Mad Scientist Audio is based in New Zealand. It’s run by Bob & Kay Prangnell . The Mad Scientist Heretical Digital cables may become a force to be reckoned with!

Heretical Digital Cable

Heretic coax digital

75 Ohms? Nope…

Mad Scientist Heretical Digital Cable (HDC) also uses carbon fiber for the main conductor. But why “Heretical”?

Every digital cable makes an attempt to be “75-ohm”, whatever that actually means. There is a very good reason for this – it’s written into the SPDIF standard. But the HDC makes no such claim. In fact, it has around 37ohms of actual resistance in the main conductor, about half of this “75 ohm” value. Most digital cables strive to be lossless, to have zero resistance – you have even maybe read about how crucial low resistance is, and that is why silver is often used.

But this is not heresy for the sake of it. No, this is a different approach, and judging by the sound, it works really well!!


Named after the Kiwi Yacht that won the 1995 Americas Cup, THE Black Magic USB cable is already taking on the world. In a Curious twist of fate, Australia took first honors in the Cup, but have since been eclipsed by New Zealand, leaving Australia in their dust.

Black Magic USB is the result of outside-the-box innovative thinking.  Using techniques that I’d wager no other USB cable on the market uses, it seeks to answer the question “Why does USB audio normally sound so terrible, and what can we do about it”

The USB vs Coax Story

Before USB there was Coaxial (SPDIF) digital. This suffers from the technical problem that the clock is recovered from the data-stream, a technique that produces more jitter than is desirable. Then came asynchronous USB, where the DAC controls the data rate, so a high quality, low jitter clock can be used in the DAC. This should sound really good.

But it didn’t.

In fact it sounded worse than using a Coaxial cable connection.  Some blamed noise on the 5V line. Others blamed noise on the ground line. Various techniques were used, in the form of add-on boxes and dongles; Galvanic Isolation, regeneration, noise filtering. These often gave some improvement but at a high cost; they also often left their own footprints on the music.

But now, with Black Magic, USB sounds as good as it should do – which is a whole lot better than any SPDIF connection!

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