Inakustik Micro Air Technology
Cables are essential in all hi-fi systems, but choosing the correct cable for your particular application can be tricky in a world where there are thousands of manufacturers, most of whom seem to build almost identical products using almost identical materials.
So when you find a German company whose cable designs are entirely unlike those of any other cable manufacturer and whose cables are clearly highly engineered for their purpose, it’s time to take note. Inakustik has been making cables since 1977 and uses ‘air technology’ insulation in its cables to deliver a unique take on cable dielectrics.
The approach — and the resulting cable performance — has certainly convinced us here at Len Wallis Audio. “A cable should not offer anything additional to your system, nor change anything. It should simply reveal the quality of your equipment, and that neutrality is what makes Inakustik’s
Air and Micro Air cables perfect for all reference systems,” says Tim Wallis.
Inakustik’s latest creation is the Reference LS-404 Micro Air speaker cable. The complex manual assembly of each cable is conducted in Inakustik’s German factory, including both mechanical and performance testing quality control conducted on each final cable. The new designs retain the air-insulation concept from the successful higher Reference
Air series, where a three-metre pair of speaker cables can set you back more than $10,000. But the new Micro Air configuration allows a more affordable solution.
The LS-404 Micro Air speaker cables are available as three-metre pairs terminated with banana plugs for $1,600, or terminated with spades for $1,700. Bi-wire configuration and custom lengths are available to special order. Despite the more favourable pricing, the new designs maintain Inakustik’s use of air as a central component in the insulation dielectric, which the company claims reduces cable capacitance significantly.
Normal dielectrics can increase capacitance many times over with the material that insulates a cable absorbing electrical energy and releasing it later, causing smearing of the music signal.
Air does not do this and is therefore the ideal insulator. The Micro Air cables use a diamond-shaped structure to create chambers that increase the distance between conductors, and so also increase the air content in the insulation.
Eight concentric high-purity copper conductors are used in the Reference LS-404 Micro Air in addition to the air dielectric (compared with 24 cores in the Reference Air speaker cable). The multicore architecture allows the magnetic fields of the positive and negative conductors to overlap and neutralise, reducing the cable’s inductance.
The surfaces of the banana plugs and spades are finished with a durable rhodium coating, with the contact surfaces and the screw connection of the spades also manufactured from a single piece, thereby avoiding contact resistance. “The proof is in the pudding with cables,” concludes Tim Wallis. “I strongly suggest an audition.”