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Rindisbacher's research showed that besides their electrical specifications, cables are characterized by their response to external influences like mechanical stimuli. In his view the best cables are those which best counteract these influences. As we have seen, such influences introduce more nonlinearities. At its most basic, when a cable's behavior is influenced and thus altered by mechanical vibrations, its sound will differ from when it is stable. The same holds for static electricity. For these two influences cable lifters can be beneficial but their own makeup (wood, plastic, ceramic, metal) adds more variables again.

A strong and common influence on unpredictable cable behavior is the interaction between insulation and conductor. This occurs in both the electrical and mechanical domains whereby the latter feeds back into the former. If we wouldn't get headaches from wifi, going wireless to eliminate all cables might be the straight way to hifi heaven. To the Element47 founders it appears that when a cable sports the most simple geometry, it performs at its best. All the sonic factors which make a cable disappear from the sonic equation to translate into audiophile terms like speed, liquidity, transparency are achieved by using a mono-filament single-core conductor inside an air dielectric. Mind you, these audiophile terms are in fact the inverse of what one really looks for. A cable isn't fast per se. It simply doesn't act as a brake. A cable doesn't cause liquidity but doesn't freeze up the signal flow. A cable isn't transparent but doesn't obscure.

The observation that an air-insulated cable fights nonlinear distortion with the best available dielectric to suffer the least core-to-dielectric interaction (none would be the obvious ideal) plus a mono filament conductor that's not prone to inter-strand irregularities or other geometry-based influences and inconsistencies (which would be nonlinear again) is fantastic of course. But how in the world does one
build such a contraption?

It's clear that a
single wire won't float freely in an outer tube. It has to be suspended inside that tube. Already in the 1950s an inventor used heat and a plastic’s memory effect to build an air-suspended coaxial cable. He cast round buttons from a synthetic material. These had a hole in the middle through which the wire was forced to slightly distort the once flat button into a shallow cone. This deformation shrunk the button's diameter just enough to fit into the assembly tube. For a certain length of cable these buttons were forced onto the conductor at equidistant points, inserted and then heat-treated to activate the plastic's memory function. This re-flattened the cones to expand in diameter and securely fix themselves to the outer tube resulting in an air-suspended single-core conductor with minimal physical contact. This wasn't just clever but relied on a lot of manual labor. It also wasn't intended for high-end audio use but did point in today's direction.

For high-end audio use Patrick Rindisbacher uses different materials. Within his nylon tube, specially shaped Teflon spacers center the conductor. These spacers look like an inverted diabolo inside a ring of the same length, i.e. two cones whose bases touch in the middle with the central wire hole. This construction holds the wire in place with the smallest possible contact to maximize air insulation. One can easily imagine a length of wire fitted with these spacers at equal intervals. Once all spacers are fitted, the resultant cable necklace gets inserted into the outer nylon tubing. So far so good. Where our Mr. Wolf from the 1950s was candid about how his buttons were heat-fixed inside the tube, Mr. Rindisbacher is not. Nylon and Teflon are neither memory materials nor heat sensitive. Hence this secret is part of Element47's proprietary IP.

For review w
e received a flight case imprinted with the Element47 logo containing two cable sets. One comprised a 2.5 meter pair of Prelude loudspeaker cable and matching Prelude interconnects. The other was the Black Master reference equivalent. The RCA-fitted interconnects and spade-terminated speaker cables use high-grade Oyaide connectors. The Preludes' feel matched our expectations in that is their weight agreed with what one anticipates from such cables. Not so the Black Master. For a 2.5 meter speaker cable of 3cm diameter, it was feather light. On flexibility the Prelude mirrors most twisted designs but the Black Master surprised again with its extreme pliancy.