Titan Audio Chimera & Chimera Signature Mains Cable
Titan Audio is a relatively new audio company hailing from Belfast in N.Ireland but they seem to have exploded unto the cable scene in the last couple of years. After listening to their newest offerings the Chimera and the Chimera Signature cables I totally understand why. These cables made a simply stunning difference to my amplifier and CD player and while they are at the higher end of the Titan Audio cables ranges the sound and built quality were superb.
As with all their cable ranges Titan Audio have a mains cable specifically designed for source components and one designed for amplifiers or in simpler terms a lower current cable and a higher current cable. I was informed the Chimera range was designed to slot in between the Elektra and Eros models and their high end Nemesis range as the company felt there was too large a price gap between the ranges. They also mentioned that it took quite a long time for them to design and build a cable which was significantly better than the Elektra and Eros models. Having used an Elektra and Eros in my current system I can understand why as they offer exceptional value for money as well as great sound quality.
The Chimera standard cable looks really substantial and features a silver plated MS plug for the UK version and a silver plated bespoke Wattgate connection at the other side. Thats impressive for a cable retailing at £750. The cable itself is extruded silver over OCC copper with a teflon dialectic and the cable is twisted to reduce interference. There is also significant shielding with an aluminium foil and a drain wire. Even though this cable is designed to work with source components Titan Audio tell me that it has significant current delivery so can be used with amplifiers if required.
The Chimera Signature is essentially a high current version of the standard Chimera cable however there are a number of differences including a Furutech Silver plated UK mains plug, an additional grounding cable which spirals around the main cable body as well as an extra conductor ( like the Nemesis signature) for better current delivery. While the Chimera Signatures price jumps to £1250 it has serious current delivery and performance.
As I mentioned the Chimera cables pass the build quality and aesthetic tests but are they worth their costs sonically? The answer is a resounding yes. I tried the Chimera Signature cable first and wow the jump in quality from my amplifier was unbelieveable. The noise floor from the mains dropped significantly creating an inky blackness in the background meaning I was able to hear much further into the recording. Subtle nuances like singers breathing or footsteps across a stage were suddenly clearly audible and the extra detail retrieval was significant. The bass went lower and was more controlled the high frequency was sweeter and more detailed. The midrange was more open and the sound staging was wider and more three dimensional. However the most impressive improvement was the dynamics, I thought someone had turbocharged my amplifier. In fact I don’t think spending £1250 on an electronics upgrade could possibly create that level of improvement. It was similar when I added the Chimera cable to my CD player again the improvement was significant, not quite to the same degree as the Chimera Signature made to the amplifier but enough for me to be very impressed. Again the noise floor from the mains was reduced and with the same benefits as I have mentioned with the Signature cable were clearly heard.
Now I never would have believed, if I had not heard for myself, that mains cables could make this degree of difference to an audio component. Having said that I suppose when you think about it if you have a heavily polluted mains supply, not to mention all the airborne interference in a house it is going to effect the performance of your Hi Fi system. Therefore it stands to sense that if you can reduce or remove most of that interference your system is going to sound significantly better.
So you might already have surmised that I really like these cables. In fact I like them to the point of wanting to buy them. Thats the downside of reviewing products, sometimes you like the products so much you want to buy them. Unfortunately their prices often preclude that and it may take a little time before I can gather the funds however that is the plan as I can’t think of any other products which would make as much difference in my system.
Having said that any review is just one persons opinion and my advice is to listen to these cables for yourself in your own system and decide from there. Titan Mains Cables start from only £60 and their mains blocks start from only £150 so hopefully if the Chimera cables are too expensive then there should be a cheaper option. I hope to review some of the less expensive models in the future. If I had to give any advice about buying mains cables it would be start with the amplifier as you get more benefits not just in terms of the reduction of EMI (electromagnetic interference) and RFI (Radio Frequency Interference) but also in terms of current delivery. Titan Audio claim their cables can increase current delivery by up to 2 1/2 times that of standard mains cables and competitors cables. While I can’t prove or disprove that I can certainly hear what they did to my amplifier and that’s enough for me.