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Chord Chameleon 2
6 Reviews
rating  4.67 of 5


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Reviews 1 - 5 (6 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Bill a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: March 27, 2003

Bottom Line:   
My system:

Arcam cd82T CDP
NAD c350 Amp
Mission m74 speakers
Chord Odyssey speakre cable

I recently upgraded my NAD c521 cd player to the Arcam, (very pleased), & felt a corresponding need to rethink cables. I hate rethinking cables. Thinking about component upgrades is pleasurable in itself, (you know what I'm talking about), but cables give me a headache.

I had a pair of Straightwire Chorus interconnects, and comparing the two I found the Chords to be more natural and detailed sounding. I also compared it with a pair of Kimber PBJs, & while they were good they sounded a touch cold and harsh.

These interconnects are very nice.

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Aaron a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: March 10, 2003

Bottom Line:   
First part of this review, I guess, should be focused on the basics.


Actually, setup for me took a little bit of messing around. I don't have an ideal listening environment as it is, as it's a multifunction room. Further to this, I made a fatal mistake of attempting to combine HT and 2 channel audio years ago, and have paid the price ever since.

In retrospect, if I was to do it over again, I would have picked up a SIMA preamp, a Vanderstein subwoofer, an Arcam or Rega Jupiter transport and D/A convertor and a pair of Rotel RB-990BX amplifiers bridged mono and be done with it. Hindsight is an amazing thing, albeit incredibly useless.

Anyways... As I was saying. One of the most important things a speaker needs to do is present a soundstage and an image. Although the speakers imaged reasonably well just plunking them down on either side of my gear, they didn't present a soundstage worth a damn. It took me some rather extensive fiddling (even dug out the tape measure at one point, I was so frustrated) to get a reasonable soundstage, something I could live with.

I finally found that the optimal placement for my room appears to be with the tweater about 30" from the back wall, with the cabinets toed in roughly 18deg, aimed just slightly to either side of my listening position. This presented be with a rough equilateral triangle.

I also found that I had to fiddle with the options of single or biwiring. With single cables I was less than pleased, and almost ready to take the loudspeakers back to the dealership. I finally went down and invested $500.00 in some Chord biwire speaker cable. In retrospect, I should have biwired from the beginning, as Paradigm pushes in that direction in the manual. More about biwiring later.

While I was playing with cabling, it came to my attention that my interconnects left a little bit to be desired, so I ran the Corals to the amplifier and the Musiclinks from the transport to the preamp.

Break In:

Believe it or not, these loudspeakers require rather copious breakin time. Several hours, to the tune of 30 or so, and the Paradigms are just starting to crawl out of their shell. They do sound good out of the box, but the more I'm playing them, the better they sound. At nights I run pink noise through them to log some hours on them without me plunking myself in front of them.


As far as I'm concerned, soundstage is one of THE most important criterion when evaluating loudspeaker performance. If it doesn't sound like David Matthews or Michael Stipe is sitting in your living room, or Leila Josefowicz is standing out in front of the orchestra, there isn't a whole lot of point.

At first, the soundstage on the Paradigms was incredibly narrow, limited to the space between the two cabinets. A huge disappointment for me. Very few albums could break out of that confinement, David Matthews being one of them. The depth was good, mind you. On several of the recordings, such as Elton Johns "Love Songs", it was easy to envision the piano sitting out in the middle of the floor, with the drumkit behind him and supporting instruments around him. Another example, Bach's Brandenburg Concertos. Unfortunately it sounded like I was back about 60 rows from the stage, but the sound literally sounded like it was coming from behind the walls. A bizarre depth, far better than the flat wall of sound I'm familiar with from the likes of Yamaha.

At this time, I remain uncertain whether there is more benefit to biwiring as opposed to straight wiring. One of the biggest problems with biwiring is the introduction of transient induced phase errors. This results when the high and low frequencies are forced to travel down different paths and seeing different loads (often 18 ohms nominal in the high frequency as opposed to 4 ohms in the low frequency). What also happens is random and static phase errors at different distances from the loudspeaker.

I will say that it really took biwiring to help the speakers present the illusion of a wider soundstage. I haven't sat in front of these loudspeakers for a month yet, so I don't yet know how it is coloring the sound across a wide range of recordings. I'm not sure what price I'm paying yet, in other words. According to one audiophiles viewpoint that I am familiar with, everything should have a sense of "sameness", no matter what source material I'm using. This, however, is the subject of hot debate amongst audiophiles, and I have yet to prove it for myself, one way or the other.

The height portrayed in the stage is reasonably good, depending on the recording. Certainly one of my favorites, Peter Hurfords Toccata and Fugue, you could picture the rows of pipes. Perhaps vertical dispersion could be a bit better, as the soundstage did not rise much above the cabinet, but it certainly had a respectable height within those confines. It makes me wonder if the dispersion is a result of an error in design.

Another example is Le

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2003

Price Paid:    $1960.00

Purchased At:   Audio Plus, Orillia,

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Bernd Berbalk a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: October 8, 2002

Bottom Line:   
I am using an audiolab pre-/power amp (latest modells which were available on the market), Audiolab-CD player, KEF 105/3 speakers. The interconnect between the amps is QED Silver Spiral which works fine as a connection between the amps. Tried another QED for the CD to amp connection but result was very disappointing. There was a lot of detail but the mids were overhung by a boomy bass. Also the treble was too harsh at times. Tried the Chord Chameleon Interconnect is fine. Sound is detailed, natural, sweet and controlled and has an unforced charcter. Absolute a cable you can be satisfied with and considering the price much better than the cable of many competitors. Highly recommend !!!!

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2001

Price Paid:    $65.00

Purchased At:   Hifibitz

Overall Rating:5
Submitted by Darren a an Audiophile

Date Reviewed: May 31, 1999

Bottom Line:   
Superb cable that I believe outclasses many higher priced cables like the AQ quartz 3 for instance. Having tried many at home (demo), the half meter version is particularly good for pre-power links.

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Duration Product Used:   an Audiophile

Overall Rating:4
Submitted by johnk a an Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: December 8, 1998

Bottom Line:   
The Chord Company products are probably not so well known in the US, becausethey are made in Britain. I used a Chord interconnect -- I'm not sure if it was a Chameleon or another line -- for 2 years. I agree that helps to reduce
brightness, which is often a problem with CD sources. But without stifling the music. Also transmits a very good sense of pace, although bass is not full by any means. But a 2 meter length will reduce your brightness problem and make your system "livable" if your digital front end is not ideal but you can't yet afford to upgrade.
Who knows, maybe a 1 meter run is good too!

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Duration Product Used:   an Audio Enthusiast

Reviews 1 - 5 (6 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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