REVIEW: SYNERGISTIC RESEARCH ATMOSPHERE SPEAKER CABLES
Synergistic Research, based in Irvine, California, is a company that does exactly what its name suggests; it invests heavily into the research and development of audio products. When used correctly, their products offer synergistic benefits to your sound system. Synergistic Research is distributed in Australia by National Audio Group.
We’ll be looking at many products in the Synergistic Research cable range in the coming weeks. There are a number of unique technologies used across their range that I will attempt to briefly describe.
Starting specifically with the Atmosphere 1 and Atmosphere 4 speaker cables, the ‘Atmosphere’ Series consists of 4 levels of interconnects and speaker cables offering progressively higher cost, performance and additional features as you move up the line. The Atmosphere level 1 speaker cable (8 foot $1350 RRP) is the entry model in this range.
Synergistic Research has re-designed them to perform without the need for active shielding, something that may be a welcome change. Previously a 30v power supply unit was required to positively bias the shielding. This active shielding technology is still used in the Reference Galileo series.
The Atmosphere level 1 cable is constructed from a silver and copper matrix, with a separate ground conductor from the outer shield, which is made of silver mylar. The dielectric is modified polyethylene. There are two 6mm conductors within each cable for the left or right channels, which are then covered in high quality black netting, resulting in a reasonably thin diameter cable that is nice and flexible and is very pleasant to use. Every cable is hand made in the USA using silver solder and has been treated with what Synergistic Research refer to as ‘Quantum Tunnelling’. I looked up the website for some interesting information on the topic.
Quantum Tunnelling is a process that changes the way a cable conducts signal at the subatomic level, affecting the entire cable assembly. By applying a two million volt signal to a cable at a specific pulse modulation, and ultra-high frequency for an exact duration of time, we transform the entire cable at a molecular level.
The Synergistic Research Quantum Tunnelling process.
Turning our attention now to the Atmosphere level 4 cable, the top model in this series. It starts at $7,520 (RRP) for an 8 foot length, with longer lengths available at extra cost. The construction starts with the basic silver copper matrix, but has some significant upgrades. There are two separate runs of conductors (or four wires), along with two separate runs of ultra-pure silver sealed in an air dielectric, as well as another two separate runs of silver copper matrix mono crystal conductors with a separate ground conductor from the shield. So there are twelve conductors in total, which makes for a thicker yet still flexible cable. The quality is very high and the workmanship is exemplary.
The level 4 cable also comes with two additional features. They come standard with what is called ‘Ground Plane Tuning Modules’. According to the manufacturer these allow you to voice your cables to match your system and musical preferences by the use of either red or blue tuning modules. What is the difference between them? The website explains:
RED Tuning Module’s Sonic Characteristics:
BLUE Tuning Module’s Sonic Characteristics:
Starting his first audio consultancy business in the early ’80s whilst also working professionally in the electronics industry, Mark now splits his time between professional reviewing and AV consultancy.