Blueberry Hill Audio

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Introduction

Vous avez été nombreux à vous interroger sur la taille “hors norme” des câbles figurant sur les images de mon système hi-fi; c’est donc le meilleur moment d’introduire le sujet et vous présenter le manufacturier qui les a réalisé.

L’explication de la taille extérieure des câbles est clairement décrite.
Blueberry Hill Audio est une entreprise canadienne dont la vocation est de réaliser du câblage pour des applications audio analogique et numérique.
J’ai eu le loisir de m’entretenir avec Marlen Mogilever, concepteur et manager, qui a gentiment accepté de répondre à quelques questions; vous découvrirez un homme passionné de musique; mélomane depuis de nombreuses années il a accumulé au fil du temps de véritables trésors audio et passionnant de part sa grande expérience dans son domaine d’activité.

Son point de vue ainsi que son approche technique des câbles sont remarquables, vous constaterez à quel point on peut être un expert et se trouver face à une réalité qui nous dépasse, ceci en toute simplicité et humilité.

J’apprécie les gens qui sont authentiques et Marlen fait parti de ces gens là, je vous invite donc à faire connaissance avec ce personnage attachant, qui se trouve être également un humain sensible et un puit de science.


Marlen, could you present you to our readers?

My fascination with High Fidelity sound reproduction began over 50 years ago.
Back then in Soviet Russia, during my high school and University years, my fellow students where fighting for an extra peace of bread, but I was offering mine to trade for transistors, tubes, etc.
During the day I was studying mathematics and at night time was dedicated to a soldering gun.
This passion for Excellency of music reproduction in home environment never left me during all those years.
Now it’s even stronger because new technology can be applied to achieve my life’s dream with greater and faster results.

I believe we are very close to the possibility of listening to real sound of the New York Philharmonic in our living rooms or studios.

After graduating university and earning a PHD in mathematics I worked in Russia and, after immigrating to Canada – I was employed mainly in the Computer field.
Participation en 2006 au salon du FSI
Marlen Mogilever au FSI 2006
In 2000 I organized and headed the R&D department of Sound Fusion Inc., where world class passive and active Stereo Systems and audio components were developed.
In 2006 Blueberry Hill Audio was established for the sole purpose of creating superior components for audio play back systems.

My main goal this time was to develop a new class of audio cables – the most saturated field of audio components but still the least researched and developed.

What is your cable philosophy?

My philosophy is very simple – audio cables, as a tool of transmitting audio signal, should be absolutely neutral.
If we can achieve this, we can be much closer to perfection of sound reproduction.
We have to be able to transmit full range audio signal from low to high frequencies with same speed and no interferences during this process of any components involved in cable construction.

Good audio cables should not be able to add, deduct or alter the audio signal during the transmitting process.

Could you explain us the design inside your cables?

FIGARO – is a new class of audio cables.
Construction of FIGARO cables are very sophisticated and can be achieved only manually.
Process of cable manufacturing utilizes specially formulated low density polyurethane foam belts which are used as follows:

  • 1. Printing media for pattern of cables proprietary geometry Anti-vibration core of cables,
  • 2. Anti-vibration core of cables,
  • 3. Controlling tool during the manual placement of conductors,
  • 4. Base for the excellent cable flexibility and very light weight,
  • 5. Foam belts are going through the printing process by specially designed printer.

After this belts with conductors are going the through process of air sealing.
This is proprietary process designed by Blueberry Hill Audio.

  • 6. Next is the placement of sealed cables into Alpha Braided Shielding for electromagnetic interference protection (EMI) and Conductive Carbon Infused, Nylon Shielding – for high Frequency interference protection (RFI),
  • 7. The final stage before shipping the cables to the customer is “breaking-in” and de-magnetizing.

Why do you use this kind of design?

Complex and labor intensive process used in the fabrication of all our FIGARO cables, resulting in extreme neutrality, uncanny transparency and very low noise floor, a very natural instrumental and voice timber, an enormous dynamic range and an unprecedented wide and deep sound stage that truly must be heard to believed.
This virtually holographic performance guarantees deep emotional involvement and connection to the music within the vast soundstage without any fatigue over many hours of listening.

What kind of metal do you use?

In FIGARO cables we are using only two types of conductors – purest fine silver and 100% OCC copper.
Using two types of conductors we offer three types of cables:

  • 1. FIGARO COPPER LINE – 100% OCC copper conductors
  • 2. FIGARO SILVER LINE – 100% fine silver conductors
  • 3. FIGARO HYBRID LINE – combination of copper and silver conductors.

What kind of connectors?

In the process of optimizing the sonic qualities of FIGARO CABLES, we tested most of the best known RCA, XLR, spades, banana, BNC and DIN connectors available.

As a result, we selected the very best of them to be used with our products – Eichmann male RCA copper and silver bullet connectors as well as Furutech Hi-End Performance connectors – XLR male and female gold plated plugs, BNC digital connectors, AC male and female new generation plugs.

What is your opinion about copper, silver, rhodium ?

Each type of cable – silver, copper or hybrid has distinctive sonic qualities.
As a general rule, copper cables are “warmer” than silver, but not as fast.
Copper cables provide deeper bass, but not as tight as silver.
Copper cables provide more natural highs, but imaging and projection is not as focused.
Generally, systems with solid state components will benefit more from using copper cables.
Systems with tube components will benefit more from silver cables.
Hybrid cables can be used with excellent results in any system, because they provide the best sonic qualities of both conductors – copper and silver, in one cable.

Do you trust on cryogenic treatment?

We tested cryogenic treatment and compared it to “breaking-in” cables using special device – “Cable Cooker”.
The result of both treatments sonically is very similar but “breaking-in” process takes less time, can be done “in house” and lasts longer. Once performed, result of cryogenic treatment and “breaking-in” will not last forever.
To maintain sonic qualities of audio cables, those operations have to be repeated many times during the life time of audio cables. Frequency of these operations depends on many factors such as type of cable conductors, geometry, operational time, etc.
What’s worse is that the cryogenic treatment can not be performed in real life by each user, but process of “breaking-in” – can and as many times as necessary.

The range price to your product is higher, could you explain why?

Multi-operational production cycle of FIGARO cables is based on strictly manual operations.
There is no machinery involved in any stage of cable production.
High cost of components, very high cost of labor and time consuming post production operations (“breaking-in” and demagnetizing) contributes to the higher cable cost.

What’s your hifi set up actually?

My set up is:

1. Front end:
Digital – Audio Research CD-7 (with latest power supply modification).
Analog – Versa Dynamic Turntable, highly modified, using external Acu-Flow regulators for each pressure required – 20 PSI for air bearing and 75 PSI for slider.
– ZIX UNIverse silver R-1000 series Moving Coil cartridge.
– Blueberry Hill Audio Step-up cables EVO-IV and EVO-I.
– Audio Research PH-7 phono pre-amplifier
– Blueberry Hill Audio phono pre-amplifier EVO-VI
2. Line stage – Audio Research REF-3 line stage amplifier
-Transformer based Passive Line Stage volume control unit design by Blueberry Hill Audio- EVO-VII.(pre-production unit)
3. Power amplifiers – Art Audio 300-B mono blocks, special edition, with dual output transformers load – 4 and 8 oHm.
– Ray Lamlies 150 watt mono blocks. (Vintage, one of the best ever made)
4. Speaker systems – Blueberry Hill Audio 4 systems design specifically to test the performance of audio and power cables in different types of systems:

  • – omnidirectional system 98 db., with build-in self powered sub-woofer
  • – omnidirectional system 96 db., with external self powered sub-woofer
  • – omnidirectional system 94 db., with build-in self powered sub-woofer
  • – reflect system 89 db., with build-in sub-woofer.

5. Other equipment – VPI record cleaner, De Mag, “Cable Cooker” – professional version.

Do you use it to your R&D?

All equipment specified above is used in my R&D.
Many of the components were designed specifically to conduct tests.
It took 4 long years to accomplish the design and tests of all FIGARO audio cables.

During R&D I used as contenders the best known audio cables made by Stealth, Nordost as well as many others. My goal was to make better cables and more affordable to the public.

 

There are a lot of stuff here … the room seems to be acousticaly damped, why don’t you use diffusor panels?

Yes, room is acoustically dumped. I need it because room is very long and I have to protect listening aria from reverberation and
speakers are omnidirectional – they project sound equally to the front and back.

What kind of music do you listen?

I am a lifetime collector of LP’s and lately CD’s.
My personal collection consist of complete issues of RCA Shaded Dogs Classical recordings (LSP) , Victrolla, the best Pop records (LSP,LSA), complete classical recordings of Mercury, the best of London, Decca and many, many more.

I love all kind of music. I love jazz. I know jazz. I have in my collection original Blue Note records in pristine condition.
But, in general it goes with mood, wine and lately with tests I have to perform during cable design.

What’s most important to be able to build a very good cable : the design (topology), wire, connectors? the whole element? others?

It’s impossible to select the most important component or element of design.
Each cable component plays a vital role in performing function it designed and used for.
Conductors – main cable component. Purity and type of conductors dominate final result of cable quality, but we can use the best available conductors and we will not be able to achieve the best results only because we are using the wrong conductor gauges.
We can select and use the proper gauges of best and purest conductors and again, be out of luck only because dielectrics of selected conductors are either PVC or Teflon.

Each of this type of dielectric will effect signal transmission.

We can be lucky enough selecting the proper dielectrics – cotton and again be out of luck only because cotton has to be air sealed – otherwise conductors will be affected and finally destroyed by corrosion.

We can be lucky enough to know how to air seal conductors with cotton dielectrics and again experience a major failure only because we do not have the proper geometry – one of the most important elements of cable design.

Geometry – the method by which conductors are arranged together within the cables. In the process of transmitting audio signals, conductors themselves have the tendency to become capacitors and inductors – unwanted properties in high end audio cable. Values of capacitance and inductance generated are the direct result of geometry. Good geometry will minimize both values.

So, finally we were lucky enough to design and use good geometry and again it can be a failure only because we selected the wrong connectors. There are many of them available, but to select the best one to your particular cable is very difficult.
After all, audio cables will be as good as the weakest component or element used in cable design and manufacturing.

what’s the best cable ever? 🙂

The best ever audio cable does not exist.

What cable is the best today? There is no one answer for everyone.
Each system requires individual approach. Audio cables are not only system but listener oriented as well.
What is fine for one system can be wrong for another one.

That’s why Blueberry Hill Audio offers 10 days risk-free home audition for all our products.

When it comes to musical emotions the judges are our ears. Unfortunately they are different in all of us.

How important anti-vibration quality in audio cables?

Vibration on a macro and micro level accompanies and affects all components in any audio system.
Audio cables are not immune to the deleterious affect of vibration.
Because of length, positioning and physical contacts on both ends, they are actually affected by vibration the most.
That is why the vibration-proofing of all audio cables is so important.
All our FIGARO cable conductors are surrounded by specially formulated low density polyurethane foam – one of the best known protectors of macro and micro vibration. To protect input and output connectors from vibration generated inside the active components, we use specially designed O-rings.
The combination of multi-layers of foam surrounding the conductors and O-rings strategically placed at the input and output, make all our FIGARO audio cables virtually vibration-free.

Contact and information

Manager : Marlen Mogilever

Blueberry Hill Audio

383 Connaught Avenue
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
M2R 2M1
Phone: 647-341-8757
From 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Eastern Standard Time
Monday – Friday


En cours :

Nous essayons actuellement un ensemble de câbles Blueberry Hill Audio, composé de cordon AC power, interconnects RCA & XLR + câbles de haut-parleurs, voici la premier compte rendu de nos essais : blueberry-hill-audio-les-cables.


Cet article a été rédigé par Marc PHILIP, rédacteur indépendant, tous droits réservés, copyright 2009, les textes et photos sont la propriété de l’auteur et du magazine.

Bonne journée et bonnes écoutes.

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