CCZT Paper

Decade Paper

Consonant Alloy Paper

The Science of Cable Design, Part I

The Science of Cable Design, Part II

The Science of Cable Design, Part III

The Science of Cable Design, Part IV

The Consonant AlloyTM

By Matthew Bond, TARA Labs Designer

The development of Consonant Alloy was a response to recent advances in copper technology that have resulted in ever increasing purity levels. This increased purity (expressed in the form of "99.9999% pure" or "six nines" copper) does result in measurable increases in conductivity over copper conductors of lesser purity. In the development of Consonant Alloy, I sought to increase conductivity even further by examining the use of different materials and, just as important, more sophisticated annealing processes.

Consonant Alloy is a proprietary blend of elements chosen for their conductive strengths and compatibility. It meets three important criteria: 1.) Consonant Alloy is more conductive than pure copper. 2.) Consonant Alloy is more linear and accurate than current alternatives to copper. 3.) It can be produced at a price that is within the range of the average audiophile.

Independent metallurgical testing shows the conductivity of Consonant Alloy to be substantially greater than "six nines" copper.' But this improvement is even more significant in terms of sound quality than the numbers may indicate. A purer, more conductive material sounds cleaner, more transparent and more neutral than one that is less conductive. Even small differences in conductivity result in audible differences in sound quality.

The word "Consonant" means "blended together in a Harmanious way." This very accurately describes the relationship of the elements that make up Consonant Alloy, and is a partial explanation for its success as a conductor material.

Examination of the structure of Consonant Alloy reveals a very long, unbroken crystal structure. This is important to conductivity because breaks between crystals in traditional copper conductors result in internal oxidation. These oxidized crystal junctions are electrical discontinuities which act as diodes to inhibit the flow of electrical current. Because of the homogenous crystal structure of Consonant Alloy, fewer such breaks occur than in even the purest form of copper.

After annealing, Consonant Alloy is buffed and polished in-line to produce a mirror-like surface that is visibly smoother than copper, even to the naked eye. This eliminates surface oxidation that can inhibit electrical flow and result in audible distortion.

Consonant Alloy vs. Alternatives to Copper

There are other conductor materials currently in use besides pure copper. Using the criteria of conductivity, frequency linearity and cost effectiveness, none can outperform Consonant Alloy.

Silver, for example, has long been known for its conductive strength, which is widely acknowledged to be greater than copper. The problem with silver is that contemporary designs tend to accentuate high frequencies when not designed or annealed correctly. Mathematical formulae reveal that for a given diameter, copper and silver conductors have different frequency response curves and linearity with frequency. For a silver conductor to sound as neutral, it must be slightly smaller than the equivalent copper conductor.

Solid silver conductors that are not annealed properly can be overly bright, even harsh sounding.

Since silver is a more expensive raw material, it is almost impossible for manufacturers to produce a reasonably priced silver conductor that has been subjected to the appropriate (read "expensive") annealing process.

Silver-plated copper conductors worsen the problem. Silver accentuates high-frequencies more than the equivalent skin-depth layer of copper would, delivering them out of phase with the underlying copper core.

Consonant Alloy is currently in use in TARA Labs' top of the line Rectangular Solid Core products: RSC Master Generation 2 and Decade speaker cable, interconnect, digital cables and power cords. In conjunction with TARA Labs' patented Rectangular Solid Core design, Consonant Alloy provides what I believe to be the ultimate combination: conductivity that far surpasses that of any form of copper, and frequency linearity far greater than either silver or silver-plated copper.

Material Resistivity
calib. to %
99.9999 Cu
"6 Nines"
99.99 Cu
"4 Nines"

TM -- Consonant Alloy, Rectangular Solid Core and RSC Master Generation 2 are trademarks of TARA Labs, Inc.


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