Doing No Harm Since 1980
For 40 years now, AudioQuest, headquartered in Irvine, California, has been a leading developer, manufacturer, and distributor of high-performance audio/video products and custom-install solutions.
Although best known for our comprehensive range of analog, digital, and AC power cables, our portfolio has expanded to a diverse assortment of products, including the multi-award-winning DragonFly DACs, LYRA phono cartridges, and Niagara and PowerQuest power products.
Our ultimate goal is the same today as it was 40 years ago: Do No Harm! By this we mean that all cables and components, to the extent that is technologically feasible, should get out of the music’s way by inducing the least amount of noise and distortion.
The Evolution Continues: The Four Elements Today
While minimizing noise and damage to the audio signal remains the North-Star constant, the ways in which we engage these challenges always evolves. While there are still Four Elements that describe our foundational materials and design philosophies, a growing number of technologies cross and even go beyond our original Four Elements. Many have become crucial enough to demand visibility.
Noise-Dissipation is an umbrella Element under which many of these meaningful techniques and technologies will reside. While Geometry is no longer identified as one of The Four Elements, it remains inextricably tied to all other Elements of cable design and manufacture.
Strand interaction remains the biggest potential source of distortion in cables. Solid Conductors are the aspirational ideal and most complete solution to this problem. However, thoughtfully arranged multi-conductor geometries such as concentric windings are used to create our Semi-Solid Conductor technologies. These avoid many strand-distortion mechanisms and are in their own right ideal in a growing number of applications. Solid Conductors Metal Noise-Dissipation Dielectric
Higher-purity conductor metals with smoother surfaces and internal crystal structures greatly reduce noise and distortion. Carefully finessed mixes of metals and conductor sizes can be effectively used to define a cable’s Sonic Signature—a costeffective technique for high-value, high-performance models.
Unwanted Radio-Frequency (RF) noise is and has always been picked up and induced into cable. This contamination ultimately masks and istorts critical portions of the audio/video signal. As this distortion-causing (parasitic) RF signal is more present today than at any previous time in history, we must depend on a wider arsenal of Noise-Dissipation technologies:
• Directionally Controlled conductors minimize high-frequency noise by “directing” or draining it away from the most vulnerable circuits.
• ZERO Technology (No Characteristic Impedance) applies Ultra-Linear Noise-Dissipation across the widest range of frequencies possible. It also enables uncompressed transient current transfer for AC power and loudspeaker/power amplifier applications.
• Ground-Noise Dissipation (GND) cancels induced RF noise via its unique phase-cancelling array.
• Tried-and-true DBS has evolved to include RF-Noise Traps that further reduce dielectric distortion and induced noise.
Insulation is necessary between conductors to minimize signal interaction and electrical shorts. The ideal is virtually no dielectric interaction (such as is achieved with our ZERO Technology). However, by optimizing the dielectric material between signal conductors, this distortion is greatly minimized.