This review page is supported in part by the sponsors whose ad banners are displayed below

Reviewer: Joël Chevassus
Financial Interests: click here
Source: Esoteric K-03, Esoteric G-02 [on loan], Lumin, Apple iMac Lion OSX/Audirvana, Squeezebox Touch + Welborne Labs PSU, Audio GD Ref 5, Trends UD-10.1, MacBook Lion OSX with HiFace USB bridge
Amp / Preamp: Rogue Audio Hera II, SPL Volume2, Orpheus Lab Three M, Trends TA-10.2, two Luxman M-800a, Luxman C-800f, Ayon Orthos XS [for review]
Speakers: Vivid Audio K1, Lawrence Audio Violin [on loan]
Cables: Skywire Audio 2020 digital cable, Naturelle Audio interconnects Live 8 MK2, Grimm Audio TPM interconnects, Audioquest K2 speaker cables, High Fidelity Cables CT1 –E speakers and interconnects
Power cords: Audio Art Power 1 SE, Furutech
Stands & room treatments: Audio Tools stand, Microsorber insulation, PYT Panels
Review component retails: CT-1 speaker cable $ 4'000/3m/pr, CT-1E speaker cable $ 7'000/3m/pr, CT-1E RCA interconnects $ 2'800/1m/pr

Context. Magnetic Conduction - cablelandia's new Heaven’s Gate. More precisely magnetic conduction is a method for managing signal transfer as proposed and patented by Rick Schultz, founder of Virtual Dynamics. The technology is positioned as highly innovative and Schultz today operates a brand-new company called High Fidelity Cables.

So-called magnetic conduction is based on the use of magnets to reinforce signal transmission through magnetically permeable conductors made of a specific alloy purportedly quite different from standard copper or silver and presumably closer to mu metal. Once attached to the magnet-carrying connectors, the conductor becomes fully magnetized to act as magnetically and electrically conductive pathway. That said and as is true for all patented initiatives in cable paradise, the technical indications provided by the manufacturer are more of the theoretical and conceptual sort than provide concrete insight. Protect your IP, keep your secrets secret!

The transfer of complex but fragile electrical signals is of course always accompanied by a magnetic field between audio components. Magnetic conduction claims to maximize these magnetic and electrical forces. The process designed by Schultz 'aligns' magnetic poles at each end of the cable in a proprietary way to better 'draw' the electrical signal through the conductor. Magnetic force is used to keep the electron flow aligned and to minimize perturbations within and along the conductor. As a result of lower resistance, magnetic conduction claims lower distortion especially for low-level signals. It's also said to preserve signal integrity during transfer from a component’s output connector to the cable's male input connector.

The magnetic field applied at the input and output connectors is supposed to control eddy currents and force more directional signal propagation On his website Schultz explains that "by ‘pre-applying’ a magnetic field to the signal cable, magnetic conduction preserves the energy that an electrical signal otherwise loses when electrons jump from one ionic core to another, i.e. from a component’s output connector to an interconnect's male input connector. This results in more faithful transmission of low-level signal elements." Schultz also uses a wholly metallic connector unlike the popular low-mass Eichmann and WBT NextGen designs with their minimized metal percentages.

It is not the strangest approach I've come across in this sector when I consider even more exotic initiatives such as carbon fiber, fiber optic or liquid slurry conductors which competitors champion despite a lack of revolutionizing the market due for the most part it would seem to still imperfect (not universally applicable) performance allied to stratospheric pricing. Ironically as inflation in conventional cable pricing hasn't hit any ceiling yet, there's still room for more startups to hawk audacious new designs based on costly low-volume custom manufacture.