KE-4 represents the ultimate refinement of AudioQuest’s Star-Quad design. Solid Perfect-Surface Silver conductors offer unprecedented clarity and dynamics over all other conductors. KE-4 is invisible when you don’t want to see it. Beautiful when you want to gaze upon it.
Solid 100% perfect-surface (PSS) conductors
KE-4’s Perfect-Surface Silver has an astonishingly smooth and pure surface. Proprietary metal processing technology protects the wire’s surface at every stage of drawing and fabrication. PSS’s extreme transparency is made possible by applying Perfect-Surface Technology to ultra-pure solid silver. For fifteen years AudioQuest has pioneered the use of superior metals, but even we were surprised by the huge leap in performance made possible with Perfect-Surface Technology. PSS is the ultimate example of how far this remarkable technology can take us. All drawn metal exhibits directionality, whether in hardware store wire or in the best AQ cable. We wish we could design away this awkwardness. Since we can’t, we pay close attention to optimizing performance by clearly marking the cables and our terminations. Please watch for these markings when installing any audio cables.
Carbon-based noise-dissipation and cross-talk-dissipation systems (insulation)
The two negative conductors in KE-4 are insulated 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 better dimensionality that comes whenever RF garbage is reduced in an audio circuit. KE-4 uses Nitrogen-Injected Foamed-Polyethylene Insulation on its positive conductors because air absorbs next to no energy, and Polyethylene is low-loss and has a benign distortion profile. Thanks to all the air in Foamed-PE, it causes much less of the out-of-focus effect common to other materials.
The relationship between conductors defines a cable’s most basic electrical values (capacitance and inductance). However, even when those variables are kept in a reasonable balance, the relationship between conductors can be varied in ways that greatly affect the sound. The Star-Quad construction of KE-4 allows for significantly better dynamic contrast and information intelligibility than if the same conductors were run in parallel.
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 conductor of a particular size does have 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 KE-4 allow an exceptionally clear, clean and dynamic sound.
Dielectric-bias system (DBS, US Pat #s 7, 126, 055 & 7, 872, 195 B1)
All insulation slows down the signal on the conductor inside. When insulation is unbiased, it slows down parts of the signal differently, a big 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. This minimizes both energy storage in the insulation and the multiple nonlinear time-delays that occur. Sound appears from a surprisingly black background with unexpected detail and dynamic contrast. The DBS battery packs will last for years. A test button and LED allow for the occasional battery check.
AudioQuest offers a wide range of high-quality connectors that allow KE-4 to be securely attached to any type of equipment. Quality is in the low-distortion sound, not necessarily in the eye-candy effect. AQ ends are either a dull looking gold or silver because these metals are plated directly over the connector. There is no shiny and harsh sounding nickel layer underneath. AQ PK-spade lugs are soft because better metal is soft, and facilitates a higher quality connection. For pieces requiring a banana plug or BFA connector the AQ PK-BFA/Banana provides unprecedented performance over conventional brass versions.
The metal breakouts on either end of KE-4 are marked “Speaker End” or “Amp End.” Please use cables in the direction required.