Rare Earth Interconnects Bring Audio Into the Visible Light Spectrum
New Hampshire audio research company, Audientze, has developed a new interconnect cable suitable for all audiophile installations, but with unique and fascinating possibilities for planar type speakers. We caught up with Harvey McKnight via telephone about the new interconnects and learned some fascinating details about the technology and some even more surprising implications regarding the applications. “We have just been struggling with bandwidth issues in audio for so long,” McKnight began. “Audio since the very beginning of the human ear has had limitations that hold us back. Through technology and spec sheets we are trying to abolish those limitations and open up our ears, so to speak.” McKnight went on to explain that while the audible spectrum of the average human ear is from approximately 20 Hz to 20 kHz, that there are many sounds that exist above and below that spectrum that we feel more than hear. This is pretty standard information, so I asked what that has to specifically has do with the Rare Interconnects. “Well, the audio systems we currently employ have inherent limitations as well. It’s hard to find components that will just let sound be sound. The frontier we are now trying to conquer is the limitations of electromagnetic transmission using conductors. You see, there is a law in physics called Lenz’s Law. Every current change in a conductor creates an opposing magnetic field that resists that change. Luckily, it’s not 1:1 or alternating current would simply cease to exist. However, at higher frequencies, the conductor itself resists the signal. You end up with high frequency attenuation at some point, no matter what substance you are using.” Enter the Rare Interconnect. Made from Dysprosium, a “Rare Earth Metal” found near the bottom of the periodic table. McKnight and his team at Audientze claim that this interconnect does not conduct electricity, only the varying magnetic field. The magnetic field is converted again to current at the terminal of the cable to be passed onto the next item in your audio chain, but only if the device “draws current as a function of it’s circuit.” “The interconnect has such a high bandwidth, that audio could easily pass into the visible light spectrum which is in the hundreds of trillions of Hz,” McKnight explained. “Since there is no current flowing through the wire, there is no bandwidth loss. At least, that’s how we understand Lenz’s Law here.” I asked if the shop had been able to measure these claims using any instruments they had at their disposal. “Well, that’s the rub of it,” McKnight explained, “We can’t. We just don’t have any instruments that don’t require the use of old-school current-over-conductor wiring in their circuitry. Why, we’d have to re-invent all the analytical tools themselves to measure the bandwidth of this cable! I thought We’d done enough by simply revolutionizing the interconnect. However, if you can get us a multi-billion dollar research grant, we can begin to develop such measuring devices that can find the limits of this essentially unmeasurable cable.” McKnight continued to say that Audientze was confident that discerning audiophiles wouldn’t need any kind of scientific measurements, but that the theory behind the cables would be sufficient to finally convince them that their interconnects were no longer a bottleneck for their audio in terms of resolution and bandwidth. “I don’t want you to get hung up on numbers on paper,” McKnight continued. “The implications of this technology are staggering. If we can catch up all the other inferior components in an audiophile’s reproduction system to this magnitude of frequency response, audio systems will eventually replace video systems.” I was a little confused by this, so I asked McKnight to elaborate.
“Magneplanar speakers using this technology will emit light out of the front of their panels. Theoretically, if the strips of magnetic material were arranged in a matrix similar to a video monitor, the speaker itself could be emitting the video signal. Then the audio and video would be emitting from the same source, being generated by one cohesive signal. It would truly be a unification of audio and video. It’s the future, and it’s all beginning here, now, with the Rare Interconnect.”
I had to admit that this was an exciting possiblity.
“It always takes technology a few years to catch up. Even now, UHD video is becoming standard slower than we thought. But with the Rare Interconnect, you will be future-ready and future-proof. This cable will be the new de-facto standard for all your most crucial audio AND video applications in the near future.” Listed at $45000 per 1.5 foot interconnect, Audientze plans on having the Rare Interconnect available in Autumn of 2019.