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AudioQuest Perfect Surface copper/grain snakeoil nonsense?

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MrMobodies:
I was thinking about that term "perfect surface" from AudioQuest and found a document:



https://www.audioquest.com/resource/1142/DoNoHarm-whitepaper-1222-11-r11.pdf

--- Quote ---Metals

The quality of the copper or silver used is another important
aspect of good cable design. AudioQuest uses three qualities of copper in its interconnect, speaker and power cables, solid silver in its top-of-the-line cables, and silver-plated copper in its video and digital audio cables.

LGC – Long-Grain Copper is AudioQuest’s version of a premium grade of OFC (Oxygen Free Copper). All Oxygen Free Copper contains some oxygen, but in reduced amounts. AQ LGC is drawn and cast carefully so that the oxygen content is even further reduced, typically to around one sixth of a typical “High Purity” copper. This process significantly reduces the formation of copper oxides, which substantially reduces distortion caused by the grain boundaries. In addition, LGC conductors are made up of long grains of copper, typically around 300 grains per foot compared to a typical “High Purity” copper at around 1,500 grains per foot. Because the boundaries between the grains are not nearly as conductive as the copper, the more grain boundaries per foot, the more distortion is introduced. Fewer boundaries mean better performance.

PSC – Perfect-Surface Copper is drawn and annealed though a novel proprietary integrated process :bullshit: that creates an exceptionally soft copper conductor with an astonishingly :bullshit: smooth and
uncontaminated surface. The only part of a conductor with 100% magnetic field and 100% current density is the surface. The surface purity and smoothness does more to define the sonic character(or hopefully lack of character), than any other part of a conductor, hence the name “Perfect-Surface” conductor.

PSC+ – Perfect-Surface Copper Plus employs the same process as PSC but using a higher grade of copper.
PSS – Perfect-Surface Silver employs the “Perfect Surface” process using extremely high quality silver.

Silver-Plated Copper – Silver-Plated Copper is used mostly for very high frequency applications, namely analog video, digital video & digital audio. These signals, being of such a high frequency, travel almost exclusively on the surface of the conductor. As the surface is made of varying degrees of high purity silver, the performance can be very close to that of a solid silver cable (depending on the percentage of silver-plate used), but priced closer to solid copper cable. This is an incredibly cost-effective way of manufacturing very high quality video and digital audio cables. We also use silver-plated copper for subwoofer cables because we have found through listening that silver-plated copper enhances the sense of definition and impact in this application.
Feature: Superior Metals

Advantage: Fewer grain boundaries, lower oxygen content, purer metals
Benefit: Less distortion of the signal, better performance

Directionality When metal is pulled to form the long conductors needed for building cables, certain grain structures are formed that affect the overall sonic performance of the wire. Simply put, the conductor has lower perceived distortion when running in one direction (“with the grain”) than when reversed (“against the grain”). This is true for any cable that carries audio, be it a pair of analog interconnects, speaker wire, or even HDMI cable. The only way to properly test for directionality is the ultimate test equipment … the human ear.  :bullshit: Every spool of copper being used for an audio cable is listened to for directionality and then labeled for the proper direction. This is so important to us that directionality is marked permanently on the plug of all terminated audio cable, including HDMI, and on the writing on the jacket of our unterminated bulk wire. AudioQuest’s commitment to directionality is such that the single pair of conductors in AudioQuest’s HDMI cables dedicated to the Audio Return Channel feature is run in the opposite direction of the rest of the signal-carrying conductors to ensure that sound quality is optimal for all signal paths.

Feature: Directionality
Advantage: Wire is optimized for best performance through
listening tests
Benefit: Less distortion of the signal, better performance
--- End quote ---



I thought some cables were already coated in silver? to stop oxidization.

If they achieved this "surface perfect" with the so called "grains" as they put it then wouldn't directionality matter to them?

How can it be possible to "work against a grain" when they are in all shapes or sizes but then that wouldn't matter if it was as they say "smooth" and "pure".

I never heard of it and it doesn't seem practical to me to manipulate conductors in such a way to control all the microscopic artifacts throughout the cable.

What do they do in the factories making these things if it is not "possible" to test directionality? properly, have someone "listen" to it as it is stringing along the noisy production line?
I think they are correct on that one... they certainly test the human ears into the "direction" of buying these things with all the marketing snake oil claims and material.

What do you think?

Haenk:
Silver (and copper as well) will react with sulfur (various stuff) from the air. So for exposed contacts like plugs, that's usually not a good idea.
For home AV systems, there is no point in silver coating your cables, nor is there a point in using monocrystal copper.
I only see a point in having your audio connectors gold-plated (no corrosion, not contact problems). So that's a recommendation for hassle-free use; there is no influence on the audio quality (other than avoiding issues with unreliable contacts).

All stated marketing blurb is more or less nonsense. "optimized through listening tests", yeah, sure. We all know how this works ;)

Halcyon:
Looks like a slab of makeup to me. Are they sure they aren't talking about Maybelline? It would at least be much more believable and make some kind of sense.

Cerebus:
"Simply put, the conductor has lower perceived distortion when running in one direction ..."

This perception can only be achieved subsequent to having the prior and necessary perception of feeling your wallet drain.

ConKbot:
"Introducing distortion" they sell coax, PIM testers exist. If they wanted a number to tout, al they need to do is rent some equipment.

Low PIM 7/16DIN interconnects, and convincing people to retrofit equipment, that could be lucrative ;D

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