To have great sound at home Kimber is where you start for cable. With the high standards set by modern audio components you’ll gain far greater benefit from better cables than was ever possible in the past, making your music that much more enjoyable.
Ray Kimber taught me about what makes better sounding audio cables and I’ve never forgotten his lessons.
All the elements of Kimber design – the trade mark braiding, varistrand, dielectric, metallurgy and connector technology hold as much validity today as when I heard my first Kimber cable – the classic 4VS speaker cable.
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.
Varistrand – the use of varied thickness of conductors allows Kimber cables to better cover the full range of audio frequencies. Dielectric – the insulation used to cover conductors – has a direct effect of the sound quality – Kimber uses low loss fluorocarbon dielectric in both the 4TC speaker cable and Tonik interconnects that we recommend. Likewise the conductors are AWG OFE (oxygen free electrolytic) copper with industry leading conductivity (102% IACS).
The classic Tonik analogue interconnect uses Kimber bespoke Ultratike™ RCA type connector. This is the perfect interconnect for general use within systems – we have options from as short as 0.5m which is great for tidy installations and longer runs are surprisingly cost effective.
Kimber Tonik per pair – 0.5m $158; 0.75m $168; 1.0m $179; 2.0m $222.
Tonik Balanced ($200 per 1m pair) features “studio grade” XLR connectors with silver plated contacts. These are perfect for many of NuPrime’s components which feature balanced connections – DACs and power amplifiers especially. Balanced connections can have worthwhile benefits at this level.
Kimber Speaker cables
It’s taken us many years to find a speaker cable termination that we have been convinced by – The new KLEI Harmony Banana plug by Keith Eichmann is the prefect plug for both Kimber 4VS and 4TC – it’s a very high quality silver alloy plated copper design.
This genuinely enhances conduction being even better than the cable itself (it may surprise you but gold is not a particularly good conductor and the brass substrate on many plugs is even worse).
The combination of Kimber and KLEI delivers exceptional clarity and a full range and open sound. It’s really is the best of all worlds – cost effective, pliant, discrete and great sounding. 4VS is great value, 4TC is even better again.
We have made up sets in stock and ready to go and can also quickly make up custom lengths for you. High silver content solder is used to attach every plug.
Kimber speaker cable sets with KLEI Harmony Banana Plugs fitted per pair: 4TC 2 + 2m set $488; 3 + 3m set $652; 4 + 4m set $816, 5 + 5m set $980.
Kimber Kable: 4VS per metre $35; 4TC per metre $82.
KLEI Harmony Banana Plugs: $160 per set of 8.
Kimber OPT-1 is the perfect digital optical interconnect for almost every system.
Construction of the OPT-1 begins with medical-grade light-conducting fibre. The fibre is then encapsulated in a thermal barrier that inhibits heat warping of the light-carrying fibre. A mechanical damping outer barrier is also applied to further protect the cable from damage. The ends are then cold-polished, helping to further reduce the incidence of reflections. With such excellent light transfer characteristics, the result is a sound which is full, relaxed and transparent.
Kimber Opt 1: 0.5m $121; 1.0m $147; 1.5m $171; 2.0m $196.
Kimber USB-Cu is your cable of choice for connecting your computer, laptop or hard drive to your DAC or digital integrated amplifier. With high grade shielding, RF suppression clamps at both ends, ultra pure copper conductors and gold plated contacts Kimber USB gets every last bit of digital information through and minimises jitter and interference.
Kimber USB-Cu A-B Bus: 0.5m $115; 1m $136.
The Next Steps…
This is effectively the start of the Kimber range and they absolutely do make better cables. By using better plugs (WBT) silver rather than copper (ie. the Silver Streak and AG models), and more sophisticated cable architecture (the Select series), Kimber push their performance envelope out.
This is also exactly what Keith Eichmann does with his KLEI cable range – There are two critical advantages for KLEI – firstly Keith designs both plugs and cables and is able to better optimise the designs and produce a complete end to end solution. The second is Australian production and a more direct distribution system which simply means when compared to the US$ based Kimber, we here in New Zealand see a significant price/performance advantage for KLEI. For all that, the entry level for KLEI is still well above the Kimber Kables we do stock.
This in no way diminishes my respect for the better Kimber products and I fully acknowledge that Kimber are a much bigger operation, with research and production facilities to match and their cables, especially at Select level, are beautifully presented.