All about Kimber cables
It’s the braiding that makes it work. The idea is so simple but so effective - by braiding cable you screen out RFI (Radio Frequency Interference) and greatly reduce the interaction of the positive and negative conductors because they effectively cross each other at right angles rather than running in parallel for the length of the cable.
This elegant thinking is at the heart of Kimber cable. But it’s only the start of the story. Ray Kimber is a bit of a brain. Actually he’s one of the most quietly spoken yet obviously and seriously intelligent people you are ever likely to meet. He’s explained the finer points of cable design to me in a way that made complete sense at the time - and while I could pass my own version of this on to you, it’s much better to go straight back to the source and dig deeply into the Kimber website.
What I will tell you about is why we like Kimber cables so much and the specific varieties we sell. As well has how they fit into our own range and the broader scheme of things.
We use Kimber for many demonstrations in the shop - it’s the ideal partner for high value products like Cambridge Audio and Rotel and does a brilliant job when we need to connect multiple speaker in home cinema systems.
Kimber have some great value for money speaker cables and interconnects. Simply put, they sound better than anything else we can find in their price range, are well constructed and pliant with good plugs and work in pretty much any system. All sensible stuff and probably just what you are looking for. Let’s look at the 3 best selling speaker cables first.
It was the 4PR that got it all started in 1979. While the 4PR enjoyed upgrades over time, other technologies emerged from the fertile minds and laboratory of Kimber, all the time improving and expanding upon Ray’s original cable concept and design. The part played by cables in an audio or video system is not to be underestimated. Loudspeaker cables must be able to handle and deliver, with poise, the relatively high voltages and larger currents associated with the amplifier to speaker interface. The quality of the dielectric and conductors in combination with intelligent cable geometries are the most important factors in determining desirable electrical parameters. The braided brown and black conductors make 4PR one of the most widely recognised cables in the world NZ$ 23 per metre
The VariStrand™, Ultra-pure copper conductor used in 4VS shares many similarities with the more advanced TC series cable. 4VS is smooth and refined in the midrange and treble, allowing for hours of fatique-free performance without sacrificing detail. One of the audio world’s finest performance bargains. Grey and black conductors. NZ$ 35 per metre.
To get better than 4VS we go down two tracks - for shorter lengths (less than 6m) we prefer the NZ made SlinkyLinks pure silver speaker cables - the end price is only a few dollars more than Kimber 4TC. However for longer distances than 6m 4TC is the best option. That said, both are very good cables and while some prefer the superior speed and detail of SlinkyLinks, the slightly fuller sound of Kimbers copper construction in 4TC will win others over.
Consisting of eight individual TCSS conductors, four clear and four white 4TC utilizes Kimbers proven braiding technique. The insulating dielectric is high pressure-low temperature-extruded Teflon. The individual conductors are Hyper-pure copper, arranged in proven VariStrand™ conductor geometry. The focus, transparency, and transient speed of 4TC are stunning. 4TC continues to receive enthusiastic reviews and recommendations from consumers and critics worldwide. The new version is available in a distinctive white and clear finish replacing the original blue and black. NZ$ 83 per metre.
One often ignored advantage of Kimber speaker cables are that they are well able to be used without plugs and to my mind are better off without them in most systems, despite the temptation to purchase big banana plugs. Save the money and spend it on something more worthwhile.
Two new interconnect models have reaffirmed Kimber’s reputation as the ideal entry level interconnect.
Like the first tone of a scale, the Tonik interconnect provides the foundation of truly accurate performance and value. Through the use of Kimber’s legendary tri-braid field geometry, Varistrand™, Ultra-pure copper conductors and their special recipe PE dielectric, the Tonik allows music to flow with power, smoothness, and harmonic richness. Tonik single-ended uses the Ultratike™ RCA type connector. The shorter sets are extremely useful and tidy.
.5m NZ$ 158
.75m NZ$ 168
1m NZ$ 179
1.5m NZ$ 200
2m NZ$ 222
Like the natural distinguishing sound of a musical instrument, so is the performance of the Timbre interconnect; distinctly transparent, full bodied and harmonically complete. The Kimber hallmarks of three dimensionality and precise image focus are immediately evident. The Timbre uses proven tri-braided field geometry and VariStrand™, Hyper-pure copper conductors along with a clear Teflon® dielectric. Single-ended termination features the latest version of the high performance Ultraplate™ RCA type connectors.
.75m NZ$ 272
1m NZ$ 292
1.5m NZ$ 333
2m NZ$ 373
While we have the highest respect for Kimber’s more costly interconnects - Hero, AG, and Select - again we find that at this level we have formed a preference for SlinkyLinks and Keith Louis Eichmann Innovations. Kimber themselves have proven that silver sounds better and we think that the Eichmann Bullet plugs (especially the silver ones) used in SlinkyLinks provide a worthwhile performance advantage over the equivalently priced Kimbers. Again we would point out that we still regard Kimber as considerably better than many other cables, it’s just that in our own listening SlinkyLinks have the edge.
We can tell you that it is best to stick with one cable designer throughout your system - consistency has considerable benefits in that you’ll find a more coherent and balanced sound is achieved.
There is also no doubt that bi-wiring speaker cables works well with Kimber - but don’t split any of the above cables up - you are better off having two separate runs. If you take this advice it also follows that unless already using 4TC you should also consider moving to a better cable if looking to bi-wire at the outset. One run of 4VS will sound better than 2 runs of 4PR. One run of 4TC sounds better than two of 4VS. You can also do worse than replacing the shorting bars on your speakers with short lengths of Kimber when using a single run of cable - the difference will surprise you.
Building or running cable to speakers in another room?
Today’s higher quality distributed sound and custom home theater installations need no longer be compromised by ordinary "contractor type" speaker cable. Kimber has engineered the KWIK in-wall cable to be audibly superior to all other custom install speaker cables. Keeping in mind the needs of in-wall and in-ceiling speakers, Kimber has designed the KWIK 16 to have incredible midrange clarity with tight and substantial mid-bass response. This is achieved through a unique dual-gauge strand configuration and their special recipe PE dielectric. A slippery off-white PVC outer jacket and convenient foot labeling make the fire rated KWIK a much better and affordable option for in wall use at just NZ$ 12 per metre.
Digital and video interconnect cables
...call for parameters that are unique when compared to analog audio cables. In digital and video applications, the solutions are geared towards and emphasis in wide frequency bandwidth, low dielctric loss, low parallel capacitance and low series inductance. Due to the higher frequencies involved in digital and video transfer such specifications are of critical importance. Digital signals contain a wide range of encoded information which includes timing signals. These high frequency timing signals must be precisely communicated between components to ensure that information is properly decoded before conversion back to analog. Kimber’s digital cables are manufactured to strict standards, reducing variations that could induce signal degrading reflections. The requirements surrounding the transfer of video signals are as similarly demanding as those of digital. If the parameters are not carefully engineered, the creation of color shifts or imbalances, losses in brightness or contrast and loss of sharpness (detail), are common. Kimber's digital/video cables have been optimized for both existing and emerging High Definition Television standards, and are available in component and RGB+HV configurations.
Kimber USB 1m NZ$ 136
Kimber GQ Mini CU 3.5–RCA for iPod 1m NZ$ 215
Contact us for for pricing on other lengths and for HDMI cables
So whatever your needs, we have the answers. Tell us about what you want to achieve in your system and we’ll help you select the most appropriate cable, matching interconnects and speakers cables with both practical and quality requirements. We promise you'll be thrilled with the improvement you hear.
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