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Another salient wrinkle in the Rick Schultz project was a significant reduction of mechanical conductor behavior whereby physical damping was enhanced to provide the highest rigidity of connectors and wires. The manufacture of High Fidelity Cables appears to be exclusive and in small batches where pricing reflects the boutique approach. The cheapest item lists at $1'600 for a meter interconnect whilst the costliest model nabs in excess of $10'000. The custom wiring and connectors are obviously slightly different from run-of-the-mill bits whatever their price tag. On coin the High Fidelity Cables loom wasn't the most indecent cable solicitation I've ever received but it was undoubtedly the most expensive cable I ever accepted to investigate. The company being quite recently founded, the proposed cable set was limited to speaker cables, RCA interconnects and digital coax. Schultz is already working on power cords and in 2014 should also release XLR interconnects. For this review I received two pairs of speaker cables (CT-1 & CT-1E), one pair of CT1-E interconnects and for my Vivid speakers a set of jumpers to avoid any disturbing interaction with the High Fidelity Cables loom.

When you chase very significant results on sound quality, it becomes difficult to identify cables with top billing in all aspects. Pure copper such as Acrolink wires will provide accurate tone but lack some speed and micro detail. Silver-plated wires like my AudioQuest K2 speaker cables provide a very dark background and great detail but tone and dynamics lack a certain authenticity. Highly praised interconnects like Argento Serenity can provide very soft pleasant timbres at the expense of micro detail and recessed dynamics.
Something seems to always amiss. My current Grimm TPM interconnects are very efficient and affordable and retrieve as much detail as I could hope yet fail at the supreme warmth that would make the sound completely organic..

Regardless of price, finding the perfect wire is tough in my view. Some say the best cable is no cable at all (wireless?). Others say that since nothing is perfect and subject to component interaction, you best stick to very affordable looms and save your long green for more tangible returns. It's clearly no easy decision. And what would you do once your research for the best components in your system had been subjectively achieved? You'd read another silly test of high-sticker cables and hope springs eternal once again.

Contrarily to the fat high-end snakes from Stealth or Elrod cables, High Fidelity cables look thin like Crystal Cable. That won't impress your mates except perhaps for those proprietary connectors. The same geometry applies to both speaker and interconnect cables, the basics being a coaxial cable. This gets magnetically charged but individual parts work in counter polarity to focus the signal on the central conductor and create directionality.

The CT-1 conductor is made from a highly permeable alloy which once attached to the connectors becomes fully magnetized. It is wrapped in Teflon dielectric for a low dielectric constant. The inner core is encased in a braided sleeve as the ground connection. This enveloping ground becomes a noise shield for the centre conductor. These cables reportedly can be routed with a minimum concern for crossing power cables or picking up random noise.

The proprietary connectors are designed for maximum contact area to lower electrical resistance for a better signal transfer. The patented PinLoK RCA used by Rick Schultz sports an oversized pin that compresses upon entering an RCA socket. Spring tension continues to push and expand the inserted pin for maximum contact pressure. This increase in surface contact lowers the amount of micro arcing to reduce distortion. The CT-1 connectors are also coated on the center pin's ball end with a conductive polymer called Stabilant 22. This becomes conductive in the presence of signal and further lowers contact resistance. The connector also includes mechanical damping to lower distortions caused by mechanical noise. Each CT-1 PinLok connector is said to be made up of 55 individual custom-made parts.