Drain The circuits – Taking Out Cable Vibration


Now, if we get significant results by draining acoustic energy away from the chassis, then its logical that if we drain energy directly out of the circuits themselves, and prevent the vibration traveling around the system as well, we’ll get further improvements. And this we do with the cables of course. You see, a Vertex cable, in acoustic terms, is similar to a platform support system. Because of this, they don’t look like ordinary leads, each Vertex lead has a large metal-cased module fitted some way along its length.

Vertex AQ Systematic Approach – Taking Out Cable Vibration
schematic of a Vertex cable – click to enlarge

In this diagram you can easily see the that within the module, vibration is drained into a ‘Labyrinth’ structure. So now, when this lead is connected into your hi-fi, any vibration that is at the connector sees an easy route down the conductor (its hard metal remember) and into the acoustic absorption within the module. Now you might think that it would also carry on to the plug at the other end, but the destructive interference kills it. The same applies to vibration coming from the other connector. We do a very effective demonstration of this with a coin and a stethoscope – rub one connector with the coin on an ordinary lead and with the stethoscope you can clearly hear a considerable amount of sound at the other end. Do the same experiment on a Vertex cable and you hear nothing.

Finally, you will see the module sits on soft feet to reduce the risk of external vibration getting in from a shelf or the floor. However, note that we have shown the insulation as a moderate acoustic conductor – in order to preserve basic safety the insulator cannot be made out of a very soft rubber, there are inevitably some quite tough plastics used. That is why our setup instructions warn about allowing hard contact between the outer cable sleeving and structure such as walls or shelving uprights – this can feed a surprising amount of vibration into the cable.

So lets now go back to our system schematic diagram, the one showing vibration passing up and down all the leads.

Vertex AQ Systematic Approach – Taking Out Cable Vibration
killing vibration in the cable loom – click to enlarge

If we now replace all the mains and signal leads with Vertex leads, each with an acoustic absorption module, we make really huge changes to the acoustic behavior of the system. Remember also that, left unchecked, vibration can go down one lead, through plugs/sockets/connectors and up another lead. For example, vibration from a big power supply in an amp say, can travel down its mains lead, and up the mains lead to a sensitive pre-amp or phono-stage.