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"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.
- length: 3 meters/10 feet
- stereo cable with a male miniplug (3.5mm) connector at one end, and dual RCA connectors at the other
- 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" connectors feature a solder-less design for lower distortion
- warranty: 5 years
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
AudioQuest Big Sur Reviews
What's in the box?
- 3-Meter stereo minijack-to-RCA audio cable (with a male stereo 3.5mm connector on one end and a pair of stereo RCA male audio jacks on other end)
Big Sur Series Stereo Audio Minijack-to-RCA Cable: The AudioQuest Big Sur stereo audio minijack-to-RCA cable is terminated by a gold-plated male 3.5mm stereo connector on one end and a pair of gold-plated stereo RCA male connectors on other end. The AudioQuest Big Sur stereo audio minijack-to-RCA 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.
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Looking for more? Check out the next model in this lineup.
Better shielding, insulation, and connectors for even better sound quality
The AudioQuest Sydney offers these features:
carbon-based, 3-layer NDS (noise dissipation system) to better shield against RF interference
polyethylene air-tube insulation lowers distortion for less of the "out-of-focus" effect common to other insulation materials
direct silver-plated connectors for better transparency