used and at the same time produces a flexible cable that is simple to install.
Sarum speaker cable is fitted with an outwardly simple but technically complex shielding system. Once again, silver-plated heavy gauge foil is used, but in the case of Sarum speaker cable the foil is applied as a flat woven braid around the Teflon™ insulation. This complex foil shield is then over braided with a more conventional but extremely dense silver-plated braid, producing a shield with 100% coverage to extremely high frequencies.
The shielding systems fitted to the Sarum cables set new standards, both technically and in terms of performance. The space and silence between individual instruments is astonishing, as is the level of musical information revealed.
Once again, we have taken a proven conductor geometry, refined and improved it. Sarum interconnects, like the Chord Indigo Plus, utilise a secondary return path conductor. This conductor configuration enhances a cable’s ability to accurately carry an audio signal across an extended bandwidth. There is no doubt that the single signal path/dual signal return path configuration brings major benefits to the critical elements that are essential to reproduce an engrossing and involving musical performance.
The primary and secondary return path conductors used in the Chord Sarum are identical to the signal path conductor. The sonic advantages of using dual signal return conductors can be improved still further by separately shielding each set of conductors. The three conductors used for each run of Chord Sarum interconnect cable are fitted with the ground-breaking Sarum shielding system. The shielding brings improvements to timing and dynamic information, increases the sound stage, imaging and depth and brings greater separation and definition to individual instruments.
Chord Sarum mains and speaker cables are more conventional in their configuration. Critical however to extracting the full performance potential from any power cable is the wiring configuration within the mains and the IEC plug. The decision to fit Furutech plugs gave us a chance to reconfigure the internal conductors and improve performance still further.
The technical advances made during the development of the Sarum interconnect make it one of the most flexible and compatible high-performance cables available. Sarum interconnects can be configured for and terminated with RCA/phono plugs, Din plugs and XLR plugs. In each case, we experimented with the cable configuration until the best performance was achieved. The
RCA, XLR and Din connectors fitted to Chord Sarum all feature silver-plated contacts and all connections are made with a high silver content solder to ensure the best possible signal integrity. Sarum RCA cables are terminated with Chord silver-plated low mass RCA plugs. These are surrounded by our vibration damping, acrylic RCA plug surrounds, each one of which is machined to exacting tolerances.
Sarum XLR cables require a different conductor configuration and in order to accommodate this, we have used a specially produced XLR plug. The contact pins of the XLR plugs are silver-plated and each plug is fitted with a specially machined aluminium back shell.
Sarum Din cables are available in a variety of configurations, including Din to Din, Din to RCA and RCA to Din. Once again, the conductors have been configured to produce the best possible performance. Contact pins are silver-plated and the Din back shell has been machined to accommodate the cable.
During the development of the Chord Power Chord we learned how critical the wiring layout within the mains plug was to obtaining the best performance. After much experimentation we chose to fit gold-plated Furutech connectors to the Sarum mains cable. In listening tests, the Furutech was consistently chosen and we are extremely impressed with the build quality of Furutech products.
The decision to fit Furutech plugs also gave us the chance to experiment with revised internal wiring configurations. The internal layout of the Furutech connectors allowed us to use a wiring configuration that would not be possible with a more conventional mains plug.
Sarum speaker cable is based on the award winning Chord Signature speaker cable. The same twisted pair - in combination with the low resistance, heavy gauge, multi-stranded conductor configuration - is used on both cables. However, Sarum speaker cable uses heavily silver-plated polished high purity copper conductors and the foamed polyethylene insulation used on Signature is replaced with air-spaced Teflon™.
Sarum is terminated with an upgraded version of the tried and tested gold-plated 4mm Chord banana plug, The upgraded version is heavily plated with 24-carat gold. Despite its apparent simplicity, this plug does consistently well in blind listening tests, offers a secure fit with a high pressure contact point and is extremely reliable. Sarum speaker cable can also be fitted with spade connectors and if necessary, BFA Camcon connectors. All connectors are soldered with high silver content solder
We have long believed that replacing the gold-plated links found on the back of most bi-wireable speakers with short runs of cable (developed to match the speaker cable), can bring big improvements to sound quality. During the development of the Sarum cables, the need to fully exploit the extraordinary improvements to performance led to the development of a purpose designed Sarum speaker link. Sarum speaker links take design cues from other Sarum cables and employ the same extraordinary shielding that is used on Sarum interconnects. Sarum speaker links are the perfect way to complete a Sarum connected system and when compared to the standard links, offer a remarkable improvement, particularly across the higher frequencies.
The Sarum is available in 1 metre lengths. For reasons of sound quality we do not recommend lengths shorter than 1 metre. Custom lengths are available to order at $1400/m.