With the Referenz LS-4004 speaker cable, we continue the incredible story of their Air Helix technology: To achieve perfect air insulation, the new cable uses no less than 16 Cross Link Super Speed waveguides (rather than eight as with the Referenz Air Helix LS 2404). Obviously, the individual conductors themselves play a key role, too. With the LS-4004, too, these are made of 24 high-purity copper wires, each with a razor-thin lacquer coating for extra insulation and braided around a PE core. This design considerably increases stability inside the waveguide by effectively preventing the formation of eddy currents. (These are caused by the very high currents transmitted on the speaker cables – actually the highest ones within the entire audio path.)
AIR HELIX CONSTRUCTION
In addition, a new clip capable of carrying the increased load of the updated design had to be constructed. This clip not only must bear the surplus weight of the conductors but also needs to ensure flexibility throughout the cable structure. Just like its smaller predecessor, the new clip suspends the helical conductor arrangement freely in the air while keeping the individual conductors at an exact distance throughout the cable. The clips are meticulously assembled by hand at the on-site factory and then threaded into the Cross Link Super Speed waveguide. Finally, the resulting Air Helix receives a highly protective PE network jacket.
A ROCK-SOLID CONSTRUCTION
Between the aluminum splitter and the connectors of the LS-4004, we have implemented ultra flexible parts molded from a special elastomer. These parts are fixed inside the splitter using a specifically designed plastic plug, thus ensuring maximum cable flexibility even in the connector region. Those molded parts extend to the connector front and enclose the inner connector components, thus emphasizing the plain yet charming appearance of the LS-4004. The aluminum splitters are screwed tightly with the first clip in the cable. In summary, this creates a visually appealing and mechanically reliable design – consistent from the connectors on the amplifier side to their counterparts on the speaker side. Using a complex technique, a custom-made machine strips the highly pure Cross Link Super Speed waveguide copper wires from their lacquer coating. Afterwards, the bare wires are bundled up and driven into the onnectors. This procedure prevents the occurrence of contact resistances typical of the use of additional materials such as solder or wire end sleeves.
Any extra material used on a cable (e.g. PVC insulation) causes a degradation of its electrical properties – this is just applied physics. Therefore, Referenz cables feature a PE network jacket implemented using complex techniques. Consequently, the cables are made of just two materials: copper and PE. The LS-4004 AIR is a perfect example of a low-inductance speaker cable: The double-layer multicore design leads to a neutralization of overlapping magnetic fields around the individual conductors. This considerably reduces cable inductance, ensuring that all frequencies are transmitted freely and without any latency. Plus a full range of connector options offers maximum flexibility.
We have opted for tellurium copper as the plug base material rather than brass. This is because tellurium copper offers twice the conductivity. Each plug comprises a basic terminal with a spade or BFA banana adapter laterally threaded to it. This connector design provides maximum flexibility with regard to adjusting the angle between the cable and the connector and also mitigates the effects of mechanical forces acting on both the cable and the connector including their contact interfaces. The connector surfaces are rhodium-coated because this extremely robust material ensures optimum contact even after many mating cycles.
AND WHAT ABOUT THE AUDIO QUALITY?
Basically, adding conductor material leads to an increase of the controlled currency throughput. The result is a highly dynamic, incredibly open sound with unprecedented detail.