The “HiFi+ Guide to Cables” is a 113 page advertorial piece sponsored by Crystal Cable and Siltech with interviews with fourteen cable designers, product reviews and announcements, articles on what’s next in high-end cables, and some editors’ choice recommendations. This type of publishing is done by most of the audiophile magazines. I’m sure the cable manufacturers have a love/hate relationship with electronic brochures of this type…I’m sure the advertising rates are healthy but the exposure is essential. I recently downloaded virtually an identical .PDF electronic brochure from the people behind The Absolute Sound. You can take a look at them both by clicking on the following links:
So here was have the online equivalent of an expensive glossy brochure/magazine chock full of product listings, very elegant products shots, and there’s not a single questioning word from any of the reviewers or contributors. If you’re purchasing an ad in any of these publications, I guess you can be assured of inclusion in the publication (there are a number of high-end cable companies that don’t get mentioned) AND that any review of your products will be positive.
Just how positive can a reviewer be about a digital interconnect cable? Well, here’s a quote from Jacob Heilbrunn about the Transparent Reference XL Digital Link Interconnect as compared to its predecessor:
“The improvement rendered by the new cables was not subtle or minor or difficult to detect. On the contrary, inserting them proved to be one of the most flabbergasting experiences I have ever had in the high end. The Reference line did not improve the sound; it took it into another realm. As good as the Vivaldi is—and it is superb—there can be doubt that ancillary equipment such as the digital cables employed on it not only can but do have a profound effect upon its reproduction of music.”
Later in the same review:
“But the greatest merit of the Reference XL is its supernatural ability to help deliver a kind of clarity on digital playback that I have never previously experienced. The slightest swish of the cymbals, a foot tapping on a piano pedal, the mildest brush of the bow on a cello—nothing is effaced by these cables. There is a limpidity and tranquility, a sense of ease to the sound, that are hard to forget once you’ve heard them. Whether on jazz, classical, rock, or rap, the Reference XL/Vivaldi possesses the ability to vanish from the signal chain, imposing no audible coloration.”
The sonic improvement afforded by this $3595 1-meter length of cable might be attributed by the new technological advances in the cable design. This quote from the company:
“Reference XL Digital Link uses Transparent Advanced Expanded Foam Technology for precise impedance control and low noise signal transmission. With a solid OFHC conductor that is significantly larger than the Reference 75-ohm Digital Link conductor, Reference XL Digital Link has far more surface area with which to transfer digital signals accurately.”
The outpouring of praise is uniform throughout both of these guides. I dare not quote anything from the HiFi+ publication because they state in rather emphatic terms that extracting even a single word would go against their policies. They don’t want any material taken out of context.
So go to their site and download their guide. Page through the document until you get to the interviews with the cable designers and read their answers to the question that asks them to respond to the claim that high-end cables can’t alter fidelity or sound because the signals are ones and zeros.
The responses are entertaining to say the least. I gathered them all in a single document but will honor the publisher’s wishes and not quote any of them here for fear that the context might be compromised.
Just remember my previous post…data errors don’t happen in 1-meter, jitter is a non issue because of reclocking, and noise doesn’t impact the successful retrieval of a data stream…that’s the whole advantage of digital!
We want digital cables that do absolutely nothing…no coloration, no alteration, no filtering, and no amplitude changes.