The AudioQuest Rocket 88 is the top of AudioQuest's
enormously popular Rocket Series of speaker cables.Comparatively reasonable
priced, the Rocket 88 is tonally rich and a very good bottom end.
Conductors: All eight of Rocket 88’s conductors are solid. Solid
conductors prevent strand interaction, a major source of cable distortion.
Electrical and magnetic interaction between strands in a conventional cable is
the single greatest source of distortion, often causing a somewhat harsh, dirty
and confused sound. Solid conductors are the most important ingredients enabling
Rocket 88’s very clear sound. Whether a conductor is solid or stranded, skin
effect is a prime distortion mechanism in speaker cables. Rocket 88 very simply
keeps this effect out of the audio range by using conductor sizes that are below
the threshold for audible distortion.
Metal: Extreme high-purity Perfect-Surface Copper+ (PSC+) minimizes
distortion caused by grain boundaries that exist within any metal conductor,
eliminating harshness and greatly increasing clarity compared to all other
conducting materials. PSS has an astonishingly smooth and pure surface.
Proprietary metal processing technology protects the wire’s surface at every
stage of drawing and fabrication. When high-purity low-oxide copper is kept as
soft, pure and smooth as possible, it becomes the wonderfully low distortion PSC
conductor used in many AudioQuest models. PSC+’s extreme transparency is made
possible by applying Perfect Surface Technology to ultra pure solid copper. PSC+
is the ultimate example of how far this remarkable technology can take us.
SST (Spread Spectrum Technology): Any single size or shape of conductor
has a specific distortion profile. Even though radially symmetrical conductors
(solid round or tubular) have the fewest discontinuities, any 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 four different SST-determined conductor sizes used in
Rocket 88 allow an exceptionally clear, clean and dynamic sound.
Dielectric Bias System (DBS) (US patent 7,126,055): Greatly improved
performance is made possible by a constant 72 volt charge on all Rocket 88’s
insulation. Similar to how the earth’s magnetic field makes all compasses point
north, the AQ DBS system creates an electrostatic field which causes the
molecules of the insulation to all point in the same direction. This minimizes
the multiple nonlinear time-delays. Sound appears from a surprisingly black
background with unexpected detail and dynamic contrast. Because DBS battery
packs are attached when Rocket 88 cables are assembled, Rocket 88 does not
require any additional run-in period. Because there is no “load” on the easily
replaceable batteries, they will last for years. A test button and LED allow for
occasional verification of battery performance.
Double Star-Quad Geometry: 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 Rocket 88 allows for significantly better dynamic
contrast and information intelligibility than if the same conductors were run in
parallel. The specific 4-cross geometry used in each half of Rocket 88 maximizes
this advantage. In addition, Rocket 88 is an exceptional Single-BiWire cable.
When the halves are separated at the speaker end, the Double Star-Quad design
turns Rocket 88 into a true Double-BiWire set thanks to the magnetic autonomy of
each star-quad. When separated the Dual Star-Quads let Rocket 88 be a maximum
performance Double-BiWire in a single cable.
Cold-Weld Terminations: Superior AudioQuest connectors allow Rocket 88 to
be securely attached to any type of equipment. AQ ends are dull looking because
there is no harsh sounding shiny nickel layer underneath the silver (or gold).
The connection between the plug and conductors is made using AQ's Cold-Weld
system which provides a superior connection that ensures that the structural
integrity of the conductor is kept completely intact. The Cold-Weld system
refers to a combination of high pressure at the point of contact and the use of
copper or silver impregnated paste. (Rocket 88’s silver conductors get silver
paste.) A controlled amount of pressure is used to essentially make the
conductor and connector mechanically "as one" without the use of heat. The
silver bearing paste acts as both a silver sulfide retardant, and as well as a
very effective contact enhancer. AQ's Cold-Weld system ensures a practically