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by Jay Garrett

2nd November, 2018


Chord Company Rumour and Shawline speaker cables now have added X-factor thanks to XLPE (Cross-linked Polyethylene) technology. This latest development promises a significant performance upgrade for the two-decade-strong Rumour and popular Shawline cables.

The Wiltshire A/V cable specialist has upgraded the 20-year-old Rumour and popular Shawline cables with the introduction of the new XLPE insulation material.

The move follows the successful introduction of Taylon as a flagship phase-stable insulation material in the Sarum T and ChordMusic speaker cables. The benefits of Taylon has seen Chord Company revisit the insulation used in their other lines. 

Despite the high cost of Taylon preventing it being used in anything other than the flagship models, Chord Company has discovered another option to PTFE. XLPE doesn't suffer the same phase issues as PTFE, and following extensive listening tests in the Wiltshire factory, the phase properties of XLPE have become apparent. The results show that XLPE gives a marked improvement over the previous PTFE insulation.

Chord RumourX and ShawlineX

Chord Company RumourX speaker cable

Chord Company introduced XLPE in the SignatureXL speaker cable which was debuted at October's Festival of Sound show, London. As is customary, the tech has now tricked down into the two new models, making the benefits of XLPE more affordable than ever.
The latest cables to benefit are the new RumourX speaker/installation cable (which replaces the current Rumour) and the new ShawlineX, (similarly replacing its predecessor). 

The discreet and install-friendly RumourX brings the advantages of XLPE down to an astonishingly low price point of just £18 per metre, and Shawline's upgrade to XLPE further cements its position as the market leader in performance and value at £30 p/m.

The original Chord Company Rumour, launched in 1996, was one of the narrowest speaker cables available at the time (16 AWG). Additionally, Rumour was only the company's second attempt at producing a speaker cable. Remarkably, Rumour has remained unchanged since then, until the announcement of RumourX.

Previous versions of Rumour used PTFE insulation (often referred to as Teflon), and until the implementation of Taylon in the flagship ChordMusic and Sarum T ranges, this was Chord Company's ‘go-to' material; although expensive, PTFE offered the best performance.

RumourX is based upon silver-plated OFC conductors in a twisted-pair configuration with XLPE insulation and a PVC outer jacket. It's narrow gauge (just 6mm), and its high-performance construction makes it perfect for installations and hi-fi systems where discretion is paramount as the cable is easily hidden. Rumour and now RumourX, has been a staple part of Chord Company's range for two decades because of its unrivalled performance at its price point.  

Chord Company Shawline X speaker cable

The ShawlineX builds upon the time-proven Rumour and subsequent RumourX, taking the existing conductor layout and upgrading it with a specially chosen PVC inner jacket to reduce mechanical noise. Further upgrades include a high-density, dual-layer foil and braid shield as used in the upper-tier  Chord Epic speaker cable. Like RumourX, the twisted-pair conductors are silver-plated and insulated with the new XLPE dielectric.  

Price and availability 

  • RumourX is available now priced at £18 per metre
  • ShawlineX is available now priced at £30 per metre

ShawlineX and RumourX cables are available both off-the-reel or terminated at the UK factory with ChordOhmic 4mm banana plugs or ChordOhmic spade connectors for a supplement. 

Demonstration sets are available at most Chord Company retailers.

For more information, go to The Chord Company.


Jay Garrett's avatar

Written by:

Jay Garrett

StereoNET UK's Editor and Bass playing gadget junkie. He's captained the good ship GadgetyNews for over a decade, making low jargon high tech a very handy thing. His passion for gadgets and Hi-Fi is second only to being a touring musician.

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Posted in: Hi-Fi
Tags: the chord company