In a relatively short matter of time Tellurium Q thunderously won over many hearts of both, the end users and as well as the media across the globe. What`s behind this success? One can get certain idea from Tellurium Q white paper but there seems to be more hidden to the eye. Geoff Merrigan and his team seem to be doing something more then just right.
What sets the Tellurium Q Black Diamond and Silver Diamond line apart from the rest of the competing products is a sonic difference that can be instantly recognized even by the “untrained ear”. Audiophiles and music lovers with longer mileage will dig out all the subtle nuances, yet the sonic advantages are vividly exposed without complexity of prolonged auditions that might be needed with some cables.
THE TELLURIUM Q WAY
From the start of Tellurium Q venture, the goal and focus was primarily to fight the phase distortion. It is discussable if this inherited problem can be fully eradicated but more likely, it can probably be minimized to a great extent.
As a matter of fact, all materials and thus also cables, are acting as an electronic filter or some even as a sort of a passive EQ.
Using word filter will certainly trigger many red alerts but the word `filter` does not necessarily imply “filtering out something”.
The quote from National Semiconductor Corporation explain it in an interesting way: “A filter is an electrical network that alters the amplitude and/or phase characteristics of a signal with respect to frequency. Ideally, a filter will not add new frequencies to the input signal, nor will it change the component frequencies of that signal, but it will change the relative amplitudes of the various frequency components and/or their phase relationships.”
Geoff`s and his team`s goal was not to filter any specific attributes of the signal, but rather to remove any smearing of frequencies through the timing shift. This is where everything sums up and most probably where, now the already established Tellurium Q clarity and transparency come from.
But, this is only one part of the story. The other important part is picking up the best material for the conductors. Silver might be known as the best conductor, yet as proven repetitively, on its sole solitude standing, pure silver fails to act as the best sonic conductor.
Returning to the basics… One of the primary goals of any high-end (audio) cable designer should always be the absence of distortions. While there are many ways to measure distortions in the quest of finding the best and properly sounding conductor/cable, one can never exclude the actual listening tests. Try to combine all the possibilities of different conductors, materials being mixed and different cable constructions and you’ll enter the multiplex universe of endless choices.
With cable constructions becoming more complex and by using multiple stranded conductors of differing materials as well as various dielectric materials and geometries, you can imagine how much time and efforts are needed to arrive to objective results.
On top of it, each and every manufacturer tries to create a cable, that will carry the same DNA along their product line and offer some sort of universality.
Getting off the shelf conductors and creating audio cables is one thing. Pushing things further and entering in a much more sophisticated world is another story.
For all the cable naysayers I`ve strongly recommended some quality time with uncle Google. In other fields of industry they measure many attributes, like frequency domain, time domain, enhanced time domain with common measurement parameters like Zc, attenuation, capacitance velocity of propagation, DC Resistance, delay, crosstalk, etc.
It goes way beyond above simplified description, but its obvious how Geoff is no stranger to some of these measurements and tests.
It`s amazing how the basic sonic traits of Tellurium Q Black Diamond and Silver Diamond speaker cables are somehow maintained even throughout their interconnect counterparts; whether this is due to their acclaimed phase linearity and hence the lack of phase distortion, remains unknown, however, the results speak for themselves. And strikingly they speak...
I remember vividly how floored I was upon experiencing the Tellurium Q Black Diamond speaker cables for the first time. Their stunning dynamics and reference level of bass reproduction in all areas like depth, slam, control, PRAT, etc, certainly won me over in a matter of seconds. The difference compared to some competitive products wasn`t small; quite on the contrary, it was immediately obvious and impossible to overhear. The music on the whole had a sense of organic coherency that was able to instantly disarm the listener. The perfectly balanced frequency spectrum, the natural harmonic content, the resolution across the whole audio band, the focused, holographic presentation of instruments and voices, the expansive and layered 3D stage capabilities...all these qualities were strongly present even with these interconnects - both, RCA and XLR.
Starting with the Tellurium Q Black Diamond interconnects: these cables can easily provide its line level duties even in the systems of the highest caliber - their price be damned. Their basic character is quite neutral, meaning there are no irregularities across the whole audible band; the cable does not favor any part of the spectrum over another and most importantly: it also doesn`t subtract anything - especially at the frequency extremes. Does this mean a certain kind of “politeness” or leanness? No, quite the opposite, the Tellurium Q Black Diamonds are a very vivid and lively performers.
As with the Tellurium Q Black Diamond speaker cables, taking the signal at the line level, the bass is extraordinary clean, controlled, dynamic and deep, where needed. In terms of PRAT, it could serve as a role model of how the reproduced music should retain these fundamental qualities so present with the live music. Does this mean the phase relationships in the musical signal are really well sorted out, in this region? Well, I guess so and perhaps this could be taken as a confirmation of the Tellurium Q`s basic philosophy. After all, phase linearity indeed matters and this throughout the entire recording and reproduction chain and cannot be dismissed without seriously ignoring some fundamental facts.
What was true for the bass region, can be affirmed for the lower and upper midrange regions. The body of instruments was rendered exceptionally lifelike and energetic; here, I can easily observe some very strong points in regard to competing products.
The vocal range was in a class of its own: soothing, open, articulate, with smooth, grain-free sibilants and very nuanced in dynamic graduations. The excellent micro dynamic capabilities just made all singer`s voices and choirs appear very alive and present.
Moving on to the higher frequency ranges, here, the Tellurium Q Black Diamond interconnect again proves its exceptionally strong reproduction qualities. If there is such a thing as a completely neutral interconnect, then the Tellurium Q Black Diamond probably fits this description like no other cable.
No part of the treble gets overly exposed, nothing gets lost, just simple “as is on the recording” is being self evidently served. Having said that, there is still a huge amount of musical information at listener`s disposal. The openness of the soundstage, its expansiveness and instrument`s focus, is simply beyond any criticism and shows a reference level of performance, regardless of price.
The music, reproduced through the Tellurium Q Black Diamond will never leave you indifferent, no, it will strongly demand your utmost attention but in doing this, it will also award you with an aural experience that you will find impossible to resist; an emotionally dense voyage through the musical panorama that will keep you fixed for hours. If that ain`t something then I don`t know what is.
So, how does the Tellurium Q Black Diamond interconnect, a cable of superlatives, compare to its higher ranking sibling and currently top model, the Tellurium Q Silver Diamond?
Well, when I thought things couldn`t get any better, there comes the Tellurium Q Silver Diamond, a cable that is surely bound to leave almost everything behind in the dust.
I dare to say that in the bass and low midrange regions these two cables sound like siblings indeed and this again means reproduction qualities placed firmly in the highest league. Perhaps the Tellurium Q Silver Diamond seems to have just a tad more resolving power in the lower midrange and is again amazingly authoritative and composed throughout the whole bass range.
Where bigger (and big!) differences start to occur is the vocal range; here the Tellurium Q Silver Diamond makes a bold step forward by providing an extremely pure view of the conserved medium. The effect is not subtle at all, I am talking about a MAJOR REMOVING OF VEILS! The effect is simply amazing!
The whole mid/high frequency spectrum unfolds in way that makes you stop and think: what`s going on here? Suddenly there appears to be a huge additional amount of information that was previously hidden somewhere - somehow?!
The real icing on the cake is that all this additional musical information comes served, not in a dry, technical manner but in a highly musical form and this makes the whole thing immensely gratifying.
The recovered details strongly enhance the sonic realism and instruments and voices sound even more natural and believable than one ever thought would be possible. The Tellurium Q Silver Diamond interconnects achieve all this without becoming bright, harsh or annoying in any conceivable way, no, they just sounds incredibly natural and relaxed. A big trick in my book!
If you think you know all your recordings pretty well...I dare you to try the Silver Diamonds; you will be absolutely shocked upon discovering what else is hidden in your precious music collections.
If you would walk out of your room and someone secretly swapped your interconnects for the Silver Diamonds...there is NO WAY you could overhear the effect, upon returning.
Quoting one legendary Slovenian audiophile upon experiencing the Tellurium Q Silver Diamonds: “I could hear the difference from the stairs!” And he was actually coming from the stairs into the audio cave :-)
I hope I was clear: we are talking major differences here. It is really fascinating what kind of sonic nirvana brings the entire Tellurium Q Silver Diamond range of products; same could be said of Tellurium Q Silver Diamond speaker cables, USB and digital RCA counterparts - all of them are true audio pearls.
We certainly came to a very intriguing and complex era when it comes to the “veins” of the high-end audio systems. Years ago, many of the audiophiles and music lovers wouldn’t even play around with the idea of exploring different cables, let alone investing five or six digits for power and signal cables alone.
Times are changing and the past few years` progress and a much more broadminded orientation, opened up a fast developing market of high-end audio cables. Yes, there are literary tons of cables on the market and its impossible to try and explore all of them. Even harder might be deciphering their true value, potency and practical implementation in various audio systems. Still…
As a starting point, each high-end audio system is an entity of its own. Different components joined into the final listening setup demand a balanced cabling solution, that will allow the audio signal to flow unmasked.
Its utopian to think that any cable will act as an ultimate solution based on the specifications, materials being used and specific design. The “rewarding” job of a reviewer is to bluntly and vividly describe potency of the cable and how it (can) perform within particular system, as well to discover the unique propensities, that might trigger the right indicators for the readers.
The other advantage or a duty is a bit more complex task. Reviewer’s modus operandi let us explore wide array of cabling and if we can extract and scan particular sound DNA or the lack of it then it is much easier to position and value certain attributes that excel with particular audio cable under the scope.
In the world where prices of cables can go sky high and a single pair of cables, can cost as much of what most people’s system can cost, Tellurium Q comes as a refreshing player.
Both Tellurium Q Black and Silver Diamond cables are still not cheap, but they do represent a grand value for what they bring, sonic wise.
While Black Diamonds will open up the magnificent world of Telurium Q and let you discover music with grand magnitude, the Silver Diamonds, at double the price, bring the unique, crystal clear like rendition, without lurking into the brittle or harsh orbit.
In a situation and insertion points between my reference components, where quite few other cables misted up the sound, the Telurium Q’s acted ebulliently positive and performed with finesse and coherence across the full frequency spectrum.
Geoff Merrigan took the different path of applying some of the logics from other industries, where objectiveness makes all the sense, with implementation of technical solutions that have been in use for years. The results speak for themselves and Tellurium Q continues its successful foray
Into the world of supreme cabling solutions.
Both Tellurium Q Black Diamond and Silver Diamond cables are not only “affordable” and stand out performers, they also represent a healthy antidote to the legion of the extremely high priced cables, that many times, not only hardly justify their hefty price stickers, but also fail to act with at least some portion of jaunty.
For the value they represent I am wholeheartedly handing them out a Mono and Stereo Highly Recommended Product Award for the Tellurium Q Black Diamond interconnects and a Mono and Stereo Upper Echelon Class Award for the Tellurium Q Silver Diamond interconnect cables.
Silver Diamond XLR - £2292/set
Black Diamond XLR - £1150/set
Silver Diamond RCA - £1980/set
Black Diamond RCA - £890/set
Tellurium Q Ltd
Tel: +44 (0) 1458 251 997