The Bluebird Stretches its Chord-like Wings

Chord Electronics, distributed by Bluebird Music, took pride of place in two systems in their multi-chambered suite on the 35th floor. In the main system sat the Chord Blu Mk.2 CD transport ($11,788), Dave DAC ($12,488), CPA 5000 preamp ($20,000), and SPM6000 750W monoblock amplifiers ($50,000/pair). Kubala-Sosna Elation cabling ($28,000 total)—my undying thanks to Gregg Kubala for going on a heroic quest for a bottle of water to help yours truly reduce the discomfort of desert-induced dehydration—and Vienna Acoustics Liszt speakers ($14,998/pair) drew a darker sound from the same Lou Harrison recording I had auditioned 10 minutes earlier in the large Lamm room. While bass control was less than ideal, timbres were far more neutral.