Chord Company S6 and M6 PowerHAUS Distribution Blocks
Chord Company began making mains distribution blocks for their own use way back in the mid 80’s then a couple of years ago they decided to develop ones for customers to use, ideally in conjunction with their own range of power cables. The result of Chord’s lengthy design process that was based as much on extensive listening tests and not just technical design is the recent release of two similar but not identical mains blocks, the S6 and the M6.. The S standing for ‘Studio’ and M standing for ‘Master’. Both are available in black finish only and with either 6 UK or 6 Euro sockets and are handmade in the UK.
Neither the S6 nor M6 contain any filtering, switches, lights etc that can cause noise and distract from the purity of the mains supply as it passes through the blocks. Both are fitted with 16amp IEC input sockets and come with an entry level mains cables in the box for connecting the block to the wall socket. This allows customers to experiment with better mains cables of their choice and we would recommend upgrading them with either the Chord Shawline at around £250 or their SigntureARAY at £600. Chord do of course make even better mains cables for those systems capable of resolving even finer details. Internally both units use Chord’s specially selected heavy gauge wiring with superior screening to avoid RFI noise entering the cables.
Neither block has sockets that are allocated specifically to high power equipment such as power amps, active speakers or subs but this doesn’t mean you can’t connect them because these blocks are capable of powering most reasonably powerful integrated and power amps without stress and most importantly without dynamic compression occurring, mostly I believe because no filtering of any type is included in these blocks.
The difference between the two models is mostly in the noise reducing Ground Mains ARAY technology that is used in the M6 but not the S6. The M6 also contains three of Chord’s own Hybrid Mains ARAY units fitted in parallel to the three copper bus bars whereas the S6 does away with the Hybrid Mains ARAY devices and instead use Chord’s Super ARAY technology. This helps to explains why the S6 retails at £1,000 and the M6 is £2,000. But when you consider that Chord’s Ground ARAY units cost around £500 each the M6 with three of them included for an additional cost of £1,000 seems more like a bargain.
Star-wiring that is often seen in other high quality mains blocks is not used in the S6 or M6 because Chord’s research and listening tests showed them that it can introduce noise which defeats the purpose of using quality mains blocks.
The S6 measures 460mm long x 110mm wide and 77mm high including feet. The M6 is the same width and height but its length increases to 600mm to accommodate those three Ground ARAY devices.
Listening to both devices the S6 clearly reduces background noise and results in a more enjoyable listening experience with seemingly more detail coming through and a wider soundstage between the speakers. The M6 builds on this giving even more silent backgrounds which let more fine detail through. Having used many different types of mains blocks, filters and regenerators we are always surprised by just how important a clean power supply is to the overall sound of the system to which it’s connected. By omitting filters and any other potential noise making technology Chord Company have definitely hit the ground running with both these impressive devices.