“I’ve been a music lover and electronics enthusiast since high school, through University and to nowdays. Back in the late 90’s I had a fellow who was an audiophile just like myself. One day he bought himself a new amp and invited me for auditioning. We listened to the music for a couple hours and then he showed me a trick. He removed the cables from his speakers, connected some other ones and turned the music back on. There was a distinct difference! More mids, more volcal, tighter bass and clearer highs… The change wasn’t like if he replaced his speakers, but the difference was clearly definite.
I was a bit confused. Before that day, if someone told me to connect my speakers by something other than generic cable from a local electric store and that those cables influence the sound, I would have advised him to go to a doctor and have his head examined. But the fact is the fact, and if there is a clear evidence, there must be a physical explanation. As a physicist, I started to explore this phenomenon. It had been five years of experiments with audio cables, dozens of constructions, various materials, comparisons with renown brand cables and attempts to do better. Some of my cable constructions were good enough, some gave me weird results, but all this was like gambling. I don’t like gambling, especially in science. I felt that there must be an explanation to these phenomena, and if so, there must be a way to solve the problem with cable “sounding”. Besides, there was no principal sound quality gain in my cables compared to others in the market. Simple things like resistance, capacitance, inductance, dielectric constants, velocity of EM wave propagation did not correlate with the experiments and seemed to have negligible effect on sound quality. Audio cable manufacturers also seemed to have no real clue for this. The “science base” for their products was, and still is, rather a marketing move, an attempt to explain the effects that they empirically get, with “generally understandable” physics. That was not good enough for me.
Once I came across one interesting article
by Professor Malcolm Hawksford of University of Essex, with an attempt to explain the physical phenomena in electric conductors relative to sound reproduction. This article presented nothing that one doesn’t know from the University physics course, but the phenomena were considered from a very interesting angle. It looked like one of the most realistic points of view on the problem. After a few relatively simple experiments it became clear to me that “skin effect” and “loss current” produced by it are exactly the things that cause “colored” and dull sound in modern audio. And it looks like these effects also impose some limitation on the speed of modern computers – there is a number of ongoing research projects, issued and pending patents, that attempt to fight skin effect or its consequences. Some of the developed methods manage to successfully reduce or “equalize” (make it more or less uniform over the frequency range of interest) the skin effect and loss current…
“One sunny day” of 2006 something really made me recall the words of the famous inventor Nicola Tesla – “I do not think there is any thrill that can go through the human’s heart like that felt by the inventor as he sees some creation of the brain unfolding to success… Such emotions make a man forget food, sleep, friends, love, everything.” The idea how to cancel the “loss current” was so clear and so simple, that I at first couldn’t believe in it myself. It took me just three hours to set up the experiment and it worked! I made the first cable with “loss current” compensation circuit and was absolutely amazed how clear and natural the sound became. Conductor or dielectric materials, size and number of conductors, their shape, capacity, inductance and other things that are “supposed to” influence the sound, became next to obsolete. They don’t make even a 5% difference made by new compensation circuit in the cable. Once there is a compensation circuit in the cable, it feels like all distortions and coloration are gone.
I really believe that this invention will benefit all music lovers. That’s why in 2008 MusicalWire was founded. And I also strongly believe that principles of “loss current” compensation will be useful in other fields of electronics”.