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Audioquest Mythical Creatures – FireBird

28.01.2021 // Dirk Sommer

I have already introduced you to the ThunderBird from the Mythical Creatures series and revealed that the two other associated Mythical Creatures are also frolicking in the listening room. I already covered these cables' remarkable technologies. Therefore, the report about the FireBird should be an easy-going affair. Well, not really.

When dealing with the USB, Firewire, and Ethernet cables, it had turned out that it is entirely harmless to deal with cables of different quality classes within the Audioquest range: Analogous to the price, you get not only increasingly valuable materials, but also better sonic results. So it's no wonder that I spontaneously agreed when Robert Hay, Audioquest's marketing director for Europe, suggested I take a look at the Mythical Creatures trio. Since Garth Powell's power conditioners and cables with their ZERO and ground noise dissipation technology still excite me today – and especially the power-correction circuitry, which is hugely beneficial to dynamics – I was naturally curious to see what the transfer of some of his developments to the realm of loudspeaker cables would do.

FireBird is covered with red/black braid. The red metal parts are probably also meant to suggest fire
FireBird is covered with red/black braid. The red metal parts are probably also meant to suggest fire

I readily admit that it tempted me to have to deal with the cables' technology in detail once and still be able to listen to Audioquest's three best cable models. Of the FireBirds, I did not order a bi-wiring combination with only one pair of connecting cables on the amplifier side, but rather one BASS and one ZERO cable each. The idea was that this would be an easy way to find out if it might make more sense to choose a bi-wiring solution of the Thunderbird or a ZERO of the FireBird series located above it. Since Robert Hay also offered to send along a ZERO of the top cable, the Dragon, in addition to the bi-wiring combination, a comparison of FireBird bi-wiring to Dragon ZERO also seemed like a good idea to me. That's what you get for not studying price lists in advance. I had suspected that a higher quality Zero would be in about the same price region as the bi-wiring model of the cable directly below it. But far from it: If the pair of three-meter bi-wiring cable at the ThunderBird is just under 10,000 euros, a FireBird Zero is already in the price list with almost double. And if I reveal the price of a Dragon – 34,000 euros for the Zero, 25,900 euros for the BASS – I might again spark a discussion about whether a cable of this caliber can be useful in the environment of my chain: It isn't really. The fact that I would need at most the two-meter variant, which is 18,700 euros less in the price list, does not change anything. But if you ask whether it appeals to me to hear such valuables in my chain, I must honestly confess: yes!

But let's go back to the FireBird: The full-range ZERO cable differs from the cheaper ThunderBird not only in the material: Half of the conductors here are made of silver, which Audioquest calls "Solid Perfect-Surface Silver," the other half is made of "Perfect-Surface Copper+," i.e., copper with a finely polished surface. Also, the FireBird has "Sonic Signature Conductors," a mix of conductors of different materials and cross-sections, which should ensure the desired tonal structure. The ThunderBird's four copper conductors, on the other hand, consist of four copper conductors of the same cross-section. A combination of different cross-sections and materials – Perfect-Surface Copper and Long Grain Copper – on the other hand, already existed in the ThunderBird BASS cable. In the FireBird-Bass, the plus cable has three copper conductors and one silver conductor. The minus cable has precisely twice as many conductors, but one half is only connected to the amplifier's connections. It has no part in the transmission of the music signal but serves only for noise dissipation. More detailed explanations and some diagrams can be found in Garth Powell's white paper.


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