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Rupert Goodwins' Diary

Wednesday 29/10/2003Good to see that the old school high fidelity audio loony is still alive and well. A story in New Scientist, backed up by a pal's personal experience, mentions a recent hi-fi show in London.

Wednesday 29/10/2003
Good to see that the old school high fidelity audio loony is still alive and well. A story in New Scientist, backed up by a pal's personal experience, mentions a recent hi-fi show in London. Esteemed UK manufacturer of posh knobbage, Quad, was demonstrating some replica gear -- but one aspect really caught the attention of the assembled golden ears. The speakers were connected to the amp by a mystery cable, bright orange and suggestively thick. Quad wouldn't comment on it, but the listening masses agreed it sounded absolutely splendid.

Now, hi-fi cables are a case unto themselves. You can buy any number of infinitely expensive models, each claiming some arcane magic of mono-crystalline copper, electron enriched, tri-filiar wound wire. Despite the fact that no test equipment on earth can spot so much as a gnat's tweeter difference between any of them, audiophiles swear blind that the psycho-acoustics of each are dramatically different, and there's no way you can possibly enjoy your music without the latest and most gobbledegook-soaked strand of metallic spaghetti.

There should be another branch of the science, called fisco-acoustics, which does qualitative assessment of musical equipment and charts it against the cost of the kit. Unfortunately for Quad, that would be unlikely to score its mysterious supercable very highly: the exceptionally musical device came from those scientific geniuses at B&Q, who sell it for a few quid in their superstores for the purpose of plugging your Flymo into the mains out in the garden.