The AudioQuest Meteor does not look normal on the outside, and it is not at all normal on the inside. A sophisticated combination of extraordinary materials and extremely refined design lets Meteor honor all types of music equally.
All eight of Meteor's conductors are solid. Electrical and magnetic interaction between strands in a conventional cable is the single greatest source of distortion, often causing a somewhat harsh, dirty and confused sound. Solid conductors are the most important ingredients enabling Meteors very clear sound. Whether a conductor is solid or stranded, skin-effect is a prime distortion mechanism in speaker cables. Meteor very simply keeps this effect out of the audio range by using conductor sizes that are below the threshold for audible distortion.
SOLID PSS SILVER & PSC+ COPPER:
Meteor uses extremely high purity Perfect-Surface Silver (PSS) and carefully finessed Perfect-Surface Copper (PSC+) conductors. All conductors are solid, which prevents 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 eliminates harshness and greatly increases clarity compared to OFHC, OCC, 8N and other coppers. The superior purity of PSS and PSC+ further minimizes distortion caused by grain boundaries, which exist within any metal conductor.
DIELECTRIC-BIAS SYSTEM (DBS, US Pat #7,126,055):
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. Sound appears from a surprisingly black background with unexpected detail and dynamic contrast. The DBS pack's batteries last for years. A test button and LED allow for the occasional battery check.
The relationship between conductors defines a cables 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 dual spiral construction of Meteor allows for significantly better dynamic contrast and information intelligibility than if the same conductors were run in parallel. The specific 4-cross geometry used in each half of Meteor maximizes this advantage.
SST (Spread Spectrum Technology):
Any single size or shape of conductor has a specific distortion profile. Even though radially symmetrical conductors (solid round or tubular) have the fewest discontinuities, any particular size does have a sonic signature. The SST method significantly reduces these character flaws by using a precise combination of different size conductors. The four different SST-determined conductor sizes used in Meteor allow an exceptionally clear, clean and dynamic sound.
The four negative conductors in Meteor 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.
Meteor is an exceptional Single-Biwire cable. When the halves are separated at the speaker end, the double quad-helix design turns Meteor into a true double-biwire set thanks to the magnetic autonomy of each quad-helix. On its own, one quad would be a little light-weight in performance as it is biased towards treble finesse. The other quad is more forcefully biased toward the bass. Together they form a completely optimized full range design, but when separated the Meteor becomes a maximum performance double-biwire in a single cable.
AudioQuest offers a wide range of high quality connectors that allow Meteor to be securely attached to any type of equipment. Quality is in the low distortion sound, not necessarily in the eye-candy effect. AudioQuest ends are either a subdued-looking gold or silver as these metals are plated directly over the connector. There is no shiny and harsh sounding nickel layer underneath. AudioQuest PK-spade lugs are softer and facilitate 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.
A combination of these major ingredients, and many more subtle details add up to explain how even a reasonably priced cable like Meteor can sound so good.