Chord Co. Epic v Witch Hat IC’s

That looks good advice @anon33182107 .

One added wrinkle is that cables do take use to get working properly. Several WH users report that they sounded good, then bad in some specific ways, and then very good as they finally settled - all in month 1.

If the burn-in recommendations for Chord are the same, a proper comparison may take a while.


@anon33182107 and @IanRobertM - it wasn’t mean to distract from the topic anyway.

FWIW, being enquiring and sceptical, I compared ancient grey to new lavender, not least to see if time had worn things. Sure enough, I thought that I might be hearing a difference if I strained. Sure enough, 5 minutes proved that completely wrong - I could hear literally no difference. Negative results are still results…



I absolutely agree - and this is one of the great difficulties involved in sensibly comparing cables. In my experience it can take at least two or three weeks, sometimes even longer, for brand new cables to settle down and show their true colours. Unless you have access to fully burnt-in samples to compare at home it is impossible to make meaningful comparisons. The only thing I would say is that if you plug a new cable in and it sounds truly awful right from day 1 then it’s unlikely you will end up ever liking it. In my experience most cables I have liked sounded pretty damn good to start with and then underwent several weeks of veering between sounding superb and disappointing before finally settling down and sounding excellent.

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A great insight from everyone, Chord Signature seems where I’m going although more money than planned. Nothing at all against NAIM IC’s but while I’ve SL speaker cable want to go “outside” for IC’s

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My experience FWIW. For anything upstream of the power amp I’ve tried some Chord ICs but returned to the provided Naim stuff and now a SL between my CDS3 and 282, the Naim stuff is simply more organic. For speaker cable I think this is more speaker dependent but with both my Dynas and now Kudos I’ve tried a few including Naca but always come back to Chord Odyssey. Just my 2P.

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I’ve never liked what Chord do in my system but have of course not tried it all. With Witch hat it’s been love at first sight.


Good luck @CalumF
Seems to be little consensus here. I started on the SL journey and wanted to get a whole loom. I found the speaker cables great compared to their Chord Sarum T counterparts, but when it came to interconnects, although I wanted to prefer the Super Lumina to complete my loom, Chord was just better to my ears. Of course, I thought it may be that the cables weren’t well run in, but my dealer let me keep them for ages and said they’d all been well used before they got to me. Enjoy whatever you end up with.


Maybe I should just hide behind the sofa and go SL

Jim, just curious to know exactly how the SL speaker cables compared with the Chord Sarum T. Do you find the SL in any way bright or edgy in the treble?

Hi @Pete01
I found the Sarum T edgy and brittle sounding compared to the SL speaker cable. I honestly couldn’t believe how bad it sounded. I called the dealer and he called Chord and was assured that it was a well run in set that should have been at optimum performance within a few days at best.
When I tried SL I got everything I was expecting from Chord. When I eventually got my own new SL though, the burn in seemed to take ages.
I usually don’t worry too much about burn in and all that, believing that if you really don’t like something at the start, then things won’t change that dramatically over time. But this was one time I particularly remember because my dealer was right to warn me against making a judgment too quickly, he said give the SL time and it will deliver. It did.
I suppose as the electrical interaction between different speakers and amps is not something Naim can know, means that different cables will work better in certain situations? And then, of course, there’s personal preference…
The slightly ironic ending to my story is that I now have active speakers with Chord Sarum T running from the Naim PSU to speakers and it all sounds just right.

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Thanks Jim. I have heard other reports of Sarum T sounding brittle in some systems. From the few reviews of seen of it I sort of got the impression that SL can sound rather bright - one reviewer mentioned a ‘zesty treble’! Always dangerous to make any conclusions from reviews of course. I haven’t got Naim anymore but I have a Moon 340ix driving Klipsch Forte III horn loaded speakers. Speaker cable is Chord Epic X which sounds very good. I was toying with the idea of SL cable but my main concern is that it may provoke the Klipsch’s into being a bit bright and brittle. The Chord is smooth sounding and clear but without any brightness. I would love to hear what SL may bring in terms of added dynamics and musicality but not at the expense of any brightness.

Chord what?

In the recently released "Megatest speaker cables – real measurements, samples and blind test!" they go through measurements, blind tests and one can download FLAC files for your own thoughts. I’m curious in the ones that won the test mainly “Shunyata Venom X”. Would such a design and cable work with my 300DR if one stay above 3.5m?

I am now burning in some Witch Hat cables. We cannot use this forum to discuss some (as RD says, there are clear rules). We can discuss the signal-only interconnects, and I will post elsewhere on what may or may not be our results from the other cables.

So far, I have compared standard grey/ lavender leads with my existing Hi-line and Morganas. Assuming that what I hear now is representative of the final version, there are specific audible improvements from switching grey to Morgana - but so there should be for the cost difference.

Comparison with a Hi-line is harder - I can hear that there is a bit of a difference - if pushed, I’d claim that the music seems to flow a bit better and that the bass on Flight of the Cosmic Hippos, Lazy (on Made in Japan), Aja or Don Juan’s Reckless Daughter is more precise, but I am not 100% sure that I am not imagining it.

Some blind testing by ambushing friends will help pin things down, but that (and less tentative conclusions from me) will have to wait for a couple of weeks, given the above comments about burn-in time. I may yet end up preferring Hi-line to Morgana from NDX2 and CDS2 (though that’s not my guess as I type).

As for why I hear what I do, I don’t know of course, but I suspect that the screening issue may be key.

The back of my rack is a mess and that is really not surprising - 6 boxes need mains power, the 52 preamp has 6 cables in the back, I have 4 sources (inc tape) and the stack is only 2 boxes wide. I have moved boxes to keep (for example) 52 and Supercap a good way apart, and there is only so much one can do about the resultant pickle.

The ridiculous but apparently necessary ‘dressing’ of cables generally and Burndies in particular is a particular complication, and one that one could not have imagined in the days when a great hi-fi had 1 source and 2-3 other boxes (all of which just wanted to be a little distance apart).

Witch Hat cables are stiffer than many, and I am sure that they are not immune to really bad organising over what touches what. However, I strongly suspect that some of what I don’t like as much about the all-Naim-cable sound is my fault, and would be improved if only I could really make every cable hang free, untouched by any other or the floor or the wall. Sadly I can’t.

With Witch Hat, the last few hours of swapping cables and positions of boxes and all that seems to suggest that they are considerably less sensitive to mush (and worse) from cable-on-cable action. This may explain in part why some hear so much more difference in SQ than others.

Does this square with what other people hear?


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