High Fidelity Cables CT-1 interconnect and CT-1 digital cable test and review

The High Fidelity Cables CT-1 interconnects are now more then well "burned in" and it is about time to wrap things up. As my initial impressions:

 "But I can report happily that guys from High Fidelity Cables done something more then right! What I can clearly recall from this first session is neutral, dynamic and as someone on Facebook mentioned, an organic feeling. Going through my few "check in" tracks everything was balanced and open. 2L’s latest new album Quiet Winter Night is a great example of open, natural record. CT-1 interconnects and CT-1 digital cable seems to conway the ambience and emotions on the right scale. This is very promising and refined product. Excited? Yes, you bet!"

So did the first excitement wear off? Not at all. Here are the cables, that out of the vast options, actually make sense and offer something crucial in their basic design. I normally let audiophiles do their homework by reading about the background of products, but before going further, I think it's important for me to share the company’s technology and philosophy regarding the unique features of High Fidelity Cables CT-1:

Benefits of the PinLok Connector

Our mechanical design of the connector improves signal flow for reasons other than the applied magnetic fields. PinLok is designed to improve signal transfer and help overcome the weakest link in the audio system -- the mechanical connection where the signal must migrate from the female sleeve to the male pin of the RCA. In order for a traditional male pin to fit inside the female sleeve, the pin must be smaller in diameter than the sleeve. This creates a gap that the signal will have to cross over, and this gap creates the opportunity for signal loss and distortion. The amount of surface contact of the signal carrying elements in traditional RCA connectors is minimal; and the less contact, the greater the resistance. For this reason, the CT-1 PinLok connector applies a unique split pin-ball style male termination. The uncompressed ball at the end of the CT-1 connector is designed to be larger in diameter than the female sleeve. Insertion pressure collapses the split ball, while spring pressure expands the ball and creates maximum contact area, which lowers electrical resistance.

Beyond this, the CT-1 connector is coated on the ball with a unique conductive polymer called Stabilant 22. This polymer becomes conductive in the presence of signal transfer and helps to reduce resistance even further. The connector also includes mechanical damping to lower distortions caused by the transfer of mechanical noise. Each CT-1 PinLok connector is made up of 55 individual custom made parts."

Employing a Unique Conductor

The conductor of the CT-1 is composed of a proprietary alloy. The unique conductor itself becomes part of the patent-pending process because it is attached to the magnetized PinLok connectors. The CT-1 conductor is wrapped in Teflon, well known for its excellent dielectric character. The conductor is made in a coaxial configuration. The inner core of the CT-1 is encased in a braided sleeve that serves as the ground connection. This allows the enveloping ground element to mitigate the potential for noise reaching the center conductor. With this design, cables can be routed without concern for crossing power cables or picking up random noise. The coaxial design also helps to focus magnetic energies back into the cable core. This supports both the magnetic and the electrical transfer functions.

The advantage is a light, flexible, low noise, low loss and highly functioning technology for transferring an audio signal. The effects are cumulative with the addition of each Magnetic Conduction device. The technology works for both AC and DC and for power and signal transmission. 

Magnetic Conduction?

Magnetic Conduction is a patented method for signal transfer. The technology was developed by Magnetic Innovations LLC. As implemented by High Fidelity Cables it uniquely offers a magnetic as well as electrically conductive pathway for signal transfer. This technology operates in several ways:

Creating Magnetic Force in the Conductor

To appreciate the impact of Magnetic Conduction technology, it is important to understand that an electrical signal is always accompanied by a magnetic field. It is the use of the magnetic element of signal transfer that makes the CT-1 fundamentally different as a conductor technology. Magnetic Conduction maximizes the magnetic as well as the electrical force.

An electrical signal is strongly motivated to follow a magnetic field, as demonstrated by experiments in which electricity/plasma is attracted or repelled by magnetic fields. Our “Magnetic Mapping” process is used to “align” magnetic poles at each end of the cable in a proprietary and directed way so as to “draw” the electrical signal through the conductor. In effect, we use magnetism to keep the electrical signal flow aligned and to minimize the random pathways for electrons within and along the conductor. In the CT-1, the entire cable is directionally magnetized to promote signal transfer where resistance to the signal is highest and where the greatest losses can take place.

There are even more insights into the technology and approach which you can read about here, but let me go on with a summary of my listening notes and remarks.

Energetic twist

So how does everything written above translate into down to earth listening. It always feels like dealing with a double edged sword when transcribing the listening notes. How can I convey the most important things to the readers and audience? Will they see into it?

Synergy across the spectrum

Last year was crazy with all the gear coming in and out of my listening room. In a way this is both heaven and hell. It is heaven because you can get ahold of so many great new products but it is hell to make it all happen when it comes to materialisation of text. It's easy to get lost in stereotypes and audio jargon. Sometimes no matter how hard you try to avoid those, you'll still be trapped by at least some portion of them. 

High Fidelity Cables CT-1 was as transparent as any cable I have reviewed. It goes beyond copper and silver and brings something different and unique to the table. Now, I'm not going into a full blind spot and denial that my need and urge for cabling stops here. It's an open loop with different needs. I'm still sucker for certain silver and copper designs, that fit a certain degree of system integration.

Digital end

Everything said about High Fidelity Cables CT-1 interconnect also applies to the CT-1 digital cable. 

Bringing the faith back

High Fidelity Cables offers a great twist. I'm always attracted by the technological background when it comes to the high-end and especially to cables. With so many offerings, some of which are snake oil, it is important when real technology and advancement emerge.  What High Fidelity Cables sets out is a prime example of a fairly priced cables that will truly bring changes to not only to your system, but also to the high-end market. 

It's a great feeling to see how in the past few years technology is finally taking the lead again in the high-end. In the past decade, it was so easy to just put a high priced sticker on certain products and pronounce them high-end. 

In the past few years, high end and high pricing have had little in common. It's not all completely bad, but this phenomenon has reached even outside the audiophile community. With cable products like High Fidelity Cables CT-1 we are legitimately back on the right course. 


Many of you readers wrote me to start giving exceptional awards for the stand out products being tested and reviewed here at Mono & Stereo. So let me start this new prosperous 2013 with the official Mono & Stereo award for High Fidelity Cables. 

If you are interested in putting together a neutral and balanced system where musical flow and intimacy of interaction is the top priority, then look no further. High Fidelity Cables are designed right, priced right and utilize innovative technology which will keep the emotions and the tech minds satisfied.

I hope that High Fidelity Cables will incorporate the technology from their interconnects and digital cables into speaker cables. I'm confident the same approach would result in the same stand out performance. 

Highly recommended.


Matej Isak Mono and Stereo ultra high end audio magazine All rights reserved, 2012 www.monoandstereo.com Matej Isak Mono and Stereo ultra high end audio magazine All rights reserved, 2012 www.monoandstereo.com None of the original text, pictures, that were taken by me, links or my original files can be re-pritend or used in any way without prior permission!