Tellurium Q® is often asked what do we do that makes our cables perform so well? The simple and unsatisfying answer is that we do a lot of little things together that mount up to be very important in preserving the relative phase of a signal. People assume that to get the best performance the “fastest” conductor – pure silver of something even better has to be used. Which is also one of the reasons for the pointless chasing of nines as I call it i.e. copper to 99.9999999% purity as if that is the single most important factor for a cable!
Surprisingly, to get the most natural sound, it is not just about merely conduction. This is the reason, any conductor from any cable manufacturer on this planet will act as an electronic filter and by that I mean that the various frequencies relative to one another get shifted with each material they pass through and are also affected by insulators, geometries, shielding etc.. The interesting thing is that materials affect ranges of frequencies in dissimilar amounts. It really is a finely tuned balancing act to make sure that you get a natural, transparent transmission. This takes a LOT more research than people would imagine. Even down to the solder that we use. Not standard by any means for the audio industry and we have tried numerous mixes and diverse percentages of silver in the solder but at the end of our testing and development we find we have a solder with no silver whatsoever (no lead either).
Even the process by which we solder and the temperature/time, “envelope” to complete the process is tightly controlled and specified and it is not the same for each cable either!
The connectors may look relatively ordinary but have multiple layers of plating and not always the material you would expect. There is even more detail and precision within the plating process itself, because we specify the thickness of the plating and what has to be in the plating bath and what should not be.
These are just a couple of tiny details that make up just one small part of one cable. The detail, precision and care is the same for the rest of the products. And each little step needs a controlled listening and testing against other options which is immensely time consuming but hopefully the results speak for themselves.
From what we have learnt, especially in the last few years, we have been able to bring you the Statement cables. They are the
Tellurium Q® Statement of the performance that we think is currently possible.
We hope that you enjoy your system more with your Statement cables.
As with all our cable series developments, the speaker cable is the cable we start with. The Silver Diamond cables were something of a surprise to those that heard them and we were even surprised at exactly what they could do. So deciding to try to better them was no small undertaking. While reviewer’s were incredibly impressed with the Silver Diamonds we wondered if there was anything else we could bring to the performance to improve them. What we ended up doing is starting from the ground up again looking at each step in more minute detail and tweaking each and every iteration to optimise performance and optimise we did. The Statement speaker cable not only surpassed the Silver Diamond but did so spectacularly, once again blowing our expectations clean out of the water.
What you have with the new Statements is a reviewer’s nightmare, how to describe them without repeating words that will be mistaken for something that you have heard before.
More detail, absolutely but not in the way you would think.
More universal and compatible with systems, well there was only one or two systems that did not shine with the Silver Diamonds but now…
More richness, yes but a warmth and richness that is completely unveiled.
More “real”, people have used the word “tangible” when listening to systems with the Statements.
Designed and built to match the performance of the Statement speaker cable we had to completely re-think the way we approached the RCA in terms of its micro-geometry, production process, isolation etc but the time and R&D spent on developing these cables has been worth it, having the same performance profile as the speaker cable. Or as one listener described their experience connecting the RCAs into a system with the Statement speaker cables:
“Just when I thought this is it, there’s no room for additional improvement, the RCAs were plugged in and…voila, another big step forward towards even more realistic reproduction.”
It was no easy task to develop a power cable with a similar sonic signature and performance as the other Statement cables because each cable has its own challenges to optimise performance but without doubt this has been accomplished.
They are very large cables and not the most flexible you will find but when they are in your system there is no doubt which range they were developed for.
When Tellurium Q® was set up the focus was primarily on phase distortion and minimising this problem inherent in all cabling, whoever makes them and where ever and however they are made. The reason it is a problem is simple, all materials (not just cables) in the path of a signal will act as an electronic filter according to the definition in the box below, whether you want it to or not. This is undeniable.
Please understand we use the word filter as its scientific definition and not necessarily as something being “filtered out” like with a mechanical sieve. We are primarily focused on removing the smearing of frequencies through a timing shift, and by doing this you get better clarity and transparency from Tellurium Q® cables.
“A filter is an electrical network that alters the amplitude and/or phase characteristics of a signal with respect to frequency. Ideally, a filter will not add new frequencies to the input signal, nor will it change the component frequencies of that signal, but it will change the relative amplitudes of the various frequency components and/or their phase relationships.”
Source: National Semiconductor Corporation
N.B. This is true of all speakers, amplifiers, DACs, CD players, cables etc…in fact anything in the signal path.
Once you accept the fact that your audio system is acting as multiple electronic filters smudging your music, then you have a choice:
a. Forget the cable is an electronic filter (completely in the face of science) and compromise by having a smeared sound or
b. Do something about it and engineer as clear and phase neutral a path for the signal as possible to get the most transparent sound that current technology will allow, and preserve the original signal phase relations as much as possible.
Unfortunately, it is not as easy as just looking at a chart of materials and simply picking the one with the best conductivity. If that were the case, then you would put some silver wire in place and the job would be done.
Some time ago, we had some pure silver connectors manufactured and like all our developments, tested them in a double blind situation. These we put against silver plated connectors using various base metal mixes and various thicknesses of plating. The pure silver performed worse than a plated connector with a “certain” thickness of plating. It was sluggish and almost muffled by comparison.
The more you focus on the fact that you are working with an electronic filter, then the easier it becomes to craft a much more transparent and natural sounding cable, engineering each part of the signal path to minimise distortion. But there is a huge downside to this, as every little detail of the constituents used and construction has to be tested in multiple configurations….and of course listened to.
The cable construction becomes more complex, using multiple stranded conductors of slightly differing materials and various dielectric materials and geometries. We have to pay attention to every part of each of our processes. Even using non-industry standard solder mixes varied between cables. Raw ingredients for the construction are highly specified, as are plating thicknesses, even down to specifying what chemicals should or should not be included in a plating bath.
assuming copper to be 100%
The shiny finish is less conductive because of the additives used for that finish when plated. However, that is not a great issue when you take into account the material underneath, cable construction and any other plated layers – we still end up with a very transparent cable assembly. It is all a very carefully balanced set of ingredients that become more than the sum of their parts.
We have taken a different and radical approach by looking at the “problem” of cables because they are “secret” electronic filters and you ignore that at your listening peril.
By thinking of cables in this way we can get closer to the goal of preserving the relative phase relationship in a signal meaning that you hear the most transparent, natural sound possible.
These are just a couple of the early comments on the new Statement range from speaker designers…
“It will just capture you, and carry you along with whatever music is playing. This is the new T/Q cable there is no more that needs to be said!!!!!”
“…you have managed to surpass them [Silver Diamonds] in a truly grand way.”
What has been achieved is a coherent sonic profile and performance across the whole Statement range and that is why we say this is the Tellurium Q Statement.