Transparent Cable - What's Inside the Box

Discussion in 'Accessories, Cables, and Remotes' started by Chu Gai, Aug 4, 2004.

  1. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Transparent Cable is a vendor of various types of what is considered audiophile cable. This includes video cables, optical, digital, power cords, and of course speaker cables. Their slogan is, Closest to the music. Truest to the image. The company is owned as near as I can tell by Jack and Karen Sumner. A visit to their site, transparentcable.com, suggests a strong dedication to music and indeed, the site is very professionally done exuding a meticulous attention to detail which the casual viewer will naturally assume extends to their entire product line. After all, it is said in all walks of life, one gets only one chance to make a first impression.

    To demonstrate the quality of their products, they have conducted demonstrations at places like the 2001 CES where a 60 foot S-Video cable could be compared to a competitor's 1 meter version. At Stereo Design it was stated to be clearly superior, although StereoPhile noted that it was difficult to tell the two apart. One would think that the president, Jack Sumner would have no such difficulty in identifying his wires from something like plain old 12 gauge but balked at the opportunity to convincingly demonstrate his product's superiority as can be seen at Lies, Damn Lies, and Cables Fun, Feathers, & Games in The High End.

    Transparent speaks at great length about their Network approach which is designed to confine a cable's response to the signal it is intended to carry. This is done purportedly to negate the effect of airborn RFI. Myself, I have never encountered a situation such as this and if I had, I'd probably suspect another reason other than cables. Nonetheless, situations have occurred with some amps and peculiar amp/speaker combinations that result in amplifier instability such as oscillation. Precious few I suspect. The generation of ultrasonics by the power supply indicates an amp that is in distress. This distress can manifest itself audibly as the amp now begins to generate audible distortion products or the tweeter becomes overloaded by high energy ultrasonics. Damage to speaker and/or the amp is a distinct possibility. In a very liberal interpretation, one might consider this energy as RFI.

    There are a couple of ways one can get around this problem. The first might be to get the amp repaired or if this is a problem endemic to that particular amp, such as older Naims, simply sell it. For the other way, well just read on.

    Transparent's speaker cables come in a variety of grades from the 8 foot, $23,500/pair Opus
    [​IMG]
    to the $530/pair MusicWave Plus. Andrew Chasin writes about the MusicWave and states that

    High praise I dare say.

    So what is it inside that network box that can work such wonderous magic? What sort of high technology justfies such a price?

    Well it turns out that some enterprising people over in Sweden opened up the box. I can't translate but you can get the gist of what's behind the curtain where the wizard is by clicking here. I've taken the liberty of presenting the following photograph. Keep in mind, as you also read Transparent's website that skilled artisans with many years of experience have created this.
    [​IMG]

    What we find are the inclusion of what's known as a Zobel circuit which will roll off the high frequencies.. The parts cost precious little and I can only imagine what that little snap together box cost. So is this high tech or is this overcharging? I have my opinions. I'm sure you have yours. If you're of the mindset, you can create your own Zobel circuits and I'm sure the gentelmen over at DIY will have perfectly good suggestions for values that can be used. Otherwise do a google search and many web pages can be found that will suggest appropriate values based on user input criteria.

    In conclusion, it's my strong opinion that Transparent represents a highly evolved form of obfuscation and that you'd be best served by keeping your dollars in your wallet lest your wallet take on a very Transparent appearance.
     
  2. ScottCHI

    ScottCHI Screenwriter

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    looks like some really high-quality goo, though
     
  3. Cornelius

    Cornelius Stunt Coordinator

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    Ouch. Wonder why they didn't do the same thing with the Opus? [​IMG] Makes Monster look reasonable.

    CJ
     
  4. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Wayne
    Considering the price of admission I’d say the word is “courageeous!” I certainly hope they applied for a refund.

    Here’s a picture after the epoxy is stripped away:


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  5. Kevin. W

    Kevin. W Screenwriter

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    Personally I like to tweek my setup to a degree, but the person who buys these cables needs to be committed[​IMG]

    Kevin
     

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