A Guide to the World of Audioquest

Conducting Materials

LGC - There is a lot of varation in the quality of Oxygen Free High Conductivity Copper, because it is specified for its conductivity and not for its distortion profile. The lowest distortion OFHC is characterized by its exceptionally long grain sturcture, hence the name Longe Grain Copper.

PSC - "Perfect Surface Copper" As only the structure of a conductor has 99% current density and magnetic field density at all frequencies, the surface most defines the sound quality of the whole conductor.

PSC+ - The higher purity version of PSC is simply that much closer to not being in the way at all.

PSS - "Perfect Surface," Technology applied to extremely high purity solid Silver.


Interconnect Cable Constructions

Coax - Most interconnect cables have a "positive" center conductor, and use the shield as (an inferior) "negative" conductor.

Symmetrical Coax - A foil shield combined with a low distortion conductor indentical to the center conductor, provides a negative path symmetrical with the positive center conductor.

Double Balanced - Two identical + and - internal conductors, with the shield only attached at one end. Even lower distortion.

Triple Balanced - Necessary to provide equal paths for all signals in balanced (XLR) applications. In Single-Ended (RCA) applications, distortion is reduced by doubling the negative path, as there is greater "potential" across this connection.


Speaker Cable Constructions

Stranded - Normal random bunched conductors have lots of stand-interaction generated distortion.

Hyperlitz - Solid conductors arranged in a fixed relationship, to prevent skin-effect and minimize magnetic interaction.

SST - "Spread Spectrum Technology," uses multiple size conductors to greatly reduce awareness of conductor character flaws.

Counter Spiraling Helixes - Two circular arrays spiraling in opposite directions. Positive and negative conductors cross, reducing interaction, even while maintaining a crucial constant relationship between + and -.

SBW - These cables are ideal for full range (all + and - in two groups) and for Single Bi-wire (+ and - in four groups)


Interconnect Cable Insulations

PVC - "Polyvinyl Chloride," is under-appreciated because it is too "lossy" to use in wideband cables. PVC's "friendly" distortion profile makes it very cost effective for audio.

PE - "Polyethylene," absorbs less energy than PVC, and also has a very "friendly" sonic signature.

Foam PE - Filling PE with air creates Foamed PE, a much better dielectric, significantly improving clarity and dynamics.

PE Tubes - Solid PE tubes with inner diameter (ID) much larger than the outer diameter (OD) of the metal inside. Air becomes the primary insulation.

Teflon Tubes - Even though PE Tubes have mostly air for insulation, the PE still affects the sound. Mixing PE and Teflon tubes further improves performance.



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