Media "Home Theater Technology" Review | Bridgee High-End Audio Signal Cable

       Insiders in the industry are well aware that bridgee Cable produces excellent HDMI cables. Especially at this year's CEDIA Expo, bridgee Cable launched the Mark series 8K HDMI cables with HDMI 2.1 specifications. Positioned as high-end, these cables provide up to 48Gbps of transmission bandwidth, with a transmission distance of up to 30 meters. They have garnered attention from audio-visual media and enthusiasts. Even the founder of ISF, Joe Silver, praised the performance of the Mark series HDMI cables, and they received ISF certification.

       As an audio-visual cable manufacturer, bridgee Cable's product range is diverse and not limited to HDMI cables. They also offer high-end audio cable categories, including analog audio signal cables, speaker cables, subwoofer-specific audio cables, and professional engineering cables. Additionally, bridgee Cable provides OEM services for several international audio cable brands, showcasing their rich experience in cable design and production. The three bridgee Cable samples I received this time are high-end audio cables, including speaker cables, balanced signal cables, and unbalanced signal cables, with model numbers XCS-SPK13x2, XCS-XLR, and XCS-RCA, respectively.


       1、Attention to Detail

       When I received the cables, my customary practice is to inspect their connector parts, examining the craftsmanship, functionality, and any special treatments. Overall, they are quite good. The surface of the connectors is very smooth, providing a comfortable feel. The connector parts are made of silver-plated pure copper. In particular, the connector part of the XCS-SPK13x2 speaker cable is designed to be replaceable, offering a choice between banana plugs and Y-shaped connectors. Personally, I prefer the Y-shaped connector because when twisted onto the binding posts between the speakers and the amplifier, the connection is tighter, resulting in better sound.


       XCS-RCA Signal Cable: Upon twisting open the connector part, I noticed a plastic component between the cable body and the connector. This serves as a filler, closely interfacing with both the connector and cable body. Not only does it prevent the soldered part from being exposed to the air, but it also enhances the overall durability. XCS-XLR, being the balanced version of XCS-RCA, has a connector part that is split into two components (in most cases, divided into four). During installation, one only needs to unscrew the screws on the connector to remove the connection part, making the installation process very convenient. Additionally, the connector part has undergone sealing treatment where it connects to the cable body. Therefore, their overall attention to detail is quite impressive.


       2、Oxygen-Free Copper Silver-Plated Conductors.

       The conductor sections of the XCS series employ oxygen-free copper silver-plated conductors, a commonly used conductor in high-end audio systems. The cables have different diameters depending on the model. Both the XCS-XLR and XCS-RCA use a 20AWG specification (0.5 square millimeter diameter), while the XCS-SPK13x2 utilizes 13AWG, equivalent to a 2.6 square millimeter diameter, catering to high-power amplifiers with large current outputs. The silver plating is chosen to address the issue of skin effect, where high-frequency transmission may be hindered. Silver plating facilitates faster high-frequency transmission, ensuring synchronous transmission of full-frequency audio signals. The cable winding technique, referred to as Time Correct Windings, helps control magnetic field distortion, contributing to the smoothness and natural reproduction of music.


       3、Use of Graphene in the Shielding Layer .

       In the shielding section, the XCS-RCA features a three-layer shielding structure. The first layer utilizes the LCR-PE insulation material designed by Bridgee Cable, the second layer incorporates the CCP graphene layer, and the third layer is a high-density tinned copper braided layer. The XCS-XLR builds upon the XCS-RCA by adding an aluminum foil shield, totaling four layers. The XCS-SPK13x2 speaker cable adopts a two-layer shielding structure, consisting of a PE insulation layer and a graphene layer. The use of graphene as a shielding layer is a common practice in high-end audio cables. In fact, in communication equipment and precision instruments that demand stringent shielding requirements, graphene is employed to ensure stable device operation. Graphene is the thinnest known material, extremely lightweight yet exceptionally strong, and boasts excellent conductivity (lower resistivity than copper and silver). Its honeycomb lattice structure composed of carbon atoms inherently provides outstanding shielding capabilities against high-frequency interference signals. Data indicates that a single layer of graphene achieves an electromagnetic shielding performance of 40dB at 10GHz. As the number of layers increases, the shielding performance is further enhanced. When compared to a metal shielding layer of the same thickness, graphene's shielding ability is far superior. Moreover, the structure of graphene is highly stable, resisting deformation even when subjected to external forces. This property enhances the cable's tensile strength, making it well-suited for engineering and home wiring requirements.


       4、Transmitting More Information, Transforming Loose Sounds into Cohesive Harmony

       In testing these three cables, I divided them between two audio systems. For XCS-RCA and XCS-SPK13x2, I used the Sphinx Myth9 MKII CD player, Rotel A11 Tribute integrated amplifier, and Dynaudio Contour 1.1 bookshelf speakers, constituting System One. For XCS-XLR, I utilized the Apogee Symphony I/O MK2 professional sound card and JBL 4306P powered studio monitors, as these two products required balanced cables for audio signal transmission, making up System Two. In System One, the original pairing of the amplifier and speakers already provided a satisfying listening experience. Therefore, I decided to use all the cables in System One to see if there would be any surprises. Upon comparison, my ears told me that there were noticeable differences in the density of midrange tones and the perception of bass. Listening to the first scene of Ravel's ballet "Daphnis et Chloé" conducted by Cluytens, I observed that the sounds of the triangle, trumpet, and harp became crisp and detailed. The string instruments' lines also became clear, creating a vibrant and colorful effect. The increased density in the midrange made the sound more full, enriching the experience of ballet music and making it more flowing.

       Turning to the bass section, after changing the cables, the bass no longer had a fluffy feeling but gained a sense of compactness. Listening to some so-called "audiophile" recordings with less emphasized bass, and then switching to a recording of Yo-Yo Ma playing Bach's "Unaccompanied Cello Suites," I finally heard the texture of the cello. Moreover, I could perceive clearer layers, and the bass tones became deeper.


       In system two, the JBL 4306P has been on my desktop for over two months, so I am very familiar with its sound characteristics. When I replaced the XCS-XLR signal cable, the most noticeable change was the livelier and clearer sound. There was an evident improvement in sound resolution, allowing me to hear more subtle details. Instruments sounded more vivid. For instance, in a recording of Shlomo Mintz performing "Chausson Poème," the sound of the violin became richer, and I could discern more friction texture, creating a palpable and immersive sensation. Through the compression driver + horn design of the JBL 4306P, the sound became more pronounced. The piano, as an accompanying instrument, had a cohesive sound, yet it was not overshadowed by the violin's sound, creating a harmonious balance between them.

       Finally, I would like to mention the bass performance of the XCS-XLR, which is very similar to the characteristics of the XCS-RCA. Although the JBL 4306P's bass is only 5.25 inches, it has a substantial presence in near-field monitoring on the desktop, providing a fluffy sensation. When the XCS-XLR is used, the bass becomes more powerful, giving a slightly more robust impression.

       5. Conclusion

       The XCS series, including the XCS-RCA, XCS-XLR, and XCS-SPK13x2, are cables designed with audiophile principles, and their meticulous attention to detail is evident. As cables positioned for audiophile enthusiasts, they stay true to their essence, maximizing the transmission of information from one end of the audio equipment to the other. Therefore, in terms of listening experience, they offer rich information, resulting in more details, clarity, sharp focus, and a vibrant musical presentation.