Why are these products called the Anti-Cables?
Since these simple “naked” looking red coated wire products don’t look like, sound like, or cost as much as sexy looking thick plastic jacketed cables, and since the usual sonic signatures, hyperbole, and high prices of typical speaker cables have been eliminated, they are called “The Anti-Cables”. Their sonic neutrality and transparency will allow you to hear how great your components actually sound.
Isn’t this just common Magnet Winding Wire?
No, this is simply not the case. Even though the Anti-Cable wire has a thin enough coating that it can be used as winding wire (such as our ZERO-Autoformers), that is not what these products are made from. Common magnet winding wire is made of Electrolytic-Tough-Pitch (ETP) Copper which is relatively inexpensive by comparison, and is also what is use in common Romex house wiring. The Anti-Cable wire is long drawn highly annealed continuously cast oxygen free copper with impurities reduced down to only 5 parts per million. It is much better sounding then common ETP copper wire; which can have up to 1000 parts per million of impurities (200 times more then Anti-Cable Copper).
NOTE: The Anti-Cable interconnect signal wire is deep cryogenically treated by Cryogenics International for select products.
In addition, Level 3 and Level 4 Anti-Cable interconnects use Ohno Continuously Cast solid Silver conductors with impurities reduced down to only 10 parts per million.
Why Solid Core Wire?
Most cables are made out of stranded wire. Stranded wire’s only advantage is that it physically handles more like a thick rope. The problem with stranded wire is the magnetic and conductive interaction between the individual strands of wire in the bundle. Each individual wire strand’s magnetic field cuts into all the other wire strands’ magnetic fields physically modulating all the strands in the bundle. The more power that runs thru the cable (turning the volume up), the greater the magnetic interaction, the more the wire strands physically modulate. As the strands modulate their micro connections to each other along the entire length of the cable, they are dynamically changing making slightly more and less contact with each other. In the bundle of stranded wires the music signal’s electrical current can move from one strand to the other, more and less, as the bundle physically modulates. These micro connections that are constantly changing with the strands physically modulating, cause audible noise which is most quickly recognized as a “tissy” sound added to the music.
Litz stranded wire bundles (which has each individual strand of wire separately insulated from each other) is sometimes used to address this problem, but it introduced a lot of Dielectric Effect Distortion (see below) that time smears the music signal.
Solution: All Anti-Cable products use Solid Core wire which side steps the above sonic problems of Stranded and Litz Stranded cables. Solid core wire also has the advantage of not physically acting like a rope. Solid core wire is highly malleable, meaning it is easy to bend it into whatever shape you want it to be, and it will stay that way until you re-shape it again.
What is Dielectric Effect Distortion?
When current flows thru a wire, it creates a magnet field around the wire. This is how and why electric motors and electric generators work. With music traveling thru a wire, this magnetic field will expand and contract around the wire just as a woofer moves in and out when playing music. This magnetic field is constantly cutting thru whatever material is surrounding the wire.
All cables are made of a conductor (the wire) surrounded by an insulator (the jacketing). Another name for the insulating material is “dielectric material”. If you google “dielectric coefficient table” you will find tables with hundreds of materials and their associated Dielectric Coefficient number. The number represents how much dielectric effect that material has. For example: Cotton is 1.3 -1.4, Polypropylene is 1.5, Teflon is 2.0, and PVC Plastic is 3.5 – 4.5. The higher the number the greater the dielectric effect. All values are nominalized to “Air” which has a dielectric coeficient number “1″ because it has virtually no dielectric effect.
When the music signal flows thru a cable, the dielectric material (insulation) around the wire absorbs some if this magnetic energy, but then re-releases it back into the wire slightly later in time. This time smearing of the music signal is called dielectric effect distortion. This type of distortion collapses the sound stage, makes the music sound hard and closed in, and reduces dynamics making the music sound lifeless and un-involving.
Dielectric effect distortion is also why a Polypropylene capacitor is generally much better sounding then an Electrolytic capacitor. The electrolyte fluid has a much higher dielectric coefficient number than Polypropylene.
Obviously, using insulating materials with a higher dielectric coefficient number causes more of this distortion. Also, since this is an accumulative effect, the thicker the insulating material and the longer the cable, the more dielectric effect distortion, the worse it sounds.
Solution: The Anti-Cable products use a very thin yet durable red coating to insulate the copper wire. This red coating is only 0.001 inches (0.025mm) thick. Beyond this extremely thin red coating, there is nothing left but air, and air is a near ideal insulation dielectric material because it causes virtually no dielectric effect distortion.
How durable is the red coating?
The red coating will not wear off under normal conditions. The red coating can be scraped off with a sharp knife edge, yet a sharp knife would also cut any typical cable as well.
The great thing about the red coating is it also keeps oxygen off the copper through the life of the cables, preventing oxidation and sonic degradation. This is something no typical speaker cable can do. Cut open a 5 year old set of typical cables, and don’t be surprised if the copper looks discolored like an old penny.
Can I run different lengths?
Yes, with the Anti-Cable Speaker Wires, but not recommended for any other speaker cables.
A typical speaker cable’s dielectric effect will accumulate with longer runs, causing the distortion to become worse and worse. For example, AudioQuest FAQ pages stated that, “…the speaker hooked up to the longer cable will sound as though it is lacking punch and dynamics.”
Since the Anti-Cables have almost no dielectric material, running different lengths (within reason) does not cause sonic problems. Simply select the length needed for each speaker when filling your shopping bag. Keeping the lengths within a 2:1 ratio for critical speakers (Left, Right, and Center Channel) will guarantee success.
Being able to run different lengths with the Anti-Cable Speaker Wires is an attestment of how much they don’t sound like cables.
What is “Break-in”?
Dielectric effect distortion (as explained above) is particularly bad when the dielectric material is unconditioned, meaning it has not been exposed to electrical signals. With use, the dielectric material becomes conditioned, the dielectric effect distortion becomes less, and the cable or component gets better sounding.
Because the Anti-Cable wire has very little dielectric material surrounding it, there is less to “break-in.” Most people think the Anti-Cable products sound great right out of the box, yet others report they get better with time. Once you get about 100 hours on the Anti-Cable Speaker Wires, you can consider them quite broken-in. The Anti-Cable Interconnects may take longer to break-in, this is simply because interconnects carry much smaller signals with much less current so it takes more time to condition them.
What quality Level should I buy?
The Anti-Cable products come in four performance levels:
The Level 1 “Classic Series” is our starting point that offers higher than expected sound quality. They are a good choice for vintage gear and systems on a tighter budget.
The Level 2 “Performance Series” products are the sweet spot of the line up. They provide smoother and more extended highs, greater dynamics, are more resolving, have greater harmonic structure and greater purity of tone.
Level 3 “Reference Series” products are top tier products that are still relatively affordable. With even greater dynamic impact, and even more resolving of musical information, they are capable of standing with (or more likely above) the best thought of cables available.
The Level 4 “Reference PLUS” series of products are simply the Level 3 “Reference Series” products, PLUS the best sounding XLR or RCA plugs money can buy; which is KLEI’s new “Silver” and “Pure” Harmony Plugs for RCA interconnects, and the silver over solid copper Xhadow Precision plug for XLR interconnects.
Should I Bi-Wire?
Bi-Wiring can offer sonic advantages, but deciding if those advantages are worth the extra cost is dependent on the speaker design and your budget. Speaker designers such as Richard Vandersteen helped pave the way to making Bi-Wiring a popular practice. You can learn more about his experience with Bi-Wiring here:
If your speakers are Bi-Wireable (4 binding posts), and you choose not to bi-wire, at the minimum you should replace the bad sounding shiny gold plated Brass straps (that typically come with the speakers), with a set of Copper Anti-Cable Jumpers.
What is Parallel-Bi-Wiring?
Bi-wiring can provide some sonic improvements, but with the Anti-Cable Speaker Wires we prefer a configuration called by some as “parallel-bi-wiring”. It is when you bi-wire a speaker, yet still add a set of our excellent sounding jumpers as if you were not bi-wiring. The jumpers put the two wire run pairs in parallel, thus getting them working together. We prefer this to typical bi-wiring, as it gives the music additional bass weight, and greater musical dynamics which brings even more life to the music.
With typical bi-wiring you pay for twice as much copper, but the woofer only gets to use half of it, and the mid/highs only get half of it as well. Here is a good analogy:
Let’s consider bi-amplifing a speaker with two 50 watt amplifiers. The woofer only gets 50 watts, and the mid/highs gets the other 50 watts. Parallel-bi-wiring is like being able to add those two 50 watt amplifiers together to make a single 100 watt amplifier which drives the entire speaker. A 100 watt amplifier will in general have more strength to give the music more bass weight and more life like dynamics.
With typical bi-wiring you pay for twice as much copper, which gives you twice as many electrons available, but when you add a set of Anti-Cable Jumpers to parallel-bi-wire, all those electrons are available for all the drivers in your speaker. Your two 12 gauge speaker wire run turns into a 9 gauge speaker wire run.
As an electronic engineer I struggled with this topic for quite a while because it did not fit into any of the electrical models I have learned. It simply does not make sense that an alternating music signal should favor a direction in a wire. One of the great things about the audio hobby is that we seem to be able to hear things well before we can explain them; and just because we can’t explain something, does not mean it does not exist.
While wire directionality is not fully understood, it is clear that the molecular structure of drawn metal wire is not symmetrical and it is this physical difference which is consistent with which direction the wire sounds better. When the directionality is “backwards” there is a loss of resolution, cymbals sound like a spray-can and are truncated, voices are grainy and lack presences, and bass is less defined. When the wire directionality is “correct” the music is more relaxed, pleasant and believable. Once you hear the difference, you will never want to have to listen to wire backwards ever again.
All Anti-Cable products have the correct directionality marked with an arrow.
Who is using the Anti-Cable products?
The Anti-Cable products are being enjoyed by audiophiles and music loving enthusiast in well over 50 countries world wide. We ship International Priority Mail, so as long as you get Mail service, we can ship to you.
How do I order from Anticables with Paypal?
If you have a Paypal account, select Paypal, enter your information, and you will be directed to Paypal’s login. After you login you will go through the regular steps of ordering through Paypal.
How do I order from Anticables with my Credit or Debit card?
You can also pay using your Credit Card. Even if you do not have a Paypal account, you will still select Paypal as your payment method. When you go to the Paypal screen, select the “Don’t have a Paypal account?” link underneath the Paypal login. From there, you can enter all of your credit card information to pay through Paypal as a Guest.