During the development of Clearway, valuable research was carried out in relation to the behaviour of conductors and different dielectrics (insulation). For a long time, we have understood the importance of the relationship between conductor materials and insulation, and its silver-plated speaker cables make extensive use of PTFE as an insulation material.
The type of insulation doesn’t just affect a cable’s ability to carry signals accurately, it also has an effect on the tonal characteristics that the cable brings to the system. This often takes the form of an unwanted increase in bass frequencies, which directly limits a system’s ability to produce music with coherence and involvement.
Typically, cables that use oxygen-free copper as a conductor material will use either polyethylene or PVC as an insulating material. What sets The Chord Company’s Clearway speaker cable apart is its use of FEP: a derivative of PTFE with very similar performance characteristics. Compared to polyethylene, the FEP-insulated Clearway carries both detail and dynamic information markedly more accurately. The tonal properties of the cable are also considerably more neutral.
The FEP-insulated conductors are built from multi-strand oxygen-free copper and are arranged in a twisted-pair configuration to reduce interference. The two conductors are then protected with a layer of soft PVC (which was chosen over polyethylene because of its flexibility), in order to correctly space the shielding in relation to the conductors and to minimise any mechanically induced noise.
High-performance shielding is specified and just like the award-winning Carnival SilverScreen, Chord Clearway speaker cable features two contra-wound high-density foil shields. Like many Chord speaker cables, the twin foils, combined with the twisted-pair configuration, make for a level of shielding that is effective to high frequencies. Finally, a clear protective PVC jacket is applied, which again serves to further reduce any mechanically induced noise.