Hi-Fi Choice Recommended |Chord Company Shawline XLR cable



Date: 2023-04-26


The provision of XLR balanced audio connections on domestic audio equipment seems to be on the rise, and to meet this demand the Chord Company offers an XLR version of its Shawline analogue interconnect range.

Assembled by hand, the Shawline XLRs use silver-plated copper conductors insulated with an FEP dielectric. These are screened with a composite material designed to work over a wide bandwidth. Three identical conductors are used for all three connections (hot, cold and earth), as well as the company’s Tuned ARAY conductor geometry.

Connecting the Shawline XLR between my Studer A810 pro tape machine and my preamp, I play a 15IPS copy-master tape of the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra performing Prokofiev’s Cinderella. The opening of Cinderella Dreams About The Ball has a slightly reflective mood, which progresses to a more sprightly dance tune. The superb depth of the recording is brilliantly conveyed and all of the complexities of the piece are handled with effortless ease by the Shawline XLR interconnect.

Happy blending
For some vocals, I turn next to the soprano Daisy Brown singing Agnus Dei by Mozart on a copy-master tape from Chasing The Dragon. Brown’s vocals have a clarity and joyfulness that blends beautifully with the piano accompaniment in this rather captivating track. The piano is clearly positioned behind the soprano and the overall depth of this recording is very faithfully conveyed by the Shawline cable.

Switching reels to a modern copy-master tape from UltraAnalogue Recordings of Grieg’s Cello Sonata, the imaging of the cello and piano is pin-sharp while the excellent dynamic range of this recording is clearly transported by the XLR interconnect. All this adds up to a wonderfully realistic and totally believable performance in my listening room.

The Shawline is a first-rate cable whose performance will be very much at home in any high-end system.