British audio specialist QED celebrates its 50th anniversary with the introduction of its Golden Anniversary XT speaker cable.
Representing the culmination of five decades of dedicated and extensive research, engineering and audio expertise, Golden Anniversary XT speaker cable is billed as the ideal upgrade for any Hi-Fi enthusiast who wants to experience the sonic benefits of a high-end speaker cable – but at a real-world price.
QED has been designing and engineering class-leading and award-winning analogue and digital cables for five decades – and the Golden Anniversary XT is the latest demonstration of the company’s expertise.
Quality Electronic Design (QED) was formed in 1973 by forward-thinking Hi-Fi enthusiasts, Bob Abraham and Ian Vine. The company is now considered the original cable brand by many, having released QED 79 Strand, widely recognised as the world’s first ‘specialist’ loudspeaker cable, says the company.
QED’s Genesis Report on loudspeaker cable design followed. This research, says the maker, established scientifically proven principles, which are as valid today as they were 28 years ago and informs all QED cable designs, including the pioneering X-Tube technology that enables precise and consistent signal delivery across the entire frequency range.
X-Tube Plus technology
QED’s innovative and proven X-Tube technology places a cable’s conductive material around a central hollow insulating rod – and the result is the elimination of the ‘skin effect’ that would otherwise force high-frequency analogue music signals to the outside of the conductor. And by combining X-Tube technology with Aircore technology, QED also reduces the ‘proximity effect’ that can disrupt current distribution in a speaker cable. The result is X-Tube Plus: a cable geometry that ensures Golden Anniversary XT is a speaker cable with even, consistent performance across the entire audible frequency range.
Ultra-Pure Ohno Continuous Cast Copper conductors
Golden Anniversary XT uses a unique hybrid blend of 99.999% oxygen-free copper (‘OFC’) and Ultra-Pure Ohno Continuous Cast Copper (‘UP-OCC’) to give the improved signal path and outstanding signal retention of ultra-pure copper conductors – but at a fraction of the price. Thanks to high-quality research and engineering, QED Golden Anniversary XT is described as the most affordable and attainable speaker cable to exploit the advantages of the continuous-casting process, with this hybrid theoretically improving the path for transients and high frequency detail not available using just OFC alone.
Low-Loss Ultra-Uniform Dielectric insulation
If a speaker cable is to perform to its maximum potential, it’s important that the dielectric material which insulates and protects the central conductors of the cable does so efficiently. Golden Anniversary XT uses a specially developed and formulated low-density polyethylene (‘LDPE’), which works in unison with the cable’s X-Tube Plus configuration to deliver a speaker cable that has high-efficiency and a dissipation factor that the maker says is barely measurable.
Airloc Forté banana plugs
Airloc is a specially developed cold-weld system for permanently attaching QED Forté banana plugs to the company’s entire range of speaker cables, Golden Anniversary XT included. The most vulnerable area of the speaker cable chain is the physical interface between the cable and the speaker or amplifier to which it’s connected – without effective termination, oxidation can occur, degrading the cable’s performance. By using a cold weld crimp-type termination, Forté banana plugs offer maximum resistance to oxidation – for the lifetime of the cable – by effectively turning the cable and the plug into a single, unified object.
Key features at a glance
NEW X-Tube Plus technology combines X-Tube with Aircore to deliver an even, consistent performance across the entire audible frequency range.
Ultra-pure Ohno Continuous Cast Copper and 99.999% oxygen-free copper conductor blend helps improve the signal path and signal retention.
Low Loss Ultra-Uniform Dielectric insulation boosts efficiency and reduces signal loss.
Airloc Forte banana plugs use a cold weld system for permanent attachment to the cable for improved contact area and reduced resistance.
50 years of innovation
QED Golden Anniversary XT is available now to QED retailers priced for end users at £27 / €35 / $40 per metre.
And in pre-terminated options (available November 2023)
QED Golden Anniversary XT 2M: £219.95 / $329.00 / €289.00
QED Golden Anniversary XT 2.5M: £249.95 / $379.00 / €319.00
QED Golden Anniversary XT 3M: £279.95 / $429.00 / €349.00
QED Golden Anniversary XT 5M: £399.95 / $599.00 / €499.00