Passive components like cables and connectors are fast becoming one of the key interest points of the high end audiophiles, World+Dog seems to be making or actually in most cases selling products to this section of the market, please excuse if some of the listings below are a bit terse, it's damn difficult for me to get exited about a pieces of string ... no matter how cool they are. ...... and speaking of cool, a word of advise regarding cryogenic cables, there are claims out there that freezing cables to relatively moderate temperatures will improve the sound, I actually did research on this during the 80's in relation to steel cables for prefab concrete blocks and it is true that when materials are exposed to temperatures somewhere below -200c there is an interesting phenomenon that takes place, the materials "reorganise themselves" resulting in a purer atomic structure, this is particularly true in metals and it does make them stronger, dunno about the sound but in theory it should at the least improve conductivity a bit. Nothing even remotely interesting happens between -180 and room temperature however, so if you are offered cables that has made a stop in someone's freezer, as has happened to me here in the UK, all you get is a cable that has had a slightly harder life than usual and you end up subsidising the gentleman's Electrolux. This practice has forced some resellers of cables to label their products as "Deep Cryogenic" to differentiate them from the home made variety
Another rarer issue is regarding loudspeaker cables and interconnects used with transistor amplifiers, either high power amplifiers (ca 200W+ pr. ch.) or high end "purist" amplifiers with limited filtering or other safety features on the output cirquits. Using anything but non-solid cables can be a no-no, i.e. cables that are wound up of strands of smaller cable like litz can cause the amplifier output to go into self oscillation at loud levels, this can also happen with any cable that is unusually capacitive like some of the nickel blends that are out there, the load becomes very low which can cause damage in the amplifier, this is more of a problem with the amp than the cable though. For some reason shielding the Litz cables propely seems to help.
Acoustic Components Makes power and loudspeaker cables along with RCA plug interconnects, but are best known for their speaker cables.
Acrolink One of a few truly full line manufacturer of AV cables, this means anything from power cables, cables intended for PA and music, cables for studio and broadcast installations, all sorts of home AV related interconnects to high end audio and speaker cables and interconnects. Company best known as one of the few that actually utilises the very high purity copper wires made by Nikko & Mitshubishi.
Alpha Core Makes mostly speaker cables but also have a range of interconnects, and supply wire for winding of transformers, coils etc..
Alón Makes the Black Orpeus and Thunderbass loudspeaker cables, these are low-dielectric, oxygen free high end items available in bi and tri wire configurations, the Thunderbass cable is intended for subwoofers.
Analog Tube Audio This company makes high end interconnects, loudspeaker cables and tonearm wires all made out of pure silver wire insulated with Teflon.
Aparture Makes a large range of hi-fi and AV connectors and cables for installation purposes in addition to speaker cables and interconnects.
A.R.T. This company has a lineup of cables called Millenium that have a distinctive polyethylene textile outer insulation and are made out of HCC and are available in a variety of versions and prices, these are refined designs that can in some cases even be called good value insofar as any high end cables can, yours truly was especially taken by some of their speaker cables in particular. Their original cable line up was designed by no other than Bé Yamamura and these are in fact the cables that his Yamamura Churchill company used to supply, despite what you read in the advertising blurb from Y-C the designs for those cables actually predate the founding of that company.
Audio Magic Productions Manufacture a range of cables that have a reputation for being a good value, the details on their homepage are a bit skimpy so I'll try to give a minimal info here. The speaker cables are called Magic Star and Magic Wonder and utilise 99.9999 OFC solid core wires isolated with an outer housing made out of Teflon and polypropylene, the difference between the 2 are simply the thickness, the Star is 2 x 4 mm2 while the Wonder is 2 x 6 mm2. Their signal cables are called Magic Air and are sold unterminated in either a balanced or unbalanced variants.
Audio Magic USA Makes a range of digital/analogue interconnects and loudspeaker cables including decently priced pure silver types.
Audio Note/Kondo Manufactures speaker cables and interconnects out of pure silver, the original silver wire is stored for 20 years before being used for the making of cables! Price tags to match but their products are by some purists considered to be the bees knees.
Audio Note UK Ltd. Has a large range of silver cored loudspeaker and tonearm cables in addition to copper and silver based interconnects both normal and coaxial.
AudioPrism Power cables specialist, high end stuff.
Audio Quest Has a large range of speaker cables and interconnects in a broad price range. Interestingly has also specialised cables such as tonearm cables.
Audiosophia Makes the CR7 Series of interconnects, these are 1,2 meter long thingummis that are available in several versions, the E version has conducting wire made out of OFC, the L variant has litz , the S wire is made out of silver and the G version has a conductor made out of gold, silver, cooper and platinium. The company also has a set of power cables, one with an OFC conductor, one with Litz wire and one unusually made out of iridium, presumably creating a KT boundary between the mains and your hi-fi. The company also makes the a pair of speaker cables in the form of the C44-BW and the C24-SW, the former has silver plated copper wire and is only avalable in a configuration intended for BiWiring while the latter is only availble in a noremal configuration and has OFC wire.
Audio Tekne The company makes interconnects and loudspeaker cables that in general get excellent reviews especially the interconnects, despite being a bit on the high end side, they are in fact considered something of a bargain in their class but that may sound absurd for cables that can cost as much as 500 euros, but it should be viewed in comparison with similar high end cables. The manufacturer does however not recommend the use of their speaker cables with all amplifiers since they present the amp with an unusually capacitive load, not a problem for the company’s own transformer coupled valve amplifiers but they may be represent a difficult load for some transistor amplifiers.
The interconnects from the company are called ARC-500 and are available in lengths from 0.7 to 2m and in unbalanced versions terminated in cinch or balanced versions terminated in XLR connectors, these are hand-wound Litz type cables and although ultimately expensive they are considerably cheaper than other similar interconnects.
Since the ARC-500 interconnects are made using similar materials and manufacturing techniques as the speaker cables same problem can occur with capacitance but it is much less likely to happen and will never happen when used to interface normal line level equipment to an amplifiers input. The only complications that can show up are when they are used to interconnect transistor pre and power amplifiers that both have very high bandwidth and no filtering but that is a highly unusual situation and the manufacturers of such equipment will probably have warned against the use of cables like litz types, in that rare case the highly capacitive load presented by the cable can cause the amplifiers output to self-oscillate which duo to its unfiltered nature can lead to damage. This is more of an issue with amplifier design than the interconnects from the company and it is up to the amp manufacturer to educate the customer and not the cable manufacturer.
Cello Makes a range of high end interconnects and speaker cables that are popular with some audiophiles, not the least in Northern Europe for some reason, almost no info on them on the company's homepage however.
Cordial Manufactures a wide range of cables but mostly intended for the pro-audio industry.
DaVinci Audio Makes a series of interconnects and loudspeaker cables called Grandezza (part of their "blue night collection"), however there is very little info on these cables on the company's homepage just some hyperbole.
DH Labs Makes a line of cables under the Silver Sonic brand.
DNM Makes high end cables, has a hard-core cult following in England, but so has Screaming Lord Sutch, so I am not altogether sure if we should read too much into that.
Eagle Cable Unusual amongst cable manufacturers in that they do not appear to specialise in a niche but rather have a cables and connectors from a relatively low end products to high end stuff and manufacture car audio cabling as well. Their high end brand is the .
Eichmann Manufactures a range of cables including power and speaker variants and interconnects for audio and video, but the most interesting product they make is the Bullet plug, it's a RCA compatible plug that is designed to get around some of the problems associated with this type of connector, has been getting a lot of interest in the hi-fi press lately.
Ecosse Makes interconnects that are much beloved by the British rag "What Hi-Fi", they are available for most home hi-fi and AV purposes in a variety of price ranges, their loudspeaker cables are all OFC based or Silver based.
ERAudio Makes a variety of high end interconnect cables, i.e. cables only not the interconnects themselves, I gather they also make speaker cables but the info is missing from their homepage.
Esoteric Audio American style cable manufacturer (i.e. bigger is better), sells cables and interconnects for home audio/theatre use and cables and connectors for use in car audio under a variety of other brands.
Göbel The company has a series of cables made out of silver plated OFC with Teflon isolation, these are called Lacorde and are avaiable as analogue and digital interconnects and as loudspeaker cables, connectors are made out of Beryllium-Copper BTW and you can find more info here.
GutWire Manufactures the Chime and Synchrony flat cable interconnects, in addition they have power cables, digital interconnects, speaker cables and connectors.
Harmonic Technology Makes interconnects and power leads in addition to a range of speaker cables, their claim to fame is the use of Furutech wire but that is a wire cast using a technique that they say gives you a purer OFC than the competition offers.
Harmonix Has a range of mid priced balanced and unbalanced interconnects in addition to power and speaker cables, these are made from pure OFC plated with gold and rhodium, their high end range of interconnects uses "directional" PCOCC similarly plated to the above but with an intermediate copper plating as well.
HiDiamond Has a large range of high end speaker cables, audio, video and home theatre interconnects, including balanced variants and some more specialised products such as speaker post bridges and cables suitable for use with MP3 players and other devices fitted with 3.5mm plugs. The company has been adding to their range with more varieties of construction methods and prices, giving use one of the larger range of high end cables out there and their lower priced products are now in the lower half of the mid-range although they are still primarily a maker of high end stuff. You can find some recent reviews of their products from enjoythemusic.com and older reviews in Positive-Feedback issue 6 and a couple from TNT to be found here and here.
Jena Labs Makes cables and interconnects that have been "cryogenically" treated i.e.. have been frozen to a temperature around -200C.
Jorma Design Manufactures high end interconnects and speaker cables, what is unusual about them is that the interconnects and speaker cables appear utilise the same basic wire and that they can be bought with Bayee filters.
LC Audio Makes the Teflar 2 loudspeaker cable, it’s a OFC core plated with pure silver and isolated with Teflon, the Golden Gate cable that is a heavy duty version of the Teflar, and a small signal cables called Stripline 2000 that is similarly constructed.
LFD Audio Has a range of cables and interconnects that includes digital and analogue interconnects including silver wire based models, but also makes a variety of speaker cables and a couple of power cable variants as well.
Music Metre Manufactures cables out of silver, cryogenically treated copper, air dialectic solid core and a few varieties of the more standard copper wires.
Naim Since the company is one of the staunchest supporters of DIN interconnects and given the fact that most high end cable manufacturers flat out refuse to support them the company felt forced to supply their own, these are often not mentioned in brochures or webpages but most if not all Naim dealers do supply them and they are in fact excelent value, or at the least you can buy basically the same cables terminated with cinch plugs and with another name printed on them for considerably more.
Neodio Manufactures a power cord called PC 1 and high end interconnects known as IC 1.
Neutrik Makes high end connectors of almost any kind imaginable, of special interest are their property loudspeaker connectors.
Nordost Their products are considered to be among the best in the world, but are also absurdly expensive.
Nothing But Signal (NBS) Has a large range of interconnects, speaker cables and power cables, there is preciously little technical information avaible on those cables from the company most of the information they provided us was subjective opinion and reviews etc. but pricewise they range from mid-priced to US$ 30k for a pair of interconnects.
Pfanstiehl HAve a range of budget cables, interconnects and installation cables.
PHY-HP Manufacture interconnects and speaker cables that go against current trends by the usage of solid wires using silver plated pure cooper (as opposed to OFC which is processed, sometimes heavily) and use cotton for insulation! They can be ordered with or without silver plates screening, the company also manufactures power cables using the same basic materials but made with the more usual multistrand wire. The company also supplies high end connectors.
P.M. Audio Has a small range of mid priced interconnects, balanced and unbalanced alalogue ones along with unbalanced coaxial for digital usage.
Prefer Has a large range of cable products, most of them intended for pro audio and video use but some for home audio as well.
PSC Audio Huge range of interconnects and speaker cables along with a line of power cables and conditioners, mostly mid to high end/price range.
SAEC Manufacture a large range of mid and high end interconnects, including digital and a variety of balanced cables, have not seen speaker cables from the company but that does not mean that they do not make them.
Schallwand Audio Laboratory Makes the Dschinn Revolution loudspeaker cable which features a pure copper cable along with a shielding made out of silver and kopper, the Qumran is an .
Shunyata Research This company is best known for their power cables and other related products but also manufacture a line of high end home hi-fi speaker cables and interconnects called Contellation.
Silver Audio Makes cables out of a combination of silver and composite materials, well known amongst USA audiophiles and this company appears to make their own wire unlike most manufacturers. Large range of interconnects, speaker cables and specialised offerings.
Silversmith Makes 2 distinct lines of interconnects and cables both are in the high end/ultra high end price ranges, the Silver range is made from pure silver (obviously) with air dialectric insulation and the more upmarket Palladium range is a series of flat ribbon cables made out of a palladium alloy.
Siltech Has a large range of cables, interconnects and power cords. Noticeably it has a range of balanced interconnects.
Slinkylinks Has intereconnects avaiable in both cinch and balanced versions along with speaker cables. All of their cables are made out of pure silver and insulated in air-dielectric.
Sound Connections Makes a variety of oxygen free copper interconnects and speaker cables and sells them under the VampWire brand, seems to sell them via mail order in the US only.
Straightwire This US based company sells quite a bit of cables to OEM's for internal wireing, they also have a unusually clear (and wide) selection of cables grouping them in 4 distinct price/performance groups ranging from basic to reference. The technical data and material info is not as easy to obtain from the company.
Supra Cables This is the company behind the excellent Supra cables and the company that you can blame all this nuttiness about audio cables on since they were the first company that actually started to manufacture and market cables specially made for audio in the west (Final Labratory in Japan was selling specialised cables a few years earlier but none of those made their way to the west).
Townshend Sells cryogenically treated cables and interconnects.
Transparent Cable Makes networked cables designed for minimal noise infiltration (by means of antenna effects), very expensive. Line-up includes power cables and digital interconnects in addition to the more usual interconnects and speaker cables.
Tributaries Cable Has a range of audio and video interconnects, speaker cables, and all kinds of adapters and connectors, most of the cables are based around silver coated OFC wire.
TSAY-E Makes a range of interconnects that are fairly cheap but definitely better than the more usual Taiwanese supplied products, more info here. Also manufacture a range of loudspeaker cables.
Ultralink Cables Makes a variety of video, audio and power cables and connects. In the lower reaches of the market, their more upmarket brand is XLO which makes high end cables that are not outrageously expencive.
Van Den Hul Makes some of the most innovative (and the most costly) cables on the market today, most of his products are carbon based, i.e. non metallic.
Warren Gregory This small USA based company has an interesting speaker cable product on offer, it's a pure silver conductor with Teflon insulation that is delivered as a "kit" in other words you get a solid silver cable along with a Teflon housing and you need to cut the housing and insert the cable (dead easy), this they claim is equal in quality to cables costing ten times more, more information here.
WBT Makes high quality cables and connectors, recommended.
Zaolla Has a range of solid silver core cables that are intended to be used by the professional industry and are thus more flexible and stronger than the usual, this means a range of balanced and other pro audio and video cables including snakes but no RCA interconnects.
47 Laboratory Manufactures the OTA Kit, expensive stuff but highly regarded, and unusual in how it's packaged. Basically you get 50 meters of solid core OFC cable and 12 RCA plugs with the idea being that you make up the interconnects that you need and use the rest for speaker cables.