The new REFERENCE LS-404 MICRO AIR speaker cable: As with the already legendary AIR Helix cables, air is a central component of the insulation concept in the new REFERENCE MICRO AIR technology. However, due to the low loudspeaker impedances low line resistances and low inductance are also very important for loudspeaker cables. For this reason, a total of 8 concentric copper conductors are used in the REFERENCE LS-404 MICRO AIR in addition to the air dielectric. Thanks to this multicore architecture, the magnetic fields of the positive and negative conductors overlap and neutralise each other. This reduces the inductance of the cable considerably, thereby guaranteeing unadulterated transmission of the audio signal over a broad frequency range. The LS-404 follows this approach and has a well-balanced sound character with precise timing with a well-controlled foundation. This cable is therefore primarily designed for fully-sized floor-standing loudspeakers. Of course, sound always is evaluated subjectively and ultimately depends on the overall constellation of the hi-fi system. In the end the decisive factor is your very personal auditory impression
MICRO AIR TECHNOLOGY
The laws of nature cannot be switched off. They need to be used skilfully. Every cable has so-called parasitic effects due to these laws of nature. Among other things, this includes the capacitance – i.e. the fact that a cable, like a battery, stores energy temporarily and releases it again with a delay. This effect strongly influences the transmission of audio signals and is undesirable. Cable capacitance is a physical phenomenon and its size depends on various factors. One essential factor is the insulation material, the so-called dielectric, which can increase the capacity many times over. Air on the other hand does not do this and is therefore the ideal insulator. Part of the insulation of the MICRO AIR technology is its complex, diamond-shaped structure. The chambers created by this design increase the distance between the conductors and increase the air content in the insulation. In this way, irritating capacities are reduced and the transmission characteristics for the sensitive audio signals are optimised.
By contrast to conventional conductor structures, in which the arrangement of the individual wires in a cable is chaotic, the wires in the concentric copper wires are arranged in accordance with an exactly defined scheme in which they are precisely ordered in several layers. This design reduces irregular contact points between the wires, which harmonises the signal flow and minimises transit time differences. Impulses can be played back exactly while retaining the spatial information of the music. A thin layer of polyethylene protects the highly pure copper from oxygen and therefore against oxidation.
A loudspeaker cable must transport energy and information in equal measure. Loudspeakers can also be moody little beasts, with a very dynamic electrical life of their own. They behave differently for every tone and volume and have to be constantly kept in check by the amplifier. This means the signal on a loudspeaker cable is a jumble of tiny to huge levels, alternating current and voltage of different frequencies and phase lengths. To faithfully transmit the extremely fine details that define sound and space and lend emotion to the music, the cable has to metaphorically keep the speaker on as tight a leash as possible to the amplifier. These beasts can be tamed by applying physical laws, using the right materials, and an appropriate cable architecture.
The REFERENCE LS-404 MICRO AIR is available with BFA Bananas or with cable lugs or as Easy- Plug version. The surfaces of the BFA Bananas and the cable lugs are finished with a rhodium coating and are therefore extremely durable. The contact surfaces and the screw connection of the cable lugs are manufactured from a single piece, thereby avoiding contact resistance. The contact surface, which has slits on the side, changes to a concave shape when the device terminal connections are tightened, thus preventing the cable lugs from sliding out.