• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required. There are many reviews of audio hardware and expert members to help answer your questions. Click here to have your audio equipment measured for free!

Chord GroundARAY Review (Noise Filter?)

Rate this audio product:

  • 1. Waste of money (piggy bank panther)

    Votes: 275 96.8%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 1 0.4%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther

    Votes: 2 0.7%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 6 2.1%

  • Total voters
    284
I feel I am amongst friends and can now share a particularly sad story before I knew better ….

Some years back I had an AV installer put up my new TV and surround speakers .

I bought some Chord Sarsen speaker cable - mostly because it was thin and could be run alongside the carpet grippers.

When the work was finished I was horrified to find that the installer hadn’t followed the direction arrows on the cable (this sounds ridiculous now even as I type it).

I took issue with the installer who (unsurprisingly) looked baffled at my rantings.

I even wrote to Chord to get some reassurance that this wasn’t going to screw everything up.

I realise now that all of this sounds completely MAD , but this is the paranoia that these snake oil companies create and which the HiFi press exacerbate amongst uniformed audio-idiots like I was - neurotic about ever little detail - even if it doesn’t actually matter!

Please don’t judge me - I am over it and have moved away from the dark side :)
Ah, yes, but as long as they are *both* wrong you are OK. Somehow the wrong directions cancel out. :)
 
The A4 and K20 used similar gauge copper strands (I'd suggest 2.5mm 42 strand? rather than 4mm) and the Cable Talk 3.1 and 4.1 (different insulation) cables were made similarly, as was a dumbbell cable by another UK supplier (I forget which). Made I believe by BICC, the insulation was a different material for each one, the black Naim A4 reacting with and tarnishing the copper badly after a few years use.

Chord Co introduced 'Flatline' cable which we later discovered was Nordost made. It 'sounded' lean and brighter lit, which I now put down to the pathetic gauge of the 'tapes' (can't have been more than a 1.5mm cross section if the 'strands' were made into a circular cable). It fitted nicely under a carpet though. Once Nordost stopped supplying them, the thin gauge Rumour came along and it's as I mentioned in an earlier post, bot this and the thicker Odyssey gaining round sticky to the touch 'jackets' justifying a price increase ;) They've moved upwards since then into the 'foo' market and I think that's sad, but then, the mid market they serviced so well with interconnects and so on has contracted here as the used market has taken up the slack.
From <https://docs.linn.co.uk/wiki/images/9/9c/K20_info.PDF>
Cable
Core
Strand Insulation Inductance Capacitance Impedance
2-Core dumbell wire
4 mm sq.
56 strands 0.3 mm copper
Grey PVC
0.005 ohm per metre
16pf per metre at 1KH (typical value) 0.93 mh per metre 1KH (typical value)
I read somewhere that Naim only produced the A5 cable because Linn struck a deal with the A4 supplier to sell it exclusively to them. Of course, in the whole Linn-Naim saga it is hard to know what is fact rather than fiction. :)
 
it would be really interesting to know the qualifications of the teams working at Chord Company. Naim undoubtably have software and hardware engineers.

What qualifications does one need to make a cable?

This may be a rhetorical question !
 
They are not. They are both grounding products. Not electrical filters. This is just the miniature version of the other. Why do you think it is called Ground Aray? This is the product description:

Hand built in UK. The Chord Company GroundARAY is designed to efficiently reduce a wide range of high-frequency noise from the signal earth of audio and video products. It is connected in parallel to the signal earth via unused sockets on your equipment.

@amirm Does the Ethernet version you tested have a separate ground connection, as I don't see any place for one on the shell?

And RJ45 sockets don't have a ground, in which case this particular device must be dissipating the 'noise energy' into thin air?

I appreciate it's supposed to be converting the noise to heat, but given there is no low impedance path to ground, it clearly cannot be very effective...
 
A question for our host (@amirm) - inserting these silly widgets introduces additional connections / breaks in the signal path - would that not have a detrimental impact through signal losses?
 
That's just the tip of the iceberg. What about all the purveyors of paranormal woo, dubious food supplements, homeopathy, spiritualism, etc?
I believe in homeopathy, proper homeopathy (not charlatans) is science based.
Come to think of it, drug dealers can be OK, drug pushers NO.
 
Nothing, it is just a piece of wire as I understand it, shorting unused inputs.
According to the info Amir has, it doesn't even do that. It connects the earth connection to some material.
 
I suspect Amir’s testing methodology doesn’t lend itself well to products that do nothing, being grounded in engineering and all. Let’s submit GroundARAY to Penn & Teller and see whether they hand over that trophy!
 
What you are showing is something completely different.
The Entreq has no shielding case around it and therefore the GND embedded in the turmaline can generate an electric field on the turmaline (vs. "world"). Turmaline is piezo-active, which means it changes the dimension of the lattice crystals when subject to electric field. The friction generated from the crystals massaging each other creates the dissipation. That's what these turmaline absorbtion theories say how it works (plausible to me).

Now if these Chord plugs have a shield connected to the same potential than the "drain wire", there is no electric field imposed on the turmaline. That would be completely idiotic. Of course it could be that Chord is actually doing things that silly (it's a gimmick product after all, I fully agree) but unless opened I wouldn't be so sure.

Point is that other devices exist which actually are constructed in the way I described (there is/was a vivid "turmaline denoiser" scene in some german forums).
Regarding tourmaline absorption: the currents involved must be absolutely miniscule. Furthermore, tourmaline is also pyroelectric so by heating it (via dissipation due to piezoelectric effect) you could possibly be generating voltages on the ground line and be making ground noise worse.
 
Last edited:
I think SINAD of 52dB and less than 12 bits of dynamic range on a 32-tone signal counts as performance that sucks. (That's what Amir found in testing my AVR; most others are better, but not by a lot.)

As to subjective sound, yes, we can easily convince ourselves that almost anything sounds good. If you are happy with your low-end AVR, peace, man. Maybe chasing better specs won't improve your experience at all. But then why are you here?
Was that meant to sound like a condescending reply.?

What AVR has a SINAD of 52 db? NAD?? Okay in all fairness my AVRs are in the low 80s, you may have a point!!

My comparisons with equipment measuring over 100 SINAD, I could find no shortcomings was all I mean. Maybe in YOUR case......

Why am I here? Mostly to see measurements of Speakers to be honest.
 
Last edited:
Regarding tourmaline absorption: the currents involved must be absolutely miniscule. Furthermore, tourmaline is also pyroelectric so by heating it (via dissipation due to piezoelectric effect) you could possibly be generating voltages on the ground line and be making ground noise worse.
Good point.

As for any possible effect of a feed-trough turmaline filter (large-plate capacitor filled with turmaline powder), some guy**) in Germany made measurements that seem to show a bit of dampening effect at very high frequencies > 200MHz:
In the following post he writes he checked the filter also with some turmaline powder of dubious origin and found it doesn't have any effect at all --> fake turmaline.

As it looks to be the Chord sticks are of different type, using only and only the GND/shield connection on sockets of a piece of gear, I hardly can image any effective noise reduction mechanism. Especially if they really are shield-connected to the GND they are supposed to clean.

**) basically a pretty serious engineer (whom I know personally) and long-time small-scale enthusiast manufacturer of speakers, cables and in the past, amplifiers, though with a bit esoteric views at times, from my POV at least.
 
Last edited:
Back
Top Bottom