The interface between the power amplifier and
the loudspeaker is a critical link in the audio reproduction
chain. We believe it to be as much a component in the audio
system as is a power amplifier.
If the speaker cable were a perfect conductor,
the amplifier a perfect current source, and the loudspeaker a
perfect current sink, absolute fidelity would be achieved.
Unfortunately, the impedance of the loudspeaker varies by
frequency, and also by how loudly the loudspeaker is played.
An impedance plot measured using a uniform tone-burst is only
a poor proxy of the actual performance of the loudspeaker when
played with dynamic musical content.
Amplifiers are also not perfect current
sources. Tube amplifiers, in particular, usually have output
impedance that is significantly above zero. The output
impedance also changes with frequency. Solid-state amplifiers,
on the other hand, have very low output impedance, but this is
affected by the ability of the power supply to deliver current
when faced with the dynamic load of music. Hence, the
loudspeaker-amplifier interface is not as straightforward as
many cable designers and manufacturers will have us believe.
Genesis loudspeakers are quite unique in two
ways. First, they have a servo-controlled powered bass
section. With the built-in amplifier providing the “heavy
lifting”, very little current is carried in the loudspeaker
cable at the frequencies handled by the powered bass section.
This is totally unlike other loudspeakers where the lower the
frequency, the greater the current needs.
Second, they have a ribbon tweeter that is
almost completely resistive – again unlike the characteristics
of typical dynamic tweeters that have rising impedance with
This means that the typical design of
loudspeaker cables is not optimized for Genesis loudspeakers.
Usually, you will find that the more expensive the cable, the
larger it will be and the more current it can carry. When such
a large cable is used, it can make music sound slow and
ponderous on Genesis loudspeakers. Attack and transients may
be good, but then decay will be truncated, with the
micro-dynamic details swamped by the macro-dynamic bombast.
Such a cable may also make the Genesis tweeter sound
aggressive and bright. So, we ended up having to design our
own loudspeaker cables with optimal characteristics for
We started out with individual strands of
high-purity copper, and put a thick, smooth plating of pure
silver on it. These strands are then twisted very tightly
together so that they don’t rattle, and are sheathed (again
very tightly) with PTFE Teflon (dielectric constant=2.1).
Four of these wires are braided together into
twin twisted pairs in a balanced structure to cancel out
external EMI. Each pair is given a banana plug at the
loudspeaker end, and a spade lug at the amplifier end. These
are pressure cold-welded on for a perfect gas-tight
connection. The four wires are then sheathed in a conductive
metallized polypropylene sheath for static resistance, and
then again sheathed in an insulating polyamide net. The result
is a supremely fast and transparent cable that matches the
impedance and sonic characteristics of Genesis loudspeakers.
When compared to general-purpose loudspeaker
cables, the Absolute Fidelity Loudspeaker interface has much
better micro-dynamic resolution. As a result, the decay of
notes is more extended and the music has better tonal color.
Bass is also tighter, more tuneful, and has better pace and
rhythm. The coherence makes the various singers and players in
an orchestra or band gel together better to bring about a much
better musical performance.
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