More about the Peak Low-noise Speaker Cables
The basis of the design of the peak low-noise cable comes from the Vertex AQ HiRez Moncayo speaker cable. The HiRez Moncayo had a great reputation as a serious high end 'component' and had many good reviews and several awards. The HiRez Moncayo cable was equipped with fixed acoustic absorption modules, and these have in essence been separated out to become the Quiescent peak modules. And in order to meet the need for the cabling from amp to speakers we have developed the Peak cables.
We have increased the diameter of the solid-core silver conductors from 1.0mm to 1.25mm diameter, resulting in an increase in conductor cross sectional area of 56% and hence a 56% reduction in cable resistance. Pairs of the uninsulated pure silver conductors are sheathed in a teflon tube which holds the wire with minimal surface contact for a very low dielectric absorption – most of the silver surface has air as the dielectric. Two 'pairs' are then used, one for the positive and one for the negative, to build the cable by sheathing the two in our proprietary EMI tubing.
The EMI tubing is a central element of the cable's 'system' performance. The tube works by absorbing very high frequency electro-magnetic fields – from a few megahertz to multiple gigahertz frequencies. It's a basic law of physics that high frequency electrical noise (RFI) present in any conductor produces its associated electrical field around the conductor – the electrical current and its field are all part of the process of propagating that signal. Absorb the energy from the field over repeated cycles and you absorb the energy from the associated electric current. Most of todays electronics is designed for fast (digital) processing. And by operating circuits at high frequencies they will always generate a by-product of high-frequency noise. This sort of noise gets everywhere, but in most situations, provided it's not at a high enough level to stop a system actually functioning, it gets largely ignored (it costs money to reduce noise). But in a precision analysis (hifi listening) scenario, it certainly cannot be ignored. It's presence in a system has all sorts of damaging audible effects such as hash and background noise, sibilance and splashy percussion, over bright tonality, loss of fine detail and poor timing. And it's quite easy to prove this in listening tests at the prototyping stage of DACs and amps say, just by adding EMI absorption materials in critical places one can clearly hear the reduction of these sorts of unwanted artefacts. Or, of course, ad it to the speaker cables and equally you'll hear the reduction of those artefacts. Thus the relatively long length of speaker cables, and the fact that the negative is usually connected to the system ground, gives us a great opportunity to reduce the overall system RFI levels.
The next significant element to the performance of this cable is the ABS acoustic dampening braiding. Developed for applications such as military headset cables, this special braiding incorporates fine 'lossy' fibres woven in between the stronger monofilament structure, a technique that significantly reduces the transmission of acoustic vibration along the cable. This braiding is a new feature on the Quiescent products and not used previously on any Vertex AQ cables. and comparative listening tests have shown that the addition of this braiding alone brings significant performance improvements.
Finally, the remaining important part of the cable's performance is the use of the outstanding WBT next-gen silver connectors. These connectors are actually a little system in themselves, the first part of which is a pure silver sleeve that is crimped onto the conductors with a special high-precision tool for an incredibly reliable connection. Then the main connector is torque clamped to the silver sleeve, making overall a very low resistance connection.