By Lam Seng Fatt
I do not know much about Tellurium Q cables and after Willy passed these cables to me, I had to surf to the company’s website www.telluriumq.com to read up on its design philosophy and products.
The website stated: “When Tellurium Q was set up the focus was primarily on phase distortion and minimising this problem inherent in all cabling, whoever makes them and where ever and however they are made. The reason it is a problem is simple, all materials (not just cables) in the path of a signal will act as an electronic filter according to the definition in the box below, whether you want it to or not. This is undeniable.
“Please understand we use the word filter as its scientific definition and not necessarily as something being ‘filtered out’ like with a mechanical sieve. We are primarily focussed on removing the smearing of frequencies through a timing shift and by doing this you get better clarity and transparency from Tellurium Q cables.”
So has Tellurium Q succeeded in its design goals?
Armed with my HP laptop with Windows 10 and J River V20, I connected the USB cables to the Wyred4Sound DAC2 and used my own audiophile USB cable as reference.
I played three types of files – a CD rip (16/44.1), a 24/96 and a 24/192 file. The 24/96 and 24/192 files were from HDTracks.
The first thing I noticed with the Tellurium cable was the quietness. The blackness of the silence was quite amazing when there was no music playing or when there were silent passages within the music.
Another thing I noticed was that it sounded smooth, full and rich.
The Blue is the lower-end model and it shows. Compared with my reference, it tended to reproduce the images in a smaller sound stage.
While the sound quality was nice, I preferred the larger sound stage offered by my reference cable.
Now, this Silver Diamond USB cable was something else. The old adage that ‘you get what you pay for’ holds true.
This USB cable matched my reference in terms of soundstage width and depth. That was some achievement, but the Silver Diamond had more in store.
The vocals sounded magical – the voices sounded smooth, full and rich. It had a sensual quality that reminded me of the Cardas USB cable, except that the Cardas cable was much darker sounding.
My reference USB cable sounded brighter, but the Tellurium sounded smoother and richer. Vocals reproduced by the Tellurium sounded far better with a natural touch to the tone, timbre and sibilance.
I thought the Tellurium Silver Diamond, which sounded good with songs featuring lots of acoustic instruments, may not fare that well with electric music. So I played The Eagles’ Life In The Fast Lane (HDTracks, 24/192) and was surprised that it sounded quite good. While my brighter-sounding reference cable gave the electric guitar more sting and brilliance, the Tellurium rendered the electric guitar in a more ‘matte’ way. The difference was like a piece of metal that is highly-polished and one that is just polished – both are shiny, but one just has that little more sheen.
But with acoustic instruments, the Tellurium rendered the harmonics and decay of notes in a more believable way and there were certainly more shades of colour in the music.
The Tellurium Silver Diamond is definitely one of the better USB cables in the market.
Note: I used the Furutech GT2 USB cable as reference.
The RRP for the Tellurium Blue USB cable is RM1,200 while the RRP for the Tellurium Silver Diamond is RM5,200. For more details, please call Mr Aw of The Audio Store at 019-2682559.