AudioQuest Digital Coax Cables
AudioQuest Digital Coax cables are designed to minimize distortion across an extremely wide bandwidth. In many applications, the speed of digital communication is crucial. Clearly, “speed” refers to transferring large files as quickly as possible or carrying enough data for high-definition video. For digital coaxial audio, “speed” is critical not in terms of quantity or rapidity, but because of the importance of time relationships within a digital stream for the reconstruction of the analog waveform that conveys information, music, and pleasure to our ears. Time-based issues (jitter) affecting this information within the data package make the sound become small and flat instead of three-dimensional, harsh and blurry instead of smooth and clear.
Achieving 100% shield coverage is straightforward. However, preventing captured radio-frequency interference (RFI) from modulating the equipment’s ground reference requires AudioQuest’s Noise-Dissipation technology. Traditional shielding systems typically absorb and then drain noise/RF energy to the component ground, modulating and distorting the critical “reference” ground plane, which, in turn, causes signal distortion. Noise-Dissipation “shields the shield,” absorbing and reflecting most of this noise/RF energy before it reaches the layer connected to ground.
Foil + Tinned Braid Shield
Solid conductors minimize the adverse effects of electrical and magnetic strand-to-strand interaction. For digital cables, where signals operate at such high frequencies that they mostly travel on the conductor’s surface, increasingly thicker layers of silver plating are applied to AudioQuest’s Long-Grain Copper (LGC) conductors to further enhance Noise-Dissipation. Placing the superior metal on the outside of the conductor delivers the most significant benefits in terms of overall performance, representing a highly cost-effective way to maximize a digital cable.
Cold-Welded, Gold-Plated Terminations
This plug design enables a solderless connection, which is a common source of distortion. Instead of solder, it uses a high-pressure technique. Since the ground shells are stamped rather than machined, the metal used can be chosen for its low distortion characteristics rather than ease of machining.
Hard-Cell Foam Insulation
Hard-Cell Foam (HCF) Insulation ensures critical signal-pair geometry. Any solid material adjacent to a conductor is essentially part of an imperfect circuit. Wire insulation and circuit board materials all absorb energy, with some of this energy being stored and later released as distortion. Hard-Cell Foam Insulation is similar to the Foamed-PE used in our more affordable Bridges & Falls cables and is nitrogen-injected to create air pockets. Since nitrogen (like air) does not absorb energy and does not release any energy from or into the conductor, it reduces distortion. Additionally, the stiffness of the material allows the cable’s conductors to maintain a stable relationship along the cable’s full length, resulting in a stable impedance characteristic and further minimizing distortion.