Cables & Accessories At Thrax, we have a goal to achieve exceptional performance by using the best technology and design thinking. All of our components are explicitly designed to meet or exceed this goal. To preserve our heritage and ensure this performance is conveyed throughout the signal chain, I decided to invest into the development of a complete Thrax reproduction chain and to further widen the existing product portfolio.
As we faced challenges beyond our expertise we repeatedly applied old wisdom - ask those who know. In the process questions flowed back and forth and this led to exchange of ideas leading to true collaboration.

So the concept of Audio Union was born to bring products that are fruits of our collaboration with 3rd parties -leaders in their respective fields. This is no OEM - here we use knowledge from the best minds and technologies they developed as a stepping-stone. Applying uncommon thinking and wisdom gained in multiple fields to produce a proprietary Thrax solution setting new levels of performance.

The first "Audio Union" products to be launched are a line of cables which we feel are among the best available anywhere for their purpose.

Thrax cables are the product of necessity. Having experienced our electronics with multiple brands and types of cables with widely varying degrees of satisfaction, We felt the necessity to develop a standard which met a strict set of criteria and offered real value. Poor designs and bad combinations are far too often encountered and with no objective evaluation criteria these end up in our prospective clients systems.

After a few years of researching; materials, geometry, termination, screening, insulators, etc., we concluded, that there were only a handful of cable designers who really understood the complex interactions that occur in cables by passing a signal trough them usually at very high frequencies. But then this is just the beginning. As most often designs comply to standards (non Audio) innovation is rarely seen. Thrax being the European partner for a Hi-Tech American company called EnKlein, promoting and distributing their cabling portfolio we got the rare opportunity to ask for some custom modifications. In the process we have exchanged knowledge and concepts, improving both companies’ product ranges and developing joint products. The fruit, evolving from this unique coalition is the development of the "COLORS" range of cables.

"COLORS" is a line of cables like no other. No joke, no hype, no mystery. (...maybe just a bit)

We dare to be different (as much as this is possible). Our cables have a task. Each cable has a character. The character of the cable comes from the construction, materials and termination. Those properties are blended to achieve sonic quality and character that appeal to our artistic side. We utilize this knowledge to attain cabling, that ultimately reflects our taste and values while providing consistent quality signal transmission at a cost we believe to be more than fair for the performance.

To demystify cabling - there is no such thing as a "best cable". It doesn’t exist. There is no end all solution. One type of cable is suitable for a particular type of signal; other signals require different type of cabling. By conjoining expertise and experience from the world’s finest communication engineers and mission critical interface developers, together with metallurgist and mad (honestly) scientists we have developed a sensible product usable and understandable by all.

Yes we use "space age" technologies but in this day and age the "space age" sees nimble and intelligent commercial operators effectively compete and build superior technology in both deep space and undersea exploration. The world of high end audio is no different just has a lot more stringent performance requirements.
Facts you should be aware of
  • Precious metals in cables have very limited and specific application – Mostly as good marketing hype to make you feel better about parting with your money.
  • Most people designing cables have no idea about the physics. If the end result sounds good usually they don’t understand why, so they come up with the most absurd of explanations misleading others along the way.
  • Scientific models do not take into account environmental variables like vibrations, interfering electrical fields, quality of contact surfaces and many other factors.
  • As a FACT - Different interfaces have different requirements. No universal cable exists!! Each cable is developed to carry a specific signal via a specific interface. Levels, impedances, bandwidth all vary vastly and require a specific solution.
  • Cable design is science and experience, not magic. Most cable manufacturers buy their bulk raw cable, add a covering, cool graphics, and just terminate them. Not much knowledge is required, no added value; marketing helps make them appear "cool".
  • So now you know that the cable company is really an integrator, this approach can create issues if their supplier of the long machine made industrial wire makes a change, especially if they have no idea why the combination worked well. So what if they can’t repeat the process when a supplier changes their design or material recipe? Will a new model appear, rendering your investment obsolete?
  • Bad cables can ruin the sound of the best system! Do your homework and don't buy before you try.

  • Often you would see a cable being repackaged and re-marketed as "top of the line" or "entry level" being just the same technologically with a fancy or simpler package. (all depending on how sales go). We became wary of cable manufacturers with multiple lines offering different performance and price levels, or the ones with a "universal" solution.

    Is this branded sound? Or just they can’t make anything else!!! Why would anyone make a lesser product if he knows how to do the right product? Cost? The cost of the majority of cabling is in the attained knowledge and if "hand made", in the physical time to manufacture. Not in the materials used to make it.

    Now you have one eye open.....
    In our line you will find the following cables Power cable Developed for low noise and no electromagnetic / electrostatic signature If we have a look at this interface we will see the following room power supplying the equipment;
  • Voltage 100 or 240V AC
  • Frequency 50/60Hz
  • Current less than 14 ampere
  • Often contaminated safety ground
  • There are many disputed properties of power cable design; lower resistance, better insulation, silver, platinum and the ever present mythical "unobtanium" all exclaiming the properties that are required to deliver the ultimate. The end result, unfortunately, is pipes and hoses that do nothing for your sound and annoy your life partner. Some will do less harm than others but that is just about it!

    For example the power (mains) cable needs to offer more than just premium wire. The issues on power cables are not very well understood, or even considered, within the minds of the majority of cable "designers". COLORS series of power cables design achievements. COLORS series of power cables design achievements
  • Attenuate the propagation of RFI from the mains lines (room power) to the equipment and vice versa. This is done through the use of proprietary eddy current brakes and cable geometry with multiple conductors for cancelling magnetic fields
  • Good contact with power socket preventing sparking between the contacts (a source of EMI/RFI). A contact has to be mechanically stable, otherwise micro arcs, or larger created by the mild vibrations (movement) along the contact surfaces. Mating surfaces must be clean of contaminants; we are not discussing lint and dust! The first is achieved with solid construction clamping plugs and the second with plated, pure, highly polished contacts. If a cable is too heavy or stiff, the plug can’t hold itself in place and it vibrates changing the contact properties while your music plays! This is true in most applications as the power sockets are normally mounted on the wall and cables really hang around. (cable stands anyone?)
  • The cable has to dissipate and absorb as much as possible of the noise generated in the rectifier circuit of the amplifier or source component. In ALL, no exceptions (unless battery powered), circuits there is a rectifier for the main power supply. Coupling the diodes and the power transformer forms a resonating circuit that discharges its energy in the main room power through the power (mains) cable. The impedance and properties of this cable defines the quantity of noise that will reach other electronics on the room (household) power circuits. Yes the room power, on different sockets in 99% of all applications are not isolated, even if on another breaker!
  • Then we have another concept - electrostatic. Ever rub your socks on a carpet and touch a metal object! Yes in the right conditions the shock can wake you up. This potential is there on your equipment also. So now we have several different types of noise, electromagnetic and electrostatic! In essence the cable has to be an "anti-antenna" and has to dissipate RF energy in its structure to perform best.
  • Welcome the "Blue" power cord! Blue has been designed around the above criteria.
    The goal of Blue is to reduce the noise entering and generated in your source components. Blue operates at considerably high frequencies making it suitable for lower power devices where the transformers have smaller parasitic capacitance and leakage inductances than those in power amplifiers. The effect is not subtle, enjoy.
    "PURPLE" power cord! PURPLE is a high power version designed to feed power strips and power hungry amplifiers. It splits the current path on separate wire runs with magnetic and electrostatic screens between them. This changes the character to more dynamic and sharper imaging.
    Interconnect cables for digital signals In a digital audio interface standard we have very specific electrical requirements for impedance, bandwidth and levels. Those cables carry quite high frequency content, but everyone has totally neglected the sensitivity of the cable to mechanical, magnetic, and electrostatic interference at low frequencies. Electrostatic screening is often implemented to a sufficient degree in the better designs but magnetically and mechanically designs vary vastly. We set a goal to design a cable that is very quiet and not influenced by any sonic or magnetic field. So we started with a good design and added to it a nickel and cobalt shield along with mechanically stable construction and internal damping.

    When a digital cable caries the music signal any induced noise will modulate the amplitude of the signal carried resulting in measurable jitter content related to the disturbance. A simple intermodulation product appearing directly on your digital signal. It can come from magnetic fields of mains cables passing near by, vibrating cables in the back of the rack and so on. COLORS AES/EBU Cable - ORANGE Welcome "Orange".
    Orange is an AES/EBU cable with very low noise transmission and super high immunity to external disturbances.
    COLORS SPDIF Cable - YELLOW Yellow is our solution to the Coax version of the SPDIF interface with very low noise transmission and super high immunity to external disturbances.
    Interconnect cables for analogue signals For analogue signals the story is very different. Here the frequency content is very low. High bandwidth translates to induced noise. Fast cables are a plague. They will transmit all the interference to the device connected. Here the goal is to have consistency in the dynamic range of the cable. Meaning the cable has to perform as well with 10Volt of signal at its end and with 1uVolt. Not as trivial as it sounds. The currents in those cables are microscopic and of no influence to the electromagnetic performance but at such low currents contact potential, material impurities and other factors start to interfere with the signal.

    As illustration:
    As illustration: Imagine you have a pipe with a light at one end. (a lit match perhaps) When you look through the other end you see the light. That would be transmission without any loss. Now imagine you have glass at both ends of the pipe. You still see the light quite well but there are some reflections from the glass making the picture less sharp and reducing the contrast. Now imagine the pipe has a mirror finish inside. The picture gets even more reflections and the contrast and sharpness diminish further but the light intensity stays the same due to the multiple reflections from the inner walls. You can no longer see the light source clearly but you see the light.

    To translate in cable terms - The transition between materials (metals) equals glass a very thin conductor with low resistance will equal the pipe. Electromagnetic interference between the conductors in a cable will equal the mirror finish in the pipe. Being able to visualize the result now you know what it should sound like. Keep this in mind and visualize it when you look at an analogue interconnect cable construction. Keeping in mind the above would you see a firefly and a flash light trough it at the same time if you have any reflections whit-in the pipe. Exactly!

    This is called dynamic range and clarity, it is the main goal in our designs. The low level signals are the texture of the sounds and you will hear them only with a proper transmission system. Voices change, atmosphere changes. The art is in the silence between notes! Welcome "RED" - XLR. The above description best illustrates what we fight with. The science behind it is quite complicated but the result speaks for itself. A low mass design with magneto static screening and a particular choice of material transitions to get a natural voice to your system. Yes those speakers go low and solid state amplifiers are not harsh! Analogue Cable GREEN. GREEN – features a slightly different construction and termination concept. Speaker cable GRAY. GRAY - a speaker cable like no other. Designed for high dynamic range and backgrounds dark like a tar pit. Still being a low bandwidth design it is not like the interconnect cables. Here the interface is very low impedance and the cable caries a lot of current and just moderate voltages. Here the magnetic field generated by the current passing trough the conductors and its interaction with the other wires is of paramount importance. Again we offer a solution that speaks for itself.
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