AudioQuest’s founder and chief designer, William E. Low (Bill), sees AudioQuest as a company that develops tools for enhancing the in-home experience of audio and video entertainment. Be it a speaker cable, HDMI cable or a portable digital audio product, AudioQuest’s varied offerings provide value and performance to the retailer and enthusiastic consumer alike.
AudioQuest has been the most significant cable supplier to the high-end specialist market for many years. With its offerings sold in several thousand outlets in over sixty countries, AudioQuest focuses on delivering excellent value and performance in every product the company develops.
Great sound and great pictures, music that consumes you, movies that transport you around the universe … all come from honouring the original signal. The signal is at its greatest potential … is least damaged … at the source. It’s an unavoidable fact that every component and cable in an audio/video system causes distortion, robbing the sound or the picture of some portion of its ability to inspire and to entertain. These aberrations add up like layers of dirty glass between you and an image you are trying to see. Better cables and components cannot improve the signals they carry … performance can only be improved by causing less distortion of the original signal. The goal of high-quality components is to be like cleaner panes of glass … to minimise alteration or distortion of the signal. Do No Harm!
The foundation on which AudioQuest’s cables are built comprises the following four fundamental “elements” of design and manufacture. Another way to think of this is that these elements comprise the basic “recipe” for all cables. The choices the cable designer makes in selecting and balancing these materials and construction techniques determine the cable’s ability to reduce distortion and noise and deliver high performance. An off-the-shelf cake mix, for example, might produce an edible product, but that’s unlikely to match the efforts of an educated pastry chef who handpicks the finest, freshest local ingredients.
Strand interaction is the single greatest cause of distortion in cable. Semi-Solid Concentric Packed Conductors avoid many strand-interaction distortion mechanisms. Solid-core conductors are the complete solution to this problem.
Conductor metal quality is critical for the best cable performance. The conductor surface is the only area of the conductor with 100% current density at all frequencies. Smoothness of the conductor surface is
paramount because the surface is a guide-rail for the entire energy envelope. The best copper and silver conductor metals have fewer grain boundaries and low oxygen content for low distortion and high performance.
Geometry is the physical relationship of the conductors to one another within a cable. This determines the basic electrical characteristics of the cable. Different cable applications have different and specialized geometry requirements. Better geometry reduces distortion.
Insulation is necessary to keep the positive and negative conductors separate and to give stability to cable geometry. Insulation is also a “dielectric” because it is inside the conductor’s magnetic field. Dielectrics absorb energy, which after a delay is then released in the signal, causing smearing and distortion. Better insulation reduces distortion by absorbing less energy.