NEW CABLE TECHNOLOGIES

 

HISTORY
Although we are well known for Ringmat, Statmat and allied products, the design of interconnect cables was our first venture into audio design. At that time, we were supplying and installing hi-fi systems through our retail shops but were dissatisfied with the quality of interconnect and speaker cables available on the market for ‘mainstream hi-fi’ products – that is, those products that are not designed to be used specifically with particular types of cables, such as solid core, and which were happiest with the thicker multi-strand cable where, in the case of speaker cables, a particular load was not required for a power amplifier to drive into.

 

 

 

 

With the help of certain of our shop customers, we therefore introduced Q R Interconnect Cables. These were superior, musically, to any other cables then available for the above-mentioned ‘mainstream hi-fi’ products and systems. In terms of clarity, transparency, etc., they were head and shoulders above all other cables in their price range.

When we no longer had the shops, so as to concentrate on our Ringmat and Statmat products, we decided to bide our time in the search for suitable cables to complement these new products, as the availability of the cables we had been using ceased and alternatives were proving expensive, and without the requisite performance.

THE NEW RINGMAT CABLES
The solution came about through a chance link-up with one of the UK’s leading suppliers of cables and equipment to the professional audio market. The new Ringmat Cables, the Pure Signal and Pure Power, are the outcome of a joint project that resulted from this link-up. Our partners service the major recording studios (they have refurbished and re-equipped several of the suites at EMI’s Abbey Road Studios), touring bands and leading organisations in the professional music field. They have their own cable design facility and a cable manufacturing company in Germany.

Our project partner normally only deals with the ‘pro’ market, so our collaboration with them enabled some unique design concepts to reach the domestic hi-fi market. Indeed, the concept for our Pure Signal Cable appears to be unique to both markets.

Unlike other hi-fi cable companies, we do not intend to handle a proliferation of cables of varying quality; simply one interconnect and one speaker cable. The Ringmat Pure Signal interconnect cable can be terminated, as required, for a variety of applications. The OFC speaker cable is in 2 formats; the Ringmat Pure Power Cable, which is the principal version, and also the Power Line Cable, which is virtually the same except that the individual strands are thinner to meet the requirements of some amplifiers that require a higher than usual load into which to drive (thinner strands for a conductor with the same number of strands means a smaller conductor diameter - hence a greater resistance and load to add to that of the speakers). The Ringmat Pure Power Cable also acts as an excellent base for our fabulous mains power cable, though that came later because of the time it took to find the right means by which to terminate such a large diameter cable and its associated earth conductor into a domestic mains plug.

RINGMAT PURE SIGNAL CABLE
Our cooperation started with the need to find the best interconnect lead. After a great deal of research and evaluation, we designed a new cable, the Ringmat Pure Signal Cable, based around the design concepts of two of the cables already made by our partner, and without using fancy materials; such materials may have a part to play in some cables, but they are often very expensive and in our experience it is the ideas behind the design and construction that are far more important and have a far greater effect on real performance. For more information about the Pure Signal Cable, see here. Performance of the Ringmat Pure Signal Cable was not only considerably ahead of what we had achieved in the past but also far ahead of what was, and is, available from other companies. In short, a very special cable, with a very special performance.

RINGMAT OFC PURE POWER CABLE
Our principal speaker cable, the Ringmat Pure Power Cable, again came through chance as we were evaluating interconnect cables with our Project Partner. The design of the Pure Power Cable is in many ways similar to the Pure Signal Cable, with 4 conductors working together within an outer jacket, low capacitance, etc., with equally impressive results, though the Pure Power Cable is much thicker and heavier. We found the very low capacitance and very low resistance of the Pure Power Cable resulted in exceptional tonal performance and a transparent and accurate sound reproduction in most ‘mainstream hi-fi’ systems, as discussed above. The sense of power and space was awesome, and yet resolution and fine nuances were exquisitely presented. Getting there was a rewarding experience.

WORKING WITH SPEAKER CABLES - UNDERSTANDING SOME OF THE ISSUES
During our evaluation sessions we were at times using both the Pure Power and the Power Line Cables along with other cable designs trying to understand how the signal was being affected as it passed through different conducting structures. We wanted to understand how strands of a different thickness affected the sound and whether there was anything of importance that we needed to take into account.

We found, for example, that the signal always sought the easiest route, the route with the least resistance, which was naturally through the thickest strands. Once the route through the thickest strands was established, adding or subtracting thinner strands really made no difference as the signal effectively avoided them. So much for the skin effect?

However, the most exciting discovery we made with the Pure Power speaker cable was that when the number of strands in each conductor at the point of connection was reduced by 7 from 56 to 49 (to achieve a multiple of 7x7), the sound quality was transformed, far beyond anything we have heard reproduced before. This really set our cable apart from the alternatives. Similarly for the Power Line Cable, where the number of strands in each conductor need to be reduced by 1 from 50 to 49. For accurate sound reproduction (and leaving aside for the moment the argument between solid core and multistrand) the number of strands in any multistrand conductor has to be a certain multiple of 7 at the point of connection. For example: 7, 28, and 49. Why? The reason for this is still a bit of a mystery, but it is a repeatable fact. It should be mentioned that we are talking here about strands of the same thickness. The ‘7 strand’ concept is not unique in itself, of course - many cables have conductors of 7 strands, but not in the configurations we use. A few strands fewer in each conductor, such as 27 and 47 or 48 strands, can provide virtually the same result as 28 and 49, but not that extra strand, such as 29 and 50.

The really interesting aspect of all this, which makes it all the more intriguing, is that the reduction in the number of strands from 56 to 49 need only be done at the points of connection, at both ends, and not for the full length of the cable. For example, with each conductor of our Pure Power Cable, having exposed the 56 strands that would normally be inserted into the speaker cable connector/plug, we separate out 7 adjoining strands (they do not all have to be on the circumference) and cut them off. The idea is that the 7 isolated strands should not come into contact with any part of the terminal connector/speaker plug at each end of the cable. The 7 removed strands at each end do not even have to be the same strands.

Twisting together 2 conductors of 49 strands each also works. So what about twisting together 2 conductors of 28 strands each? This also works, even though the combined number of strands, at 56, exceeds 49. Indeed, reducing the combined number of strands to 49 between 2 conductors is no help whatsoever, as the sound quality sharply deteriorates.

These and many other findings from our research have all contributed to the unique understanding, design and performance of the Ringmat Pure Signal and Pure Power Cables.

 

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