Chord Rumour speaker cable was the first speaker cable that Chord designed. We were already aware of the real benefits to be had from using silver plated conductors in conjunction with Teflon? insulation. In the course of experimentation, we found that twisting the two conductors together bought some real and dramatic improvements. There is nothing new about the use of twisted conductors in the manufacture of speaker cable, but at the time, this approach had fallen out of fashion in favour of heavy gauge parallel conductors. A lot of work was carried out to establish the number of twists required in order to optimise the performance. Rumour uses 19 strands of silver plated oxygen free copper per conductor, surrounded by Teflon insulation. The conductors are 16 gauge and although this appears to be surprisingly small for a speaker cable, its performance is anything but and its current capabilities surprisingly high. The original version of Rumour was simply the above cable with no outer jacket. Later on we were able to extrude a silicon jacket over the twisted Teflon? insulated conductors. Because of this jacket we now refer to this as Rumour 2 and the original version as Rumour Install. Teflon and silver used in the construction of speaker cables have some real benefits. Teflon will withstand very high temperatures and is resistant to most solvents. It is also extremely good at preventing air from reaching the conductors it surrounds and because of this, oxidisation of the conductors ceases to be a real problem. Further to this, although silver does oxidise, the oxides it produces are barely less conductive than the silver. This means that the performance of the cable will remain consistent for many, many years. Copper PVC cables will degrade quite severely over the years. PVC is hydroscopic, or put another way can be seen as a fairly porous material. Cheap speaker cables often use clear or translucent PVC as an insulator and if you look carefully, you will be able to see signs of oxidisation along the length of the cable. Silicon was chosen as an outer jacket partly for its flexibility and partly for its excellent mechanical damping. The outer jacket also helps to hold the twists of the cable firmly together and allows us to produce an excellent bi-wire version of Rumour. This is called Rumour 4 and simply uses two pairs of evenly spaced twisted conductors in a larger jacket. Bi-wire cables can be problematic and often, because of the way they are constructed, sound completely different to the standard dual conductor version. By using the same twisted pair design, the performance remains remarkably consistent. Theoretically the silicon outer jacket should help to produce a better performance from the cable, but in fact, opinion is divided fairly equally as to which is better. For what it is worth, the designer, if aware of what he is listening to, prefers the performance of the silicon jacket version but whilst listening blind, is not always able to identify whether he is listening to the jacketed or install version.
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