Building on a solid base of familiar AQ technologies, Garth and Bill specifically focused on addressing one of the most vexing issues plaguing speaker cable design: the mismatch between the amplifier’s source impedance and the speaker’s load impedance.
All previous attempts to address this issue chose to move the speaker cable’s characteristic impedance to a value closer to the nominal impedance of the speakers. All such attempts failed because a speaker’s impedance changes with frequency, and the amplifier’s output impedance is something else altogether. By eliminating the ThunderBird Zero speaker cable’s characteristic impedance, current compression and distortion of the signal (current) transient is significantly reduced. The result is dynamic contrast, transient response, and bass slam that are rendered seemingly without effort.
ZERO: NO CHARACTERISTIC IMPEDANCE FOR UNCOMPRESSED CURRENT TRANSFER
The integrity of any audio transient (instantaneous peak-to-peak voltage swing and current) delivered from a power amplifier to a loudspeaker has always been compromised. Whether the amplifier is valve or transistor, regardless of class of operation, the amplifier’s source impedance and loudspeaker’s load impedance are never critically matched. The speaker cable’s characteristic impedance is yet another culprit in a highly compromised non-linear electrical circuit. AudioQuest has always stated that all cables cause damage because the output is never as good as the input. However, by eliminating a speaker cable’s characteristic impedance, AQ’s ZERO Technology is an unprecedented step towards reducing that damage. The result is greater dynamic contrast, better audio transient response, and bass slam that are rendered seemingly without effort because the cable is not electrically restricting (strangling) the music.
GROUND-NOISE DISSIPATION (GND)
This extremely effective patented common-mode noise-rejection technology is deployed on the ground path in almost all AQ AC Power cables, in addition to in AQ Bass & Midrange model speaker cables. The effectiveness of GND compromises audio above 10,000Hz, preventing the dedicated Bass & Midrange cable from being ideal for Full-Range use.
SOLID PERFECT-SURFACE COPPER+ (PSC+) CONDUCTORS
Solid conductors prevent electrical strand-to-strand interaction, major sources of distortion. Surface quality is critical because a conductor can be considered as a rail-guide for both the fields within a conductor, and for the magnetic fields that extend outside the conductor. The astonishingly smooth and pure surface of all AudioQuest’s Perfect-Surface metals nearly eliminates harshness and greatly increases clarity compared to lesser materials. Extremely high-purity Perfect-Surface Copper+ further minimizes distortion caused by grain boundaries that exist within any metal conductor.
CARBON-BASED LINEARIZED NOISE-DISSIPATION SYSTEM (NDS)
Today’s environment is saturated with radio-frequency noise that is extremely difficult to filter or reject. The frequencies of this noise from satellites, cellular towers, and Bluetooth, etc., are so extremely narrow that a conventional shield, or a series or shunt filter, is wholly inadequate. Much of the low-level signal that carries the harmonics and spatial cues that define high-resolution audio is masked by induced radio-frequency noise. AQ’s comprehensive Linearized Noise-Dissipation System combines multiple shields and a carbon-based linearized resistive network that turns most of this noise into heat. By “linearized,” we mean that the system is equally effective across extremely wide bandwidth, rather than at selected frequencies only, as is more common. The remaining bad energy is effectively drained away from the sensitive amplifier circuits via directionally controlled signal and shield conductors.