ONLINE - ISSUE 30
We sent out the same 20 questions to 50 manufacturers, the following are their responses. The intent of the survey is to address basic questions as to design along with any questions raging on various sites, while minimizing potential chest-thumping and friendly, or unfriendly, bashing of others....
Jim Wang of Harmonic Technology
PFO Why do cables make a difference–interconnects, speaker cables and AC power cords?
JW At Harmonic Technology, we believe the cables are the primary messengers that deliver the data from any source to the desired destination. Without a high-quality cable, the messages sent from one device to another can become distorted. Our goal is to ensure the delivery of the message is completely honest, with absolutely no alterations whatsoever.
Harmonic Technology designs, develops and manufactures cable products using the best materials for conductors and the correct geometry to allow the cable material to perform at the optimum. This is without adding grain or any suppression in order to enhance the source of the original data while emphasizing the "harmonic characteristics." When deciding on purchasing new cables, we believe the order of impact to the listening ear can be experienced as follows: the source cable from a CD player or phono device; interconnect cables between a preamp and an amp; AC power cord for each component; and, Last but certainly not the least, the speaker cables.
PFO What about metals …copper versus silver versus gold versus what? What about blends?
JW Harmonic Technology manufactures cable products with only the best types of materials available. Our products can be classified into two distinct material groups:
Classic cable group: Harmonic Technology uses Single
Crystal Copper and Single Crystal Silver for our classic cable products. Each
cable contains a unique blend of the two metals with individual insulation to
ensure complete clarity.
Analog fiber cable products: Most recently, Harmonic Technology adapted fiber optics and laser-like technology to the audio realm in order to create a new generation of cable products that has truly revolutionized the industry. Through patent-pending, miniaturized LAM (Light Analog Module) Photon Transducers, Harmonic Technology's CyberLight cables convert audio signal to light pulses, with absolutely no digital conversions, unleashing the sonic depth, accuracy and power of every signal. No digital conversions occur; thereby, removing any potential loss or misinformation that is common in any conversion process.
PFO What about dielectrics… Teflon versus what?
JW Our primary dielectric material is air-formed polyethylene (PE) to insulate individual conductors, which greatly reduce strand interactions, maintain a constant OHM level and prevent oxidation of the copper and/or silver. The man-made air pockets created with air-formed PE preserves the dielectric constant at approximately 2.25, greatly increasing the signal-to-noise ratio and dynamic range. Additional materials we have used to insulate our cables include ready-made Teflon strips (dielectric constant 2.1); polypropylenes, polyvinylchloride, paper and PVC.
PFO What about no dielectric?
JW In a perfect world, we would be able to individual insulate cables in a vacuum—void of any matter, oxidation or interaction. However, because no such vacuum exists, dielectric must be utilized to protect the cable.
PFO What about measurements …What do they tell us? What do they not to tell us?
JW No definitive standards are available to measure the cable products. However, the best method available is an AP system that connects a cable from Point A to Point B without the use of any other equipment. However, the results are all based upon test case scenarios, which do not provide data on how a cable product performs under regular use—the actual of transmitting audio and video signals from a source to an end device. No measurement of the true performance of a cable product is available; we can only rely on what we hear and see. This has been reinforced by reviews as well as the opinions of the experts.
PFO What about the connectors …how important?
JW Connectors are critical for any high-end cable product. Harmonic Technology is dedicated to only utilizing the best connectors within our cable products. Only through the best materials can we produce the best possible products – such as our most recent introductions of the MagicLinkTwo and ProSilway MK III Plus interconnects cables, which use "Furutech RCA and Harmonic Technology XLR" connectors for maximum performance. We are proud to report that with these connectors, we have experienced a dramatic increase in the clarity, dynamics and power of the signals traveling through the cables to a level never experienced before by audiophiles and home theater enthusiasts.
PFO Why this geometry …ribbon, twisted, braided, spiraled…?
JW Harmonic Technology engineers the cable products from the ground up rather than resorting to auxiliary networks. Our technology, Balanced Field Geometry, is not limited to twisted, braided or spiraled designs, and creates neutral frequency and fast transit responses capable of reproducing signals as close as perfection as possible.
PFO What about cryoing? What is going on with this?
JW We are in the process of researching cryoing capabilities via third party resources.
PFO Why shielding? Why not shielding?
JW Just like dielectric, shielding is necessary to prevent any potential contamination and oxidation.
PFO What about run-in? Why is/isn't it important?
JW Although there is no scientific proof that "run-in"—also known as "burn-in"— is required for high-end cable products; practical experience has shown that cable products and audio/video components perform at their best after some hours of "run-in." The basic premise behind "run-in" is that since all components, the cables and the power cords share a common ground, it takes some time to settle down. In addition, some residual magnetic charge in the copper and silver may need to dissipate completely. We have found that even in our CyberLight cables—made from fiberglass—perform at a higher level after a "run-in" period.
PFO What about length? Why are/aren't they important?
JW The optimal length of classic cables vary—it cannot be too long; some speakers require cables that are not too short and power cords should be at a minimum of 1 meter in length. The length is important because as signals travel across the silver or copper within the cable, the actual data can begin to deteriorate. However; our CyberLight cables perform the same at any length—from 1.5 meters up to 2,000 meters.
PFO What is directionality?
JW Directionality in traditional cables is primarily used as a way to assist users in identifying the side for input and the side for output. This direction is usually fixed and should not be changed. Our CyberLight cables are unique in that if the wrong direction is utilized, the cables will not work. The input LAM takes the electrons to convert to photons; while the output LAM takes the photons and converts it back to electrons.
PFO How did you get into this?
JW I have a love for great music and clarity in sound and video. I wanted to find a way to deliver true clarity in a product that was unique to the industry.
PFO What is your fundamental design philosophy/goal?
JW Following the principle of attainable luxury, we have created the highest quality cables to allow any audio or video system to reach new levels of transparency and musical accuracy at an affordable price. Our goal is simple: to bring the beauty of the performance through the system with perfect authenticity.
PFO Why these?
JW We truly value our customers. If our cable products are not the honest messengers and do not bring the beauty of any audio or video source, our customers would not be able to fully experience the true clarity of a performance within their home.
PFO How do you approach accomplishing those philosophies/goals?
JW Harmonic Technology’s Design Team draws upon its expertise and the innovation and best practices within other industries to bring maximum performance to the audio/video cable market. We strive to design and implement the most advanced technologies to keep pace with the ever-evolving consumer electronics products being introduced to the market. Each product that we develop undergoes a rigorous design and development phase to ensure our philosophy and goals remain true.
PFO How successful do you feel you have been at achieving the goals that you have set for yourself?
JW Although I am happy with what we have been able to accomplish at Harmonic Technology, we continuously strive to be better in every aspect. The consumer electronics industry continues to expand and incorporate amazing technologies that we must be able to accommodate.
PFO How do you plan to push beyond what you have already accomplished?
JW We continually research how advanced technologies and best practices from other industries can be utilized within the audio/video cable market. Our introduction of the CyberLight cables is only the beginning of what we can accomplish to improve the performance of cables and simplify the use for consumers.
PFO Where is this all heading?
JW More advanced, yet also user-friendly cables that perfectly emulate the sights and sounds of a live performance.
PFO Others that you admire?
JW There are some amazing people with great talent and ingenuity within the high-end audio and video industry. I seek to learn from all those around me, but I truly admire the passion and dedication of many people such as Michael Fremer, Dave Clark, George Cardas, Ray Kimber, Robert Levi,...