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Speaker cables of the year 2018 Townshend F1 Fractal

“Townshend Audio has long been the company that never does it the way you expected, but always does it right. There’s a deliciously left-field approach to Townshend Audio’s design criteria that sweeps aside convention and makes something at once different and brilliant.

So it is with F1 Fractal, the latest in a long line of ‘break the rules’ loudspeaker cables.

Townshend mathematically calculated the optimum relationship between inductance and capacitance, for lowest distortion, caused by reflections in the cable. The result is fractal wire, which uses two closely spaced, ‘Fractally-treated’ pure copper strip conductors that are now insulated with ultra-thin PTFE, encased in synthetic rubber, and clamped within a strong, flexible conduit trimmed with woven polyester braid.

The ends of the cable are terminated in a metal enclosure containing an RLC network to prevent unstable amplifiers from oscillating, to reduce distortion, and to act as an RF filter. According to our review, “the bass is really tight, precisely formed, so the attack of the double bass section is absolutely clear and keeps time very well.

I am not aware of any colouration in the mid-band or top, meaning the F1’s yield an airy sound packed with detail.” Our reviewer concluded that “The lack of reflection in the cables, I think gives a clue to their greatest strength, which is the ability accurately to portray lifelike 3D space in a way that I have rarely heard from a speaker cable.”

Reviewed in Issue 157″

HI-FI+ Issue 166

[download pdf of full review Hi-Fi+ 157]