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AudioQuest Big Sur

Stereo mini-to-mini cable with 3.5mm plugs (1 meter/3.3 feet)

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  • AudioQuest Big Sur

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Item #: 703BSMM1M
 

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Our take on the AudioQuest Big Sur

by James Ralston
AudioQuest

"Do no harm!" AudioQuest has been creating high-performance audio cables for more than 30 years, guided by this simple mantra. In AQ's view, the perfect cable would be one that adds nothing — no noise, no distortion — to the original signal. With its Big Sur cables, AudioQuest pursues that ideal with the aid of some high-tech materials and designs. You might not expect a cable this thin and lightweight to deliver such great sound. So how does AudioQuest makes it happen? It's all about the details.

Solid Perfect-Surface Copper+ (PSC+) conductors

One of the most important materials that goes into an audio cable is the metal used for its conductors — the parts of the cable that actually carry the signal. Big Sur cables feature conductors made from a material AudioQuest calls "Perfect-Surface Copper+." PSC+ starts with ultra-pure copper, formed into solid (not stranded) conductors with an astonishingly smooth surface. The end result: clean, low-distortion signal transfer for transparent sound.

Advanced cable geometry

While many cables use a single path for both the ground and shield, AudioQuest uses a design they call "double-balanced asymmetrical geometry." This design separates the ground and shield paths for clean, quiet performance.

Cold-welded "Purple Copper" connectors

Big Sur's connectors are cold-welded, rather than soldered, which eliminates a common source of distortion found in many audio cables. They're made from high-purity, gold-plated "Purple Copper," which outperforms more common connector materials where it counts — in the listening room.

This cable is equipped with stereo mini (3.5mm) connectors at each end. Stereo RCA and mini-to-RCA versions are also available.

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Highlights:

  • length: 1 meter/3.3 feet
  • stereo cable with a male miniplug connector at each end (3.5mm)
  • solid Perfect-Surface Copper+ (PSC+) conductors for super-clean, transparent sound
  • foamed polyethylene insulation for low distortion
  • metal-layer NDS (Noise Dissipation System) shields against RF interference
  • double-balanced asymmetrical cable geometry separates the ground and shield for quieter performance
  • black and brown braided jacket
  • cold-welded, gold-plated pure "Purple Copper" mini plugs feature a solder-less design for lower distortion
  • warranty: 5 years
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

Product Research
What's in the box?

  • 1-Meter stereo minijack cable (with a stereo male 3.5mm connector on each end)

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Features

Big Sur Series Stereo Audio Minijack Cable: The AudioQuest Big Sur stereo audio minijack cable is terminated by a gold-plated male 3.5mm stereo connector on each end. The AudioQuest Big Sur stereo audio minijack cable is available in the following lengths.

  • 0.6 meter (2')
  • 1 meter (3' 4")
  • 2 meter (6' 7")
  • 3 meter (10')
  • 5 meter (16' 5")

Solid Perfect-Surface Copper+ Conductors (PSC+): Perfect-Surface Copper+ has an astonishingly smooth and pure surface. Proprietary metal-processing technology protects the wire's surface at every stage of drawing and fabrication. When high-purity low-oxide copper is kept as soft, pure and smooth as possible, it becomes a wonderfully low-distortion PSC+ conductor. PSC+ is manufactured by applying the same exceptional technology to an ultra-pure copper. The resulting sound quality is even more focused and simply less in the way. All of Big Sur's conductors are solid. Electrical and magnetic interaction between strands in a conventional cable is the greatest source of distortion, often causing a somewhat dirty, harsh sound. Solid conductors are fundamental toward achieving Big Sur's very clean sound.

Foamed-Polyethylene Insulation: Any solid material adjacent to a conductor is actually part of an imperfect circuit. Wire insulation and circuit board materials all absorb energy (loss). Some of this energy is stored and then released as distortion. Big Sur uses air-filled Foamed-Polyethylene Insulation on both 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.

Metal-Layer Noise-Dissipation System (NDS): 100% shield coverage is easy; preventing captured RF Interference from modulating the equipment's ground reference requires AQ's Noise-Dissipation System. Noise-Dissipation System prevents a significant amount of RFI from reaching the equipment's ground plane.

Double-Balanced Asymmetrical Geometry: Purposely designed for single-ended applications, Double-Balanced Asymmetrical Geometry offers a relatively lower impedance on the ground for a richer, and more dynamic experience. While many single-ended cable designs use a single path for both the ground and the shield, Double-Balanced designs separate the two for cleaner, quieter performance.

Cold-Welded, Gold-Plated Pure "Purple-Copper" Plugs: This plug design allows for a connection devoid of solder, which is a common source of distortion. Because the ground shells are stamped instead of machined, the metal can be chosen for low distortion. Purple-Copper offers a cleaner, clearer sound than the nickel-plated or OFHC metals commonly found in competing manufacturers' plugs.

Directional: Arrows on the connectors indicate the preferred signal path from the source component to the input.

 
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AudioQuest Big Sur Reviews

Average Customer Review:

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5 out of 5

Great little cable that makes a BIG difference!

Written By KrellFan#1, Oakland, CA on Friday, January 11, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Most audiophiles appreciate the importance of using quality cables as the backbone of any good, high end system. Since my purchase of the AQ DragonFly and installation of Pure Music Player from Channel D for use on my Mac, running a high end Bose 5.1 surround sound system, I reasoned that the same principals should apply, of course. After all, why use a cheap, thin 3.5MM cable to connect from a premium DAC like DF to the speaker system? It made sense to upgrade to a quality cable given everything I know about cables. This particular cable has delivered a nice upside surprise. I was expecting a slight bump of 5% or so. In fact, I'd say the benefit from tis Big Sur cable is upwards of 10%. Clearly delivers, deeper, better defined bass and a slightly better soundstage. In a word, less interference and the ability to carry signal better with less distortion/interference. Sure, expensive, but well worth the money.
Pros:
Top quality construction, great performance , great packaging, good looking and ample length.
Cons:
Price
3 out of 4 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Great Cable

Written By JohnnyW, Avon, IN on Thursday, November 29, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I bought the Golden Gate cable and was not impressed. The "BIG SUR" cable was a different story!! From the first note out of my truck radio/ipod was an eye opener, what a great sound, each note was a happy joy. Spend the extra money for this cable, you will be pleased and happy you did. With the free shipping from Crutchfield I paid only $20.00 more for this cable, than the "Other" place for the "Golden Gate". Thanks Crutchfield. Johnny W.
Pros:
Great sound, great cable, good value.
Cons:
Cable is stiff.
3 out of 4 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Very good!

Written By alec_cat, Henderson, NV on Friday, November 23, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
My first Audioquest cable and I'm impressed. Got a 0.6m mini-to-mini to connect my phone to the aux input of my car. Was previously using a panic-buy cable from a retail store that I have always regretted. The Big Sur is a step up. First, the jacks are chunky and have a secure fit the first time, and the sheathing is flexible but tough, so it's rugged enough for constant plugging/unplugging, moving around, which I do a lot. The sound is very neutral; no part of the audio band is over-hyped. Music just sounds balanced and detailed. I really wonder what the more expensive Victoria might sound like, but I think I've hit the sweet spot before diminishing returns.
Pros:
- Well constructed - Sounds very detailed and neutral
Cons:
- For the normal user, it's still rather expensive -- more than most would spend on the device itself! But I love my music. You pay, you get.
4 out of 5 people found this helpful
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For a more in-depth review and enhanced detailed information on the AudioQuest Big Sur, please visit the Crutchfield website product page (/ISEO-rccbcspd/p_703BSMM1M/AudioQuest-Big-Sur-1-meter-3-3-feet.html ).

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