Very insightful article. Of particular note, aside from futuristic applications, is the technology used in developing the wire. Sounds like these scientists have learned that wire ain't just wire after all.
Superconductor ICs, cables and PCs, drool...wonder if the condo association will allow a nitrogen tank in the back yard...
Bravo, Ikarus, for unearthing this article. The french PPC has been applying similar (maybe identical) process in supplying cables to the National Health & Hospitals board since 1999... There was talk about supplying such cables to be used in audio applications (the french radio & TV) -- but, I (at least) have seen no further mention.
Good to know cables are getting somewhere beyond alleged voodoo...
Thanks for a great article, something that is even more funny is that they are selling this cutting edge technology for $200.00 a meter. Howmuch did I just pay for my last pair of copper cables?
Personally I doubt that conductivity is what a great PC is about. Otherwise using the same stuff as you have in the wall as a PC would sound as good as or better than anything else (since 5 feet cannot be significant in the many metres overall). Nevertheless, a very interesting read.
Come out, come out, you lurking voter that disliked my post. Let me know what you disapproved of.
Redkiwi, I may be wrong here, but do you not think that the power cord material is just an extention of the power supply and is subject to the same improvements that say an Audio Note silver wire wound power supply and its benefits to that line of Amplifiers? In other words the better the copper, the more it will benefit the supply, if said supply is of commensurate quality. That is the way I see it. Even 5 feet will benefit improvements, just as only one link of high end IC, in a system riddled with junk interconnects will yield an improvement. What do ya think Red?.......Frank
I do not find anything inconsistent between your view and mine Frank. And I know a good power cable occupying the last 5 feet makes a difference. But having played with making perhaps 20 different designs of PC as well as buying exotic PCs from the US and having to terminate them into local plugs (different from the US ones), I do not see a strong correlation between a good PC and very low resistance. Yes you need a certain guage of cable, but diminishing returns set in. Purity of the copper is good, geometry is very influential on the sound, as is shielding, as is dialectric. But nothing in my sessions designing, building or having power cables built led me to believe that super-low resistance was all that was required.
Red, so from all your trials, you feel that copper purity is secondary to Geometry and Dielectric? This is particularly important, because if copper purity or silver for that matter IS down the line,in importance, then this is a huge savings moneywise. I am with you on this as far as ICs go,ie; that a cable produced with great design and dielectric parameters AND mundane copper, will outperform one that has the highest quality conductors and lesser design. But, I never knew if this applied to PCs as well. Thanks for the help..........Frank
Frap and Redkiwi, I came across something really interesting just the other day. My wife and I went to audition a Rowland Research 112. The gentleman who auditioned it for us was selling it so he could start a family. He had quite a setup but I was interested only in the 112. The amp sounded splendid in his setup and I saw quite a few good power cords sitting in a box and asked if we could listen again with a different PC. We did this a few times allowing for rewarming of the amp. There was very little discearnable difference between the PC's. Was my wife and I loosing it? I know I hear a difference with my amp at home. After a while we decided to make an offer on the amp which unfortunately was not high enough for the gentleman, so we went home. On the way home it really bothered me as to why there was no difference, then it hit me. The Rowland has a switching power supply. The AC from the wall is literally being regenerated. All the anti EMI and Noise stuff built into the PC goes out the window. If you have ever seen what feeds the rectifier half of a switcher on a scope, you would be suprised how clean the DC can become with a good filter like the Rowland has. The moral of the story is that not all is as it seems. If I had a conversation with this fellow before we auditioned the amp and he said there was no difference in power cords, I might have told him he was deaf and it was good he was selling his stuff. I just thank goodness I heard it first, kept my mouth shut and learned something.
Frank, I am not so sure. Certainly the recycled copper in the Taiwanese stuff you get at the cheap joints (here it would be Dick Smith Electronics, but there it is possibly Radio Shack?) does sound dirty. And I reckon the Harmonic Technology cables do benefit from the quality of conductor used. But geometry and dialectric are hugely important. Possibly even more so in PCs than in signal carrying wires. And I suspect geometry is the most important element in PCs, and dialectric the most important in interconnects and speaker cables. But this is just speculation from experimentation.
Liguy, you are probably right and it is a good point about a switching power supply, but as you described the situation it occurred to me to add that the differences in PCs may not be so readily discernible in an unfamiliar system. I think good PCs reduce noise and that this difference is not eliminated by most (perhaps all) power supplies. When you have these noise products constantly in your system and then they are reduced by a better PC, you recognise it as a "night and day" difference. I have found when helping people with their systems that I have been disappointed with the impact upgrading the PC appeared to me to have (compared with the impact in my system). But my alternative theory for this is that the impact of better PCs is much more obvious in a system where you have very good dedicated power feeds.
Redkiwi, I wholeheartly agree with you. Great point!