The Peak Speaker Connection System is in essence a total re-examination of the speaker hookup problem and uses new people and new thinking, plus 20 years of experience gained through the development of Vertex AQ products. Our design brief came down to three prime goals:
- Components needed to look good, reflecting the performance gains achievable.
- Our technology needed to be more attainable and flexible for progressive upgrading, including it's use with customer's existing high-end speaker cables.
- Performance needed to be significantly better than anything we had done before.
Peak Absorption Modules
When addressing our goals, we first turned our attention to the machining and finishing of the peak modules. By deploying state-of-the-art 3D modeling and CAD/CAM techniques, we were able to significantly improve the acoustic performance of our casework and find a look that we felt reflects the quality of our products. And then, when the modules start final assembly, our engineers build up the complex acoustic labyrinths and RF/EMI absorption techniques by hand. This process requires many stages, plus long curing times, before final assembly can be completed and the modules packed ready for shipping.
With our second design goal, we wanted a cable system that offered scaleability and upgradeability – plus performance upgrades for those who already own high-end cables. This led to the modular approach, where the start of the journey is to use a pair of peak modules connected between speakers and your existing cable. In this configuration, the peaks drain unwanted damaging RFI and vibration from both the speaker and the speaker cable and effectively act as an absorptive isolation bridge between the two. This isolation, though, is not done at the cost of damaging the audio signal we want to preserve – over the years, we have learned how to effectively use passive, non-intrusive techniques and materials, and the peak modules continue this legacy.
And for our third design goal, it only requires a look at the peak module to see the complex contours and shapes which not only act as design cues, but provide a huge jump in the peak module's ability to manage acoustics. We also made the peaks larger internally (whilst keeping them easy to use), enabling our designers to build a highly complex 3D labyrinth inside each module. The benefits of these features are profound and the peak is our best acoustic absorption module to date.
Peak Low-noise Cables
Part of the Peak 'equation' is the provision of outstanding cable sets that can either be used on their own as an excellent start to a high-end cabling solution, or match perfectly with the peak modules for truly ultimate speaker hookup. The cables have identical materials and construction to the leadout wires of the peak modules, and the same connectors too.
But in their own right they are a formidable speaker cable. Employing solid-core pure silver conductors in a loose-sleeve Teflon tube they have very low dielectric absorption. The conductors and their Teflon tubes are then encased in a proprietary EMI absorption tubing that significantly lowers RFI within the cable by absorption – this is far superior to screening which reflects noise back into the cable and adds noise to your system grounds. And finally the product is sleeved in ABS acoustically absorbent outer braiding which significantly lowers the cables ability to be contaminated by (and conduct) unwanted acoustic energy.
Peak modules – configuration options:
- single-wire (1 x pair binding posts, 1 x pair spades/bananas), 0.5m leadout, black finish
- single-wire (1 x pair binding posts, 1 x pair spades/bananas), 1.0m leadout, black finish
- bi-wire (2 x pair binding posts, 2 x pair spades/bananas), 0.5m leadout, black finish
- bi-wire (2 x pair binding posts, 2 x pair spades/bananas), 1.0m leadout, black finish
Speaker cables – configuration options:
- single-wire pair (spades or bananas), lengths from 1.0m to 6.0m
- bi-wire pair (spades or bananas), lengths from 1.0m to 6.0m
The Peak module can be used successfully as an upgrade to other brands of speaker cabling (added in-line), or as part of a complete Quiescent Peak speaker cabling system using multiple peak modules and the peak low-noise cables as follows:
- One module per speaker channel, added in-line with your existing speaker cable, at speaker end or amp end.
- Two modules per speaker channel, added in-line with your existing speaker cable, one each at speaker end and amp end.
- As per the above two options but using the matching Quiescent Peak speaker cable.
And in bi-wire setups:
- With a bi-wireable loudspeaker, where a single wire run is being used in conjunction with basic binding post links, removing the links and adding a bi-wire Peak module, and using a pair of Quiescent link wires to link on the input side of the Peak module.
- Extending the bi-wired configuration back to the amplifier with the matching Quiescent bi-wire speaker cable and further Peak bi-wire modules at the amplifier end.
The use of a peak module inline between amplifier and speaker will significantly reduce vibration and RFI interaction problems. A single peak module per channel can be used with any good quality third-party speaker cable, with best results usually obtained by using the module at the speaker end. Adding a second Peak module into the chain brings further significant improvements. Replacing a third-party cable with the matching peak low-noise cable brings further EMI/RFI reduction and better overall conductor synergy.
Where a bi-wireable speaker is in use with single-wire cable runs and binding post links, the use of the bi-wire Peak module has a significant benefit. The links are removed and the four binding posts connected up with the four leads of the bi-wire peak module. Your single-wire cable is then connected to the Peak module, to one pair of the bi-wire input terminals, and then using a set of Quiescent link cables, the other two binding posts are connected up. With this arrangement not only is there a general benefit from reducing vibration and RFI feeding back to the amp, but also the HF and LF parts of the crossover are prevented from cross-feeding RFI and vibration through the standard binding post links.
There are essentially three main options for using the Peak cabling system – one module, two modules or two modules with the matching Quiescent cable. At each step the application of our anti-vibration and anti EMI/RFI techniques bring significant sound quality improvements, and because the system is ‘modular’ the performance gains can be effectively introduced incrementally if required. Using bi-wire Peak Acoustic Modules and quiescent link cables in a single wire with bi-wireable speakers configuration minimizes crossover pollution through conventional metal links which can be very damaging to the integrity of the music.
The reduction of vibration in the amp-speaker chain significantly improves
- bass and timing,
- the momentum of the music
- ability to scale up without losing control.
- imaging which remains noticeably more stable with complex recordings
- the width of the soundstage
The reduction in RFI and EMI greatly reduces harshness and colouration. Where crossover pollution is eliminated using the bi-wireable Peak modules on bi-wireable speakers, there is a very audible drop in intermodulation and 'hash'.
Core to Quiescent's philosophy is that our products make the overall system "invisible" allowing for complete musical involvement. Using the Peak Speaker Connection System produces backgrounds that are "blacker", tones are more pure and realistic, music that is more propulsive and vibrant with much more of a sense of being there. The system scales up more effectively and the extra control combined with much more smoothness greatly improves your access to more difficult recordings and different musical genres.
For further information please feel free to contact us or one of our Consultants who will be pleased to help you with the science and enable you to experience what a Peak Speaker Connection System can do.
Review update June 2018. First review of Peak Speaker Cabling system by HiFi Critic here.