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Stage III Concepts Ckahron Ultimate Statement XLR interconnects Review

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The performance of many cables is very similar and comparable to each other, and some cables continue to employ original designs of others dating back to the early two-thousands. I have therefore endeavored to seek out more original designs and that often entails products over $10,000.

Like everything else, cable systems manufactured per budget allocation determine the quality of the end result. The first condition of what constitutes a high-performance cable is that the higher the quality, the more of the original signal is transmitted from one component to the next, thus maximizing the potential of being true to the source equipment. The ultimate cable is therefore made of superconducting materials yet to be developed to operate in room temperature that induce no signal loss. For now, it is up to the manufacturers to come up with new metallurgic, geometric and manufacturing solutions that impedes upon the original source signal at the minimum level.

The secondary function of a high-end cable is to minimize noise from electromagnetic interference and mechanical vibration. American specialty cable manufacturer Stage III Concepts is among a handful of companies seemingly dispensing with considerable efforts to achieve the most noiseless design for everyday use.

The subject of this review, the Stage III Concepts A.S.P. Ckahron Ultimate Statement balanced interconnects, is purported to be the company’s latest and greatest design in preserving the signal that travels through it from one component to the next, and doing so with the lowest level of noise. A.S.P. is acronym for absolute signal purity.

Stage III Concepts launched two new products in 2022 that would constitute the new flagships over its existing product offering. These products were the A.S.P. Poseidon power cable and the A.S.P. Ckahron (the “C” is silent) interconnects. Being flagship models, both are also the second and third in the company’s history respectively to carry the moniker Ultimate Statement in the product name, after the $36k A.S.P. Cerberus speaker cables of 2021. For this review, two lengths of the Ckahron in XLR were provided, namely the $24,500 2-meter pair and the $20,500 1.5-meter pair. A one-meter XLR pair would cost $16,500.

The makeup of Ckahron is complex and remarkable. It begins with a proprietary conductor technology labeled AeroStrandUltra, which is a slow-drawn custom alloy of silver and palladium in the form of a ribbon. This ribbon conductor is then cryogenically treated at -300°F(-185°C) for a minimum of twenty-four hours, while the more conventional treating process is around -200°F and a duration of eight hours. A metal’s structure changes at these temperatures as metallic crystals are formed between the microscopic gaps of the custom alloy, leading to increased conductivity.

Six of these ribbons are bundled into a large strand, then two such large strands are twisted together to form a twisted pair. Three such twisted pairs are then put together to form a dual-helix configuration. Finally, this configuration is tripled up.

The triple dual-helix wiring is then encapsulated in three layers of dielectric chambers to become the final product. The innermost dielectric chamber is a commercial-grade vacuum at 675HG. The next layer is made of the company’s proprietary alloy, named HDA. Stage III claims this layer provides the bundled AeroStrandUltra conductor a 100% shielding from EMI. The third, outermost dielectric is a weave of plated copper and conductive carbonized nylon strands named, ASPIS, for its resemblance to the skin of the African venomous viper.

The XLR connectors named, Hyperion, are made of silver alloy and are also similarly, cryogenically treated as the AeroStrandUltra conductors. The company claims that the assembly of the connectors to the cables is done individually using proprietary elements not seen in other products.

One Response to Stage III Concepts Ckahron Ultimate Statement XLR interconnects Review

  1. Marc Silver says:

    I would be interested to get your observations with the addition of Ckahron’s speaker wire to complete the Cryogenicly treated cable set.

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