Bedrock: This double quad-helix "Flat Rock" cable does not look normal on the outside, and it is not at all normal on the inside. A sophisticated combination of extraordinary materials and extremely refined design lets Bedrock rock É to equally honor all types of music.
Conductors: All eight of Bedrock´s conductors are solid. Electrical and magnetic interaction between strands in a conventional cable is the single greatest source of distortion, often causing a somewhat harsh, dirty and confused sound. Solid conductors are the most important ingredients enabling Bedrock´s very clear sound. Whether a conductor is solid or stranded, skin-effect is a prime distortion mechanism in speaker cables. Bedrock very simply keeps this effect out of the audio range by using conductor sizes that are below the threshold for audible distortion.
SST (Spread Spectrum Technology): Any single size or shape of conductor has a specific distortion profile. Even though radially symmetrical conductors (solid round or tubular) have the fewest discontinuities, any particular size does have a sonic signature. SST is a method for significantly reducing the awareness of these character flaws by using a precise combination of different size conductors. The four different SST-determined conductor sizes used in Bedrock allow an exceptionally clear, clean and dynamic sound.
Metal: Bedrock´s innovative combination of LGC (Long Grain Copper) and PSC (Perfect Surface Copper) provides most of the low distortion benefit of PSC while maintaining much of the lower cost of LGC. PSC has an astonishingly smooth and pure surface. Proprietary metal processing technology protects the wire´s surface at every stage of drawing and fabrication. When high-purity low-oxide copper is kept as soft, pure and smooth as possible, it becomes a wonderfully low distortion conductor. For fifteen years AudioQuest has pioneered the use of superior metals; yet even we were surprised by the huge leap in performance. PSC clearly outperforms previous AQ metals that cost over ten times as much.
All drawn metal exhibits directionality, whether in hardware store wire or in the best AQ cable. We wish we could design away this awkwardness. Since we can´t, we pay close attention to optimizing performance by clearly marking the cables and our terminations. Please watch for these markings when installing any audio cables.
Geometry: The relationship between conductors defines a cable´s most basic electrical values (capacitance and inductance). However, even when those variables are kept in a reasonable balance, the relationship between conductors can be varied in ways that greatly effect the sound. The dual spiral construction of Bedrock allows for significantly better dynamic contrast and information intelligibility than if the same conductors were run in parallel. The specific 4-cross geometry used in each half of Bedrock maximizes this advantage.
In addition, Bedrock is an exceptional Single-Biwire cable. When the halves are separated at the speaker end, the double quad-helix design turns Bedrock into a true double-biwire set thanks to the magnetic autonomy of each quad-helix. On it´s own; one quad would be a little light-weight in performance as it is biased towards treble finesse. The other quad is biased toward the bass; it´s more forceful and lacking ultimate resolution. Together they form a completely optimized full range design, which was the first priority; but when separated the dual helixes let Bedrock be a maximum performance double-biwire in a single cable. Bedrock Biwire Jumpers are also available for use when a single full-range Bedrock is used with a biwirable speaker. These Jumpers have 100% trade-in value towards a second set of cable.
Insulation: In a low level cable the insulating material significantly affects the cable´s performance. However, in a speaker cable the electrical effect of insulation is almost only heard as a dry irritating sound prior to a cable being fully "run-in" É technically "adapting to a charged state." The term "break-in" does not apply because taking away the charge will slowly return the cable to its "new" condition. The insulationÕs mechanical (hard vs. soft) properties make an important difference in stranded cables. The harder the better in order to minimize strand movement. Since solid conductors don´t need hard insulation, they can take advantage of the vibration damping advantage of a softer insulation.
The four negative conductors in Bedrock are insulated with partially conductive carbon-loaded polyethylene. This remarkable material damps radio-frequency garbage from being fed back into the amplifier. The sonic benefit is exactly the same reduction in hash and better dimensionality that comes whenever RF garbage is reduced in an audio circuit.
Terminations: AudioQuest offers a wide range of high quality connectors that allow Bedrock to be securely attached to any type of equipment. "Quality" is in the low distortion sound, not necessarily in the eye-candy effect. AQ ends are either a dull looking gold or silver because these metals are plated directly over the connector. There is no shiny and harsh sounding nickel layer underneath. AQ spade lugs are soft because better metal is soft, and facilitates a higher quality connection. AQ Spades lugs are available in several sizes. AQ Benda-Pins fit all equipment, except pieces requiring a banana plug or BFA connector, in which case the AQ Crimp BFA/Banana provides unprecedented performance at a fraction the cost of those not-so-good sounding big eye-candy versions.
A combination of these major ingredients, and many more subtle details add up to explain how even a reasonably priced cable like Bedrock can sound so good.