At first glance, Copperhead's design looks like a traditional coaxial cable. However, PSC copper and many other very important differences each contribute to Copperhead having such unprecedented ease and clarity in an affordable cable.
DESIGN BASICS: Copperhead has identical conductors for the positive and ground connections. Underneath the 100% coverage foil shield is a bare conductor, exactly the same as the insulated center conductor. The conductor under the shield does double duty as a low distortion audio connection, and as the drain wire connecting the shield to ground.
CONDUCTORS: Both of Copperhead's conductors are solid. Electrical and magnetic interaction between strands in a conventional cable is the greatest source of distortion, often causing a somewhat dirty harsh sound. Solid conductors are fundamental toward achieving Copperhead's very clean sound.
METAL: PSC (Perfect-Surface Copper) has an astonishingly smooth and pure surface. Proprietary metal processing technology protects the wire's surface at every stage of drawing and fabrication. When high-purity low-oxide copper is kept as soft, pure and smooth as possible, it becomes a wonderfully low distortion conductor. For fifteen years Audioquest has pioneered the use of superior metals; yet even we were surprised by this huge leap in performance. PSC clearly outperforms previous AQ metals that cost over ten times as much.
INSULATION: Any solid material adjacent to a conductor is actually part of an imperfect circuit. Wire insulation, circuit board materials all absorb energy (loss). Some of this energy is stored and then released as distortion. The general cable industry ranks insulating materials by loss, with little regard for distortion. Audioquest ranks materials by damage to an audio signal. The PVC used in Copperhead has too much loss to be used in a quality video cable, but it has a very benign distortion profile through the audio range, keeping Copperhead's sound pleasant and natural.
TERMINATIONS: Precision gold plated plugs are carefully attached with the very best solder. Through choice of flux and metallurgy, AQ solder has been optimized to make a low distortion connection. All solder, including "silver solder," is a lousy conductor. The difference you hear between solders is a result of connection quality. AQ Solder does not have a high silver content because the more silver there is in solder, the more difficult it is to make a good connection.
A combination of these major ingredients, and many more subtle details add up to explain how even an affordable cable like Copperhead can sound so exceptional.
Price per pair
Green / Black braid
Overall Rating for Copperhead Audio Interconnect Cable