Q2 Prepared Speaker Cable
Can a speaker cable sound great, be practical and easy to use, be sexy ... and be easily affordable? Of course you know we wouldn’t ask the question if the answer weren’t “yes” ... and we wouldn’t be asking if the cable which does all this wasn’t from AudioQuest.
For decades, AudioQuest has been perfecting the application of solid conductors in high-performance audio cables, because the distortion caused by the interaction between strands is some of the worst, and some of the easiest to avoid.
AudioQuest has also clearly demonstrated that when one is fully aware of the problems with stranded conductors, one can design stranded cables which dramatically minimize those problems. Speaker cables such as AQ’s G2, X2, SLiP and FLX models, and AQ’s NRG-X AC power cables are dramatic proof that stranded cables can be very good indeed. There’s no question that solid conductors are better, but they have to be smaller, and there has to be more of them, which costs more and makes the cable less flexible.
All the excellent cables mentioned above use 19 strands in a concentric arrangement. All have a single strand in the center, 6 strands around the 1 (6 circles fit perfectly around 1), and then 12 strands around the inner 7. The strands always stay in their respective smooth, clean layer, together making a conductor which comes much closer to performing like a solid conductor than a conventional “bunch” or “rope-lay” of strands ... a difference most of you have easily heard in our “Boombox” shared-evaluation, which starts with a comparison between a much larger rope-lay stranded cable vs. AQ concentric conductors.
Now, imagine that the inner 7 strands are replaced by a single larger strand, a Long-Grain Copper (LGC) solid-core conductor actually. This conductor would be a size used in many of AQ’s higher model speaker cables ... but it’s too small to all by itself be a good speaker cable, so it still needs a layer of smaller strands spiraled around it. In Q2’s Solid+ conductors, this outer spiral has 11 rather than 12 strands of LGC, as that is what fits perfectly around the inner solid conductor. The result is AQ’s new flexible Solid+ Concentric Conductor, with sound quality even closer to that of an ideal solid conductor ... and yet big enough to make a great cable with only 2 simple-to-prepare conductors.
Then, the 2 conductors (+ and –) are spiraled for minimum inductance (inductance makes sound seem out of focus), and maximum clarity and dynamics ... and then this ideal cable is given a sexy square outer jacket, available in either a semi-gloss bright-white, or deep black. No, the square jacket doesn’t affect the sound, but it sure makes the cable look and feel cool!