Tellurium Q

multi-award winning, Audiophile Quality Cables, manufactured in England
We are focused on performance and our aim is to set a new standard.

Tellurium Q have been very secretive about how they get the performance from their cables that give rise to so many amazing reviews but they remain tight lipped. urns out that the “secret” is in the name.

Tellurium Copper has been a base material for TQ connectors for quite some time and depending on how they plate and what they plate with gives rise to different performance characteristics, hence the “Tellurium” part of the name but that is not it. That awkward little letter “Q” perched right there tells you all you need to know about the way they look at developing their cables….if you were an electronic engineer. 

Q has many meanings and one of which is the quality factor relating to electronic filters and there you have it. All cables (in fact all materials) from any manufacturer act as electronic filters that shift the relative phase of various signal frequencies relative to one another. Think of a painting that gets smeared. 

Each material that a signal passes through will affect the various frequencies in a signal differently. So Tellurium Q work to balance, as far as possible, the different materials, thicknesses and geometries to get as close as possible to a neutral effect on the signal. 

It is all about the materials and how they work together in the signal path.  Sounds easy but this is part science and part art and involves an awful lot of iterative testing. A small change in a material used can completely through a sound out of kilter. Even the solder material used by Tellurium Q has been tested exhaustively and you can bet there is no silver in the mix!

What you get from this approach is a set of products that win awards regularly and release the potential locked in your system.

                                                        9 PRODUCT of the YEAR AWARDS in last 2yrs.
HiFi+ - Cables of the Year award many times over:
Our work is for the audiophile and music lover who wants to hear the clearest, purest sound from their system at a reasonable price. We are focused on performance and our aim is to set a new standard.

“something that I’ve never heard from any cable at this price point.”
........Paul Rigby HiFi World
Full review here
http://audioreference.co.nz/brand/tellurium-q

“Cavernous acoustic space.....palpable sense of reality...good sense of timing and pitch...the sound was controlled and didn’t harden as the volume increased...even tonal balance.”
........Hi Fi News

The only cable range to have ever be given product of the year by HiFi Plus for EVERY product.

The only cable range ever to be given the maximum 5 Globes by HiFi World for EVERY cable.Tellurium Q Cables - the first cables designed primarily to combat Phase Distortion - Clearly Better Sound

When the engineering team at Tellurium Q (based in the UK) studied the factors impacting speaker cable performance, they realised that phase distortion is a key determinant of cable performance, and yet not addressed by current audio R&D. So they started designing from a blank slate, with a determined focus to combat phase distortion. The result is ultra low phase distortion. Their cables also have low capacitance and very high bandwidth but primarily it is the superbly low phase distortion that make these cables sound extraordinarily clear and natural. These high performance cables have won multiple awards in their very first year of launch!

Tellurium Q is the first range of cables specifically engineered to avoid phase-distortion. To achieve this goal, this made-in-England cable has received attention to every parameter, both electrical and mechanical. Conductor material, construction, doping and geometry; dielectric properties and vibrational damping - these along with perfectly balanced inductance, capacitance and resistance result in a cable range with unique virtues. By avoiding the time-smear and colourations that are caused by phase distortion, the nuances, dynamics and rhythmic insight of the performance are preserved. Tellurium Q cables simply reveal the music. 

Tellurium Qtm

HiFi cable with distortion due to the signals for notes arriving at your speaker smeared together due to phase distortion.

The bass may sound loud and rumble but why? When you look at the diagram above you can clearly see that with all the bass notes smeared together there may be more but it is less distinct and not a natural sound at all. Our ears have become accustomed to the distortion from HIFi systems and unfortunately however good your system the cable still distorts the sound.

Tellurium Qtm is different. With virtually no smearing due to its unique properties you will experience distinct bass notes with greater range. You will notice clearer mid and top end for similar reasons but also because Tellurium Qtm has a better bandwidth than most other cables too.

At first the bass may sound a little light until you become attuned to hearing more of the bass notes because they don’t hit you muddled and squashed into a big pile but flow to you as you would naturally experience them in reality.

This is why we use the picture above  and the phrase “Clearly Better Sound” on the first page of our web site. Tellurium Qtm is all about delivering the clearest quality sound in its price range from all our products. This is not jaded marketing hyperbole just a real commitment to our fellow audiophiles.

The Tellurium Qtm Effect

We are being asked more and more why does tellurium Q sound so natural, with so little phase distortion compared to other cables in its price range?

So Here is an important part of the answer. You can download this as a pdf by clicking here: The Tellurium Qtm Effect

The following graphs compare Tellurium Qtm to other makes. Instead of citing manufactures cables (something we will not do) we have used price points as an indication of what your money is buying.

The square wave pulse is quite a tough test of how quickly a cable can react. However being able to react fast is crucial for certain details like being able faithfully reproduce the leading edge of a kick drum or a fast symbol attack etc. Doesn’t sound like a big deal until you realise just how much these aspects become distorted compared to just how poorly most cables are able to reproduce the trailing edge. We suppose the nearest analogue is blackness of a screen - will you put up with greys or do you want your blacks to be ultra black?

It is also evident then, why the Tellurium Black and Ultra Black do so well at reproducing detail throughout the range because even base notes need a tight, clean leading edge. It is not just in the top end that this is essential for the clearest sound reproduction.

“The next big evolution in Hi-Fi quality is to finally control phase distortion and frequency response.”

This is one of the reasons that Tellurium Qtm sound so natural, with so little phase distortion compared to other cables in its price range?

A wag on one of the many audio blog sites joked that it was because music travels faster in the new tellurium Qtm cables. He was just being humorous because he hadn’t heard what Tellurium Qtm could do and didn’t understand that this really is a new development in audio but inadvertently, he was closer to the truth than he could have realised.

Strangely, signals (electric current) in wire (copper, silver, whatever) , tend to flow  more freely at different depths in the wire depending on frequency etc.  This is a very simplified way of looking at a much more complicated scientific fact, nothing more. 

Because of this phenomenon some signals are slightly delayed and become squashed together. This is especially true for low end bass.  Unfortunately almost every speaker cable that is made suffers from this. Because nearly all cables suffer from this problem we have become accustomed to hearing smeared bass from our hifi systems. 

                                                   WHERE TELLURIUM Q CAME FROM

People have been asking how Tellurium Q came about and what we are doing to make our products work so differently from what is currently available.  This has caused us problems because there are trade secrets and production methodologies that we definitely do not want to share with our competitors. I think that sometimes we err too much on the side of caution and that causes reviewers and our distributors a little problem. What do they say? What is the story to give our customers, a hook, a reason to listen when there are so many companies claiming big things? Why should people believe that we have a genuinely different approach? Yes a client can hear this is true within seconds of listening but the big problem is giving people a reason to want to listen having not yet heard the cable. In the UK this is not such a big problem as more and more people are giving their feedback to their friends and Tellurium Q is spreading rapidly by word of mouth as much as from the remarkable reviews.

However we can say a little about our background, how Tellurium Q came about and what we had to do to develop the products. So here goes.

How Tellurium was born:

The two principle directors met at a recording studio launch. One director, Geoff Merrigan, was there because he was the studio’s business advisor. The other director, Colin Wonfor was there because he was a friend of the studio owner. As both had a strong interest in science and technology they started talking. Turned out that Colin  had a background which meant that he was a world class analogue  and high frequency power specialist being a consultant to the UK military on various classified projects and in the USA for NASA designing the power supplies for the space station.

At that particular time Colin was working as an external consultant for Naim Audio, he had quite a reputation as an audio design engineer and something of a trouble shooter.

Discussion naturally enough turned to the studio and recording quality. Colin made the bold claim that the cables were causing problems in recording quality. Both the studio owner and Geoff took the stand point that a cable is just a cable and all it needs to do is transmit a signal and enough power, end of story. 

An hour later Colin had finished outlining what was missing theoretically in a standard cable’s construction and why exactly that caused problems. It made absolute sense and Tellurium Q was born on a leap of faith that Colin’s theories would be borne out in practice. The directors invested heavily in R&D and non-standard tooling to bring about the first cable, Tellurium Black. Thankfully it exceeded expectations and in the UK there was an immediate uptake with a small handful of dealers who were prepared to use their ears.

The most recent phase of development sees the introduction of our own tellurium copper connectors that have a near perfect synergy with the Tellurium Q cables, as the latest review in the magazine HiFi World confirms.

What people do not realise is that to get the best performance in a cable you actually have to be prepared to compromise between a number of factors. For example in most applications a signal must not leak into the dielectric (but this is a good thing in capacitors). Stepping back further, you even need to ask what exactly is a “signal”. An electric current is not a bunch of electrons entering a wire at one end, zipping through and popping out the other end. No. It is more like the Newton’s cradle toy where a wave of impacts go through the swinging balls quickly while the balls themselves move very little.  Of course the electrons work their way through the wire, just not very quickly that is all. When you understand what a signal actually is and how this “wave potential” is affected, then what function that signal has to fulfil, it is time to do a bit of a balancing act between, for example, capacitance, inductance, accurate transmission (not just material purity as many think) and high speed transmission (which in itself involves a whole host of lesser criteria). It is this fine tuning process that can lead to some surprises in choice of materials that is REQUIRED for the compromises to work efficiently and effectively. What we do a little differently is that we skew the balancing act to take into account phase accuracy to give a recording correct timing reproduction.

That, in a nutshell is how we at Tellurium Q get the results we get. We  believe that we put more into research and development than any other company as a percentage of our profitability and we have no reason to stop doing so. Research is our passion and our customers are the beneficiaries of this. 

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Featured

TQ 01 USB BLK
NZ$ 795.00 (incl. GST)
TQ USB cable - Kai Ekhom of Inner World Audio review: Internet is a wonderful thing when it really works for its users. One night I was enjoying my music downloads with Tellurium Graphite speaker...
TQ 02 IC DIN BD
Price on application
We were asked if it was possible to construct a reference level DIN cable and this is the result. The performance is beyond what you might expect simply from looking at it because there seems to be...
TQ 12 IC UB RCA
NZ$ 995.00 (incl. GST)
The ULTRA BLACK INTERCONNECT is the first of the RCAs in our range to use our new TeCu connector.  “It seems as if the UB [Ultra Black RCA] has such precision with regards to timing that it...
TQ 12 IC UB XLR
NZ$ 1,295.00 (incl. GST)
Similar to the Black XLR, just much better and using our Tellurium Copper connectors. For a richer more detailed sound. The XLRs have a very natural sheen to them and great resolution. Quiet as you...
TQ SC 02 UBLUE 3
NZ$ 450.00 (incl. GST)
HiFi Choice Review: "It finds the direct line to the music’s rhythms and dynamics, and weaves them together in a wonderfully cohesive way. You find yourself not listening to the hi-fi, but...
TQ SC 04 UBLK 3
NZ$ 2,995.00 (incl. GST)
Hi Geoff,It's been more than a month that I have been enjoying the services of TQ U/Black on a daily basis and the more time I spend with it, the more I am convinced that its rightness and balance is...

All Products

Interconnects

TQ 01 USB BL
NZ$ 595.00 ea (incl. GST)
The Blue USB The baby brother of the highly acclaimed Black USB.
Interconnects
TQ 01 USB BLK
NZ$ 795.00 ea (incl. GST)
TQ USB cable - Kai Ekhom of Inner World Audio review: Internet is a wonderful thing when it really works for its users. One night I was enjoying my music downloads with Tellurium Graphite speaker...
Interconnects
TQ 01 USB BLKDIA
NZ$ 1,495.00 ea (incl. GST)
Just like all our cables the USB cables are hand built for performance in the UK. The idea that improving the digital signal path affects digital sound was frankly, laughable but is just now becoming...
Wading through the plethora of products from various companies now offering 'Audiophile Quality'...
Interconnects
TQ 01 USB SILDIA
NZ$ 1,795.00 ea (incl. GST)
CLIENT"S COMMENT; It’s been a very interesting few days – I hooked up the TQ Silver Diamond USB cable on the Thursday afternoon and could not believe the difference compared to my old Purist...
EXTENDED REVIEW: I assume that each one of us experienced a so called “Yeti effect” at least once,...
Interconnects
TQ 02 IC DIN BD
Price on application
We were asked if it was possible to construct a reference level DIN cable and this is the result. The performance is beyond what you might expect simply from looking at it because there seems to be...
Interconnects
TQ 02 IC DRCA B
NZ$ 795.00 ea (incl. GST)
The entry level Blue Waveform II takes over from the original waveform with the same architectural approach to improving digital signals as the other Waveform II digital RCA cables. When you hear the...
Interconnects
TQ 02 IC DRCA BK
NZ$ 995.00 ea (incl. GST)
The Black Waveform II digital RCA builds on the success of the original Black Waveform but in a completely different way to give a clean, natural sound. HiFi+ Review“This turned out to be an...
Interconnects
TQ 02 IC DRCA S
NZ$ 1,795.00 ea (incl. GST)
I’m always wary of labelling any piece of equipment as the best I’ve heard – but it’s hard to escape that conclusion in the case of the Tellurium Q Ultra  Silvers. They really do shine a...
EXTENDED REVIEW: The English company Tellurium Q does not make life easy for us reviewers. They do...
Interconnects
TQ 02 IC DRCA SD
NZ$ 2,250.00 ea (incl. GST)
Just like all our cables the digital RCA cables are hand built in Britain for performance. Some think that the idea that improving the signal path for digital signals is a waste of time. However a...
Interconnects
TQ 03 IC DXLR BK
NZ$ 995.00 ea (incl. GST)
The Black Digital XLR has been designed differently from what you would expect. Many people think that a digital cable is just a digital cable but you may be surprised that this one really does make...
Interconnects
TQ 03 IC DXLR S
NZ$ 2,250.00 ea (incl. GST)
The Silver Diamond XLR sits right at the top of all our families of sound in terms of performance. Highly detailed, incredible range and above all natural. Once you hear a Silver Diamond XLR you will...
Interconnects
TQ 03 IC DXLR SD
Price on application
The Silver Diamond XLR sits right at the top of all our families of sound in terms of performance. Highly detailed, incredible range and above all natural. Once you hear a Silver Diamond XLR you will...
Interconnects
TQ 11 IC BLK RCA
NZ$ 795.00 pr (incl. GST)
Ground-breaking cables, delivered with your choice of musical toppings” Tellurium Q have won the “Cable of the Year” award from the UK magazine HiFi+, plus full 5 Globe Awards from Hi-Fi World (for...
Tellurium Q has expanded its popular cable range with three new interconnects.David Price listens...
Interconnects
TQ 11 IC BLK XLR
NZ$ 995.00 pr (incl. GST)
Ground-breaking cables, delivered with your choice of musical toppings” Tellurium Q have won the “Cable of the Year” award from the UK magazine HiFi+, plus full 5 Globe Awards from Hi-Fi World (for...
Tellurium Q has expanded its popular cable range with three new interconnects.David Price listens...
Interconnects
TQ 12 IC UB RCA
NZ$ 995.00 pr (incl. GST)
The ULTRA BLACK INTERCONNECT is the first of the RCAs in our range to use our new TeCu connector.  “It seems as if the UB [Ultra Black RCA] has such precision with regards to timing that it...
Interconnects
TQ 12 IC UB XLR
NZ$ 1,295.00 pr (incl. GST)
Similar to the Black XLR, just much better and using our Tellurium Copper connectors. For a richer more detailed sound. The XLRs have a very natural sheen to them and great resolution. Quiet as you...
Interconnects
TQ 13 IC US RCA
NZ$ 1,795.00 pr (incl. GST)
The high performance level Ultra Silver takes what the Ultra Black range does so well and then goes beyond that performance. for even greater satisfaction..... taking the qualities of the previous...
Interconnects
TQ 13 IC US XLR
NZ$ 2,295.00 pr (incl. GST)
The reference level Ultra Silver Interconnect takes what the Ultra Black range does so well and then goes beyond that performance to bring you even more satisfaction.....taking the qualities of the...
Interconnects
TQ 15 IC BD RCA
NZ$ 1,995.00 pr (incl. GST)
The Black Diamond Level are Tellurium Q in a cable., our ULTRA Reference RCA inteconnect. These have just been released and are our proudest work. The Black Diamond RCA uses our own TeCu connector...
Back in the March 2012 edition of this magazine, fellow scribe Paul Rigby went so far as to ...
Interconnects
TQ 15 IC BD XLR
NZ$ 2,795.01 pr (incl. GST)
Interconnects
TQ 16 IC SD RCA
NZ$ 3,995.00 pr (incl. GST)
EXTENDED REVIEW: I assume that each one of us experienced a so called “Yeti effect” at least once,...
Interconnects
TQ 16 IC SD XLR
NZ$ 4,995.00 pr (incl. GST)
The Silver Diamond XLR sits right at the top of all our families of sound in terms of performance.
EXTENDED REVIEW: I assume that each one of us experienced a so called “Yeti effect” at least once,...
Interconnects
TQ 16 IC SDRCA15
NZ$ 4,500.00 pr (incl. GST)
Interconnects

Speaker

TQ SC 02 UBLUE 2
NZ$ 350.00 pr (incl. GST)
ULTRA BLUE - EQUIPMENTS of the YEAR AWARD 2015/2016The Ultra Blue speaker cable has just been awarded a product of the year bringing the Tellurium Q total to 10 for the last couple of years. ...
Speaker
TQ SC 02 UBLUE 3
NZ$ 450.00 pr (incl. GST)
HiFi Choice Review: "It finds the direct line to the music’s rhythms and dynamics, and weaves them together in a wonderfully cohesive way. You find yourself not listening to the hi-fi, but...
Speaker
TQ SC 02 UBLUE 4
NZ$ 550.00 pr (incl. GST)
HiFi Choice Review: "It finds the direct line to the music’s rhythms and dynamics, and weaves them together in a wonderfully cohesive way. You find yourself not listening to the hi-fi, but...
Speaker
TQ SC 03 BLACK 2
NZ$ 500.00 pr (incl. GST)
Tellurium Q Black was Tellurium Q's first cable and they knew we were on to something special when they took the prototypes to various dealers for their comments and input. One in particular would...
This is not a review. Consider it more of an appreciation. - This story began at Munich High...
Speaker
TQ SC 03 BLACK 3
NZ$ 675.00 pr (incl. GST)
Tellurium Q Black was Tellurium Q's first cable and they knew we were on to something special when they took the prototypes to various dealers for their comments and input. One in particular would...
This is not a review. Consider it more of an appreciation. - This story began at Munich High...
Speaker
TQ SC 03 BLACK 4
NZ$ 850.00 pr (incl. GST)
Multi Award-winning cables•Four awards in the first year in the HIFi Market.•The only cable range to have ever be given product of the year by HiFi Plus for EVERY product.•The only cable range...
This is not a review. Consider it more of an appreciation. - This story began at Munich High...
Speaker
TQ SC 03 BLACK L
NZ$ 226.08 pr (incl. GST)
Award-winning cables•Four awards in the first year in the HIFi Market.•The only cable range to have ever be given product of the year by HiFi Plus for EVERY product.•The only cable range ever to be...
Speaker
TQ SC 03 SIL 2
NZ$ 800.00 pr (incl. GST)
The “Silver” (Silver and Ultra Silver) has been designed for those who love detail. As has already been commented on, with the Ultra silver the top end is extraordinarily detailed without any...
Speaker
TQ SC 03 SIL 3
NZ$ 1,100.00 pr (incl. GST)
The “Silver” (Silver and Ultra Silver) has been designed for those who love detail. As has already been commented on, with the Ultra silver the top end is extraordinarily detailed without any...
Speaker
TQ SC 03 SIL 4
NZ$ 1,500.00 pr (incl. GST)
The “Silver” (Silver and Ultra Silver) has been designed for those who love detail. As has already been commented on, with the Ultra silver the top end is extraordinarily detailed without any...
Speaker
TQ SC 03 SIL L
NZ$ 250.00 pr (incl. GST)
Speaker
TQ SC 04 BD 2
NZ$ 1,500.00 pr (incl. GST)
Tellurium Blue Diamond (formerly known as Green) is the companion cable to Tellurium Ultra Black and is probably more suitable for slightly bright systems as they have a very slight “mellowing”...
Speaker
TQ SC 04 BD 3
NZ$ 2,000.00 pr (incl. GST)
Tellurium Blue Diamond (formerly known as Green) is the companion cable to Tellurium Ultra Black and is probably more suitable for slightly bright systems as they have a very slight “mellowing”...
Speaker
TQ SC 04 BD 4
NZ$ 2,500.00 pr (incl. GST)
Tellurium Blue Diamond (formerly known as Green) is the companion cable to Tellurium Ultra Black and is probably more suitable for slightly bright systems as they have a very slight “mellowing”...
Speaker
TQ SC 04 BD 5
NZ$ 3,000.01 pr (incl. GST)
Tellurium Blue Diamond (formerly known as Green) is the companion cable to Tellurium Ultra Black and is probably more suitable for slightly bright systems as they have a very slight “mellowing”...
Speaker
TQ SC 04 UBLK 2
NZ$ 1,995.00 pr (incl. GST)
Hi Geoff, It's been more than a month that I have been enjoying the services of TQ U/Black on a daily basis and the more time I spend with it, the more I am convinced that its rightness and balance...
Speaker
TQ SC 04 UBLK 3
NZ$ 2,995.00 pr (incl. GST)
Hi Geoff,It's been more than a month that I have been enjoying the services of TQ U/Black on a daily basis and the more time I spend with it, the more I am convinced that its rightness and balance is...
Speaker
TQ SC 04 UBLK 4
NZ$ 3,995.00 pr (incl. GST)
Hi Geoff,It's been more than a month that I have been enjoying the services of TQ U/Black on a daily basis and the more time I spend with it, the more I am convinced that its rightness and balance is...
Speaker
TQ SC 04 UBLK L
NZ$ 695.00 pr (incl. GST)
The Black bi-wire link is designed to be used only with Tellurium Q mid range level Black speaker cable to replace the external links that came with your speaker. Hi Geoff,
Speaker
TQ SC 05 USIL 2
NZ$ 3,750.00 pr (incl. GST)
This cable is distinctive from the Black range by focusing even more on detail. Whereas the Black range has been described as natural/neutral the Ultra Silver is being talked about in terms of the...
Totally Wired Newly released within Tellurium Q’s Graphite cable range, Paul Rigby wonders if the...
Speaker
TQ SC 05 USIL 3
NZ$ 5,500.00 pr (incl. GST)
This cable is distinctive from the Black range by focusing even more on detail. Whereas the Black range has been described as natural/neutral the Ultra Silver is being talked about in terms of the...
Speaker
TQ SC 05 USIL 4
NZ$ 7,250.00 pr (incl. GST)
This cable is distinctive from the Black range by focusing even more on detail. Whereas the Black range has been described as natural/neutral the Ultra Silver is being talked about in terms of the...
Totally Wired Newly released within Tellurium Q’s Graphite cable range, Paul Rigby wonders if the...
Speaker
TQ SC 05 USIL L
NZ$ 695.00 pr (incl. GST)
The high performance level graphite bi-wire link is designed to be used only with Tellurium Q Ultra Silver speaker cable to replace the Nasty External Links that came with your speaker.
Speaker
TQ SC 06 BDMD 2
NZ$ 4,500.00 pr (incl. GST)
Product of the Year 2014 - HiFi World, Awards Edition Jan 2015"But perhaps their reticence is understandable when the product sounds as good as this – after all, why let others in on the secret? Used...
EXTENDED REVIEW:  - Dan Worth and Dominic Marsh get to grips with the latest loudspeaker cable...
Speaker
TQ SC 06 BDMD 3
NZ$ 6,750.01 pr (incl. GST)
Product of the Year 2014 - HiFi World, Awards Edition Jan 2015"But perhaps their reticence is understandable when the product sounds as good as this – after all, why let others in on the secret? Used...
EXTENDED REVIEW:  - Dan Worth and Dominic Marsh get to grips with the latest loudspeaker cable...
Speaker
TQ SC 06 BDMD 4
NZ$ 9,000.00 pr (incl. GST)
Product of the Year 2014 - HiFi World, Awards Edition Jan 2015"But perhaps their reticence is understandable when the product sounds as good as this – after all, why let others in on the secret? Used...
EXTENDED REVIEW:  - Dan Worth and Dominic Marsh get to grips with the latest loudspeaker cable...
Speaker
TQ SC 06 BDMD L
NZ$ 750.00 pr (incl. GST)
The ULTRA reference level Black Diamond bi-wire link is designed to be used only with Tellurium Q Black Diamond, Graphite or Ultra Black speaker cable to replace the external links that came with...
Speaker
TQ SC 07 SDMD 2
NZ$ 6,500.00 pr (incl. GST)
The Silver Diamond are the cables that we were not sure could be made (although we hoped that they would be possible).
Of all the cable manufacturers out there Tellurium Q is arguably the most secretive about the...
Tellurium Q are renowned for the secrecy surrounding the construction of their cables. But when...
Speaker
TQ SC 07 SDMD 3
NZ$ 9,750.00 pr (incl. GST)
Received Most Wanted Components Award in USA and what a comment to go with it - "The added resolution, ‘rightness’ and musical truth they impart, while besting cables costing far more than their...
Of all the cable manufacturers out there Tellurium Q is arguably the most secretive about the...
Tellurium Q are renowned for the secrecy surrounding the construction of their cables. But when...
Speaker
TQ SC 07 SDMD 4
NZ$ 13,000.00 pr (incl. GST)
The Silver Diamond are the cables that we were not sure could be made (although we hoped that they would be possible).
Of all the cable manufacturers out there Tellurium Q is arguably the most secretive about the...
Tellurium Q are renowned for the secrecy surrounding the construction of their cables. But when...
Speaker
TQ SC 07 SDMD L
NZ$ 1,300.01 set (incl. GST)
Speaker

Reviews

TQ cables - Summary reviews

HiFi+ - Cables of the Year 2010 award:
Our work is for the audiophile and music lover who wants to hear the clearest, purest sound from their system at a reasonable price. We are focused on performance and our aim is to set a new standard.

“something that I’ve never heard from any cable at this price point.”
........Paul Rigby HiFi World

“Cavernous acoustic space.....palpable sense of reality...good sense of timing and pitch...the sound was controlled and didn’t harden as the volume increased...even tonal balance.”
........Hi Fi News

That is Four awards in the first year in the Hi-Fi market.
The only cable range to have ever be given product of the year by HiFi Plus for EVERY product.
The only cable range ever to be given the maximum 5 Globes by HiFi World for EVERY cable.

Very satisfied client quote:
The Tellurium Ultra Black are quite special Terry. I have listened to (and owned) a lot of cables but these sound just right. They seem to impose nothing of themselves. I think the phase accuracy that Tellurium are after is successful. I hear it as a tighter, better organised and therefor easier to enjoy performance. Its as if the band is having a really good night. They don't seem to slow, smear or colour the music. Nor do they strip the music of its weight and body. My highest recommendation. Tellurium cables have moved my system considerably further along and are giving me much enjoyment. Thank you. 
.......Brian V (passionate audiphile).

"..excellent value, with construction quality and superlative sound." 
.......Hifi World 

“Tellurium Q Black is the Hi-Fi World 'Best Cable 2010'” “..a fine array of speaker cables from Tellurium Q that will fit just about any system out there. All warrant five globe ratings..” 
.......Hifi World

“...a remarkably deft and lucid midband in all the variants...Blue can transform the sound of even the most humble system, while Ultra Black is remarkable in any system.” 
.......Hifi+ Cable of the Year 2010.

It’s big, it’s meaty and it sounds like an ideal blend of solid state and valve technology. Buy it
Paul Rigby
 
Tellurium Q has released a specialised SEAC single-ended, Class A, transistor power amplifier. 
Image preview
- build quality
- transparency
- detail
- clarity
 
Tellurium Q’s Colin Wonfor doesn’t just know power supplies, he understands them. There is a difference.
 
To illustrate, he produced power supplies for NASA’s ISS (International Space Station) to convert fuel cell voltage from 120 volts DC and then 120 volts DC to 28 volts DC. It was the most efficient power supply of its type in the world at that time. This is a very serious power supply designer. As such, he decided to tackle one of the toughest amplifier designs around, the Single Ended (SE) Class A. While standard push-pull Class A amps can provide very high power ratings, semiconductor SEs tend to be lower rated, around 5-10W is not unusual, requiring efficient speakers to perform properly. By their very nature SEs have no crossover distortion.

First impression with the Iridium power amplifier was that the distortion of the valve set-up had been removed, resulting in an extraordinary quiet base to any music pumped through the Iridium. This distortionfree sound lends itself well to detail retrieval. 

 
And the bass? It’s big, but this isn’t just heavy bass. This is bass with confident force. 
But there are many hurdles to cross when designing a transistor SE, as Wonfor himself stated: “SEs are susceptible to power supply ripple, hence you have to have very large reservoir capacitors to prevent that. Otherwise, any ripple comes straight out of the speakers. The Iridium has a large capacitor, but it uses a regulated power supply so that ripple noise is even less of an issue. More than that, the regulated power supply actually tracks the amplifier,giving it what it requires at any one time, following spiky dynamics.”
 
SEs are inefficient beasts, requiring lots of power to work correctly. In fact, the Iridium needs 140W per channel just to run! But it’s this quirk that keeps the distortion low. So why don’t more designers produce transistor SEs? “All SEs have DC-offset unless they are capacitor coupled, in which case you get poor bass reproduction and control,” explained Wonfor. “Prior to the Tellurium Q design, nearly all SEs were, in fact, capacitor coupled. This power amp has a very low DC-offset and is DC coupled to the speaker, enhancing its bass control. Then you get phase angle changes at all frequencies, with muddy bass and no control. You’re relying on the impedance of the capacitor which is changing all of the time. That was the original situation.
 
What we do is to remove that DCblocking capacitor, replacing it with a special servo system to control the DC-offset on the output. That helps solve the phase change problem too.”
 
Inside, the Iridium power amp uses two toroidal power supplies that are mounted vertically and at ninety degrees to the circuit board so that any magnetic field produced by them does not affect the circuitry. The toroidal transformer also has twenty percent more copper than normal to reduce noise and is random wound to prevent magnetic fields squirting out of the areas with less or no wiring.
 
There’s lots more to say about this design. It's dynamic power handling allows peaks way beyond what would be expected from a power amp of this type; low open loop gain reduces negative feedback and further helps lower phase shift and it uses two 55A MOSFETs. The company could have used a single 12A MOSFET but using more and of such a high current rating allows them to be driven more effectively within their linear range which, again, gives rise to less distortion.
 
Measuring 430x290x220mm and weighing in at a hernia straining 21kg, the Iridium power amp provides 20W into 8 ohms while peaking just over 40W they claim. So what does it sound like?
 
SOUND QUALITY
 
First impression with the Iridium power amplifier was that the distortion of the valve set-up had been removed, resulting in an extraordinary quiet base to any music pumped through the Iridium. This distortionfree sound lends itself well to detail retrieval.
 
With distortion lowered the Sugababe’s track, ‘Stronger’, never sounded more interesting. This track is actually built upon distortion, it’s entire raison d’être is focused on compression and peak limiting and the Iridium calmed this track like no other amp I have ever heard, releasing new detail to enter from the quietude.
 
Upper mids showed a welcome clarity while lower mids experienced an easy smoothness. The only thing that the Iridium lacked was my Icon’s air and a sense of space. 
 
The Icon added a lightness of touch that the Iridium couldn’t quite approach as well as a breezy nature to the upper mids that produced an extra fragility to the treble.
 
That said, for a solid state design, the Iridium was open, approachable and lacking in any sort of hardness or harshness, but it still had bite. That said, the Iridium is not a ‘sweet’ amplifier. It can provide a mid-upper edge, one that is kept under control by the low distortion design.
 
And the bass? It’s big, but this isn’t just heavy bass. This is bass with confident force.
 
Moving to the HDCD version of Lou Donaldson’s ‘LD+3’ and, intriguingly, compared to my reference Icon the album sounded very smooth, if a little dry in the midrange area. Distortion was very low but this jazz piece, which relies on light, lively, airy detail had some of the life drained away. Yet, the Iridium was still very focused, precise with plenty of detail on offer. With a slight frown, I replaced that disc with Carol Kidd’s jazz-infused ‘Dreamsville’ (Linn) and was somewhat bemused to be rewarded with swathes of warmth and life. The same facets that were largely absent from the Donaldson CD. What was going on? 
 
The Iridium’s pin sharp focus produced, for example, piano notes that had snooker ball roundness, with a hardness and shine, while treblebased cymbals shone with delicacy. The bass was both tight, characterful and deep with a power that provided a subtle yet significant foundation.
 
After extended listening I realised that the Iridium’s ‘dry’ performance was nothing more than transparency, digging deep into the master to produce a revealing description. It was the Donaldson CD that was revealing its character, not the amp imposing it, in effect. 
 
Moving to vinyl and Pure Pleasure’s June Christy ‘The Cool School’, the source’s higher resolution produced a detailed, dynamic playback that was multi-dimensional in its performance, tracking the rather husky Christie vocal in all its textural magnificence, with a finely crafted, yet understated, backing.
 
That was confirmed when playing Music On Vinyl’s ‘John Coltrane And Johnny Hartman’. Again, the Icon displayed more air and lightness of approach while the
Iridium’s extra focus gave the music greater stability, planting the music firmly on stage. The Icon took a rather more flighty approach to the music which could, at times, be almost diffuse.
 
Finally, I ran an original Throwing Muses indie rock LP, ‘House Tornado’ through the Iridium but connected one of Tellurium Q’s highly rated Black power cables to the end – recommended by the company for use with this particular power amp. The results produced an almost sublime sound, opening more doors towards blue lagoon clarity. More of the mix was available while the simple strumming of an acoustic guitar provided volumes of information compared to the restricted, one dimensional, performance of the default cable. Frankly, the Black cable gives the Iridium new bass crispness, a new tightness but also a new lightness within the upper midrange.
 
CONCLUSION
 
Used in conjunction with a top quality power conditioner along with Tellurium Q’s own Black cables, you have a mighty power amplifier that possesses immense clarity and detail, strongly projected. If you want the truth from your music, then the Iridium will deliver. It is a quite remarkable piece of power amplifier technology, but then Single Ended transistor power amplifiers are rare and their sound understandably unique.
 
MEASURED PERFORMANCE
 
There are very few single-ended (SE) transistor amplifiers around as they are difficult to design and make work properly. The Iridium’s measured performance reflects this. It produced just 18 Watts into an 8 Ohm load, but this fell to 9 Watts into a 4 Ohm load due to asymmetric output clipping, suggesting the low load, under direct couple conditions, was affecting the internal working point. This is why an output coupling capacitor is commonly used.
 
As most loudspeakers are 4 Ohms nowadays (they nearly all use 4 Ohm bass units) that makes the Iridium a 9 Watt amplifier, but this is much like valve SEs that use a single output device. Because an SE dissipates full power except when producing music the Iridium runs very hot at idle. 
 
Lack of an output capacitor brings benefits though, including a frequency response down to d.c. and lowered phase shift allowing more feedback to be applied. Output impedance of the Iridium was very low as a result, damping factor measuring an unusually high 93. This suggests very good control over bass cones and subjectively tight bass. D.C. output offset was a steady, high, but acceptable 60mV (6mV is common) on both channels, into 4 and 8 Ohm loads.
Distortion was low at all frequencies and outputs, our analysis showing odd order harmonics, that were produced by peak distortion a time domain analysis showed, rather than crossover distortion. The spectrum remained stable with level, a good sign, so subjectively it is unlikely the effect will be aurally
obvious.
 
The Iridium measured satisfactorily, but it must be used with sensitive loudspeakers requiring very little power; overload will be obvious, as clipping was hard.
 
This is a very specialised amplifier, but SE Class As have an ardent following based entirely upon their sound quality, which is how the Iridium is best judged. 
NK 
Power 18watts
Frequency response 1.5Hz-60kHz
Separation 102dB
Noise -90dB
Distortion 0.03%
Sensitivity 1V
SEAC Mega Drive - Jimmy Hughes thinks there’s little to better single-ended Class A operation, especially via Tellurium Q’s new Iridium power amplifier..
Jimmy Hughes

Hi-Fi Choice award Telluruim Q Iridium 20W SECA amplfier coverted 5 STARS

Very clean , open, transparent, dimensional sound
WE SAY: An indefinable sonic rightness, the amp sounds natural and true like few others; expensive yet great value

First impressions were of a smooth, open and very clean sort of presentation, with excellent clarity and dynamics.  Despite its modest power output, in my system the Iridium gave the impression of having power to spare, and big musical climaxes were handled comfortably. It sounded deliciously pure, effortlessly clean, and impressively detailed, with immediacy and presence, plus a smooth open tonality. For any amplifier – especially a relatively low-powered one – this is what it’s all about.

 
Solo voice and massed choral music is another killer of low powered amps, but once again (with certain caveats) the Iridium proved equal to the task.

Tonally, you’re offered an attractive, alluring sort of presentation that’s refined and sumptuous, but the music also sounds crisp and alert. The bottom end is firm and tight, with good control and extension. This, coupled with a smooth and ‘liquid’ sort of midband, and a sweet open top-end, creates a sound that strikes the ear as natural and realistic. Stereo imaging is very good; precise and clear, but not clinical, with good placement of voices and instruments. Ambience portrayal is impressive, and the sound has plenty of depth on recordings that capture the hall acoustic.

Hi-Fi Coice recommended Tellurium Q is a new British company, headed by industry stalwart Colin Wonfor of Inca Tech and Magnum fame. It’s Colin’s first amplifier design for a quarter of a century, so naturally he’s tried his darndest to come up with something special! Rather than reinvent the wheel, his new baby features tried and trusted single-ended Class A design. But while most amps of this type use tubes, Colin has opted for solid-state. He feels that tubes involve too many compromises and limitations.
 
For example, due to having a transformer-coupled output, most tube amps offer limited bandwidth, especially at the bottom end. Colin wanted an amplifier with wide bandwidth and exceptional phase linearity, so for him solid-state was a no-brainer. True, there are some drawbacks with single-ended Class A – heat and limited output power being the main ones. But, if you can accept these things, SECA circuit topology still has a certain magic when it comes to absolute sound quality.
 
Outwardly, the Iridium is a nice simple design. There’s just a power on/off button, a single set of inputs and outputs, and, er, that’s it! Weighing in at about 21kgs, the amp is reassuringly heavy and very solidly built. The front panel is solid brushed alloy, some 5mm thick. The rest of the casework is made from steel. Each amplifier has its own toroidal mains transformer. Power output is conservatively rated at 20W RMS into 8 ohms, rising to a claimed 26W into 4 ohms. 
 
The Iridium has been designed for exceptional phase linearity, and to this end it offers very wide bandwidth – said to be from 1Hz to 500kHz, at -3dB points. The power bandwidth (at 15W into 8 ohms) is given as 5Hz to 200kHz, +/- 0.1dB, and zero phase shift is claimed between 20Hz and 100kHz. Figures
as good as these would be virtually impossible with a transformer-coupled tube amp. Indeed, it was the lure of much greater accuracy and linearity (in part, by eliminating the output transformer) that led to the demise of tube amps in the late 1960s. And while there’s more to it than that, solid-state does have definite benefits. The Iridium is a true monoblock design, with two completely independent left/right amplifiers in a single box. 
 
Being Class A the amp gets very hot during use (case temperature exceeds 40 degrees C), hence the massive heatsinks. Input sensitivity is quoted at around 1V for full output – a bit lower than most power amps, which are usually about 0.775V or even 0.5V. This means the Iridium sounds slightly quieter than other power amps at any given volume setting. While this is unlikely to be an issue with most active preamps, which usually deliver between 2V and 6V output, there may be problems (lack of gain) with passive preamps. From my Classe CP-800 there was more than sufficient, however.
 
Sound quality
 
A hot-running amplifier, the Iridium takes a while to fully warm-up – around an hour and a half. While it sounds good when you first switch on, there’s definitely an improvement after an hour or so – the sound becomes even more relaxed and fluid. First impressions were of a smooth, open and very clean sort of presentation, with excellent clarity and dynamics.
 
Listening to the new SACD recording of Sibelius’ symphonies 2 and 5 with Osmo Vanska on BIS, the brass sounded especially impressive. The loudest passages were handled with aplomb. In the scherzo of the second symphony, the crisp interjections of the brass sounded exceptionally crisp and immediate, showcasing the wonderfully high quality of the splendid Minnesota’s orchestra’s playing.
 
Despite its modest power output, in my system the Iridium gave the impression of having power to spare, and big musical climaxes were handled comfortably. It sounded deliciously pure, effortlessly clean, and impressively detailed, with immediacy and presence, plus a smooth open tonality. For any amplifier – especially a relatively low-powered one – this is what it’s all about.
 
Solo voice and massed choral music is another killer of low powered amps, but once again (with certain caveats) the Iridium proved equal to the task.
 
With only around 20W output, I must have been driving the amp close to its limits. But subjectively it didn’t feel like that. Unless you push the Iridium excessively hard, the sound stays smooth, clean, refined and dynamic. It’s a ‘fast’ sounding amp, too – very nimble and responsive, with excellent timing and rhythmic dexterity. 
 
Tonally, you’re offered an attractive, alluring sort of presentation that’s refined and sumptuous, but the music also sounds crisp and alert. The bottom end is firm and tight, with good control and extension. This, coupled with a smooth and ‘liquid’ sort of midband, and a sweet open top-end, creates a sound that strikes the ear as natural and realistic. Stereo imaging is very good; precise and clear, but not clinical, with good placement of voices and instruments. Ambience portrayal is impressive, and the sound has plenty of depth on recordings that capture the hall acoustic.
 
Being two mono amplifiers in a single box, crosstalk between channels is low – hence the good stereo. But there’s more to it than that – you get a clear sense of where microphones were placed, and how the recording was produced. You seem to hear a specific acoustic or tonality, rather than a generalised
uniform one. This is almost certainly a result of the care taken to ensure phase linearity over the audible bandwidth, and it’s an impressive quality. The Iridium sounds so effortlessly natural, you may be tempted to raise volume levels beyond the amp’s power limits. Naturally, much depends on the sort of music you listen to, the size of your room, speaker efficiency and how loud you like to listen. 
 
The Iridium is usually not too fazed by pop music, due to dynamic peaks being compressed. But it can be caught out on recordings of uncompressed solo voice (female soprano, especially) and massed choral music. Most of the time the sound is beautifully clean, but things can roughen as a sudden dynamic peak pushes the amp beyond its limits. Choosing sensitive, easy-todrive speakers ensures you keep within the Iridium’s power envelope.
 
The reward is a unfailingly clean sound, offering excellent clarity and outstanding dynamic separation. The Iridium is an amplifier having the effortless refinement of a proper valve design, but with a tighter and firmer bottom end. On a blind listening test, I reckon most people would be fooled into thinking the Iridium was a valve powered product. It has that expansive, tube-like openness and liquidity. Yet at the same time it’s not falsely euphonic or unduly romantic.
 
Tellurium Q also offers a range of cables, and naturally strongly recommends them to Iridium amplifier users. In particular, the Black power cable is worth
sampling. In terms of clarity and detail, it made a big difference over the supplied OEM cable.
 
Conclusion
 
Summing up, I certainly recommend you audition this new Tellurium Q Iridium amp. Power limits aside, it’s difficult to fault – and a great advert for the sonic benefits of single-ended Class A solid-state electronics. A beautifully smooth and agreeable amplifier that beguiles and excites in equal measure, the Iridium SECA is refined and detailed without sounding lacking in bite, detail or rhythmic fluency.
 
 
Jimmy Hughes SPEAKS TO DESIG NER COLIN WONFOR...
 
JH: What inspired you to design a low-powered (20W) amplifier rather than going for something far more powerful?
 
CW: A single-ended Class A design offering 20W output was the most practical to make in terms of heat dissipation and size, making it more accessible/affordable than a 50W behemoth. We manufacture all our products here in the UK , so it made sense to focus on products where exacting quality of finish and careful choice of components are absolutely essential to the final sound.
 
JM: What’s the ‘secret’ when making a small amp with limited power that sounds big and powerful?
 
CW: Reducing phase distortion and achieving a wide bandwidth, for starters. Another is controlling the power supply dynamically. The way our power supply has been designed allows the use of smaller reservoir capacitors. Having smaller capacitors means that fewer mains cycles are required to maintain charge at a useable level. As a result, ripple and noise are reduced, and the capacitor can react faster to dynamic change.  Open loop gain is low, reducing negative feedback which helps lower phase shift even more. Two 55A power MOSFETs are used.  We could have got away with just one single 12A MOSFET, but having a greater number of larger MOSFETs allows us to drive them more effectively within their linear range. The outcome is greatly reduced distortion.
 
JM: Why choose solid-state over tubes for an amplifier like this?
 
CW: People have a perception that solidstate is harsh, while tubes sound softer and more natural. This does not have to be the case. Unfortunately, tube amps generally have a comparatively weak bottom end, while the tubes themselves need to be matched, replaced and expensively maintained. So we set out with the intention of designing a natural sounding solid-state amp that is effectively a super tube amp with none of the usual drawbacks; one that sounds incredibly natural, and does bass the way it should be done!
 
HOW IT COMPARES:
 
WHILE THE Tellurium Q Iridium offers slightly more power than comparable SECA tube amps, more importantly it actually sounds more powerful. It goes louder, and avoids the slight dynamic compression you get as power limits are reached. In this respect, it has quite a bit more headroom than, say, the Unison Research Simply Italy, while offering comparable refinement and fine detail. The Simply Italy tends to compress and soften more obviously as you approach its power limits.However, when you do clip the Iridium, it roughens more perceptibly than a typical SECA tube amp. When pushed too hard, there’s some breakup.
However, prior to this point, the sound remains clean, dynamic, and well separated. A powerful Class A/B design like Musical Fidelity’s M6 PRX offers a lot more output (260W), but misses some of the Iridium’s magic. As such, it’s a case of deciding whether the Iridium’s modest power output is going to be an issue in your system.
The depth of the performance was very true and details were exquisite from trumpet to hi-hats .....the TQ Black Diamonds just might be the last speaker cables you will buy,
Dan Worth & Dominic Marsh
REVIEW SUMMARY:  Conclusion A - My time with the Black Diamond speaker cable has been extremely enjoyable, I have praised its attributes very much. You could argue that the price is a draw back but I don't hear cables that performed as well as the Black Diamond costing any less and I listen to a great deal of cables frequently. With exquisite treble, beautifully fluid midband, expressively detailed bass and a dynamic range and soundstage which explores every performance in a most natural and involving way the Black Diamond from Tellurium Q is a masterpiece of cable design. My time with the Black Diamond speaker cable has been extremely enjoyable, I have praised its attributes very much.  Recommended for being a truly high end performer, a tribute to a system rather than just a means to conduct music. Sound quality is simply stunning. …….Dan Worth

Conclusion B - many of you will already have tried this, that and the other cables during the ownership of your hifi  systems and nobody can escape the losses incurred while on that journey of buying and selling. If I said to you the TQ Black Diamonds just might be the last speaker cables you will buy, then suddenly the price isn't as vexing as the figure might at first suggest, so in a perverse way they could actually save you money by ending that endless search. What you will hopefully be auditioning is a cable that has so little wrong with it, it just sounds so RIGHT in every way imaginable and you could probably count on one hand the number of high end cables that could be claimants to that particular crown and the TQ Black Diamond costs much less than it's immediate rivals. My time with them has been a total joy and a learning experience too, in that I have heard so much more details from my CD collection that simply have not been manifested for more years than I care to remember and some of them have been listened to hundreds if not thousands of times, played on some esoteric high end systems no less. I will listen to Pink Floyd's “The Wall” album in a completely new light from now on. The real acid question then is, would I buy them myself? How much would a Kidney fetch these days I wonder? Recommended for being probably the last cable you will need to buy. Stunning performance. ……..Dominic Marsh

EXTENDED REVIEW:  - Dan Worth and Dominic Marsh get to grips with the latest loudspeaker cable from British manufacturer Tellurium Q.

The Black Diamond speaker cable from Tellurium Q is their top of the range speaker cable coming in at £630 per metre including terminations which many would confuse for WBT but they are in fact TQ's own design. Yes they have an ergonomic styling similar to the WBT's which is a testament to the design and usability of them.

TQ's version of the 4mm banana is constructed from tellurium copper and is gold plated, the barrels are a metal alloy which are nickel plated to give a nice shiny finish and feature some nice surface grips for easy tightening of the locking design.

The cable itself as always is a mystery, all I can determine from looking at and handling the cable is that it is fractionally wider than the Ultras and where the Ultras have the conductor in a rounded cavity to each side of the cable the Black Diamond has a different shape to its borders feeling as if it has separate chambers of cables running through its length. The cable is finished in a mesh and comes in a very nice satin black box.

Routing the cables into the system is trickier than the thickest of the previous TQ cables. The band of the Black Diamond is thicker and slightly stiffer. It just takes a little care and time if there are a fair few components and angles to navigate and the job is far from impossible.

The Sound

Sting's 'Seven Days' from the Live at the Royal Albert Hall 2000 album conveyed a deepness of soundstage which reflected being sat about 6 rows back. I could clearly discern all band members and their stage arrangement. The depth of the performance was very true and details were exquisite from trumpet to hi-hats.

The cable had taken a full 24 hours to settle in the system after its burn in process on the Blue Horizon Proburn. The Black Diamond likes to be plugged into the system and just given time to relax and settle moving it's slightly initial forwardness in the midrange back a touch, increasing natural tone, timbre and breath.

Once settled the results are simply stunning, the delicacy and refinement in the top end especially is sublime, I could clearly hear all micro details in Fleetwood Mac's 'Everywhere' and 'Seven Wonders' leaving nothing masked and conveying everything with a textured flow, a complete harmonious rendition of frequencies floating gracefully around the soundstage like fireflies over a moonlit pond. Micro dynamics were absolutely effortless and more to the point, natural. There was no over-emphasis on power just a keen respect for precision and timed just so well.

Derrin Nuendorf's 'I Won't Hold You Back' has a soft cymbal work in the background, ticking away like a clock timing each section of guitar string work which has a crystalline and prestigious edge to each note, entering the fullness of the note and decaying with timbral vibrancy and scale which gives an impression of size to the guitar. The same is true for Derrin's vocal which clearly comes from a foot or so above the guitar giving the impression that he is sat and somewhat hunkered over the instrument.

Soundstage width and complexity has a way of expressing its abilities even with the most stripped down music allowing for small venue interactions, reflections and acoustics to convey their ambience and scale in a most holographic manner. Whilst busier quartets, orchestras and studio recording generated larger complements with attack with slam, large scale and drama bring the performance to life with an inner energy and grip of realism. When listening to some various recording by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, double bass fluidity and the dynamic slam of percussion was incredibly intense, I would refer to the sensation as a sound wave or pressure field which is closer to a live performance rather than a synthesised punch and drone.

I wouldn't say that I felt the Black Diamond's bass in my system was devastating, huge or bold but I can confidently state that it has an entire shape and skill that can be fast, slow and expressive, delicate or rhythmic.

Touching on my last word of explanation of the the Black Diamond's flexible bass characteristics 'rhythmic' and moving through some varying genres of pop, dance, folk and R&B the lower end took on a new found enthusiasm for me that just the natural alignment it possessed with acoustic and classical music.

To hold a good flow to the music a system needs to have a good bass-line, a strong undertone and a bottom end to support and carry the music along and the Black Diamond's were very even handed in respects of being able to deliver particularly great mid and upper tones with a strong chassis to stiffen everything up giving strength and stability.

I would say that my own reference cable the Audioquest K2 has a hugely detailed, refined and somewhat relaxed top end. The Black Diamond has an exquisite top end, it's highly polished, crisp, controlled and transparent and integrates down into the midrange flawlessly which is very liquid.  Any male vocalist I played from Ben Howard, Ben Harper, Jo Savoreti, Sean Lakeman and many many more had a reflection of their individual tonalities that sounded extremely true and effortless, the K2 in the midrange is just a marvel and to give any other speaker cable high praise in the same sentence calling it organic and expressive of all midrange characteristics and potential flaws is a testament to its designer.

Equally poised were female artists, the projection of the upper mids could be so intense with the Black Diamond and still remain controlled and not suffer with peaks of eye shattering wincing was remarkable, many high end cables use networking boxes to attenuate this frequency but the Black Diamond simply takes it in its stride and adds no unwanted nasties or even begins to try and hype up the signal its receiving, it's more like a gentlemen standing to one side to allow the lady to comfortably pass by.

Conclusion

My time with the Black Diamond speaker cable has been extremely enjoyable, I have praised its attributes very much. You could argue that the price is a draw back but I don't hear cables that performed as well as the Black Diamond costing any less and I listen to a great deal of cables frequently. In fact my own Audioquest K2 although differently balanced does not walk all over the Black Diamond and some may well argue that system to system their preference would swing one way or the other. The Audioquest is staggeringly more expensive also. With exquisite treble, beautifully fluid midband, expressively detailed bass and a dynamic range and soundstage which explores every performance in a most natural and involving way the Black Diamond from Tellurium Q is a masterpiece of cable design.

My time with the Black Diamond speaker cable has been extremely enjoyable, I have praised its attributes very much.

Build Quality - 9/10
Sound Quality - 9.2/10
Value For Money - 8.5/10
Overall - 8.9/10
Recommended for being a truly high end performer, a tribute to a system rather than just a means to conduct music. Sound quality is simply stunning.

…….Dan Worth

As is customary with Hifi Pig, whenever a product scores 8.5 or more then a second review is called for, so    after Danny's scoring ratings, Hifi Pig asked Dominic Marsh to conduct a follow up review for this cable.

This cable is awesome. What? You want MORE? Oh well, if you must.

Construction

This is some serious heavyweight cable, larger in fact than the other “wide banded” TQ cables like the Blue Diamond, Ultra Black and Graphite. Unlike the other cables however, this model has special locking 4mm banana plugs very similar in principle to WBT's TELLURIUM Q BLACK DIAMOND SPEAKER CABLE 0644 classic straight connectors, but manufactured to TQ's own design brief with Tellurium Copper bodies plated in gold. They do grip very well to binding posts which helps considerably, given the weight of these cables.

I recall my comments about the Blue Diamond speaker cables (Reviewed recently in Hifi Pig) which noted that they were not very easy to make inconspicuous due to their size and propensity not to lay flat readily and the Black Diamond is no exception to that observation either. Not that anyone in reality is really bothered by that, are we? Priced at £1,260/pr/mtr metre they are not exactly cheap, nor are they the dearest on the market either. Value is a sliding scale however and given that we all strive for the “perfect” sound from the pounds we invest in it, then we expect a fair return for that outlay.

Sound

As you can probably imagine, us reviewers do get a goodly number of cables passing through our hands as part of our function to appraise hifi components and not forgetting either we play with our own personal cables as well for good measure, so it takes an exceptional cable to really get itself noticed. From that first few bars of music I heard through these cables I knew they were something rather special. It was a kick drum in fact and it hit me square in the pit of my stomach is was so clean and powerful, it fair took me aback. The CD I was playing was only a warm up track I play to get the system warmed up ready for some serious listening and wasn't paying too much attention to be honest because of that.

Anyway, after hearing those first few moments I quickly changed the CD to Pink Floyd's “The Wall” and the next hour and a half or so was a complete revelation. No, make that three hours – I listened to it again just for the sheer pleasure of it. When I say the word “helicopter” you Pink Floyd fans will know exactly what I am talking about now and I have never heard that sound better in 20+ years than I have with the TQ Black Diamonds in my system. If I shut my eyes I wouldn't know any better than having this machine hovering less than 50 feet above me with the vortexes spinning of the tips of the twin rotor blades, making the classic whistling sound. When the children are singing during the title track it can hurt your ears a bit with the volume turned right up, but not at all this time. No muddle, no hash, no moments to make you wince, smooth as silk and bursting with refinement. I even got the sonic impression of how many children were singing in the chorus, it was just so palpable. The list was endless of all the extra details I was hearing and I must have heard this album many, many hundreds of times over the years since it's first release and hearing it this way has set a new benchmark for me what sound lies buried in there, never heard before, but now has been heard for sure.

Next into the drawer was Yello's “Flag” album and that also got two hearings, with every single track on the album a total pleasure, again another album I believed I knew intimately what it sounded like until I heard it through the Black Diamonds. Those that have heard this album will know that is has a powerful propelling bass line right throughout the CD and the sense of power, precision and timing with the Black Diamonds was never in any doubt. “Otto Di Catania” from this album is one of my favourites and the imaging and sound staging are exemplary, with depth, height and width well out beyond the speaker boundaries.

Next into the CD drawer is my preferred “murder track” from Porcupine Tree's “Deadwing” album, which really does sort out who's who when it comes to components – especially cables. The title track has all sorts ofsqueaks and screeches in the initial minute of the track and I was always puzzled what the sounds were, but not now. 

The TQ Black Diamonds have let me clearly hear the sounds are from an Underground (“Subway” to our transatlantic cousins) train pulling into a station, with people disembarking. This is both good and bad news, because there is now a danger that other cables that pass through my hands are going to be thought less of after hearing what the Black Diamonds could do with Deadwing. Fear not readers, I will be as unbiased and dispassionate as ever towards all that follow.

I think Dan has done a pretty good job of describing all the finer points of the Black Diamond's performance, so there isn't that much I can add to it in truth without repetition, so perhaps if I summarise what the cables don't do just to add another dimension to this report to give you a clearer picture of this cable's capabilities. They don't boom or overhang at all anywhere in the bass. There is no cloudiness, haze or congestion in the midband. Treble is not harsh or fizzy, no sting, no unpleasant artefacts. They do not have a flat two-dimensional perspective to the imaging and sounstage, nor are they curtailed in width or height. Dynamics and transients are not slow or slurred. They are not at all forward sounding or brash, nor are they recessive or muted in sound either. My evaluations always concentrate on these attributes in great detail and if there were any issues found then be assured they would certainly be included in this review.

Conclusion

£1260/pt/mtr terminated. Let's get that out of the way first, because some of you will have a frowned expression while reading that figure. Many of you will already have tried this, that and the other cables during the ownership of your hifi systems and nobody can escape the losses incurred while on that journey of buying and selling. If I said to you the TQ Black Diamonds just might be the last speaker cables you will buy, then suddenly the price isn't as vexing as the figure might at first suggest, so in a perverse way they could actually save you money by ending that endless search. What you will hopefully be auditioning is a cable that has so little wrong with it, it just sounds so RIGHT in every way imaginable and you could probably count on one hand the number of high end cables that could be claimants to that particular crown and the TQ Black Diamond costs much less than it's immediate rivals.

My time with them has been a total joy and a learning experience too, in that I have heard so much more details from my CD collection that simply have not been manifested for more years than I care to remember and some of them have been listened to hundreds if not thousands of times, played on some esoteric high end systems no less. I will listen to Pink Floyd's “The Wall” album in a completely new light from now on.

The real acid question then is, would I buy them myself? How much would a Kidney fetch these days I wonder?

Build Quality - 9/10
Sound Quality - 9.3/10
Value For Money - 8.5/10
Overall – 8.93/10
Recommended for being probably the last cable you will need to buy. Stunning performance.

……..Dominic Marsh

I’ll give this TQ cable 6 out of 5 stars, my dear friends. .... go get it for yourself and give this cable a thorough listen. This is GOOD!!!
Kurt Lassen

SUMMARY REVIEW: I also would ask you to take a listen to the three guitar Gods who made the album “Friday Night In San Francisco” with this TQ cable. It’s an incredibly open and wide soundstage, with loads of dynamics. OMG I have to turn down the volume, maybe not all my neighbours wants to hear what I hear. On the other hand, this sounds so great, maybe my nearby resident will love the music and the sound too?

With this TQ cable you can look into and right through the artists performance. And that’s what’s it all about, if you ask me. This cable is doing everything just right - though I don’t know how it is constructed and designed. What I know is that the sound is more lively, more intriguing and more open wide in all directions, so you as the listener just want more and more of this beautiful rendered music.

EXTENDED REVIEW: The English company Tellurium Q does not make life easy for us reviewers. They do publish absolutely nothing, nada, nil, zero of the tricks they use when designing and manufacturing cables. Of course, there are some trade secrets that they don’t wanna share, but hey just a tiny information passing our way, dear Tellurium? Nope, not a single word.

OK, we just have to use our imagination then, and our ears, which off course could do it I guess. I am used to them at all, those ears that is ;)

Tellurium Q has also succeeded in building amplifiers, though they are not mentioned on their website at the time of writing, and the brand now designed 9 different speaker cables, two Power Cables, and of course loads of digital and analog RCA, XLR, DIN, USB, and Phono cables.

The Tellurium guys can also show off with six products of the year in 2014. And also Hi-Fi World Globes in 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011 and 2010. And also Hi-Fi Plus´ Product of the Year in 2010. Not bad for a relatively new company on the market for cables, which many people still call a snake-oil-business. The distribution now is on the good side of approx. 30 countries, and still counting.

Inside


A little insight do we get though, from TQ´s homepage:
“To minimise vibration and noise, each RCA connector is sealed with an anti micro-phone compound to damp excess vibration in that part of the signal path. This helps to enhance the silent background in your system.”

“Just like all our cables the Digital RCA cables are hand built for performance in the UK. The idea that improving the digital signal path affects digital sound was frankly, laughable but is just now becoming more accepted as people hear the results. A digital signal is not just an immediate on or off, 1 or 0 as you would expect. Yes that is the way that the digital signal is read but to turn a signal on and off takes minute amounts of time and any inaccuracy in the signal path can affect this on / off information because it affects the rise time of the waveform and this is one factor that leads to errors.


We are so pleased with our research into this phenomenon that we have applied for a patent on the series called “Waveform II”. It’s this that takes these cables to new levels in digital RCA/BNC. We recommend the use of BNC adaptors with this cable for BNC connection. Hopefully this development underlines the wrong headed idea that a digital signal is either a 1 or 0 (on or off) which completely forgets how and why a digital signal works. It is not a magical switch that flips from one state to another instantaneously with no regard for the laws of physics, these “1s” and “0s” are electrical signals which are affected in many of the same ways that other signals can be affected.”

Burning down the house

Tellurium Q have also just have released their first CD. But it´s not music as you know it, it´s a Burn-in-CD with three tracks, meaning to give your HiFi system a good work out. And does it work (out)? You bet it does. Not only me, but also some of my HiFi buddies where very, very impressed with what happened. The tracks are mostly sounding like some quite New Age music playing, and are giving your stereo some real exercise. It takes about an hour to play track 2 which is the main track for burning in. Track 3 is for the weekly exercise, and takes approx. 10 minutes. And track 1 is a simple (but useful) test for identifying your left and right speaker (and cabling off course). So while you have to walk the dog (or wife, or both) anyway, you can put the disc on repeat while you are out. And I promise you, you definitely think you got your ears cleaned when you come back. And the CD also works wonders in a computer system. It seems as just every component in the HiFi system favours of this exercise. The sound is absolutely more open and flows just more easy all the way from the source to the speakers. Weird, but true. And as the “Cable and System Preparation / Refresh” CD is just ideal for burning in cables, we really, really recommend you to spend the 20 English Pounds extra while shopping for cables.

This Ultra Silver Cable is the replacement for the Graphite which is about 740 UK Pounds. How good is this piece of wire/art you might ask. I am from the south of the western part in Denmark called Jutland. Those people previous working hard as fishermen and farmers are not easy to impress. So when they say: “it could be worse”, they actually mean it’s very, very good. And when they say: “it’s not bad” they in between the lines say: it’s world class. So when I tell you: “this is very, very good” I hope you draw your own conclusions. Or let me translate to proper language known by the most of us: this is the most precise, musical, enjoying digital cable I have ever heard. Period!

Mus!c

When I listen to the beautiful song “Hard Headed Woman” from Cat Stevens’ Tea For The Tillerman, (24/192) I hear a wide soundstage. The guitar to the right is just … right! The strings and the deep cello do come from within deep inside of the soundstage, and when the drums set in in the middle of the song, I am one big smile. This album was recorded when I still was a teenager, and still the sound is just awesome. The TQ reveals just about everything of this album, soft strings, deep electric bass, Stevens (he later changed his name to Yusuf Islam) wonderful voice. It’s a very wide (now listening to the track Wide World!) soundstage, with the sounds panned to the extreme left/right. This cables spatial sound image is more wide open then any other cable I have put my ears on. It’s just beautifully sounding, with loads of details and music flowing from the speakers. Give me more, more I pray, even if I know that the listening session soon will be over. But I just have to listen to every track on this album because this cable does something very great for the good-feeling … And for the give-me-more-music type of guy in front of my hifi system. One thing I suddenly was aware of during this listening sessions, was that I absolutely did not wanted to go out for a coffee, a walk or just some time off in front of the iPad … I just wanted to sit and enjoy music, for hours and hours (now my clock says 21:09, when I started to listen today it was about 9’ o clock). And still my ears are not tired or damaged as they sometimes can be with too many hours of critically HiFi judging.

The next guest in my room was Paul Simon (you know, I often just let the great software ROON decide the tracks I listen too), he was singing “Love And Hard Times”. Again the acoustic strings on the song was just soft, yet precise so they don’t get lost in the big soundstage. And Simons voice was presented perfect and rock solid just in front of the speakers.  

In my left speaker then another acoustic guitar arrived, ROON had chosen “Madman Across The Water” performed by Sir Elton John. This album is from 1970, the sound is quite good, not perfect though.

I needed some more up to date music, I told to myself. “Hedonism” with Skunk Anansie was randomly chosen from my hard disc. Not exactly modern, but a very good track to judge the TQ cables way to deal with high energy music. The music has some strong passages where the band plays quite heavy, the last seconds of the song is soft again. And the sound never got the “to much” feeling where you just want to turn down the volume, or even worse, shut down the HiFi system.

And now to something completely different. Norwegian 2L makes some VERY good sounding classical recordings. I cued up a track @ 352 kHz and 24 bit. And I just sat there staring at the “orchestra”. Haydn´s String Quartet in D. Op. 76, No.5 - Finale, Presto was this track, performed by Engegaard Quartet. A wonderful timbral balance and a homogenous sound was emerging from the speakers. Bravissimo!

And also the Vivaldi Aria from Cantata RV 679 (192/24) was rendered just perfectly. The soprano singer Tone Wik slightly to the right, the strings playing as if it was a matter of course. The sound of envelopment is quite fascinating, I am drawn into the music. Again this is a 2L track, and as always beautifully recorded.

Also the Camerata Chamber Choir performing “Hark All Ye Lovely Saints” could create real goosebumps in my happy listeners seat.

I also would ask you to take a listen to the three guitar Gods who made the album “Friday Night In San Francisco” with this TQ cable. It’s an incredibly open and wide soundstage, with loads of dynamics. OMG I have to turn down the volume, maybe not all my neighbours wants to hear what I hear. On the other hand, this sounds so great, maybe my nearby resident will love the music and the sound too?

With this TQ cable you can look into and right through the artists performance. And that’s what’s it all about, if you ask me. This cable is doing everything just right - though I don’t know how it is constructed and designed. What I know is that the sound is more lively, more intriguing and more open wide in all directions, so you as the listener just want more and more of this beautiful rendered music.

I’ll give this TQ cable 6 out of 5 stars, my dear friends. Please don’t just take my word for it, go get it for yourself and give this Tellurium Q Ultra Silver Digital Cable a thorough listen. This is GOOD!!!

"The Iridium mines detail other amplifiers only dream about, "Rarely have I heard such solid yet expressive bass lines as those from the Iridium.
Noel Keywood

But for those listeners that demand the utter best and can live with the drawbacks I would suggest they get a listen to this virtually unique amplifier. Single-ended transistor amplifiers are as rare as hens teeth and the sound they produce is in the same category. I would say though, that the Iridium is probably one of the best transistor amplifiers I have ever come across, providing you appreciate its deeply honed yet almost brutal ‘take no prisoners’ delivery that is, to me at least, a fascinating lesson in what is possible from the transistor. What a surprise!

OPINION - Noel Keywood
 
I got a pleasant surprise this month: I heard a good transistor amplifier! Ultimately, I am a valve man; sound quality wise, when it comes to amplifiers: you can’t beat ‘em. And in the world of valves, ‘single-ended’ amplifiers, commonly abbreviated to SE, are seen as top of the tree. They are notionally perfect’ amplifiers.
 
I find from listening SEs are sonically a nose ahead of all else when done properly, but for most people the drawbacks are not worth the gains: think low power, lots of heat and huge weight for a sound that is free of crossover distortion and, generalising, has a smooth but intense solidity about it that just sounds 'right'.
 
A practical one I loved was the Japanese Almarro 318B, weighing 20kgs and consuming 260 watts from the mains, it delivered 18 watts of audio power but sounded clean, and solidly wrought. Icon Audio make the MB805 that weighs in at 36kgs per monoblock and this is more like the weight of a typical valve SE, because they need special (i.e. heavy) output transformers.
 
There are virtually no singleended transistor amplifiers around though, because they are pig difficult to make work properly. Yes, we designed and built one at Hi-Fi World long ago (a World Audio Design prototype) and it reached the loft pretty fast! The output transistors ran scalding hot, heat sinks had to be vast and a coupling capacitor was needed unless some sophisticated d.c. power supply servos were used to keep output offset error under control. Then there are the protection circuits and these can be more complex than the amp itself.
 
Getting rid of the output capacitor and all-direct coupling allows the use of high levels of feedback, to reduce distortion, because although there is no crossover distortion, transistors are not fundamentally linear so feedback remains a necessity. Valves are linear so need no feedback – a big difference.
 
Don’t think that a transistor SE will sound like a valve SE. They don’t sound at all alike, because transistors and valves are radically different devices in their transfer function, in current density, in secondary emission (none with transistors), in microphony and what have you. And valve SEs have massive output transformers, gapped to avoid d.c. saturation, that transistor SEs do not have, or have to suffer. So transistor and valve SEs are not at all alike in physical embodiment, nor sonic delivery.
 
Our single-ended prototype sounded like a fabulous Class A transistor amplifier, on steroids let’s say! It was bright and clear, intensely detailed and rock solid in its portrayals. It didn’t do air and space like a valve amp though, nor did it have their liquidity of presentation.
 
The Iridium reminded me of our transistor prototype, but it was much better. In fact, this is one of the best transistor amplifiers I recall ever hearing. With Rock like Skunk Anansie’s 'Hedonism', Skin sang centre stage with a starkly outlined clarity that was stunning. All stereo images on the sound stage, from drums to guitar, were rock solid and outlined in crystal hard clarity. The bass line had a stabbing dynamic that was eye poppingly tight, yet wonderfully resolved in terms of dynamic expression: as bass notes were plucked a little bit harder or softer, such subtle differences were made easily apparent. 
 
Rarely have I heard such solid yet expressive bass lines as those from the Iridium.
 
With Renee Fleming in front of the microphone singing Puccini’s ‘O mio babbino caro’ the same properties gave her a force of delivery and breadth of expression quite beyond other transistor amplifiers. Detail was intense but high treble glisteningly apparent and quite strong, illuminating the strings behind her.
 
The Iridium mines detail other amplifiers only dream about – no they don’t even get that far! It has a stark clarity about it that is very ‘transistor’, but it seemingly lacks noise and mush and softness and vagueness. Every image was wrought in hard crystalline form right across the sound stage. Think cool, think brutally dynamic and deeply expressive. The Iridium is one amazing amplifier. However! This is an amplifier for aficionados, not for head bangers.
 
I can listen to 9 Watts happily and have the means to do so with a variety of loudspeakers, including my own s nsitive, tuned up KLS9s. But loudspeaker matching will be crucial. And this sort of sound is for those listeners who ‘get’ it. Many will find the Iridium's absolute power and sheer volume too limited, and others just may not appreciate its strengths. Here it is Quad ESL-57 like: a reference in most ways, but still too limited as far as the man in the street is concerned.
 
But for those listeners that demand the utter best and can live with the drawbacks I would suggest they get a listen to this virtually unique amplifier. Single-ended transistor amplifiers are as rare as hens teeth and the sound they produce is in the same category. I would say though, that the Iridium is probably one of the best transistor amplifiers I have ever come across, providing you appreciate its deeply honed yet almost brutal ‘take no prisoners’ delivery that is, to me at least, a fascinating lesson in what is possible from the transistor. What a surprise!
Silver Diamond delivers an amazingly rich, dense sound.
Wojciech Pacila

REVIEW SUMMARY: Treated as it is, without any comparisons Silver Diamond speaker cable will delight every music lover, every seeker of a remarkable sound. It offers everything one might expect from a highest quality cable. Dense, rich sound, resolution and selectivity and outstanding bass range. Soundstage has great depth which allows recording made in such a way that sound surrounds listener, like the ones by Waters and Kortez – to sound spectacular. 

EXTENDED REVIEW: I didn't expect Geoff Merrigan, Tellurium Q's CEO, to offer a new flagship model so quickly after the release of the Ultra Silver. It was/is an excellent cable and it came from a company that has quite a stable portfolio, that does not have to use any and every novelty that comes to the market. They have a reputation to uphold, a reputation based on the scientific approach to designing their cable with a focus on phase distortion. I can only guess that something must have happened that made Tellurium Q release next model shortly after remarkable Silver model.

As usually with Geoff we won't know what that was. Geoff keeps it to himself, as always. I was amazed how much he told me when I prepared my Ultra Silver review – usually he says nothing or he refers to company's website, where one can read a bit about product's philosophy, about how company gets with their products where it does, but without divulging concrete information on materials, technologies, conductor's geometry an so on. OK, one might find out after careful read that mat finish of contact areas turned out to offer lesser performance than a polished one, as the former involves materials that degrade performance.

From the letter I received I understood that the name of the new line of Tellurium Q products came rather from the final sonic effect, than from a material these cables were made of. This is a short fragment of this letter:

The Silver “family” is characterized by sound normally attributed to silver cables. […] We initially prepared pure silver connectors and we compared them with connectors having various thicknesses of silver plating. We found out that connectors thickly plated with silver outperformed not only thin-plated, but also pure silver connectors. Based on our experiments, we determined the optimal silver layer thickness that guarantees the best sound. Forgive me, but I will not reveal our findings so as not to make work easier for our competitors… The cables with pure silver connectors just sounded muted and muffled, at least in comparison with the connectors that we have used in the cables that you have got for the test. It is not what experts would expect.

As you can see this cable sports a copper wire heavy silver-plated with silver-plated connectors. What's a difference between Diamond and Ultra – remains unknown.

Reference – a key word

‘Reference’ is defined by Słownik języka polskiego (Polish language glossary) as ‘usually an opinion about somebody who applies for a job, informing about one's qualifications, attitude and honesty’. So giving someone a reference means issuing an opinion on him, one assumes it's appreciative one. The word is often used in the same context in technical texts – a reference meaning: recommendable, or simply “the best one”. But one might use also a bit different meaning – in audio we use well known devices/system as reference for other ones we need to assess – reviewer's system, in this context, becomes a “reference system”.

Each reviewer builds his system so that it becomes his “reference” for all other devices/systems that he needs to assess. This gives them a starting point, something to compare reviewed items to. I do realize that we tend to emphasize some differences, exaggerate them to make things easier for Readers to understand. Obviously we need to keep it under control not to get too much out of proportion. And what happens when we compare product A with B, it is not a blind test, A is our reference product and B is under review and we find out that B could easily replace A in our system? That's sort of philosophical question and there is no one “right” answer to that.

Sound

What we can do is to try to pint out differences between them – in this particular case to tell you about differences between Tellurium Q Silver Diamond and Tara Labs Omega Onyx speaker cable that I've been using for 5, maybe even 6 years now.

The differences are mostly minor, with one of the cable taking the lead for some of them and the second one for others. The reviewed cable is the only one, except for two top Siltech models, Double and Triple Crown, that I could replace my Tara Labs with and, while realizing that in some aspects it offers slightly worse performance, still be happy due to those aspect where it outperforms my cables.

Silver Diamond delivers an amazingly rich, dense sound. Obviously these two features are attributes of all Tellurium Q cables I know, but obviously to a different extend. I think that with this cable focus on these sound features really came to a full fruition. OK, I can't know whether this is IT, whether this is Geoff's the last word in these aspects. It is possible that he will surprise us some day with an even better product. Let's not forget that for some time Tellurium Q believed that they wouldn't be able to offer even better products than Silver line… But they obviously managed to achieve that and what we get is an incredibly rich, full, natural sound.

Anyway – richness and fullness of the sound, two wonderful features of my Tara Labs cable are what I lack mostly when reviewing other cables. And even if some of them can offer that it comes at a cost of speed, resolution or dynamics. There are many cables that render beautiful, palpable phantom images and wonderful timbre. But they have problems with dynamics, with soundstage – they bring presentation closer, too close to the listener taking part of phantom images bodies and loosing part of soundstage depth.

Silver Diamond does a fabulous job presenting large, palpable vocal and the accompanying acoustics. When it comes to a recording “massacred” by a producer, who compressed sound, brought closer to listener everything presented in the depth of the soundstage, a good system with these cables will show us that quite precisely. But, as any other high quality, refined product, it will also show us what exactly happened, and what this producer intended to achieve in this way. In other words it will do both – show the intention of music's producer and the means he used to achieve it. That translates into the full musical spectacle that includes all the elements: sound, techniques used in its production, and the result – the music.

It is even easier to achieve as Tellurium Q’s cables never show any harshness in an upper midrange (nor in treble in result). It is important, because at the same time sound is very resolving and very well differentiated. Each recording has its own character, its own “climate” - not only the one related to the music itself, but also to its recording/mastering/production, and even particular release. And yet it is also a very open sound. Tellurium Q never tries to show a nicer version of the recorded sound, no rounding or smoothing of the sound, no “soft” edges and so on. The upper treble is vibrant, crisp, and that's where Siltech and Tare Labs are able to show even more information, something of an “aura”, but the differences are really, really small. Tellurium Q was the only speaker cable I knew that could compete in this aspect with the best performing cables.

I couldn't detect any shifts in tonal balance – sound always seemed “normal”, meaning the way I expected it to. I think that most people when comparing it with other cables will find its sound bit richer than with others, like it adds some weight to the sound. I also thought so at the beginning and spend a considerable amount of time listening to recordings where any sort of coloration would have been obvious and unwanted – I mean ones with vocals and piano. And I found out that Silver Diamond added absolutely nothing. It was all about natural richness and density of the sound, and about above average number of information delivered in bass range. It might sound “richer” than other cables simply because these others are not able to deliver comparable richness and as much information as Tellurium Q can. Not even my Tara Labs, although it comes really close.

Everything that happens in front of us is perceived as presented a bit closer to us, like these elements carried a bit more energy than the others. There is a lot of energy throughout the whole range but there is also an impression of a full control of everything that is happening. What we get is a well controlled presentation with a lot going on within but that is also very coherent. It's like the way music is supposed to sound comes from the recording and the system, but Tellurium Q cables are there to ensure everything goes smoothly.

Comparison with the best cables I know, Tara Labs Omega and Siltech Triple Crown clearly proved that Silver Diamond is a remarkable product. Both Tara and Siltech deliver bit more information about acoustics of the instruments, about musicians' technique. These are tiny differences showing us that these cables are slightly more resolving. On top of that Siltech Triple Crown adds something I haven't heard with any other cable – and absolute inner-calm and top refinement. Tara offers slightly better dynamics and resolution.

Summary

Treated as it is, without any comparisons Silver Diamond speaker cable will delight every music lover, every seeker of a remarkable sound. It offers everything one might expect from a highest quality cable. Dense, rich sound, resolution and selectivity and outstanding bass range. Soundstage has great depth which allows recording made in such a way that sound surrounds listener, like the ones by Waters and Kortez – to sound spectacular. Since we are talking about a company with “technical profile”, that treats expensive products with a large dosage of distrust, such a great performing cable should not have happened. And yet – here it is. RED Fingerprint.

Due to their design Tellurium Q cables are pretty stiff. Since inside there are two thick runs of conductor separated with a dielectric this cable bends only in one direction. If there is no other choice it might be easier to twist this cable rather than bend it.

Silver Diamond has this very solid look. It sports a classic, black sleeve with aluminum elements “closing” the opening where two wires come out of the sleeve. These cables come with solid silver-plated banana plugs. One might order them with silver-plated spades too. It's internal design makes it a bi-wire cable but it can be ordered with single connectors.

Cables come is a cartoon, lacquered box – it looks nice but it is obviously only a necessity and not an element that would create an additional value for this product. With cables comes a bonus – A system enhancement CD.

These Diamonds Are an Audiophile’s Best Friend
Jerold O'Brien

REVIEW SUMMARY: "If you’re looking for a major jump in your system’s performance, I’d suggest buying a pair of these instead of considering a hardware upgrade. Before you write this advice off to cable delusion, expectation bias, or the recent Mercury retrograde phase, please take note: I have never said this inTONE’s 11-year history.

Value is a highly relative subject; cable is nearly always a hotspot and I admit to being more prejudiced against spending big money on it, yet the Tellurium Q Silver Diamond speaker cables deliver more music than anything I’ve yet experienced. I highly suggest auditioning them the next time you’re considering spending some money on a system upgrade."

EXTENDED REVIEW: Not having made changes to my system in a long time proves a double-edged sword; I know it intimately to the point where a minute change will be easily spotted and I was ripe to draw the cable review card.

A number of industry friends have been raving about Tellurium Q in person and out on the web, and this, too, is a double-edged sword because sometimes one wants desperately to believe the positive expectation.

The cables come packaged in a nice but not overly ostentatious box. Our review sample came equipped with locking banana connectors and a set of bi-wire jumpers similarly finished. Also enclosed is THE DISC, offering tracks chock full of randomly generated white noise, pink noise, pulses and sweep signals that go up and down the sonic spectrum.  There are three tracks on the disc. Track one is a system check for proper phase, etc.  Track two is an hour-long conditioning track which serves to not only condition the speaker cables but every other component in the chain. Track three is a ten-minute conditioning “warm up” to be played each time you decide to listen to your system.

By rights, I should hate these cables. I say that because it is silver-plated but that’s only the beginning of this product’s story. To make my personal bias clear, I have rarely heard solid silver cables that swept me off my feet, and silver-plated cables have always been tossed out of the system with great disdain since they sounded too horrible. You know the drill: overly etched, harsh, irritating, etc. Never completely musical. Well, now all that has changed. At least for this listener with this product.

Perusing the Tellurium Q website, I didn’t see a lot of detail regarding the exact construction, metal plating or dielectric materials used in these cables, but there is a lot of information regarding the process by which they arrive at their final design. Most of it has to do with combating phase distortion, which causes smearing of the musical signal.  Within each cable, different geometries are employed, different dielectrics are used, and the plating is matte instead of shiny and has a specific thickness. This witches’ brew of manufacturing results in the product at hand.  One interesting side note, the matte silver plating on the banana connectors is exactly the same as the input connectors on my speakers.

After installing the cables carefully, with attention to phase, the provided jumpers serving to ensure signal continuity between the low and high inputs, I followed up with the hour-long track of the test disc to make sure I was completely set up. Immediately, the greater sense of depth and width presented by my reference components exceeded that of what I was previously experiencing. This is not a subtle change, it is more like someone opened a huge door at the back of the room that I hadn’t known was there, causing me to immediately relax and enjoy what followed. So much for user bias. Vigilance to find that harsh-etched sound that silver always gave me, but it simply isn’t there with the Silver Diamond speaker cables. The overall high frequency character is presented in an utterly clear but completely musical fashion. This, added to the sense of space I mentioned earlier, combined with exacting bass extension and definition makes for a thoroughly enjoyable session.  It doesn’t matter whether I play symphonic music with massed violins or bass and drum jams, the result is always the same…..simply music.

Enough time has passed now that I continue to be amazed at the positive change the Tellurium Q speaker cables have made to my system – so much so that our publisher had to literally pry them out of my system to get them back! I think we both are anticipating a full system review of their cables at a future point. We’ll keep you posted.

Further Listening – Jeff Dorgay

Our staff curmudgeon Mr. O’Brien is rarely, if ever, impressed with cables of any kind, and that’s not to say he’s anyone that mighty, it’s just his mindset. He’d rather talk to you for hours about the intricacies of setting the mechanical fuel injection on a BMW 2002tii than entertaining the thought that a piece of wire could make that much of a difference, but that’s the wide range of attitudes that makes the wheel go ’round here at TONEAudio.

Being that he is as excited as he is about these cables, I wanted to get them back ASAP to run them through their paces here, on a wide variety of speaker setups to see, or rather hear what I could hear. I would also like to give a nod of appreciation to Stuart Smith of HiFi Pig for not only telling me about these, but keeping on me until we got a set in for review.

Though a bit more open-minded to the cable thing than Jerold, I still stick to what I know for the most part, using Cardas Clear, Clear Light and now Clear Reflection in my two main systems, and Nordost Frey in system three. We can argue till the cows come home about this, but at least you know what I like and use on a daily. And I too bristle at the thought of silver-coated copper (for that matter, anything coated over anything else) cables, but we have to try and maintain some objectivity in this wacky world of high-end audio.

As Jerold mentions, there isn’t much specific “tech” on the Tellurium Q website, but director Geoff Merrigan makes it a point that his cables are designed to preserve the phase relationships in the audio signal. While I am not remotely qualified to comment on this, I do know that every speaker I have heard with the same engineering goal has always sounded the most natural to my ears, so I think Mr. Merrigan is indeed on to something.

I too have not changed anything in my reference system one for quite some time so it was easy to ramp up on a trial of the Tellurium Q speaker cables. I must admit, it was an “oh wow” moment when plugging them in to the Quad 2812s. These speakers, in concert with the Pass Xs300 monos throw such a massive soundstage already, and resolve fine detail so well, anything good or bad is instantly brought to bear. So I ran the hour long break-in track and went for a coffee. This done, the delta was much wider. Rather than bore you with a barrage of audiophile clichés, the Tellurium Q cables paint a more vivid picture than what I was listening to before.

Rather than blather

If you’re looking for a major jump in your system’s performance, I’d suggest buying a pair of these instead of considering a hardware upgrade. Before you write this advice off to cable delusion, expectation bias, or the recent Mercury retrograde phase, please take note: I have never said this inTONE’s 11-year history. There are a number of times I’ve swapped a good US$5,000 preamplifier or DAC for a good US$10,000 unit and not had this level of increased musical involvement.

Every aspect of my system’s presentation is improved; the soundstage grows markedly in every direction, transients are faster and cleaner, with a quieter overall presentation. The comment that everyone else hearing these cables, with no idea what they are or what they cost, said the same two things: “it sounds bigger,” and “it sounds louder.” I didn’t expect how much smoother, yet more resolving, everything sounds. I’ve never heard the Quads sound this enveloping.

US$7,500 is a lot of money for wire, but the Tellurium Q Silver Diamond Cables deliver the goods. In the context of a six-figure system, this is merely a punctuation mark and the well-heeled customer won’t even blink. However, even in a much more modest system consisting of a Prima Luna integrated, Simaudio CD player and the Rogers LS5/9s, with a $10k price tag total, these cables still provide a dramatic enough improvement to be worth the price asked. In every possible system configuration I could scratch together, the results are the same.

Value is a highly relative subject; cable is nearly always a hotspot and I admit to being more prejudiced againstspending big money on it, yet the Tellurium Q Silver Diamond speaker cables deliver more music than anything I’ve yet experienced. I highly suggest auditioning them the next time you’re considering spending some money on a system upgrade.

Produced in the UK, these cables are now readily available in the rest of the world. I guarantee you’ll be surprised!
.........Jerold O'Brien

Perhaps the best £5000 transistor amplifier available, if you ignore its limited power output. Fantastic sound quality.
Classical violinist Rafael Todes
Image preview
A stunningly good transistor amplifier is a rare beast. Classical violinist Rafael Todes gives his views on the extraordinary Tellurium Q Iridium, single-ended Class A amplifier, 
 
I was delighted to audition this interesting amplifier, following July’s exclusive by Paul Rigby and Noel’s follow-up in his column. Technically, the Iridium is a rare beast and I relished the opportunity of hearing what it does.
- subjective 'speed'
- resolution of textures
- deeply communicative

With the exception of power, this amplifier has everything I’d want in a transistor amplifier at this price level. It has that rare combination of finesse and authority, it times well and it is highly enjoyable to listen to; I’d even call it ‘musical’, which is not my favourite phrase, but it is deserved here. It captivates with its ability to control micro dynamics, separate texture, and is free from hash and the grunge that plagues so many transistor amplifiers I hear. If you can live with a limited range of sensitive speakers, it is well worth auditioning. 

I used it with my B&W802D loudspeakers that, sensitivity-wise, perhaps are not the best combination for this 18 Watt amplifier, but nevertheless revealing enough at lower listening volumes to display some of the important characteristics of such an amplifier.
 
 Listening to my reference recording on Philips of the Mozart ‘Gran Partita’ for 13 solo winds and a double bass, what hit me primarily is the refined and subtle nature of the sound being produced. The quality of timbre of the oboe and clarinet was strikingly right – hash and grain free –and exceeds the beauty of tone that I have come to expect from a £5000 amplifier. The woodwind instruments have a rounded quality, full of detail, but with a glorious smoothness. 
 
The double bass started and stopped beautifully, it was timed perfectly, with just the right amount of detail to hear into the texture of the instrument. On a lesser transistor amplifier, I sometimes hear the force of the note, on occasions starting late in the worst cases, but not the rasping sound that a real double bass makes when bowed low down. The Iridium just does it right. 
 
The amplifier wasn’t giving me big scale bluster, so much is being quietly understated, which may not be to everyone’s taste. It scores particularly well on the micro dynamics of phrases, because it does subtle changes in volume well, it helps to illuminate phrasing in Mozart Gran Partita, as if gently illuminating the music. This in turn helps the ‘communicative’ value of the amplifier.
 
Listening to Solti’s Decca recording of Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries”, brings an involving rendition, the instruments nicely distributed around the stage, spatially excellent, if not the very best I’ve heard. The bass was well controlled, but similarly lacks the slam of the best transistor amplifiers I’ve heard. The transients are very fast, the timing is excellent, but I am not getting a ‘largescale’ presentation. The amplifier is bringing subtlety and refinement to Wagner! With the volume cranked up, I can see the limits of the amplifier’s relationship with my B&W speakers, they are being pushed into distortion, and this amplifier needs speakers with higher sensitivity if high volumes are to be used.
 
In Rimsky-Korsakov’s ‘Tumbler’s Dance’, a High Res 96k, 24bit Chesky recording, the Tellurium Q does a fine job conveying the different layers and textures of this excellent recording. The sheer speed of the amplifier comes across in spades, when for example there is a cymbal crash together with an orchestral accent, your are aware of all the instruments participating in what is a massive orchestral transient. I have rarely heard this sound so good. 
 
At the louder extremes, the amplifier runs out of puff and distorts a little, but this is only to be expected given the sensitivity of the speakers I’m using. 
 
There is a good sense of authority and layering, the amplifier is separating the textures really well, and layering them to give a great sense of clarity to the proceedings.
 
With the exception of power, this amplifier has everything I’d want in a transistor amplifier at this price level. It has that rare combination of finesse and authority, it times well and it is highly enjoyable to listen to; I’d even call it ‘musical’, which is not my favourite phrase, but it is deserved here. It captivates with its ability to control micro dynamics, separate texture, and is free from hash and the grunge that plagues so many transistor amplifiers I hear. If you can live with a limited range of sensitive speakers, it is well worth auditioning.
"A sound, that looking at the price level they occupy, escapes any rules and attempts at their categorisation. Writing about them, that they are a class on their own"
Marcin Olszewski

REVIEW SUMMARY: The Tellurium Q Silver Diamond are seemingly very common wires, at least looking from the outside. Very solidly made, elegant and far away from blatancy and designer pride. But something else testifies about its true value, coming from, amongst others, their technological advancement – the sound. A sound, that looking at the price level they occupy, escapes any rules and attempts at their categorisation. Writing about them, that they are a class on their own, would mean writing nothing. Fortunately instead of talking or writing it is enough to plug them into our system and decide for ourselves. I have already done that, and I know one thing – it was worth the wait.

EXTENDED REVIEW: I assume that each one of us experienced a so called “Yeti effect” at least once, or much more often, something that happens amongst (older) men – “This fish was sooo big”. Do you know what I mean? I mean that somebody has seen, heard, experienced, etc, something, and is absolutely certain this did happen, while everybody else from that persons’ environment is acting skeptical. The situation becomes strange, and we reach a moment, when this person reaches a status close to the one obtained by people claiming they were taken by an UFO, and the little green men performed many different and painful experiments on them. In audio, and especially in High End, such cases happen quite often, but those are usually about reaching the state of audiophile nirvana, that was caused by listening to a certain gear, loudspeaker, cable or other accessory. But if this state of mind becomes contagious, when more than one person is starting to talk about the same thing, then it is worth to have a closer look at the thing that caused it, and have a listen for yourself.

It was similar, but maybe not with the tested set of cables, as they were just recently introduced to the market, but in general with the cables of the manufacturer that supplied them for testing. Every time, when during a visit somewhere, or during a show, where different systems were showcased, and the representative of the company Tellurium Q appeared, as this is the company in question, we heard, that the cables he has now are just spectacular, although they cannot show their full potential, as they just arrived from UK, or did not have time to be burned-in correctly. Unfortunately each time the effect of connecting those British wires to the system was … not very convincing. Although there was no tragedy, but there were always cables from some competitor, that suited our expectations better. If we would rely only on what I wrote above, then the case would be clear – this is the distributor, and he is happy with the products he is selling. But we started to receive reports, that the Tellurium really do sound well, what was in a sense confirmed with the amount of awards and distinctions they received. So we decided to confront their growing fame and test them in our own systems. It turn out, that everything that comes to Poland from the company with the purple logo is sold immediately, like everything during the cold war era. 

So we patiently waited and finally we got our hands on the top interconnects RCA and XLR as well as the loudspeaker cables, described in the company hierarchy as Silver Diamond.With some of the cables I know, the case is, that it best to review them listening not to a single pair (or cable) but to complete sets, allowing for the whole system to be cabled. This gains momentum, when the cables have some proprietary solutions implemented, working to minimise, or even annihilate, all kinds of anomalies from the usable signal. That was also the case this time, as according to the manufacturer the Tellurium Q cables were designed and manufactured in such a way, that they should minimise phase distortion. Yet looking at them it would be hard to find anything out of the ordinary. There are no boxes, muffs or any magic rings. Seeming those are just “simple wires”. But appearances are deceptive, as Geoff Merrigan makes certain modifications already on the level of the material the conductors are made of (in this case silver plated copper, there are also silver plated plugs), geometry of the strands, choice of dielectrics, vibration dampening and some things only he himself knows. But enough of that. The Tellurium arrive in classic, not overly extravagant carton boxes. So on this level there will be no luxury and extra care. But after removing them from the box it turns out, that the Silver Diamond looks very nice, with a kind of timeless elegance. The blackness of the sheath contrasts with the snowy white thermal bands with the company print, what together with the solid plugs makes a very positive impression. In addition both types of interconnects are quite flexible, what makes them easy to plug in and out and position behind the electronics. A real fairytale. However it ends with the unpacking of the loudspeaker cables. Those modest and nicely looking ribbons ending with aluminium splitters turn out equally easy to handle as a ship line from a three mast sailboat, or a fire hose filled with solid core wires. With some extra strength they are possible to handle, but it would be recommended to not to move them too much after connecting.

Having in mind my previous, not so positive, experience and not knowing, how long the supplied set was used I decided to burn the cables in – so I plugged in the two XLR, one RCA interconnect and the loudspeaker cables into my system and allowed them to align for a week. Only then I started listening with heightened attention and critically. If those cables are such “giant killers” then let them show, what they can do. And the only thing that comes to my mind now is the old truth – “be careful what you ask for, as you may get it”. Yes, yes. Despite the quite mellow, almost lazy “Just a Little Lovin’” Shelby Linne, the sound had such an energy, as if the system would be building it up somewhere. But it was no artificial pumping, no nervous looking out for the moment you can strike, but rather everything revolved around the directness of the sound and the strength of emission. The compression, that went unnoticed to date disappeared and the extremes of the sound spectrum expanded by a step or two. 

A certain transformation happened, as calling this is a re-scaling would not be adequate, to the volume of the sound. And again - I am not about any artificial pumping, bringing closer the virtual sources paired with blowing up the size of the virtual stage. Such actions are often taken by sound engineers creating samplers, and also some manufacturers of audio gear, as they think bigger means better. But here we deal with a kind of making the sizes of the instruments and musicians real, they now had adequate sizes. In case of the solo performance of the Shelby Lynne the effect is visible, but not as spectacular as with the choir “Live and Joyful in Charleston”The Angels. Only with such and similar recordings we could hear, what the Tellurium can do with the sound, or rather what they do not do to the sound – but what harm does its competition. The noise of the background becomes what it should be, the sounds that accompany the movements of  real people, and not digital or analog noise, where all the details and nuances are hidden. You do not believe me? Then please listen carefully to any recording with applause. It does not matter if this will be the applause of a big audience or the artists themselves, in most cases it sounds artificial – one dimensional, flat and rustling. Having the Silver Diamond returns authenticity, three-dimensionality and immediacy. The difference is more or less the same as listening to a recording of a piano and the same piano live. Sounds intriguing, doesn’t it?

On the completely different, very processed and rough as a rasp “The Pale Emperor” Marylin Manson, bass hit with the strength of a pneumatic hammer, and the parties of the guitars, recorded in a garage way, only increased the depressive climate of this album. But on this sonically seemingly not very interesting material, especially for the die-hard audiophiles, attention was drawn by an above average timing and coherence. The power of the low frequencies was under full control. It gained not only the drive characteristic for this kind of music, but also communicativeness and homogeneity of the sound. Because control was not limited only to the bass, but encompassed the whole audible sound spectrum, keeping in hand also the midrange and treble. If someone thinks, that control in the upper frequencies is not needed, then … he or she is on a highway to offensiveness and clatter. Only sounds well controlled can not only fully reverberate, but they exist in the musical spectacle in the place and time adequate for them. Exactly at a given spot and in a given time, and not somewhere around it, a tad too early or too late. The lack of phase distortion removes nervousness, quivering and a kind of lack of focus, that is often regarded as analog rounding or tubey charm. So we can assume, knowing that this is a big generalisation, the Silver Diamond are representatives of the analytical camp, but having a romance with the musicality we like so much. Through not colouring anything and not filtering away any seemingly negligibly micro-details we finally get the full picture, the whole sound, and not its interpretation.

Further experiments with unplugging and plugging single pairs of cables confirmed my observations, with one difference, that the intensity – palpability of the changes introduced was not so unambiguous. But if I would need to pick my favourite, then it would be the XLR interconnect, which enchanted me with its freedom, dynamics and almost crystalline clarity. The loudspeaker wires were also very interesting, but the quite problematic ergonomics, at least in my setting, where I am changing dozens of configurations and plug and unplug cables many times over, influences my opinion about their sonic value.

The Tellurium Q Silver Diamond are seemingly very common wires, at least looking from the outside. Very solidly made, elegant and far away from blatancy and designer pride. But something else testifies about its true value, coming from, amongst others, their technological advancement – the sound. A sound, that looking at the price level they occupy, escapes any rules and attempts at their categorisation. Writing about them, that they are a class on their own, would mean writing nothing. Fortunately instead of talking or writing it is enough to plug them into our system and decide for ourselves. I have already done that, and I know one thing – it was worth the wait.

…….Marcin Olszewski

this brand specialises in smooth, subtle sounding cables
Group Test

WE SAY:
Satisfyingly musical and smooth sound, generally a highly enjoyable cable to listen to, well worth trying out.

Overall, an excellent cable loom in its distinctive way – and one that the panel feels to be one of the most – musically satisfying of all those tested. 

From the west – yes, but not wild in any sense, this brand specialises in smooth, subtle sounding cables
 
Something of an enigmatic company, the recently launched Tellurium Q is only a few years old, and has made a name for itself with its distinctively smooth and – some would say – creamy-sounding range of power leads, interconnects and speaker cables. Its technical director is Colin Wonfor, whose range of excellent-sounding Inca Tech and Magnum amplifiers and nineties will bring back memories for more seasoned audiophile campaigners. Fittingly, the company  is now making amplification too.
 
Unlike the other manufacturers in the group test, Tellurium Q refuses to provide any product details and so doesn’t specify any materials used. Suffice to say that its "Blue" products are the entry-point to a range that goes up to some stratospherically priced stuff, and that the interconnect 
cables and speaker cables are designed for one another specifically.
 
It has recently been revised, and the company is claiming great things for In terms of the build and finish it is to a high standard, but looks unremarkable; many will applaud these two for their sober appearance and general lack of bling, which surely only be a good thing! 
 
Sound quality
If the Black Rhodiums are relatively nondescript sonically, not interfering too much and generally getting on with the job, the Tellurium Q cable loom is altogether more characterful, albeit in a nice way. The Emeli Sandé track shows these cables to be more fluid and mellifluous than the Black Rhodiums, the "Blues" obviously letting the phrasing and intonation of her vocals come out more to the fore. 
 
There is a greater sense of musical involvement, more of a feeling of musical involvement, more of a feeling of 'being there' and the music tugging on the emotional heartstrings. The musical map is much more explicit, the song having a sense of direction and starting off in one place and taking you somewhere else. It just comes over as a more emotional sort of cable combination.
 
The Beethoven piece flags it up as having a more organic sound – not just in its rhythm, but in its tonality. Panelists talk in terms of it being a little more open, yet not quite as bright and toppy as the upper midband of the Black Rhodium and Chord. It throws out a fair deal of detail and the listeners all comment on the good tone of the violins, which are sinewy yet not screechy.

They talk 

in terms of it having a far deeper, less brightly etched midband, one which appears to dissolve back into the speakers a bit more and seems less caught within their boundaries.
 
The high frequencies don’t seem quite as explicit as many of the cables here – the Tellurium Q loom doesn’t beam information out to you as much as some. The Paul Simon track sounds smoother and silkier than many, and this works all the way down into the bass, which is much fuller. 
 
Overall, an excellent cable loom in its distinctive way – and one that the panel feels to be one of the most – musically satisfying of all those tested. Still, it’s a rather characterful listen, which some will love and others won’t, as always we suggest to always try before you buy.
What A Difference A Cable Makes
Michael Lavorgna

This is not a review. Consider it more of an appreciation. - This story began at Munich High End 2015 in the Sound Galleries room:

"Do you have a favorite room at the show so far?" asked Geoff Armstrong as I sat in his room on the last day of the show. "Yea, this one." I replied.

That room has stuck in my mind ever since. There was "stunning clarity", something Geoff and Co. seem to enjoy combined with: "Spark of life. Great control, delicate. Embodiment of singer. Lovely".

What does this have to do with cables?

The sound I heard in the Sound Galleries room in Munich was the product of a complete system, which includes cables, and the cables in use were from Tellurium Q, a company new to me at the time. When I return from Munich, I started looking into Tellurium Q cables.

Fast forward to RMAF 2015 where I learned that Fidelis had become their US Distributor. Hmm, I thought.

Fast forward to roughly a month ago and I sent a request to Fidelis for a loaner pair of their Black XLR cable and Black USB.
The idea being, I wanted to try them in my system based on a hunch. The day they arrived, I placed them in my system and let them play music for about a week before devoting my animal brain to the sound of my system and the inevitable A|Bing.

My hunch paid off. What I heard was greater clarity, a more natural presentation, a more open yet defined sound image, improved tonal qualities and, taking a few steps back, a more engaging musical experience. So I shot off another email to Fidelis asking for a pair of their Black speaker cables.

What he said: "greater clarity, a more natural presentation, a more open yet defined sound image, improved tonal qualities and, taking a few steps back, a more engaging musical experience."

My hunch was that the sound I heard in the Sound Galleries room in Munich was due, in part, to the cables (dah). And I was correct, at least in terms of how they perform in my system and how my ear/brain system reacts to the sound of my system with the Tellurium Q cables as part of it. I'll also mention that I change cables about as often as I change undercoating.

The thing is, cables being part of a system, which in turn communicates to our ear/brain system, pretty much makes their performance site- and user-specific. The Tellurium Q cables are two-for-two on my scorecard.

Like I said, this is not a review, more of an appreciation. I'm appreciating my music even more. SOLD.

…..Michael Lavorgna

History of where Tellurium Q came from
WHERE TELLURIUM Q CAME FROM
 
People have been asking how Tellurium Q came about and what we are doing to make our products work so differently from what is currently available.  This has caused us problems because there are trade secrets and production methodologies that we definitely do not want to share with our competitors. I think that sometimes we err too much on the side of caution and that causes reviewers and our distributors a little problem. What do they say? What is the story to give our customers, a hook, a reason to listen when there are so many companies claiming big things? Why should people believe that we have a genuinely different approach? Yes a client can hear this is true within seconds of listening but the big problem is giving people a reason to want to listen having not yet heard the cable. In the UK this is not such a big problem as more and more people are giving their feedback to their friends and Tellurium Q is spreading rapidly by word of mouth as much as from the remarkable reviews.
 
However we can say a little about our background, how Tellurium Q came about and what we had to do to develop the products. So here goes.
 
How Tellurium Q was born:
 
The two principle directors met at a recording studio launch. One director, Geoff Merrigan, was there because he was the studio’s business advisor. The other director, Colin Wonfor was there because he was a friend of the studio owner. As both had a strong interest in science and technology they started talking. Turned out that Colin  had a background which meant that he was a world class analogue  and high frequency power specialist being a consultant to the UK military on various classified projects and in the USA for NASA designing the power supplies for the space station.
 
At that particular time Colin was working as an external consultant for Naim Audio, he had quite a reputation as an audio design engineer and something of a trouble shooter.
 
Discussion naturally enough turned to the studio and recording quality. Colin made the bold claim that the cables were causing problems in recording quality. Both the studio owner and Geoff took the stand point that a cable is just a cable and all it needs to do is transmit a signal and enough power, end of story. 
 
An hour later Colin had finished outlining what was missing theoretically in a standard cable’s construction and why exactly that caused problems. It made absolute sense and Tellurium Q was born on a leap of faith that Colin’s theories would be borne out in practice. The directors invested heavily in R&D and non-standard tooling to bring about the first cable, Tellurium Black. Thankfully it exceeded expectations and in the UK there was an immediate uptake with a small handful of dealers who were prepared to use their ears.
 
The most recent phase of development sees the introduction of our own tellurium copper connectors that have a near perfect synergy with the Tellurium Q cables, as the latest review in the magazine HiFi World confirms.
 
What people do not realise is that to get the best performance in a cable you actually have to be prepared to compromise between a number of factors. For example in most applications a signal must not leak into the dielectric (but this is a good thing in capacitors). Stepping back further, you even need to ask what exactly is a “signal”. An electric current is not a bunch of electrons entering a wire at one end, zipping through and popping out the other end. No. It is more like the Newton’s cradle toy where a wave of impacts go through the swinging balls quickly while the balls themselves move very little.  Of course the electrons work their way through the wire, just not very quickly that is all. When you understand what a signal actually is and how this “wave potential” is affected, then what function that signal has to fulfil, it is time to do a bit of a balancing act between, for example, capacitance, inductance, accurate transmission (not just material purity as many think) and high speed transmission (which in itself involves a whole host of lesser criteria). It is this fine tuning process that can lead to some surprises in choice of materials that is REQUIRED for the compromises to work efficiently and effectively. What we do a little differently is that we skew the balancing act to take into account phase accuracy to give a recording correct timing reproduction.
 
That, in a nutshell is how we at Tellurium Q get the results we get. We  believe that we put more into research and development than any other company as a percentage of our profitability and we have no reason to stop doing so. Research is our passion and our customers are the beneficiaries of this. 
Frankly? These are the best speaker cables I’ve ever heard.
Paul Rigby
TELLURIUM Q BLACK POWER CABLE:
No, I don’t know what this Tellurium Q cable is made from but, frankly, I couldn’t care less – not when it 
sounds as good as this.
 
TELLURIUM Q GRAPHITE SPEAKER CABLE:
A frankly stunning performance – a rare set of cables that have the ability to transform your entire hi-fi chain.
Newly released within Tellurium Q’s Graphite cable range, Paul Rigby wonders if the Black power cable and Graphite speaker cables can reach the sonic heights that their price demands.
 
Ready to be unleashed on an unsuspecting public, these new cables are made from... they’re designed with...their core components are...well, OK, the company won’t say. In fact, it makes a point of refusing to declare any specifications. After hearing the inflated science fiction from some of its competitors that’s probably a wise move. The point of cables is how they sound, after all.
 
Reviewed in the last issue of Hi-Fi World, the Black Rhodium Avenger DCT++ is one of the finest mains leads in its price bracket, so was an interesting reference comparison for the Tellurium Q Black (TQ Black) while the Black Rhodium ACT2 speaker cables (£300 per metre) were utilised as references for the Tellurium Q Graphite speaker cables.
 
SOUND QUALITY
 
Taking the power cable first and spinning the Sugababes’ compressed to hell CD track ‘Stronger’ via my Icon CD-X1, I was surprised by the TQ Black’s performance. 
 
Compared to the Avenger, the TQ Black exhibited a more meaty bass response. In fact, it was almost Brontosaurus-like in its mass. Low frequencies were notable by their heft and weight. What raised the eyebrow, however, was the simultaneous increase in air around the upper mids. The TQ Black provided a new sense of freedom, expression and emotion. 
 
Concomitant with these advantages was the TQ Black’s enhanced clarity, a result of the removal of inherent distortion which allowed detail to emerge. Lastly, instrumental separation was simply astounding. Wide gaps appeared in between each, giving both an outline and profile to each instrument.
 
Moving to jazz and Freddie Hubbard’s ‘Open Sesame’ on XRCD, the brass tones can overlap on a middling set of cables. Despite the Black Rhodium’s excellent performance, the TQ Black eased the instruments further away from each other to produce clear daylight.
 
The enhanced, accompanying clarity giving a great sense of meaning and maturity to the music. Even on solos, the rather poorly positioned piano was no longer swamped by the percussion. The treble shimmered with delicate amounts of reverb that reflected off each cymbal strike while the enhanced bass drove the entire track, enhancing musicality.
  
The Tellurium Q Graphite Speaker cable (TQG) was first tested with the Sugababes track. First impression was of an extraordinary focus that made the ACT2s sound muddied and confused, in comparison. TQG-driven low frequencies now resembled a layered jam sandwich cake instead of the ACT2’s melange of bass notes. The TCQ was able to identify distinct tonal differences while sweeping away the bass bloom that infected the track. Upper mids were also stripped of distortion that allowed the female vocals to shine with a fragile innocence. An added bonus was a general becalming to the peak limiting, once harsh tones fell to a slight upper mid hardening. 
 
 Generally, the amount of clarity that exuded from these cables opened up a swathe of new detail while enhancing current noises enough to force my ears into an aural double take.
 
 Freddie Hubbard’s Blue Note, jazz classic never sounded so good. The new clarity allowed his trumpet to relax. His own confidence appeared now to be sky high as he played without any apparent effort, letting the notes flow and encouraging his skill and talent to speak for themselves. Tina Brooks’ sax produced a new swinging musicality that gave the impression of a musician who couldn’t keep still. Here, upper mids offered a blue lagoon of clarity that the ACT2s just could not match while the extra detail conveyed a sonic story that the ACT2s found foreign. Percussion, meanwhile, was both driving and subtle. Treble was highly effective, drumsticks seemed to, not so much strike the drum skin, but bounce off it. Such was the perceived energy from this part of the extended sound stage. 
 
CONCLUSION
 
So, are the new Tellurium Q cables worth the money? Definitely. When combined, the improvement was on the scale of a hardware upgrade. As for the difference in cables? Wholly palpable and easily heard. Frankly? These are the best speaker cables I’ve ever heard.
These cables exhibit a dynamic and impressive performance that will have you pinned to your seat
Paul Rigby
TELLURIUM Q BLUE POWER CABLE: 
Bass was punchy and upper frequencies provide tremendous insight. A perfect ‘source’ power cable. 
FOR
- front-end application
- balanced presentation
- clarity
- distortion free
AGAINST
- nothing
 
TELLURIUM Q BLACK PHONO INTERCONNECT CABLE:
Fixing the bass to the floor and drawing upon its solidity, the Black cables push deep into the mix to find new, hidden, detail.
FOR
- bass power
- midrange smoothness
- detail
- distortion free
AGAINST
- nothing

In typical Tellurium Q terms, despite my journalistic nose desperate to find something (anything!) about the nature of these cables and what technology they both might employ, the company steadfastly refused to reveal any of its secrets. The Blue Power Cable is a lower cost variant of its brother, the Black, while the set of interconnects, the Black Phono Cables are the first of their type to be released by the company.

SOUND QUALITY
Reviewing the Power Cables first by spinning a series of rock-based vinyl discs, I found the Blue a different beast to the Black: not better or worse, just different. Where the Black is meaty, powerful, almost guttural in its bass power, the Blue, while maintaining a focused, punchy bass, offered a better balanced presentation for the vinyl front-end, injecting more air into the upper frequencies while draining some of the more claustrophobic bass. This gave the Blue a breezy presentation. Upper mids seemed to relax, taking their time to consider detail and tonal colour.

The Black, while packed with insight, didn’t quite have the Blue’s delicate foot padding and exploratory inquisitives. Everything about the Black was power oriented which, I quickly realised, is where the Black belongs, attached to amplifiers and associated equipment. The Black releases as much bass through its core as possible, which is ideal for power-related peripherals. The Blue would sound rather weedy here but, attached to a source, the Blue stands tall and rules the roost. Playing jazz, via CD, the effect was more accentuated.

The Blue almost decluttered and cleansed the midrange to produce an outstanding clarity, adding a tremendous sense of balance.

Moving to the interconnects, and comparing them to my reference Avid SCTs, my rock-based vinyl possessed a tremendous soundstage via the Tellurium Qs (TQs), with an ordered air about it. The TQ stereo stage images were solid and stable while the rest of the soundstage benefitted from structurally secure instrumental separation. Underpinning the rock performance was tremendous bass output – solid, secure, muscley and meaty. There was also a useful draining of distortive frequencies from the midrange and treble allowing them to beam with new found clarity as they sat in greater amounts of space.

Turning to jazz on CD, the TQ interconnects brought a new degree of authority to various vocal jazz performers – Helene Merrill, for example. Her rather breathy delivery never masked the power that lay under the surface.

The CD also didn’t sound as loud as the reference Avid for the same gain because distortive drain removed many of those frequencies that acted harshly upon my ear.

CONCLUSION

I’ve talked a lot about Tellurium Q, of late. I’ve also sung its praises, constantly. To be honest, I wish I had something to grump about, it would make a change but, when a company gets a series of products ‘this right’ it’s difficult to say anything negative.

Having tested the Blue power cable and now being able to place that in context with the Black, it is evident that Tellurium Q is going about cable design in a totally different way to other cable manufacturers. In fact, if I had to compare it to any other group, I would ally it more with quality power conditioning outfits like Isotek because Tellurium Q is looking at power load and application, designing for specific hardware in specific situations.

The interconnects, in the meantime, support the basic Tellurium ethos. They establish a sturdy, secure bass floor and build upon that groundwork with a distortion-free upper frequencies that offer a balanced contrast.

These cables exhibit a dynamic and impressive performance that will have you pinned to your seat

Pristine clarity whilst retaining absolute naturalness. The bass was tight deep and dramatic with an openness to the midrange that would make the Ice Queen melt.
Dan

The Iridium for me is simply one of the finest transistor amps I have ever had the pleasure of listening too, a true SECA (Single Ended Class A) monster of an amp that does not in any way sound like a typical class A amp, at all. It’s far more open and transparent, cleaner and controlled, it just sound 'right' in every way imaginable.

With an understated look, which makes it a statement in my eyes, the dormant chassis of the Iridium was placed into my system. I was taken by its stature on my rack and pleasantly surprised that the amp, although quite tall, is not very deep so can be accommodated comfortably on any rack and makes reaching around to the on/off switch or to plug in cables an ease.
 
I connected the SECA, which it is also known by, into my newly purchased and absolutely fantastic Totaldac d1 tube dac fed with my Squeezebox Touch and its newly acquired Paul Hynes SC5 power supply, ......
 
On listening to the Iridium my first impressions were of pristine clarity  whilst retaining absolute naturalness. The bass which came out of my system was tight deep and dramatic with an openness to the midrange that would make the Ice Queen melt.
 
Sound staging was absolutely pin point, the emulation of notes from a deeper area in the soundstage that just spread and grew was astonishing, conveying all the presence and natural timbres in such a correct and palpable way.
 
The characteristic is clean yet never bright or harsh, rich but never warm to the point of being muddy or grainy, with a top end that simply sparkles without sheen.
 
An explosive charge of dynamics from my 90db Ayons slammed notes out which seemed massively larger than its rated 18wpc. I never noticed any volume issues between my 40wpc Emille and the SECA. Even high powered monoblocks which have graced my system didn't outshine the Iridium’s current strong performance in grip.
 
As well as delivering large powerful passages with ease the SECA also conveys delicacy and emotion where necessary, even during more dramatic scenes, allowing those small spine tingling details to stand true.
 
The spatial awareness and sculptured three dimensional soundstage was eerie at times, projected, deep and wide with an absolutely convincing portrait of the subject tracks
 
Vocals were gorgeous, clean, controlled and full of body, the balance of the frequency response and wide bandwidth simply toned out each part of the music perfectly. Crisp highs, a fleshed out midrange and a bass kick that just simply reinforced every other area with a powerful and big robust nature.
 
The Iridium for me is simply one of the finest transistor amps I have ever had the pleasure of listening too, a true SECA (Single Ended Class A) monster of an amp that does not in any way sound like a typical class A amp, at all. It’s far more open and transparent, cleaner and controlled, it just sound 'right' in every way imaginable.
 
Author - Dan
There is a definite and easily noticeable difference in performance when using the Black Diamond from Tellurium Q, the equipment just relaxes and the music becomes more effortless.
Daniel Worth
Wading through the plethora of products from various companies now offering 'Audiophile Quality' USB cables, Hifi Pig had the opportunity to test drive Tellurium Q's new cable at the peak of their line up.
 
The Black Diamond, as all other Tellurium products, doesn't come accompanied with a huge white paper of techno-babble, it simply comes with a suck it and see label.
 
The cable is of a substantial build quality, firmly thick and solidly terminated with male A to B connectors. The cable is a little stiffer than many on the market but in no way too stiff to manage with the 1.5m cable I demoed being very easily routed throughout my rack and around my equipment.
 
Other companies offer various incarnations of USB cables like split for data and power, cables
with no power conductors, ones with external power supplies and some with inline filtration units. The Tellurium however doesn't. Its non fancy visual appearance leaves one initially wondering, “So what's so special about this cable then? What am I paying for that is going to add that certain something special?'
 
Suck it and see...
 
In she goes then, trailing off the rear of my Mac Mini and into the Totaldac d1 tube dac, followed by Emilly and the Ayons and after approximately a week of burning the cable in I created a playlist into Amarra 2.5 and sat down to listen.
 
Well, immediate impressions were very impressive, some acoustic work revealed great separation of instruments and strong placement in the soundstage, a definite open and transparent flavour with good under tones. Detail and texture was very natural and clean.
 
Some of the stronger more powerful vocal work listened to wasn't strained by the cleaner nature of the cable, the voices had cleaner areas around them rather than any added brightness with extremities of female vocals being completely sturdy and controlled, whereas gruntier male vocals held a full bodied, solid and rendered performance. 
 
Busier passages from some popular and classical work demanded presence from the soundstage, retaining air around larger dynamic transients, with subtle details remaining un- smeared and legible.
 
The Black Diamond is showing me a certain coherence which I haven't heard from a USB cable before and I have had some excellently rated and sounding ones from the likes of Acoustic Revive, Oyaide, Wireworld and Furutech to name a few. The Totaldac was my first step back into exploring music for pleasure again from my Mac, with its most analogue character of sound and its ability to texturise digital in a magical way, but adding the Black Diamond has given more freedom for the music to express itself, complimenting the Dac’s pure ability in musicality.
 
Another feature or stand out point for me with the cable is its precise timing ability, which is why I believe the subtleties of a performance can stand truer against larger more dynamic passages, in turn layering a soundstage very naturally and unforced, music simply flows in waves of structured organic simplicity.
 
There is a definite and easily noticeable difference in performance when using the Black Diamond from Tellurium Q, the equipment just relaxes and the music becomes more effortless. Like Hussain Bolt running the 100m dash and just taking it in his stride, the construction of the USB cleverly controls timing and phase distortion without the need for other gizmos and gadget add ons to produce a fast energetic performance or delicate and sweet details with ease.
 
I never would have imagined that before the last two reviews I have been lucky enough to have been offered that I would once again be exploring the Mac more seriously as a digital music source.
.......Daniel Worth
Compared to other digital cables I have had the sound is really full-range. There is no sign of distortion whatsoever, even during the difficult-to-reproduce transients.
Kai Ekholm - Inner Magazine News
Over the past two years or so I have invested, financially and spiritually, in my analogue playback system. I’ve always been a vinyl lover but upgrading my vinyl playback system (Technics SP10, Thomas Schick 12” arm, various headshells and mono/stereo cartridges) has made me more often to grab a Long Play record for my ultimate listening pleasure. In contrast, playing digital sources has started to taste like fast food, something brains need as a quick fix only.
 
Not that digital would be bad per se. And not that I’d not have allocated decent sums of money and energy for setting up a digital sound system for getting best out of my digital music files and CDs – albeit CDs as media now seem to be more like industrial waste, best ripped to the Mac and buried like never born.
 
The digital playback system now consists of Sony SACD 777, iMac/iTunes (Amarra/Pure music), BelCanto Ref link, BelCanto DAC3.5 with BelCanto virtual battery. The rest of the system as always: TRI 300b monoblocks with Sophia Princess tubes (4x), modified Zu Definition MK II loudspeakers; Hydra 8/Hydra 2 (3x) power conditioners, numerous room tuning devices, etc. etc.
 
Despite the quality digital system I’ve all the time felt that the sound missed something, that something’s not right. And now that my vinyl playback system truly shines, the feeling has only amplified. In the absence of reasonable explanations I’ve focused recently on the digital connection between my iMac and the Belcanto Ref link. Maybe the reason for the less than optimal sound has been lack of a decent USB cable?
 
For long I had Audioquest Silver USB cable but that kept  “sounding” too harsh and 'digital' to my taste. I then tired Tellurium’s 450£ Graphite USB, and that with very rewarding results leaving only little to complaint even without an external USB power unit, but especially with it. Separate USB power units such as AQVOX USB Low-Noise 5V are something that I warmly recommend for everybody who, more than average, feels allergic to digital residues in the sound.
 
Then I got an opportunity – a world premier chance, in fact - to test Tellurium’s brand new innovation: The Black Diamond USB cable. Mildly put, it is sensational. It bettered the Graphite USB. Most notably, it considerably brought the digital sound closer to the analogue sound of my system. I think the Black Diamond USB can provide a reference level digital sound even from a modest setup, and thus narrows the gab between ridiculously expensive systems  and less pricy ones.
 
There is also a more profound effect. By now only vinyl collectors are considered serious record collectors. With the Black Diamond USB cable in the system it makes sense again to start collecting digital music, of any form. This is not joke. That’s how I felt when I waded through my digital music collection the Black Diamond USB joining  my iMac and the BC Reference Link.
 
Overall performance
The Black Diamond USB offers a well-balanced and quasi-faultless sound. Compared to other digital cables I have had the sound is really full-range. There is no sign of distortion whatsoever, even during the difficult-to-reproduce transients.
 
And as said, the cable must be the most analogue sounding digital cable on the planet. It is also a very forgiving cable. Somehow it appears to improve modest digital recordings, mysterious as it may sound. It kind of amplifies the sound making certain details play louder. Shadows' Bests is not my favorite record but now it sounded truly enjoyable. The drumming, the solid guitar sounds were surpassing, not forgetting the improved 3D image.
 
Mark Ribot's guitar in Silent Movie became very emotional, more than before. Carlos Bica's stunning Believer featured a real-size bass and loads of details (his breathing, sleeves making sound against the wood etc.). Musica Nuda’s (an Italian duo) album produced spectacular dynamics, the bass being almost intolerably massive and physical. And so on.
 
I tried the Black Diamond USB with the USB power unit, but eventually gave it up. The cable seems to be indifferent to usual USB power fluctuation (even iMac’s displays can alter it).
 
Finally
The Black Diamond USB is a paradigmatic product, revolutionary even. Tellurium as a company seems to be like Usain Bolt, running from a triumph to triumph. Geoff Merrigan once told me how disappointed he was with a review giving their product only 4.5 points out of 5. There’s some attitude. I was also told that their head designer is an analogue sound lover, which I guess is why the Black Diamond USB sounds so anything but digital.
 
The only worry I have is that people who would benefit from the Black Diamond USB don’t find it or don’t find it soon enough. I’d encourage Tellurium to profile their cables more clearly, according to the digital lifestyle of the potential user.
 
The Black Diamond is for music lovers who strive for a top digital lifestyle, who already have invested quite a bit of money in their digital playback system, and who own a digital music collection for life and are keen on getting the utmost out of it. The glory of the digital sound.
…. Kal Ekholm
I can honestly say the Tellurium Q Black Diamond interconnects and speaker cable are the very best leads that I have ever had in my system.
Tony Bolton
HI-FI WORLD - 5 GLOBES Award
OUTSTANDING - amongst the best 
 
VERDICT 
An interconnect that seems to 
allow the music to flow in a 
particularly natural way.
 
FOR
- smoothness and detail
- excellent tonality
- tactile textures
 
AGAINST
- nothing
Back in the March 2012 edition of this magazine, fellow scribe Paul Rigby went so far as to describe the Tellurium Q Graphite speaker cable as the “best speaker cables I have ever heard”. 
 
Following such a ringing endorsement I was more than a little curious to hear the company’s cables for myself so I arranged to borrow the range-topping Black Diamond leads in both speaker and RCA interconnect form.
 
 Tellurium Q are reticent about revealing the technology employed in their cables so I am unable to tell you much except that the plugs are made to their own specification and include in their construction the rare earth mineral that gives the company its name.
 
 Once they were run-in a very long job with these cables I compared them with my resident Philosophy Cables Organon speaker leads and Nebrion interconnects. These have stayed in place on the downstairs system for over eight years because I have not found anything that could match the combination of tight timing, detail, smoothness and texture that these leads allow the system to display. 
 
However, after listening to the Black Diamonds I am forced to recalibrate my perceptions. 
 
 They offered everything that I have just listed but in a way that made the Nebrion’s sound a little restrained and masked.
 
 It is fair to say that the Black Diamond interconnects were the most sonically invisible cable that I have ever used. I am, quite frankly, amazed that there could be such a difference from what was already excellent performance to the level at which I am currently listening. 
 
 The speaker cable, when introduced into the system, seemed to build on this by matching the smoothness of the Philosophy’s sonic delivery. It also seemed to have a wider perceived bandwidth, a bigger soundstage, and the ability to present transient detail even more effortlessly. Timing seemed noticeably tighter, with notes stopping and starting more precisely. The change 
was akin to the difference between driving a car with modern handling and all-round disc brakes as opposed to the softer suspension and disc/drum set ups of cars of days of yore. 
 
 The lack of overhang to the beat made rhythmic music seem more natural in timing and the silences between notes more defined.
 
I could not fault the texture or tonality of even complex sounds such as pianos and harpsichords. They just sounded real and right as did vocals with subtle micro-detailing to the sound that lifted it away from the system and left me feeling that it was an independent entity present in my listening space.
 
 I am both surprised and impressed with these cables. They seem to offer everything that I have enjoyed about my current cables but build on their strengths.
 
In short, I can honestly say the Tellurium Q Black Diamond interconnects and speaker cable are the very best leads that I have ever had in my system. 
…..Tony Bolton
Jon Myles plugs Tellurium Q’s new Ultra Silver loudspeaker cables into his system – and comes away more than impressed.
Jon Myles

TELLURIUM Q ULTRA SILVER - 5/5  GLOBES - OUTSTANDING - amongst the best 
VERDICT Exceptional cable that combines pinpoint timing with detail and frequency extension. 
FOR - timing - coherence - detail - frequency extension - build 
AGAINST - unfortunately like most good things in life, not cheap

Of all the cable manufacturers out there Tellurium Q is arguably the most secretive about the construction of its products. 

While other companies are only too eager to wax lyrical about the various exotic materials and proprietary technologies they use, Tellurium Q stay resolutely silent – simply encouraging would-be purchasers to try them and make up their own minds. 

So there’s not much to tell you about the make-up of their latest Ultra Silver ‘speaker cables – except they have the company’s trademark ribbon design with the conductors enclosed in a thick mesh braid and terminated with sturdy Z plugs (spade termination is also available). 

While this makes for a hefty construction it is conversely extremely flexible so easy to route around furniture or other obstructions. 

Of the few things Tellurium Q will reveal about their cables is the fact that they are all engineered to combat the effects of phase distortion – an effect that can smear the sound and lead to errors in timing and accuracy. 

That holds true across the entire range – but the difference with the Ultra Silver is that it has been voiced for greater detail and top end air and extension from, say, the Tellurium Q Black. 

SOUND QUALITY

Did I say detail and extension? That’s probably selling the Tellurium Qs a little short. 

Plugged into a Sugden Sapphire FBA 800 amplifier the Ultra Silvers brought a level of clarity and resolution that was something of a revelation. 

The Class A Sugden is no slouch in terms of detail but the Tellurium Qs took its performance to another level. 

Listening to the Cuban jazz of Robert Fonseca’s ‘Clandestino’, the speed, control and timing of this busy track was impeccable. There was no muddying of the sound – instead a simple, pinpoint accuracy. 

Fonseca’s piano covers the full range and I heard it with all its rich, timbral weight; the soprano saxophone positively soared. The soundstage and focus was unerringly exact with no part of the sonic spectrum taking undue prominence over another. Instead, it was all in perfect balance. 

On the ECM recording of Arvo Part’s ‘Tabula Rasa’ the Ultra Silvers really do seem to have extended bandwidth, the reverberation of the strings having an ethereal quality I haven’t really appreciated fully before. Listen to ‘Cantus In Memory Of Benjamin Britten’, the decay at the end of the track seemed to go on forever, so cleanly was it delineated. 

Bass is perhaps leaner than on some other cables but it still manages to go deep. Playing The Chemical Brothers ‘Block Rockin’ Beats’ my initial thoughts were that they might be a little light in the low end. But listening closer I realised the essential punch and power was still there – just without any of the unnatural boom that can often be mistaken for musical punch. 

This quality also helped bring out extra detail in the midrange by laying a solid foundation that doesn’t overwhelm. It also means the Tellurium Qs sound fast and pacy when the music demands it – never letting the bass slur the tempo of a song. 

The only caveat is that a the Ultra Silvers are not cheap – and with their extension and detail you’ll really need a good system to hear exactly what they can do. That aside, they really are exceptional. 

CONCLUSION 

I’m always wary of labelling any piece of equipment as the best I’ve heard – but it’s hard to escape that conclusion in the case of the Tellurium Q Ultra Silvers. 

They really do shine a new light on the sound – not just in terms of midrange detail and high-end extension, but also in the way they pull the various strands together into a coherent whole that times and flows just with absolute musical coherence. 

No wonder Tellurium Q are so determined to keep the details of their design under wraps. After all, when they’re this good why let anyone copy you

Awards

HI-FI WORLD - BEST LOUDSPEAKER CABLE AWARD- Tellurium Q Silver Diamond

Tellurium Q are renowned for the secrecy surrounding the construction of their cables. But when your products are this good, that’s completely understandable. And the Silver Diamonds are undoubtedly their best loudspeaker cable yet. They are totally uncoloured – instead acting as a wide open channel between amplifier and ‘speakers and so letting more of the music flow through to let you know exactly what the rest of the system is doing. “They allow the entire frequency range to be heard in full resolution without any harshness – unless it happens to be on the record in the first place” we said. "On Jean Francaix’s ‘Petit Quatour Pour Saxophones’, for example, there’s an incredibly expansive acoustic and lifelike presentation, with the tonal differences of the soprano, alto, tenor and baritone saxophones perfectly differentiated". In fact the new Silver Diamonds can easily stand comparison with cables costing up to three times as much. Reviewed: October 2015 issue * 

For our original full review see Hi-Fi World Oct 2015 page 62 issue

Testimonials

Wow! What more can I say?!

Wow! What more can I say?!
If I'm to be honest with you, I'd have to say that my hifi system has always been a bit of an underwhelming disappointment to me. The TQ Black cable has transformed the listening experience beyond measure. Totally engaging, so much detail previously unheard. I'm going to have to go the whole hog now & invest in matching interconnects, eventually
... Cheers, Adrian.

Very pleased already with the Tellurium black power cable.
"Clearer, more refined treble, poise and increased space in the mid range, with interplay in string quartets clearer and more sense of forward flow in harmonic line. Now with solo cello, there is more natural resonance from the body of the instrument, and a real sense  of the room acoustic.The benefits were plain when we used this kind of cable in our Oppo 95.
They are  markedly greater on the JLTI version of the Oppo 105D you sold us.
All these advances have been evident in the first 12 hours of playing".
....Rodney
The system synergy all came together with Tellerium Q Ultra Black speaker cables
“After 3 months of trying hard to get synergy in my system and not achieving the desired sound, and about ready to give up Terry encouraged me to persevere and asked me try the TQ Ultra Black speaker cables in my system. Encouraged by Terry I bought the amp back to its original configuration and revised the speaker plinth set up, this time the whole system with TQs installed it all came together and sounded so much better, now the Canton K7 speakers and amp synergy etc was finally what I had been searching for"

"Comparing them with other combinations and cables the consensus was a unanimous no brainer. They bring out acoustic detail, soundstage accuracy and refined dynamics that could not be replicated with the other cables on a variety of music".

"Thank you Terry.” .

….. Dave   

Any other cable sound dirty in comparison.

Dear terry

I must say that the black diamond cable is the best I have ever used.

IT just digs out micro detail and looks deep into the recording in a very unforced natural  way.

Something very  strange is going on as you feel you are not listening to the cable anymore just the music.

The timing ,  the  timbre and what the artist is feeling like on the day is placed in front of you.

The field depth has grown as well as base extension and no fuzz

Any other cable sound dirty in comparison.

Not The cheapest cable one can buy, however if your system warrants the investment and you enjoy the fine things in life , I cannot find fault with this cable.

....... Grant 

Send me an invoice please....
Terry,
It’s been a very interesting few days – I hooked up the TQ Silver Diamond USB cable on the Thursday afternoon and could not believe the difference compared to my old Purist Audio USB cable, it was so clear and clean, extremely good imaging and wide soundstage. 

I’ve seen the expression “as if a veil was lifted” so often in equipment reviews, now I understand. I reverted to the old cable on Friday and the same issues were there. 

If I could keep the Silver Diamond USB cable I would greatly appreciate it – if you could send through an invoice please.

.....David
TQ Black-II cables..... very pleased with my purchase....

Hi Terry
"I have found the TQ Black-II cables to be very impressive,bass,mids,treble all sound clearer,more natural sounding,channel separation much improved,very pleased with purchase,now I need the Black-II jumper leads to finish it off"
........ Neil