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Chord Company ShawlineX ARAY Cables

New Products Reviews
If you're considering upgrading your speaker and interconnect cables, the Chord Company ShawlineX ARAY series proves that you don't need to spend a fortune to achieve great sound quality.
Let me be clear, I've never been a fan of expensive audiophile cables. With that in mind, let's dive into the review of the latest Chord Company ShawlineX ARAY cable.

Why spend $5,000 on a single power cord or as much on loudspeaker cable as you would on a Naim NAIT 50 Integrated Amplifier? It just doesn't make sense, especially when you could use that money to buy 150 new records.

Over the years, the media has convinced many people that overpriced cables are a necessity, but that's simply not true. While it's a fact that not all cables sound the same, some pricier options might offer more transparency at the cost of midrange colour and low-end weight.
I've tried various cables in my systems, and some actually made the sound worse, emphasising the top end too much and sacrificing texture and midrange presence.

Even in a high-quality $10,000 system, it's reasonable to spend around $750 to $1,000 on speaker cables, interconnects, and power cords (assuming you have multiple sources). Anything more than that becomes questionable in terms of benefits.

Having tried products from brands like QED and Analysis Plus over the past decade, I can confidently say that the Chord Company ShawlineX ARAY cables will get you 90% of the way there. It's wiser to invest in better loudspeakers or amplifiers than to splurge on mega-priced cables.

The ShawlineX ARAY models prove that whilst reaching the highest possible performance grades, the manufacturers also sympathise with the problem of overpricing the "true audiophile" cables, making the high-end sound available for various income classes.
Here are a few specifications worth noting:

  • The Chord Company has recently upgraded its more affordable Shawline analog interconnect with XLPE insulation, following the release of its EpicX Array interconnect cable line.

  • The ShawlineX ARAY cables feature high-quality silver-plated conductors, several layers of shielding, and proprietary Chord Company ARAY geometry. They also come with ChorAlloy-plated DIN, VEE 3 RCA, or XLR connectors.


During my testing, both interconnects and banana connectors showed easy installation, high quality, and the utmost security.

I tested the ShawlineX ARAY with three different systems to evaluate its tonal balance and presentation.

In my Magnepan LRS/Cambridge Audio Edge A system, the cables demonstrated transparency and revealed changes in timbre, detail, and clarity.

Swapping out the Magnepan LRS for the Bowers & Wilkins 703 S3 with the Cambridge Edge A highlighted the cables' superior control and definition in the bass range.

When paired with the Cambridge Audio Evo 150/Evo CD player combination and the Q Acoustics 5040, the ShawlineX ARAY delivered clear and detailed vocals, enhancing the overall tonal balance and presentation.
All of the above states that affordable high-end cables, such as the Chord Company ShawlineX ARAY, exist and deserve more attention from the high-end audio press. These cables offer solid build quality, excellent sound performance with a wide range of components and loudspeakers, and outstanding value compared to overpriced alternatives that fail to justify their high costs.

There's simply no excuse to pay more when you can achieve excellent results without breaking the bank.
An expert review by Ian White for the portal has been adapted by the MGY team exclusively for you.

If you want to find out more about the Chord Company, you can visit their website here:
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