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British audio specialists QED introduces the latest version of its award-winning Reference Audio 40 interconnect, featuring second generation Analoc™ plug technology. Representing yet another stride forward in analogue interconnect design from the original specialist cable company, this model builds on the success of the first generation Analoc™ low eddy current design by entirely removing all conductive material from the plug bodies for superior transparency, timing and audio signal integrity. The Reference Audio 40 remains the ultimate upgrade from budget interconnects for a cleaner, more detailed and dynamic sonic performance.
QED has been designing and engineering superior analogue and digital cables for more than 45 years, and its new Reference Audio 40 cable is informed by the results of the company’s exhaustive research into cable design since 1995.
The Analoc2™ design still features low bulk, high purity copper connectors alongside low mass metal barrels, but now cleverly substitutes high rigidity thermoplastic material for both the inner support structure and the cable strain relief to eliminate the detrimental effects of eddy currents. Although already smaller than in traditional bulk brass plugs, these unfavourable currents were still able to circulate weakly in the isolated metal body of the previous plug design. Now with the new material in place, these remnant resonant distortions are completely prevented from adversely affecting the information contained in the audio signal as it travels through the new plug.
To complete the RCA plug’s Analoc2™ upgrade and to help combat the skin effect, the hollow, gold (or rhodium) plated, high-purity copper signal-pins are retained, while the effectiveness of the slip ring which locks in place the similarly plated, pure copper ground-terminal as the barrels are tightened, has also been improved.
This technology improves timing and detail, retaining the rhythm of the original piece. Unlike conventional analogue interconnects, Reference Audio 40 utilises two Silver-plated 99.999% Oxygen Free Copper conductors of different diameters to carry the same audio signal. This has the effect of providing an alternative path for high frequency audio components which might otherwise become time smeared in a single audio pathway.
A Zn/Mn Ferrite jacket is used within the cordage to absorb very high frequency noise components outside of the audible band that have an adverse effect on the micro-timing of the audio signal. When measured at very high frequencies, Reference Audio 40 cables exhibit cleaner signal transmission than standard audio interconnects. Further protection for the Silver Plated 99.999% Oxygen Free Copper (SPOFC) conductors comes in the form of a low loss, low density, dielectric foam Polyethylene (LDPE) inner jacket that minimises electrical energy loss in the cable insulation which can have a detrimental effect on the fidelity of the sound compared with cheaper PVC alternatives.
The QED Reference Audio 40 interconnect is available now in the UK/Europe and in the US from December, priced: