General Info | FAQs | Digital Cable Insights | S/PDIF & AES/EBU InterfacesGeneral Information (We thought you'd like to know)
FAQs (frequently asked questions)
Q. How long should a speaker cable be?
A. We firmly believe as short as possible. Our evaluation has lead us to conclude that there are sonic benefits to be gained by minimizing speaker cable length. Reality, on the other hand, tells us that often moving the power amp into a close physical proximity to the speakers is not a viable option. This, of course, causes there to be a need for longer speaker cables. With this in mind, we have insured that our cable has a low resistance, a heavy AWG and a geometry that will mitigate the effects of RF — giving you excellent performance even with longer runs.
Q. To BI-wire or not to BI-wire?
A. The sonic benefits of BI-wiring ( two sets of binding posts per speaker) are, in our opinion, well worth the investment. Speakers designed with BI-wire capabilities allow for one cable to feed the low frequency driver(s) and a second cable to feed the mid and high frequency driver(s).
Q. What about a double run?
A. A double run of speaker cable can be utilized on speakers with a single set of binding posts. Sonic benefits can be gained from this. Double runs reduce the overall resistance of the cable and provide a greater amount of copper to handle the signal.
Q. Do TPD cables require a break-in period?
A. Like any component, cables require a break-in period. We recommend a minimum of 50 to 60 hours break-in time for any of our cables. Ascent and Reference Quest Series may require better than 125 hours.
Q. Are TPD interconnect cables directional?
A. Foundation and Ascent Series are and the signal flow is in the direction marked on the cable. We do, however, believe that different equipment presenting different load impedance to the cable, could cause the cable to sound better in the reverse direction. We would suggest, then, that after the break-in period, you try the cables in both orientations and let your ears tell you which way is best.
Digital Cable Insights
Our work with digital audio cables has lead us to conclude that short lengths (less than approx. 1.5 Meters) will not sound as good as a longer length. Our ears tell us that in the critical interface (DAC input) the longer is better. Effects of cable length on the non-critical interface (i.e. transport to anti-jitter) are fairly benign. Reflection in the digital domain increases the jitter component. Factors that contribute to reflection — mismatch in the cable — connector, load presented by the send/receive units, and cable length in the critical interface.
We have attempted to minimize the factors that contribute to the jitter component. The RCA connector that we use is a true 75-ohm RCA unlike most. Secondly, we have determined through extensive critical listening that our 1.5-meter length provides the best sound.
Our design work has led us to a cable-connector interface that represents it as an impedance match – 75 ohm to 75 ohm, thus reducing reflection. Our ears have told us that the 1.5-meter length makes a sonic difference.
The loading characteristics of the send/receive devices are a factor beyond our control. What we have done is attempt to make our cable as "clear " to the load presented it as possible.
About the S/PDIF and AES/EBU interfaces
Digital audio transmission via wire cable is done in two ways. The S/PDIF interface is single-ended (unbalanced) RCA or BNC connection that calls for a 75-ohm termination. The AES/EBU interface is a balanced (XLR) type connection that requires according to the standard a termination of 110 ohm + or – 10 %.
Strict adherence to either of the interface specifications by either equipment or cable manufacturers is not the norm in the majority of cases. Very often, the interface specifications are sacrificed for the sake of a more pleasing sonic signature, something often done in high-end audio. Great specs. may not necessarily correspond to great sound.
We have found that making our cable as transparent to the load as possible, we have been able to minimize the effects of the cable. By using a true 75-ohm cable and connector, we have complied with the spec. thus minimizing the effects of the cable. Still careful system matching of components including the cable is very necessary for optimum performance.
What will an after market power cord do?
The effects of an after market power cord can vary widely depending on the equipment.
In general for audio, the background noise floor should be decreased, the sound will tend to be more open and definition should increase. On video, you should see less video noise along with an improved color resolution.
We strongly recommend, evaluating any power cord on your equipment before buying.
© Copyright 2004-2010 — All rights reserved by Twisted Pair Designs, Inc. 07/29/2010