Wire Directionality Part 2


Second part of the article that touches upon sensitive topic, the wire directionality. Paul Speltz founder of AntiCables writes: "Dear Fellow Audiophiles, Shortly after sending out part 1 of my "Wire Directionality" mailer last week, I got the below email reply from a customer who probably didn't read the technical sheet that comes with our products."

"I did not know that your cables were directional. After reading this I checked my 3.1 speaker cables and noticed one of them was reversed. Once I swapped it, I noticed a change. I am a double bassist and most double bass sections in an orchestra are stage left (right speaker). I played an LP before and after swapping, and the bass section had more clarity and weight. Thanks for pointing this out."

Cheers,
Jack Hill, NJ

"I love that Jack is a musician. He most likely has an acute awareness of what a double bass actually sounds like in real life, and Jack used his expertise to quickly hear the difference in bass weight and clarity in his music system with proper wire directionality. The distortion I hear with "backwards" wire directionality is full range, so it makes sense that Jack heard improvements in both bass and clarity.

While wire directionality is not fully understood, it is clear that because of the wire casting process, the internal grain structure of the conductor has a slight chevron shape (as shown in this Audioquest pictorial), and it is this physical difference which is consistent with which direction the wire sounds better. 

Audioquest discusses their theory on wire directionality here, which is based on external "noise". My theory is different. Since listening to wire "backwards" sounds very much the same as the time based distortion "jitter" causes in digital audio, I believe backwards wire may be a time-based distortion as well. 

I am thinking, in a signal wire, if the grain structure of the conductor has a slight chevron shape going "inwards" (towards the center of the wire), in the direction the music signal is traveling, that is what causes the problem. An electrical signal wants to travel on the skin of the conductor, where it travels faster. But if the grain structure is directing the music signal towards the middle where the music signal travels slower, there are contending forces at play. The music signal wants to travel on the skin of the conductor where it travels faster, but the grain structure is leading the music signal towards the middle where it travels slower. If both are happening, there is a blurring in the time domain. 

With both "backwards" wire and jitter distortion, the time domain blurring causes what I hear as a lack of pitch definition (which is the opposite of what I describe as a purity of tone), a loss of resolution, cymbals sound like a spray-can and are truncated, voices are grainy and lack presences, the sound stage is flattened, and bass is less defined. 

What does not make sense with my theory, is that music is traveling through the wire as an alternating current. This makes my theory difficult to accept. What is not difficult, is hearing the difference in wire directionality. I don't know how to prove my theory, so it will simply remain a theory for now.

Since this is starting to get long, I'll continue next time with part 3, which will cover how I test for directionality, how directionality differs with different applications, and directionality in components other than wire.

I'd like to again take this opportunity to thank all of our customers for their continued support, and to let you know that all of us at AntiCables will continue striving for excellence while maintaining affordability."