Castle Rock represents the culmination of Gibraltar’s long-term evolution along with performance- enhancing new systems and materials. These ingredients add up to important audible improvements and more pleasurable listening!
Solid conductors prevent strand interaction, a major source of cable distortion. Extremely high-purity Perfect-Surface Copper+ minimizes distortion caused by grain boundaries that exist within any metal conductor, nearly eliminating harshness and greatly increasing clarity compared to OFHC, OCC, 8N and other coppers.
The negative conductors in Castle Rock are insulated with partially conductive Carbon-Loaded Polyethylene. This remarkable material damps radio-frequency garbage from being fed back into the amplifier. The sonic benefit is exactly the same reduction in “hash” and better dimensionality that comes whenever RF garbage is reduced in an audio circuit. Castle Rock uses Nitrogen-Injected Foamed-Polyethylene Insulation on its positive conductors because air absorbs next to no energy, and Polyethylene is low-loss and has a benign distortion profile. Thanks to all the air in Foamed-PE, it causes much less of the out-of-focus effect common to other materials.
All insulation slows down the signal on the conductor inside. When insulation is unbiased, it slows down parts of the signal differently, a big problem for very time-sensitive multi-octave audio. AudioQuest’s DBS creates a strong, stable electrostatic field which saturates and polarizes (organizes) the molecules of the insulation. This minimizes both energy storage in the insulation and the multiple nonlinear time-delays that occur. Sound appears from a surprisingly black background with unexpected detail and dynamic contrast. The DBS battery packs will last for years. A test button and LED allow for the occasional battery check.
The relationship between conductors defines a cable’s most basic electrical values (capacitance and inductance). However, even when those variables are kept in a reasonable balance, the relationship between conductors can be varied in ways that greatly affect the sound. The Double Star-Quad construction of Castle Rock allows for significantly better dynamic contrast and information intelligibility than if the same conductors were run in parallel.
Any single size or shape of conductor has a specific distortion profile. Even though radially symmetrical conductors (solid or tubular) have the fewest discontinuities, any conductor of a particular size does have a sonic signature. SST is a method for significantly reducing the awareness of these character flaws by using a precise combination of different size conductors. The different SST-determined conductor sizes used in Castle Rock allow an exceptionally clear, clean and dynamic sound.
Castle Rock is an exceptional Single-BiWire cable. When the halves are separated at the speaker end, the Double Star-Quad Geometry turns Castle Rock into a true Double-BiWire set thanks to the magnetic autonomy of each Quad-conductor section. On its own, one Star-Quad conductor group would be a little lightweight in performance as it is biased towards treble finesse. The other Star-Quad conductor group is biased toward the bass; it’s more forceful and lacking ultimate resolution. Together they form a completely optimized full-range design. When separated, the Double Star-Quad design allows Castle Rock to be a maximum-performance Double BiWire in a single cable.
AudioQuest offers a wide range of high-quality connectors that allow Castle Rock to be securely attached to any type of equipment. Quality is in the low-distortion sound, not necessarily in the eye-candy effect. AQ ends are either dull looking gold or silver because these metals are plated directly over the connector. There is no shiny and harsh sounding nickel layer underneath. AQ PK-spade lugs are soft because better metal is soft, and facilitates a higher quality connection. For pieces requiring a banana plug or BFA connector the AQ PK-BFA/Banana provides unprecedented performance over conventional brass versions.
The ABS breakouts on either end of Castle Rock are marked “Speaker End” or “Amp End.” Please use cables in the direction required.