StereoLife Magazine - Displaying items by tag: cable

Ray Kimber - Kimber Kable

Audiophile cable market may seem very complicated at first glance - hundreds of brands and products, and the only thing that seems to be connecting them all is the general purpose. However, among new companies and those whose products are now fashionable for some reason, there is a number of manufacturers who have their permanent place at the table. Audioquest, Nordost, Monster Cable, Cardas Audio, Van den Hul or Kimber Kable have largely created this market and continue to shape it to the greatest extent. In most cases, the whole philosophy of the company is linked with their founder, and therefore we were extremely happy to meet one of the legends of the cable world - Ray Kimber.

A visit to Audiothlon

For most people, an amplifier or speaker is an object like everything else, but for music lovers they mean a whole lot more. What's important is not only how audio equipment looks or sounds, but also who designed it, how and where it's made, what is the philosophy behind it. The name Audiothlon may not say much to most audiophiles, but some will surely know Equilibrium and Enerr. These are the two brands owned by Audiothlon, much like Audiolab and Luxman are owned by IAG. Equilibrium makes hi-end speakers and a variety of cables, and Enerr's specialty is everything related to power - distributors, conditioners and of course power cables. They are all made in the same factory located in Zielona Góra in Poland. Since we were the first journalists licensed to get inside with our cameras, we took quite a lot of pictures and tried to get the best understanding of how all these products are made.

AudioQuest NightHawk

New headphones by AudioQuest use earcups made from a revolutionary new material known as Liquid Wood - actual wood that has been combined with reclaimed plant fiber, heated, liquefied, and processed in such a way that it can be injection molded. NightHawk is also the first completely original production headphone to use a 3D-printed part - a biomimetic grille that uses a complex diamond-cubic latticework to diffuse sound and defeat resonances. More info is coming soon. Photo by AudioQuest.

Acoustic Zen Matrix Reference II & Hologram II

Acoustic Zen is an American company that has never belonged to the group of the most recognized cable manufacturers such as Cardas, Audioquest, Nordost and Tara Labs, but its products are well-perceived by audiophiles because of the sonic qualities and conductors used inside them. The brand was founded by Robert Lee, who previously created Harmonic Technology cables. It's no wonder that the products of both brands combine more than just the name of the founder. There's a similar philosophy and materials, with special regard to the metal of which the conductors are made. Americans were among the first who began to use mono-crystal alloys. Methods of obtaining wires with long crystals are different, but the idea is quite simple - the less microscopic barriers in the conductor, the clearer and less distorted signal.

Harmonix HS-101 Improved S & CS-120 Improved Version

Harmonix it is a brand owned by a Japanese concern named Combak Corporation, under the aegis of which many types of audio devices and many various accessories are made. The company is responsible for high-end Reimyo electronics, Bravo monitors, Enacom filters and a whole bunch of gadgets. In the catalogue one can find many different kinds of cable insulators, anti-vibrational platforms and feet, tapes improving the sound of cables, turntable mats and even special rings boosting the acoustics of the listening room. Prices which unambiguously suggest that Japanese accessories are designed for advanced in their disease audiophiles add piquancy to the matter.

Albedo Flat One & Geo

Have you noticed that founders of companies producing audiophile equipment are often educated in a completely different direction? Some are electrical engineers or professional sound engineers, but a racing driver brought Naim devices to life, a sociologist founded Enerr company, and a clarinetist is responsible for Musical Fidelity brand. Theoretically anyone can set up a factory of audiophile cables. The only question is whether it will function properly. Buying plugs and wires from external suppliers, linking them together and decorating with your own emblems is something completely different than actual production of cables from scratch. That is how the Albedo works - a company founded by Grzegorz Gierszewski, who was trained as a goldsmith. Of course his cables aren't made from silver rings, but silver is a conductor material used in all models.

Geoff Merrigan - Tellurium Q

Geoff Merrigan is one of the founders of Tellurium Q, a company which manufactures cables and audio electronics. Why the company itself is relatively young, the approach to audiophile cables is rather unusual, prioritizing research on the nature of electric signals, physical phenomena and measurements. All this, of course, is to achieve the best sound quality, but you can tell that people behind Tellurium Q think that the whole fun should be the end of the process, not the thing you start with. In other words, these cables are not formed on the basis of trial and error during listening tests. Instead, the whole design process begins with exploring the phenomena occurring during the transmission of electrical signals, and the final product has to be like printing the conclusions of these studies into the real world.