There’s a comprehensive selection of ground cables available, all of them varying in performance and application.
In terms of grounding your amplifier, CD player, pre-amp, streamer, router, there are 4 different types of ground cable termination available, which are:
RCA, XLR (available in male or female form), USB (type A), RG45 (Ethernet) and 5 Pin Din (for Naim), the end of the cable which connects to the ground box is a simple spade connection, with the new Infinity range this connection is like a shepherds hook and is much better.
If you are grounding your amplifier’s speaker outputs, the type of ground cable you require is different, it is simply spade to spade.
If you are grounding an Entreq interconnect or speaker cable you need another type of ground cable, 3.5mm jack to spade, with the jack simply connected to the little fly lead on the interconnect/speaker cable.
When you first read about this it may seems daunting and confusing, but once you’ve got your head around it, it is really quite straightforward.
The Copper Infinity Ground Cable is £90.00 and is available with RCA/XLR/USB/RJ45 or 5 Pin Din termination for conventional Ground Cables
A Copper Infinity ‘Spade to Spade’ or ‘3.5m to Spade’ ground cable is available as well.
The Copper ground leads are typically only used with the Minimus and Silver Minimus boxes and are recommended for those who are more price conscious and using ground boxes with less expensive equipment. They can work particularly well on aggressive sounding sibilant systems.
For example a Minimus with 2 Copper Infinity ground cables connected to an entry level amplifier and CD player.
The Konstantin Infinity Ground Cable is £220.00 and is available with RCA/XLR/USB/RJ45 or 5 Pin Din termination for conventional Ground Cables
A Konstantin Infinity ‘Spade to Spade’ or ‘3.5m to Spade’ ground cable is available as well.
The Konstantin cables are more detailed than the copper with greater focus and insight without being overly forward in presentation. A great value cable, like the copper they are most suited on systems which are a bit aggressive in nature.
The Challenger Infinity Ground Cable is £400.00 and is available with RCA/XLR/USB/RJ45 or 5 Pin Din termination for conventional Ground Cables
A Challenger Infinity ‘Spade to Spade’ or ‘3.5m to Spade’ ground cable is available as well.
This is where things start to get interesting and performance jumps up a notch or so! The Challenger is a “hybrid” cable in the senses is contains both copper and silver in its make up. It is more detailed and musical than both Copper and Konstantin, but is ultimately neutral in its presentation. After the Apollo ground cable, the Challenger is the most popular ground cable as it is really well balanced and offers good value.
The Apollo Infinity Ground Cable is £600.00 and is available with RCA/XLR/USB/RJ45 or 5 Pin Din termination for conventional Ground Cables
An Apollo Infinity ‘Spade to Spade’ or ‘3.5m to Spade’ ground cable is available as well.
As you can see there is a bit of jump in terms of cost between Challenger and Apollo and for good reason, there is a massive jump in performance. The Apollo is the second from top of the range ground cable and it is by far and away the most popular in terms of numbers sold. I would estimate for every 10 ground cables I sell (whatever the application) 8 or 9 of them are Apollo.
The best word to describe what the Apollo does is transparency, plain and simple. It toes the line of neutrality, but lifts a huge veil over music you thought you knew really well. The often used words texture and air spring to mind as well.
Using Apollo ground cables with Silver Minimus through to the Poseidon and beyond is a brilliant combination. The Olympus Ten coupled with an Apollo ground cable is fast becoming a favourite combination!
The Atlantis Infinity Ground Cable is £1300.00 and is available with RCA/XLR/USB/RJ45 or 5 Pin Din termination for conventional Ground Cables
An Atlantis Infinity ‘Spade to Spade’ or ‘3.5m to Spade’ ground cable is available as well
The Atlantis Infinity Ground Cable offers a revelatory level of performance. If you connect 3 of these to a Poseidon for example it delivers so much performance to your system you would almost think it not possible you are listening to the same system! As I mentioned with the Poseidon, I would not recommend listening to Atlantis ground cables unless you are ready to buy them, they’re that good!
The first time I heard Atlantis ground cable in my own demo system (which I obviously know inside out) the improvement to the levels of micro-detail and expression were incredible; customers are slowing listening to them and every time Apollos keep coming back in part exchange!
Which bits are right for me?
To sum up, there is no right of wrong combination of ground cables, it depends on your budget, your system and most importantly how it sounds and what you want out of your system.
For example if you have a pre/power amplifier and a CD transport and DAC used with a pair of speakers with metal dome tweeters, you may find Silver too strident in presentation, but a mixture of Apollo and Challenger may result in a really good balance. As mentioned above, the Apollo is comfortably the most popular cable in the range, then Challenger, then Atlantis, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Atlantis and Challenger swapped places before long!
Don’t automatically assume that the most expensive is the best! It all depends on the system!