AudioQuest Ruby is a Triple Balanced cable featuring Hyperlitz construction. Ruby uses three solid FPC copper conductors, each insulated with foamed Polyethylene. When used single-ended (with RCA plugs), one conductor carries the positive audio signal, two carry the negative. The 100% coverage shield is only attached at one end so that it is not used as an inferior audio conductor. When used with balanced equipment (XLR type connectors), one conductor is used for each of the three signals (positive non-inverted, positive-inverted and the reference ground). The shield is connected to the case of the XLR at both ends to ensure ideal chassis to chassis grounding.

The audible differences resulting from multiple single construction, FPC copper, and not using the shield to carry audio information are dramatic. Ruby is available with either the superb AQ #709 RCA plug or with AudioQuest custom #20 and #21 XLR plugs.

When a double balanced (or twin axial) cable is used "single ended" (with one RCA plug on each end) the shield is not used as an audio conductor, it is only grounded at one end. This provides complete shield coverage while preventing the shield from being used as an inferior audio conductor.

When a double balanced cable is used with balanced electronics, it usually has XLR connectors on both ends. One conductor is used for each of the two positive signals, and the shield is used for ground. To us, this is a step backwards: the reference ground is just as sensitive to distortion mechanisms as the positive signals and so deserves exactly the same respect. For this reason (and for better performance when used with RCA plugs) all cables from Ruby and above are triple balanced.

An XLR plug can make four possible connections. AQ triple balanced cables use the three pins or sockets to connect the reference ground and the inverting and non-inverting positive signals. The case of the XLR is used to connect the shield to chassis ground.

The AudioQuest #700 Series RCA plugs (used on Ruby and Opal), and the RCA plugs used on all the higher AQ models, and on most CinemaQuest cables, employ a patented design which eliminates extra internal contacts, ensures a large self-wiping (self-cleaning) contact area, and provides extraordinary strain-relief. Very thick high purity silver plating actually provides a superior parallel conducting path. For the same reason Hybrid design works so well in many of the AQ/CQ speaker cables, it also makes for superior plug performance. All the same plugs are resistance welded to their respective cables in a process which actually commingles the molecules of the cable and plug into a single alloy. 8,000 amperes of current are put through the cable plug interface over a period of 33 millionths of a second. The extremely localized super-heating causes the metals to melt and become one.

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