Solid perfect-surface copper+/Perfect-surface copper (PSC+/PSC) conductors
Aspen uses a carefully finessed combination of high-purity Perfect-Surface Copper (PSC), and extreme high-purity Perfect-Surface Copper+ (PSC+) conductors in a Self-Shielding Double Counter-Spiral HyperLitz design. Solid conductors prevent strand interaction, a major source of distortion. Surface quality is critical because a conductor can be considered as a rail-guide for both the electric fields within a conductor, and for the magnetic fields outside the conductor. The astonishingly smooth and pure Perfect-Surface nearly eliminates harshness and greatly increases clarity compared to OFHC, OCC, 8N and other coppers. The superior purity of PSC+ further minimizes distortion caused by grain boundaries, which exist within any metal conductor.
Dielectric-bias system (DBS, US Pat #s 7, 126, 055 & 7, 872, 195 B1)
Insulation is an electrical barrier, and also a “dielectric” because it is inside the conductor’s magnetic field. All insulation slows down and smears the signal inside. When insulation is unbiased, it causes different amounts of delay for different frequencies and energy levels, a real problem for very time-sensitive multi-octave audio. AudioQuest’s DBS creates a strong, stable electrostatic field which saturates and polarizes (organizes) the molecules of the insulation. Saturated (full) insulation absorbs less and therefore releases less out-of-phase energy. Minimizing nonlinear time delays results in clearer sound emerging from a “blacker” background. The DBS battery packs will last for years. A test button and LED allow for the occasional battery check.
Double counter-spiral geometry
Aspen and the other AQ “Tree” Series cables have an inner circular array of positive conductors spiraling in one direction. Around this inner group, the negative conductors spiral in the opposite direction, which makes possible the significant performance advantage of the positive and negative conductors crossing each other instead of being parallel. However, the critical need for positive and negative to have a fixed non-changing relationship is ensured as the negative and positive groups are in fact two tubes with a perfectly consistent relationship. The result is an astonishing clarity, like focusing a camera lens you had no idea was so far out of focus.
Carbon-based noise-dissipation and Cross-talk-dissipation system (Insulation)
The negative conductors in Aspen are covered with partially conductive Carbon-Loaded Polyethylene. This remarkable material damps radio-frequency garbage from being fed back into the amplifier. The sonic benefit is exactly the same reduction in “hash” and improved dimensionality that comes whenever RF interference is reduced in an audio circuit. Another carbon layer also damps interaction between positive and negative conductors, and an external 3-layer carbon-based NDS System additionally absorbs external interference.
Spread-spectrum technology (SST)
Any single size or shape of conductor has a specific distortion profile. Even though radially symmetrical conductors (solid or tubular) have the fewest discontinuities, any particular size still has a sonic signature. SST is a method for significantly reducing the awareness of these character flaws by using a precise combination of different size conductors. The different SST-determined conductor sizes used in Aspen allow an exceptionally clear, clean and dynamic sound.
When possible, running separate conductors or separate cables to the treble and bass halves of a speaker will considerably reduce distortion. BiWiring helps by keeping the large magnetic fields associated with bass energy out of the treble cable, allowing the delicate upper frequencies to travel a less disturbed path, like keeping the big waves out of the water when you swim. Although Aspen is an ideal Full-Range cable, it has also been designed to make it possible to truly Single-BiWire. Many multi-conductor cables claim to be good for BiWiring, but unless there is real magnetic isolation between the bass and treble conductor groups, dividing such cables into bass and treble can actually be worse than keeping them together.
Aspen is prepared by Cold-Welding AudioQuest’s 1000 Series Hanging-Silver Multi-Spades or Bananas. The plugs are plated directly over pure Red Copper by submerging (hanging) the spades and bananas into a vat of extreme-purity silver, resulting in a very thick Direct-Silver Plate. There are no intermediary performance degrading materials. Aspen’s breakouts (where the cable divides into positive and negative legs) are also special: Because a metal breakout would disrupt the cable’s magnetic fields, Aspen’s breakouts are magnetically invisible ABS.
Because all drawn metal is directional, all audio cables are directional. AudioQuest analog and digital audio cables are all controlled for correct directionality. The best sound is made possible by following the “Amp” and “Speaker” labels on Aspen’s breakouts.