interconnect cables

Harmonic Technology: Harmony Wave Loudspeaker Cables, Harmony-Link Interconnects and Pro AC-11 Power Cords

Harmonic Technology: Harmony Wave Loudspeaker Cables, Harmony-Link Interconnects and Pro AC-11 Power Cords

Specifications:

Harmony Wave Loudspeaker Cable

  • Two 14 AWG and two 16 AWG copper wires
  • Harmonic Technology patented Single crystal™ design
  • Exterior constructed of UL/CL-3 grade PVC
  • Terminations can be spade or banana, Bi-wire or single design
  • Accommodates for in-wall applications as well
  • Capacitance per foot, 37 pF Inductance per foot 0.56 uH Resistance per foot, 0.003 Ohm
  • Review cables ten feet each side (Bi-wired at loudspeaker end), spade terminations both ends
  • Price $305

Harmony-Link Interconnect

  • Made with copper wire
  • Harmonic Technology patented Single crystal™ design Terminated with Gold Finished RCA connectors: Capacitance, 62 pF
  • Inductance per foot, 0.52 uH Resistance per foot, 0.013 Ohm Terminated with XLR connectors Capacitance, 60 pF
  • Inductance per foot, 049 uH Resistance per foot, 0.011 Ohm
  • Review Interconnect-One meter RCA connector version
  • Price $99 a pair with either RCA OR XLR connectors

Pro AC-11 Power Cord

  • 11 AWG 6N (99.9997%) high purity copper wire Harmonic Technology patented Single crystal™ design Exterior constructed of two shields of UL/CL-3 grade PVC
  • Variety of IEC female and male plugs are available at the ends
  • Review power cord was a 2 meter length with: Furutech FI-11 IEC
  • Furutech FI-11M male plug
  • Price as reviewed $260

Harmonic Technology was founded in 1998 by Jim Wang and is headquartered in San Diego, California. Through extensive research they developed and patented their OCC Single Crystal™ design process. According to their website this process allows for metal to be purified in order to eliminate any potential crystalline barrier distortion and thereby increase dynamics and clarity while still maintaining an increase in the power of the signal transmitted through the cables. When talking to Jim Wang on the phone he mentioned that their (OCC) Single Crystal™ copper (99.9997%) conductors have been the single most effective key to Harmonic Technology’s success in making so many wonderful and effective cables. Anyone interested in a detailed description of this process may go to the “Technical Overview” section of their website and read information far too lengthy to mention here in this review. read more…

Kimber Kable Interconnects and Speaker Cables

Kimber Kable Interconnects and Speaker Cables

Specifications:

Tonik 1.0 meter Interconnect with Ultratike RCA type connectors:

  • Varistrand(Trademark) Ultra-pure copper
  • Tri-braid geometry
  • PE dielectric
  • (Cp) parallel capacitance: 52.0 pF @ 20kHz
  • (LS) series inductance: 0.772 micro henry @ 20kHz
  • (Rdc) dc resistance: 0.055 ohms
  • (Xt) total reactance: 0.098 ohms @ 20kHz Frequency response + /- 0.5 db dc-2.8 MHz price: $74

Hero 1.0 meter Interconnect with WBT 0144 RCA type connectors:

  • Varistrand(Trademark) Hyper-pure copper
  • GyroQuadratic(Trademark) geometry
  • Dual Teflon ® dielectric
  • (Cp) parallel capacitance: 76.5 pF @ 20kHz
  • (LS) series inductance: 0.401 micro henry @ 20kHz
  • (Rdc) dc resistance: 0.033 ohms
  • (Xt) total reactance: 0.051 ohms @ 20kHz Frequency response + /- 0.5 db dc-8 MHz price: $262

4PR Loudspeaker Cables 2.5 meter bare wire ends:

  • High purity copper
  • 2 x 14 AWG conductors
  • Special formula PE dielectric
  • (Cp) parallel capacitance: 312.0 pF @ 20kHz
  • (LS) series inductance: 0.654 micro henry @ 20kHz
  • (Rdc) dc resistance: 0.041 ohms
  • (Xt) total reactance: 0.0825 ohms @ 20kHz Frequency response + /- 0.5 db dc-100 kHz price: $76.40
  • price as reviewed: 4.5 meter banana-spade (SBAN-SPD) $149 optional six inch 4PR Bi-Wire binding-post jumpers: $75.80

4TC Loudspeaker Cables 2.5 meter bare wire ends:

  • Varistrand Hyper-pure copper
  • 2 X 13 AWG conductors
  • Clear & white Teflon ® dielectric
  • (Cp) parallel capacitance: 362.0 pF @ 20kHz
  • (LS) series inductance: 0.715 micro henry @ 20kHz
  • (Rdc) dc resistance: 0.038 ohms
  • (Xt) total reactance: 0.071 ohms @ 20kHz Frequency response + /- 0.5 db dc-500 kHz price: $206
  • price as reviewed: 4.5 meter banana -spade (SBAN-SPD) $360 optional six inch 4TC -Wire binding-post jumpers: $92

Company Information:

  • 2752 South 1900 West
  • Ogden, UT 84401
  • Telephone: 801-621-5530
  • Fax: 801-627-6980

Ray Kimber, the founder and developer of Kimber Kable products, first brought his cables to market in 1979. The very first product was the Kimber Kable 4PR loudspeaker cable which is one of the pieces up for review today. Kimber Kable products are designed using what they term the OSCaR(TM) engineering process, which stands for Objective, Subjective, Correlation and Results. The theory here is to not only use scientific measurements but also listening impressions to aide in the development of the final overall product. They quite proudly state their simple philosophy, “develop and manufacture cables that offer the highest correlation of performance and price”. Back when the first Kimber Kable product was released there was not a great deal of cable manufactures on the market like there are today. I remember when I first purchased high-end cables only to have my friends laugh at the very thought of spending that type of money on something so simple as a cable. I wish I could say I had bought the 4PR back then but I did not yet hear of Ray Kimber. Later however when the very first Kimber Kable PBJ interconnects hit the market I was one of the first to purchase them. In fact I bought two pair with their basic RCA connectors that I still proudly own and use in my dedicated home theater room today. I have gone through quite a few cables in my years but have never seen the need to replace the PBJ’s from Kimber as I found them that good. Brett Terry over at Kimber Kable informed me that the basic PBJ unshielded interconnects I bought back then are the same as the product the company produces today. There is something to be said for consistency especially if a product is made right the first time. They makes interconnects, plus cables for both loudspeakers and subwoofers as well as power cords. Kimber products also include various optical, HDMI cables, an HDMI Switcher box, phono cables, some DIY hobbyist kits (for those so inclined) and more. When you look at their thirty-five page price book you realize just how big of a company they really are. read more…

Zebra XLR Interconnect Cables

Zebra XLR Interconnect Cables

Specifications

  • AES/EBU Digital Audio Cable Specifications: Made from Belden’s 1800F Cable
  • Total Number of Conductors: 2
  • 24 AWG .024″ stranded bare copper conductor
  • FHDPE -Foam High Density Polyethylene
  • 95% tinned copper french braid shield, PVC jacket
  • Nom. Impedance: 110 Ohms
  • Nom. Inductance: 0.18 µH/ft Nom. Capacitance: 12 pF/ft Connector Choices: Vampire Wire XLR Male and XLR Female connectors
  • Price: $37.50 for 3ft, with XLR terminantions, $2.75 each additional foot. NOTE: Pricing is per cable; if you need pairs, you must order two.

I recently purchased a Krell KAV 400xi integrated amplifier and had for the first time the opportunity to utilize a set of balanced interconnects to run between my Krell and Primare D30.2 CD player. Having been pleased with the performance of my Zebra SP14 DBI speaker cables I decided to try a pair of Zebra Cables XLR interconnects. So shot off an e-mail to Scott Burns the proprietor of Zebra Cables, he promised to make me a set of interconnects using Belden OFC wire and Vampire connectors and send them to me ASAP. Within a few days I received the XLR interconnects and upon opening the package I was pleased to find the well made pair of cables nicely packaged for safe shipment. read more…

Audience Cables: Conductor e Series Interconnects, Speaker Cables, & PowerChord

Audience Cables: Conductor e Series Interconnects, Speaker Cables, & PowerChord

Specifications:

  • $391 for 1 meter pair
  • $399 for 1.5 meter pair
  • Conductor e speaker cable:

Specifications:

  • $601 for a three meter pair
  • powerChord e power cable:

Specifications:

  • $674 for one six foot length Telephone 800-565-4390

Having heard wonderful things about Audience products, especially their cables, I have long since wondered what they would sound like in my review system. My keen interest in their products stem from a time long before I started writing reviews for A$$A and I am happy today to finally have a chance to satisfy my desire to explore some of the fine products. Audience has been around since 1997 starting out under the guidance of its two co-founders, John McDonald and the late Richard Smith. Although Audience is known for its fabulous cables they also make a new line of loudspeakers, power amplifiers, preamplifiers, power conditioners, loudspeaker drivers, a disc treatment system, and of course their famous high resolution capacitors. Having had the pleasure of talking to Mr. McDonald on the phone I can say he has both a wealth of knowledge and a great deal of enthusiasm for his products. He was kind enough to offer to outfit my entire system with Audience cables in order that I might get the full effect of using his products. I was sent four power cords, for the power conditioning strips and mono block amplifiers, a three meter length of speaker cables and three sets of interconnects. The company makes only one power cord so the choice there was easy. As for the interconnects and speaker cables, Audience offers three different models. The cables I choose were the entry-level Conductor e series. The next model up is called the Maestro and finally the most expensive is the Au24 e series. The “e” signifies the enhanced version of the product. read more…

Cardas Crosslink Interconnects

Cardas Crosslink Interconnects

Specifications:

  • Outside Diameter: .305
  • Dielectric Type: Teflon® RCA Capacitance: 36.9 pf/ft XLR Capacitance: 22.8 pf/ft Discrete Conductors: 68
  • Cable AWG: 20.5
  • Shield Type: Double
  • Conductor Type: Golden Ratio, Constant Q, Crossfield, Pure
  • Copper Litz
  • Price: $128 1m Pair

read more…

Acoustic Revive: RCA-1.OPA (RCA Interconnects) XLR-1.OPAII (XLR Interconnects) SPC-PA Speaker cable

Acoustic Revive: RCA-1.OPA (RCA Interconnects) XLR-1.OPAII (XLR Interconnects) SPC-PA Speaker cable

Specifications:

RCA-1.OPA (RCA Interconnects)

  • PCOCC-A Single Core Interconnect Cable
  • Cable Length: 1mm Pair
  • Price: $900

XLR-1.OPAII (XLR Interconnects)

  • PCOCC-A Single Core Interconnect Cable
  • Cable Length: 1mm Pair
  • Price: $975

SPC-PA Speaker cable

  • PCOCC-A Single Core oval Speaker Cable
  • Speaker Cable Length: 2-meters
  • Price: $1650
  • 3-meter length
  • Price: $1950
  • Available in Bi-Wire, Y-rag (spade) or Banana termination
  • Ask for quote

Power Reference (Power Supply Cable) PCOCC-A Single Core Interconnect Cable

  • Custom made version of C-037 (connector) & P-037(plug) terminations
  • Power Cable Length: 2-meters
  • Price: $725
  • Manufacturer: SEKIGUCHI MACHINE SALES CO., LTD

read more…

Homegrown Audio Silver Lace and DNA Interconnects

Homegrown Audio Silver Lace and DNA Interconnects

Specifications:

  • DNA proprietary substrate that optimizes conductor placement and reduces microphonic vibrations all natural cotton dielectric used throughout solid silver 99.997% pure conductors
  • LOK Silver Point termination (single ended) or Neutrik Silver plated
  • XLR (balanced)
  • Each set of DNA cables is given an individual serial number for quality assurance
  • Price: .5 meter $525, 1 meter $575 (LOK)
  • Silver Lace
  • Optimized 8 strand braided geometry
  • Individually insulated, ultra fine solid silver conductors
  • FEP Teflon dielectric
  • LOK™ rhodium over silver plated locking-barrel RCA connectors
  • Price: .5 meter $245pr, 1 meter $280pr

 

 

Homegrown Audio is one of a handful of companies that have brought silver audio cables within the financial reach of the everyday audio enthusiast. During the early years of its existence, HGA sold a lot of product to the DIY market. As a whole, the DIY crowd is a tough group to please, and their acceptance of HGA wire is a testament to the overall quality of their merchandise. In a phone conversation, Holly Frye relayed stories about the beginnings of Homegrown Audio. It was a captivating story of how an enterprising group of college students formed a successful audio company.1 As its name implies, Homegrown Audio has a philosophy that is markedly different than other “big-time” cable manufacturers. Homegrown Audio’s strategy is to keep the prices of its products affordable, and reinvest its profits into the company. If you turn the pages on any major audio print magazine, you will not find any glossy color ads for their products. Cable manufacturers are often accused of soldering ends on “off the reel” wire, hiding it in a fancy jacket, and raking in the profits. Homegrown Audio offers a well-crafted product that is built in-house, and pricing it within the reach of the average audio enthusiast. read more…

Stager Silver Solids Interconnects

Stager Silver Solids Interconnects

Specifications:

  • Design: Unshielded symmetrical pair Ultra low 11 pF/ft. Capacitance.
  • Wire: .999 pure silver 24 ga. (.020″ diameter) solid core wire.
  • Insulator: Translucent Teflon.
  • Connectors: Canare F-10 RCA connectors. Machined solid brass center, Teflon insulator, 24K gold plated contacts, spring strain relief.
  • Construction: Lead free silver solder at all contacts. Color coded Polyolefin heat shrink at ends. Caig ProGold coating applied to silver for lasting anti-tarnish protection, and to connectors for perfect electrical contact.
  • Price: $129.00 -1 Meter Pair ($80.00 per additional meter)

When a product is designed correctly and does everything right, you really don’t need to mess with it much. It seems to me that should be the way things are supposed to work, and I love those types of products. The Stager Silver solids have been built the same way using the same products by the same guy for over a decade and they sound awesome. A question that will go unanswered not only in this review but also likely for the rest of my life I believe is “Why do companies constantly create new product lines?” I think the answer is that people want the latest greatest product, but is it truly better and at what cost in the long run? read more…

Anti-Cable Digital Interconnects

Anti-Cable Digital Interconnects

Specifications:

  • Single shielded version
  • 1.5-meter length $150
  • Triple shielded version
  • 1.5-meter length $150

For regular readers of A$$A you will remember my review of Anti-Cable speaker wire, jumpers and interconnects back in the July issue. I was quite taken by all three and they are now happily a part of my main review system. I thought they were fully broken-in after over 120 hours of use but found that they continued to improve. I cannot imagine them getting much better then they are now as the sound coming from them is truly first class. As Paul Speltz of Anti-Cables mentioned in his manufacturers response to the original review “it is not so much that they are great cables for the money. My customers tell me they are great cables despite the money.” For only $345 you are able to purchase a 10’ pair of stereo speaker cables with spade terminations, two sets of interconnects and a pair of jumpers with banana termination. If you missed the original review take the time now, go back to the July issue and read up on it before you continue. In it you will find a lot more details about Anti-Cable, the company and their other products, then I will go into today. This review is a continuation of more high quality products from the same company, which I must say, is again value priced.

read more…

Anti-Cable Speaker Wire & Interconnects

Anti-Cable Speaker Wire & Interconnects

Specifications:

Anti-Cable Speaker wire:

With the two wires spaced about 6-12 inches away from each other:

  • Resistance = 0.00318 Ohms/foot run
  • Inductance = 0.82uH/foot run
  • Capacitance = 0.002nF/foot run

With the two wires twisted 3-4 full turns per foot the specifications change to this:

  • Resistance = 0.00318 Ohms/foot run
  • Inductance = 0.30uH/foot run
  • Capacitance = 0.048nF/foot run
  • $100 for a 10’ stereo set
  • We will make a Stereo pair set of them any length you need at $10/foot ($25 minimum). 

Anti-Jumpers:

  • Used to strap bi-wireable speaker when single wiring
  • Accommodates post spacing from 1-6 inches
  • Longer lengths available on request (great for Maggie owners)
  • Excellent sound quality
  • Banana plugs available (see order page)
  • A high performance, low cost solution
  • $25 set (Spades)
  • $45 set (Banana)

Anti-Cable Interconnects:

“The Anti-ICs use the same design concept as the Anti-Cables . . . They utilize the same red coated wire, but of a much smaller gauge.”

  • $100 for a 1 meter set terminated with Neutrik RCA plugs
  • $150 with Eichmann Bullet plugs, and $200 Balanced with Neutrik XLR plugs (1 meter pairs)

Right off the bat the Anti-Cables sparked my interest. One of the first things you learn in writing is to have an opening sentence that grabs the listener and pulls them into the story. When I hear “anti” anything the rebel in me wakes up. Why, I was born in 1951, a baby boomer. I graduated High School in 1969, a member of the flower power generation. I was even at Woodstock for the original concert not the later event done a short while ago. I even bought a three-day ticket, which sadly has long since been lost. I remember sitting in my fifth grade science class and being told to believe nothing unless it could be proven to me. My science teacher was a little bit of a radical and I liked him. So when I heard of something called Anti-Cables I was naturally drawn towards their website. Paul Speltz came up with the name because he felt his products offered a solution to the usual sonic signatures, hyperbole, and high prices of today’s cables. It was “Anti” cable establishment. I like that. read more…

KCI Cables & Interconnects review (Mandarina, Firefly, Silkworm )

KCI Cables & Interconnects review (Mandarina, Firefly, Silkworm )

Only a precious few earth dwellers dabble in the world of high-end stereo. The cold, hard truth is that most folks either don’t know or could not give a s#*t about the effort to pursue better sound. That’s fine. Leave the uninitiated to their Best Buy and Wal Mart specials while we audiophiles bask in a land rich in fine crafted component jewelry. After all, not everyone was meant to ‘get it’ /< insert snub face with nose in the air /<. Yet within this special interest group some refer to as Audiophilia, there exists heavy debate over something considered by many as voodoo. I’m talkin’ about high end cables.

Ah yes, cables – the one topic guaranteed to tickle the hairs on the neck of even the most liberal of audio veterans. It’s the one component in the audio chain that draws a distinctive line in the sand between the gospel and the cynics. For all intents and purposes, however, this article is not designed to act as the great equalizing parchment drawn to bring peace throughout audio land. Instead, this article observes, nay, even illustrates, the differences of some very well respected interconnects. So hear ye, huddled masses of the converted and non-converted alike, I bring to thee a comparison of KCI’s finest. read more…

Space the Final Frontier: Virtual Dynamics Cables

Space the Final Frontier: Virtual Dynamics Cables

I like equipment. I really do. But I’m foremost a music lover. My point of view is that when you buy something, it should last for a long time. I also try to avoid any ‘parallel’ upgrades when you change one piece of equipment for another in the same price bracket or category. Basically, I try to avoid losing too much money.

About 10 years ago, I did a painstaking comparison of audio cables. My system was modest, and a bit on the bright side. I did sample what the high end had to offer (6 interconnects and speaker cables in the $500 to $2000 range, from established companies). I did settle for Discovery Signature interconnects and speaker cables because of their smooth sound, and never regretted this move. Cables should last you a very long time. I consider them an investment in time.

Fast forward 2007, my editor (hello Mark) strongly discourages me about the process of evaluating cables. They are a pain in the… Minute details, system variant, not sure you can hear the same thing twice; I think you get the picture. After discussions, I wasn’t optimistic about evaluating cables, even though I’ve already done this in this magazine. But a heavy box came to my house, it was too late to have second thoughts. read more…

Audio Art Power 1 Cord

Audio Art Power 1 Cord

As a kid growing up, debates varied by age, first it was sports, from baseball cards and players, to football teams (it was hard being a Bronco fan in the 60’s and early 70’s). My saving grace in debates with those evil Raider and Chief fans, was one Rich “Tombstone” Jackson, one of the NFL’s all-time great pass rushers, and the man many consider to be the reason the head slap was outlawed. As I entered high school, cars and cheerleaders became the center of our debates. What was the faster car, and better engine. As for the cheerleaders, best legs and most inspiring jiggle. Ok, enough said, the imagination is powerful enough.

Nowadays, debating involves much more mundane topics, as I try to stay away from Iraq and politics. One other area I avoid debating about is cabling. Opinions are so strong that on the forum boards that many have outlawed the topic as discussions have become so heated that rational posting just isn’t possible. One possible reason is that the method used to form an opinion is based on the most subjective element, our own hearing.

In the process of reviewing the Audio Art cable Power 1 cord, I ended up in a discussion with the owner of a Canadian website www.cdnav.com, (great free music links page by the way). In our very polite conversation, he revealed that he is of the scientific proof mindset, and challenged me to do a review based on some sort of quantifiable principle, whether it involves A/B blind testing or scientific measurement.

After some contemplation, I decided to make this review of the Audio Art Power1 my contribution to science, for better or worse. Instead of writing a review based upon my auditory perceptions. I am dedicating most of the review to measurements using my decibel meter reader. I want to make it clear that this is not perfect science. I did try to eliminate certain variables to give a reasonable accurate average measurement. read more…

Interview: AudioMagic’s Jerry Ramsey

Several years ago I participated in a power cord shoot out. There were 5 cords being compared in this event. I did not know the brands or prices of each cord until the shoot out was finished. One of my favorite cables was an Audio Magic Extreme power cord. What really got my attention was that this cord sold for $89 at the time. When I started writing for Affordable Audio, one of the first things I did was contact Audio Magic. Jerry Ramsey agreed to send out a complete set of Extreme interconnects and speaker wire for review. The Extreme cables performed quite nicely, and have become my reference for modest priced cables. Since the topic of cabling can be a controversial one, Now Jerry has taken quite awhile to get back to me with his answers, however he did find time in his busy schedule to get his thoughts down on paper.

HFR – Why do cables make a difference? Interconnects, speaker, and AC cords

JR. The same reason good amps, speakers, CD players, pre amps make a difference, cables are a component of the system as well, just remember your system is as good as it’s weakest link. The better the cable technology, the better the parts used [connectors, solder, conductors, dielectric etc] the better sound you will get. read more…

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