Brian Kurtz has plied the audio trade seemingly forever. From regional sales rep to national sales manager for Tara Labs back to rep o'man, he's been proud proprietor of Austin's Sound Mind Audio dealership for a decade since. Brian and I go way back to his days at Tara Labs calling on the NorCal hifi shop where I worked at then. When Brian solicited me now with a new cable which firmly relegates his beloved Tara Labs The Zero to second place, I could not not take note. And this despite my cable blaséphemy this side of Ken Kessler. Brian's story quite liquefied any resistance.

You see, his Teo Audio cable -- it's his in the sense that Brian is the exclusive global distributor for it -- uses a liquid conductor. Or as codesigner Ken Hotte calls it -- Taras Kowalczyszyn being the outfit's final third -- "it is a room-temperature fluid molecular slurry, an alloy of Gallium and Indium metals. Reference Wiki on MHD or Magneto Hydro Dynamics. The science is rather new and was barely named by 1970. James Clerk Maxwell's original equations and treatises give room in the complex dynamics of fields surrounding a given electrical pathway for 'over unity'. Oliver Heaviside shortened Maxwell's "20 equations in 20 unknowns" down to two equations in two unknowns. He says he did it for the engineers - to make it easier to design motors and the like. He said the remaining 0.5% of the issue that the other mass of Maxwell's work addresses is not important so he erased it.

"In this case, we come closer to EKD or Electro Kineti Dynamics. Wires are made of solid or frozen lattice structures, i.e. polarized glued-together bits of vibratory oscillating vortexes. When the signal has enough mass to push and slightly 'steer around' a given 'free molecular' slurry such as a fluid metal, then the known electromagnetic rules get considerably more complex. At the same time, they get us largely past the issues we have with attempting to conduct an audio signal from one component to another. Our cable will work fine if it freezes and then thaws again. It will not separate like paint or the like. I've left it on the front seat of my car for two weeks in the summer heat to check for issues pertaining to heat.

"There's less interference due to the novel method of conduction. For example, in an ordinary cable, the current load does not change the sonics of the cable by much one would think. But we are all aware of a tendency of the cables to harden up, sonically, at high loading levels. As the drive current levels (amperage-current/electron mass) change in different audio systems, the response of this cable will change as the fluid is a free-floating molecular slurry and the individual molecules have the opportunity to directly react to the change in current mass. i.e. the current mass steers the fluid into specific alignments. Dynamically, in real time."

Brian added that Taras Kowalczyszyn spent years designing and improving acoustic spaces for music performance venues and has an LP collection of many thousands. Taras contributed on the electromechanical side and Brian on electromagnetic aspects. Formal production has commenced, "with people trained and ready to expand this to literally 100s of cables per week if needed. The RCA interconnects are ready and XLRs will follow in short order. The speaker cable is finalized in concept if not actually finished yet. The G-alloy prototype speaker cable I have slaughters everything I've heard except for the Tara Labs Omega. Although I've not heard a version of the speaker cable that has all of the final-gen tweaks of the interconnects, if it does what the interconnect did with its final tweaks, we could have a legitimate world-beater there as well.

"I've now sold many sets of our interconnects through my shop to my most picky clients, all of whom are actual musicians in their own right (not in their day job, however - so they can afford the cables). Everyone is amazed at the meat on every instrument (even a 24" cymbal has thickness to the brassiness), the soundstaging (spacious, with fleshed-out corners of studio rooms) and the overall emotional involvement. What this cable does that some audiophiles don't get yet is being much more than a leading-edge type resolution cable. It does the drumstick hitting the cymbal and the cymbal after it's been hit. There may actually be cables that sound as though they're getting the leading edge better but after you live with a Liquid Cable for a while, the other stuff just sounds like what it is - thin, lean and edgy, doing the leading edge transient but forgetting to finish the job.

"So not everyone will be ready for this. Folks who are all about perceived speed will find it slow and boring. I believe this perception is related to the fact that distortions we're accustomed to and which may add to a sense of speed are, when removed, rather unfamiliar when one listens more to audio systems than real live unamplified instruments. I'm finding that all of my recordings on all of my sources seem a tad slower when this cable is plugged into a system - like being in the zone in a sports-related activity when things seem to slow down.

"There are practical downsides we've licked and price-related ones we haven't fully. Our liquid conductor (an alloy of gallium, indium and tin) is about to become more expensive. Contributing to a potential price increase is also the fact that, although non-toxic (this alloy is used in kiddie thermometers as a safe alternative to Mercury), it reacts with aluminum when exposed. This garners it a classification by the International Air Transportation Association (IATA) as a hazardous material which requires shipment in special materials (properly classified Zip-Lock bags inside an absorbent layer of shredded paper envelope inside a Pelican 1080 case). To reduce at least part of this added expense, I've become a certified DG (Dangerous Goods) shipper which enables me to take the cables directly to FedEx's DG department for quick inspection and ship-through instead of paying expensive contractors to do that for me. Because we're packing the stuff in the right materials as required by law and having these materials readily reusable, dealers and end users alike may put the cables back into these materials (or easily purchase new materials) for shipping later on, with only a visit to a shipper's DG division, presentation of open box to demonstrate proper packaging, then sealing the box up to send it off. So yes, this is a bit out of the ordinary and a bit of a hassle but after you've heard the cable... trust me, you won't care."

As the count in the movie Amadeus kept putting it, "so there it is". With Brian dispatching a Liquid Cable sample to Cyprus fully aware that it'll get pitched against a Stealth Indra and Crystal Cable Ultra, this is the latest example in a short cable line that transcends conventional conductors. Think Van den Hul, Stealth and Cerious for examples of amorphous metal and Carbon-based offerings. Liquids have appeared in external dampers and dielectrics already but to see one employed for actual electromagnetic signal conduction makes Teo Audio's Liquid Cable arguably the first. Will this liquid cable turn all others livid with envy? Stay tuned.