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Audioquest Mythical Creatures – ThunderBird

21.01.2021 // Dirk Sommer

The Mythical Creatures in question here are – not surprisingly for Audioquest – speaker cables. In addition to the ThunderBird, the new species also includes a FireBird and a Dragon. All three top models feature separate bass cables for bi-wiring purposes, and all of them have spread out in my listening room, vying for attention and burn-in time.

Already during his visit to our editorial office more than two years ago, Garth Powell had a prototype of the new speaker cable in his luggage, which we briefly auditioned. It sounded extremely promising, so I immediately arranged a test. Just like the Niagaras and the higher-end power cords, the speaker cables in the "Folk Heroes" and "Mythical Creatures" series use ZERO technology, which is supposed to guarantee "zero characteristic impedance." By the way, at the time of testing the AC power technology, Audioquest was still talking about "LOW-Z-Technology." In the bi-wiring combinations of the "Folk Heroes" and "Mythical Creatures" series, there are special BASS cables, which also use Ground Noise-Dissipation technology. Since nobody can explain the cables' technology better than their developer Garth Powell, I will reproduce some excerpts of his white paper below.

The ThunderBirds, like all Audioquest cables, are processed perfectly. However, due to the use of solid-core conductors, a certain amount of force is necessary to connect them to the speaker and amplifier terminals
The ThunderBirds, like all Audioquest cables, are processed perfectly. However, due to the use of solid-core conductors, a certain amount of force is necessary to connect them to the speaker and amplifier terminals

Regarding Audioquest's ZERO technology, Garth Powell notes: "Despite great advancements in today’s power amplifier and component technologies, they alone cannot fully address the challenge brought by today’s extraordinary levels of radio frequency noise. Low-level audio signals are masked and distorted by very small and insidious noise frequencies from cellular towers, Bluetooth, and satellites. These ever-present induced noises have rendered both traditional and audiophile speaker cable designs inadequate or lacking. To ensure consistent or linear noise-dissipation in a speaker cable and across the greatest range of frequencies, we must eliminate the portion of the cable that resists linear operation or consistent noise cancellation. That would be the cable’s characteristic impedance. AudioQuest’s ZERO Technology eliminates the characteristic impedance entirely, while our GND Technology for BASS (Bass/ Midrange) cables (for those who bi-wire or bi-amp), carries linear noise-canceling and dissipation even further. Far greater resolution, far less distortion. By eliminating the cable’s characteristic impedance and by significantly reducing transient current compression, we are able to ensure vastly improved dynamics, audio transient reproduction, and bass slam."

Garth Powell is pleased that his ZERO technology also delivers very good results in speaker cables
Garth Powell is pleased that his ZERO technology also delivers very good results in speaker cables

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