With the addition of AudioQuest’s patented Dielectric-Bias System, Cougar brings a level of low-level clarity and resolution rarely seen at this price. Perfect-Surface Copper+ is the icing on the cake, raising Cougar’s performance significantly above Wildcat’s.
SOLID PERFECT-SURFACE COPPER+ CONDUCTORS (PSC+): Perfect-Surface Copper+ has an astonishingly smooth and pure surface. Proprietary metal-processing technology protects the wire’s surface at every stage of drawing and fabrication. When high-purity low-oxide copper is kept as soft, pure and smooth as possible, it becomes a wonderfully low-distortion PSC+ conductor. PSC+ is manufactured by applying the same exceptional technology to an ultra-pure copper. The resulting sound quality is even more focused and simply less in the way. For over 30 years AudioQuest has pioneered the use of superior metals; yet even we were surprised by the huge leap in performance made possible with Perfect-Surface Technology. PSC+ simply outperforms all previously available copper metals at any price. All of Cougar’s conductors are solid. Electrical and magnetic interaction between strands in a conventional cable is the greatest source of distortion, often causing a somewhat dirty, harsh sound. Solid conductors are fundamental toward achieving Cougar’s very clean sound.
POLYETHYLENE AIR-TUBE INSULATION: Any solid material adjacent to a conductor is actually part of an imperfect circuit. Wire insulation and circuit board materials all absorb energy (loss). Some of this energy is stored and then released as distortion. All of Cougar’s conductors use PE Air-Tube Insulation because air absorbs next to no energy, and Polyethylene is low-loss and has a benign distortion profile. PE Air-Tube Insulation causes much less of the out-of-focus effect common to other materials.
DIELECTRIC-BIAS SYSTEM (DBS, US Pat #s 7,126,055 & 7,872,195 B1): All insulation slows down the signal on the conductor inside. When insulation is unbiased, it slows down parts of the signal differently, a big problem for very time-sensitive multi-octave audio. AudioQuest’s DBS creates a strong, stable electrostatic field which saturates and polarizes (organizes) the molecules of the insulation. This minimizes both energy storage in the insulation and the multiple nonlinear time-delays that occur. Sound appears from a surprisingly black background with unexpected detail and dynamic contrast. The DBS battery packs will last for years. A test button and LED allow for the occasional battery check.
CARBON-BASED 2-LAYER NOISE-DISSIPATION SYSTEM (NDS): 100% shield coverage is easy. Preventing captured RF Interference from modulating the equipment’s ground reference requires AQ’s Noise-Dissipation System. Metal and Carbon-Loaded synthetics prevent most RFI from reaching the equipment’s ground plane.
TERMINATIONS: Cougar’s Cold-Welded Direct-Silver Plated RCA plugs use a proprietary design that eliminates the distortion caused by the extra contact inside most plugs. Because the ground shells are stamped instead of machined, the metal can be chosen for low distortion instead of machinability. A combination of these major ingredients, and many more subtle details add up to explain how Cougar can sound so clean, clear and dynamic.