Meteora Overview, Packaging, and Design
Life is always changing. Without the ability of adaptation, we wouldn't likely be here and the world would be ruled by roaches. I loath the thought and thank the higher powers responsible for the universal force of evolution. By now you may be wondering how I can draw on an evolutionary analogy into the realm of home theater. Simply put, if a piece of gear in our home theater system isn't upgradeable to accommodate the latest and greatest formats, it quickly becomes a pawn to be sold on eBay or Audiogon or winds up collecting dust with our cherished Atari 2600 gaming systems. Remember Combat?
With today's rapidly changing and evolving electronics industry, product obsolescence is almost a certainty, especially if you desire to keep up with the Jones - and embrace the latest technologies even if they are in their infancy of development and implementation (aka. HD-DVD, Blu-ray Disc, etc). Should you decide on swapping out a receiver, amplifier or your loudspeaker system, it's nice to know you have a cabling option that accommodates virtually every conceivable commercial termination type. Enter the Meteora from Impact Acoustics.
Impact Acoustics Cable and Audioholics are on the same mission - a "no BS" approach while delivering the best products and/or services.
For a list of the common snake oil we have so far uncovered, I recommend reading the
following Audioholics article:
Top Ten Signs a Cable Vendor is
Selling You Snake Oil
Refreshingly, Impact Acoustics Cables are fully "snake oil fre" and we have so much confidence in their products and methodologies that we actually syndicate some of their editorials on our website.
It's All in the Packaging Baby
While most esoteric cable companies will jump through hoops
to deliver the most aesthetically pleasing cable designs, they often overlook the
In my experience, Impact Acoustics always achieves a balance of both.
In fact, I have found the packaging of Impact Acoustics to be second to none in the cable industry.
It's almost a crime to discard their SonicWave HDMI magnetic cable boxes after you pull out the
cable for usage.
I felt the same way about the zip lock bag the Meteora speaker cables came
Surely an astute consumer could put them to good use after installation of the cables is
complete (I know, don't call you "Surely".)
If you're an avid fishing
enthusiast, perhaps you can use it to store your fresh bait or the recent fillets you just prepped on the
Sure it's only good for one use (unless you find the smell of decomposing fish
appealing), but think of how cool and fashionable you would look among your friends when you show up in
your Meteora fishing bag and they are still using their quaint plastic buckets or
Terminations to Please the
This is no girlie man cable solution. You won't find any wimpy spade connectors that won't fit a standard speaker or amplifier binding post. Until I tested the Meteora 5/16-inch spade connect, I wasn't a fan of spade connectors. Most simply fell off even after tightening down the binding post, or simply didn't make a good connection with the binding post. This was NOT the case with the Meteora cable spade termination.
Spades aren't your cup of tea? No problem, check out their excellent banana plug which, although it isn't the locking type we usually prefer, it does make excellent contact and provide a snug fit with every speaker terminal I tried including receivers from Denon and Yamaha; amplifiers from Emotiva and Thule; and loudspeakers from Axiom, Rocket and RBH Sound.
Aside from their excellent spade and banana terminations, the Meteora also sports straight speaker pins, and 45 degree speaker pins. I found little use for these two alternative connectors and would have preferred to see a frayed wire termination to accommodate spring clip terminals for home theater-in-a-box lovers who wish to "improve" upon the fidelity of their system as opposed to using their stock dental floss, I mean 24AWG cables.
Changing out terminations on the Meteora cable system couldn't be easier. All you do is screw on/off the connector(s) of your choice and you're good to go. If you are snaking the cable behind your equipment rack or speakers, I recommend doing so unterminated. Applying the terminations just before you make the connection to your components and speakers is a good measure to avoid accidentally losing a connector should it come loose during the cable installation process. I did however find that once you firmly tightened down the connector by hand, it remained locked in place just fine.
The Cable Design
There is no rocket science to this cable design. It's good old fashioned twin feeder (aka. zip cord) 12 AWG oxygen-free copper cable that, according to Impact Acoustics, is constructed from seven bundles of 22AWG conductors for maximum flexibility. An 11mm PVC jacket and a black polyester sleeve envelope the cables which serves twofold: protecting the cable and enhancing the aesthetics.
Though Impact Acoustics doesn't specify their cable metrics, they are easy to figure out by simple inspection based on the following articles I authored on cable inductance and capacitance.
Calculating Cable Inductance in Speaker Cables
Dielectric Absorption in Cables Debunked
...inductance and capacitance values are interrelated and based on the dielectric and conductor spacing between the (+) and (-) conductors.
I was unable to inspect conductor spacing since the cables were encased with PVC, thus I made detailed measurements to determine the specifications.