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Positive Feedback ISSUE 31
may/june 2007


We sent out the same 20 questions to 50 manufacturers, the following are their responses. The intent of the survey is to address basic questions as to design along with any questions raging on various sites, while minimizing potential chest-thumping and friendly, or unfriendly, bashing of others....

Click here to read the other interviews in the series.


Cardas Audio

George Cardas of Cardas Audio
by PFO

PFO Why do cables make a difference?

George Cardas Cables make a difference because their resonance products are magnified by the stereo system. The rising impedance system makes no allowance for cables. The dynamic range of resolution of a high end system acts as a magnifying glass. These systems allow us to peer into the depths of the sonic hologram where any resonance stands out like the claws on a cat. Removing the claws without masking the sound is the challenge.

What about Metals?

GC Within the context of good conductors like silver and copper there is little difference at the end of the day, if cost is no object. The problem in cable is not the conductive material itself but the relationship between the conductor and the dielectric. That said, pure highly annealed metals are best. In practical application copper is the best metal to use because you could not afford to implement the proper conductor geometry in silver.

PFO What about dielectrics. Teflon versus what? What about no dielectric?

GC The best dielectric is in fact no dielectric. Transmission lines of the 20's were actually quite good. However, in the world of stereo, practical application dictates a need for "structure," to keep the cable geometry uniform and symmetrical. The best way to do this is with thin walled tubes. The best material is dictated by the strength to "dielectric constant" ratio. In all likelihood you will end up with Teflon or something similar.

PFO What about measurements?

GC Knowing what to measure and having the tools to measure it is a great asset for a manufacturer. But trying to understand measurements of quantity in terms of quality is a study in itself and is best left to the designers. At the end of the day the best measuring tool is your ears and a good system.

PFO What about cryoing? what is going on with this?

GC I am not sure really, it appears to be an annealing process. It appears to have little affect on materials already annealed.

PFO Why shielding? Why not shielding

GC Seems obvious to me. Shielding keeps out noise. The EMI and RFI in our environment is growing out of hand. We have no choice but to shield interconnects. Proper shielding is a real challenge because of added dielectric involvement. Isolating the conductors from the shield is the biggest challenge in an interconnect.

PFO What about run-in? Why is/isn't it important.

GC There is no choice here that I can see. Things aren't going to sound very good until they are run-in. Just put your favorite CD on repeat an walk away for a few hours. From time to time I like to run a frequency sweep like the AYRE or the one on my Sweeper records. Use the cables and they will run-in. For most people the cable will be fine in a day or so and continue to improve slightly for weeks. If you are moving things around all the time they will never really settle in. Testing cables is always stressful for me.

PFO What about lengths? Why isn't it important?

GC The biggest problem in cable stems from the difference between the propagation rate of the conductor and the propagation capability of dielectrics. The first few feet of cable absorbs the shock of the transition (between them). This is the a big secret of constant "Q" conductors, their propagation velocity can be matched to the dielectric to eliminate insertion loss. An interesting example of this is used in telephone lines. They must have something called a load coil to cover any distance. A load coil adds physical and electrical length to the conductor to compensate for the difference in propagation rates. A matched propagation, constant "Q" conductor does this continuously.

PFO What is directionality?

GC Some cables are asymmetrical end to end. Because of the way they are constructed, they will have a directional bias. Most conductors do not have a permeability of exactly "1". Impure copper or silver can actually become magnetic. When wire is drawn it must be annealed between every step to reach a permeability of exactly "1"  I only know of one source for this type of wire.

PFO How did you get into this?

GC It was a hobby that I obsessed on.

PFO What is your fundamental design philosophy/goal? Why these? How do you accomplish these goals?

GC Our goal is helping musicians reproduce their music. I believe music is important and its essence is very hard to reproduce. We accomplish our goal by producing products that don't get in the way of the music. Essentially we service the industry that produces high end audio products.

PFO How successful do you feel you have been at achieving the goals you have set for yourself?

GC It is a continuing process, "so far so good".

PFO How do you plan to push beyond what you have already accomplished?

GC Cardas is a continuum. Most of our business is taking care of other manufactures and responding to their needs. I will continue developing products as long as I can. Hopefully the essence of Cardas will not fade in future generations.

PFO Where is this all heading?

GC Nobody knows. I believe there is a core group of seekers in high-end audio that is a constant. That group changes face over time but has little to do with the mainstream of audio, their heart is in the music, not the equipment.

PFO Others you admire?

GC Jim Winey, Charlie Hansen, Bill Low, Ray Kimber, my sister, my wife, my children, my parents and all the truly honest people that work their butts off because, "that's just what you do".

Peace and Harmony


Click here to read the other interviews in the series.