News and Updates

The Significance of the Peak Mains Connection System by Steve Elford

The recent launch of the Peak mains connection system is a significant event – and one that will remain significant for a considerable period of time. To understand the Peak story it’s worth briefly looking back at some of the old Vertex products like the Moncayo speaker cables and Roraima mains leads. The Moncayos and Roraimas were an all-in-one cable and module assembly using slim extruded aluminium modules. They were very good but suffered from two limitations. First, the complete cable/box assembly made getting the lengths just right and positioning the boxes for a system installation tricky, and if you...

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HiFi Critic Mains Conditioning Group Test – Opinion by Steve Elford

In the latest issue of HiFi Critic, Julian Musgrave reports on an extensive group test of mains conditioners from five manufacturers. It takes a considerable amount of work to carry out such a review, and like all reviews it is very dependent on the reviewers personal tastes and experience and the systems they use to do the testing. The review cover's these issues off pretty well by using two very different systems and adding an additional listener into the process.  From our point of view of course, we were delighted to see that the HiRez Taga and HiRez Balanced Taga shone...

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The speaker connection problem - my experience and thoughts by Steve Elford

“All the things that are worth doing, take time” – a popular quote, attributed to American hip hop musician Mos Def I believe. And it’s certainly true when it comes to understanding and designing hifi. The beginning of my venture into the audio business occurred in the mid-1990s, when I started to figure out some of the basic problems with RFI and microphony. I was an engineer officer in the UK Royal Air Force, and I worked with, and studied up on, specifically, the theories of ultrasonic testing (ultrasound scans for aircraft) and the problems and techniques associated with electrical...

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MQA and DSD – why we don't currently use them

There is a lot of debate about the pros and cons of MQA and DSD. At Quiescent we have been following developments with these two 'formats' but have decided, at this time, that neither are suitable to include in our product strategy. Here is an outline of our reasoning. MQA was actually developed by its inventors to solve one problem; that is to stream high resolution files over the low bandwidth connections. The original files are compressed and sent over to the streamer which then unfolds the signal to the original high-resolution file. By MQA’s own admission, however, the unfolding...

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In R&D we're always reminded about power supply performance

One of the continual features of R&D with audio equipment is the constant reminder about power supply quality. As you improve the core design and it becomes more transparent, you always hear in your listening tests how it becomes an open window on the quality of the power supplies. You then make further improvements on the power supplies and the performance lifts again. This iterative process is a healthy indication that you're making great progress. It's often then only a matter of the increasing costs going into your designs (with say more layers of regulation and better quality capacitors) that determine when...

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