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Interconnect + speaker cable


Tellurium Q

Manufacturer: TELLURIUM Q LTD
Price in Poland (at the time of the test):
4550 PLN/1 m + 15 600 PLN/2 x 3 m

The Willows | Bonds Pool
Langport | Somerset | TA109QJ | UK


eoff Merrigan, the CEO of Tellurium Q, is not very effusive when it comes to telling the secrets of his cables design. To be honest, it seems as if he wants people to know as little as possible about them. When asked about the reason, he gives an obvious answer: it does not matter how something is built; it is important how it sounds. He can say that in good conscience, as both Tellurium Q cables and its amplifier offer unique features that are hard to find elsewhere, often no matter what the price is. So, things are easier for him. However, the audio world is the domain of “seekers” who are curious about each aspect of the product that they use. So, if you are looking for interesting stories, anecdotes and technical details, this is not a test for you – there is not simply much more to talk about apart from sound itself.

Of course, one can try to reconstruct a few facts. On Tellurium website we can find information that “the “Silver” (Silver and Ultra Silver) has been designed for those who love detail” and that “with the Ultra Silver the top end is extraordinarily detailed without any harshness”. We also learn that while the sound of the “Black range” series (Black, Ultra Black and Diamond) “could be categorized as neutral/ natural, the “Silver” would lean more to neutral, detail and extension” – i.e. the “Silver” series is better in each of these aspects.

Actually, the only certain facts are those that we can evaluate on the basis of our sensory perception. Our senses tell us that interconnect cables are quite rigid and have a small cross-section. Little can be said about their inner structure, as the outer jacket is covered with “enigmatic” black mesh. The ends are covered with heat shrink tubing with the name of the series and the indicated connection direction. The RCA plugs look very nice, just like WBT NextGen plugs, with plastic tops (it is all about having as little metal around the conductor as possible). The tops bear the Tellurium Q logotype. The contacts look silver-plated.

The speaker cables are equally mysterious. Their main feature is the separation of both runs (the negative and the positive run) with a broad band of dielectric. Such solutions are known to have been used in cables produced by other manufacturers, for example Linn (K-15) and Van den Hul (e.g. Magnum Hybrid). The aim is to minimize the cable’s capacity at the cost of (unfortunately) its inductance. Both runs have fairly large diameters. The whole cable is covered with black mesh and the tips are covered with heat shrink tubing with the name of the series. I have not found arrows on them that would indicate the connection direction. The cables may have spades (like in the test) or BFA plugs at the ends. BFA plugs resemble bananas and they are used in the same way, but they provide a much better contact. Both types are silver-plated.

The speaker cable can be bought by the meter and it is then it is portioned and packaged to order in the UK. We then receive it with nice aluminum connectors mounted near the cable ends. Such cables are presented in company photographs, but we got “demo” cables without any connectors for the test. All the cables on regular sale are equipped with nice aluminum tips. Tellurium Q cables are delivered in nice cardboard boxes, packaged in special paper – just like products from Japan.

Geoff Merrigan

As you probably know, Wojtek, there are three distinct sound “families” in our offer. The Silver “family” is characterized by sound normally attributed to silver cables. You should be able to perceive this as slightly different sound than with the previous cables that you had, because we have been trying to eliminate all the harshness. So, you will hopefully hear a good top end but without the harshness that you would normally expect from this type of a cable. The connectors are interesting, too, and I would love to share the experience of working on them with you.

We initially prepared pure silver connectors and we compared them with connectors having various thicknesses of silver plating. We found out that connectors thickly plated with silver outperformed not only thin-plated, but also pure silver connectors. Based on our experiments, we determined the optimal silver layer thickness that guarantees the best sound. Forgive me, but I will not reveal our findings so as not to make work easier for our competitors… The cables with pure silver connectors just sounded muted and muffled, at least in comparison with the connectors that we have used in the cables that you have got for the test. It is not what experts would expect.

For the test, you have cables with heat shrink tubes. All our cables on regular sale will have a solid block of CNC-machined aluminum at the end of each table. I think it looks rather nice – and that was our intention. The Ultra Silver cables have been designed to significantly outperform the cables from the Ultra Black series, while keeping a similar look, and to take over from our Graphite cables within the next 12 months. Thanks to the Ultra Silver series it is easier, I think, to see that we have wanted to develop three distinct families of sound to allow a little better system matching (and tuning) for customers.

You ask me how things are going in our company. Well, it looks like we are soon going to have a new distributor in the Far East. We are in a really fortunate position to have distributors contact us, while it is usually the other way round: other cable manufacturers have to look for distributors. So, we can decide ourselves whether we want to cooperate with a given company – if it meets our requirements and if we feel that we will cooperate well together. As it seems, our growth is still mostly driven by word-of-mouth advertising and by people who recommend us to others. We are still at the stage of designing our own connectors and we are constantly checking what products our clients would be interested in. We are now working on headphone cables: we have a few prototypes and the results are really promising.

We are also working on something really big, too, but at the moment we are at the stage of implementing theory in practice – we always try to develop any idea as well as possible before we move on to the production stage. There are a number of projects that we have carried out up to that point and that have made me feel a little “tied up” because they do not quite meet what we have been trying to achieve. Such approach, however, as I want to believe, helps build trust between us and our clients. We want them to trust us that whatever we offer will be really well-developed and satisfactory for us, and not think that we just want to sell them something. I think this is the best way to build a long-term relationship between us and our clients, although it may be strange for me to talk like that – in the end we have been on the market for less than seven years…

And a little detail at the end, but really interesting: I do not know if it is of any use to you, but it is worth knowing that in our company most of the key positions are held by women… So, I am in the minority!

TELLURIUM Q in “High Fidelity”
  • AWARD OF THE YEAR 2014: Tellurium Q BLACK DIAMOND + BLACK DIAMOND + BLACK POWER - interconnect + speaker cable + power cable (cable system), read HERE
  • TEST: Tellurium Q BLACK DIAMOND + BLACK DIAMOND + BLACK POWER - interconnect + speaker cable + power cable (cable system), read
  • MicroTEST: Tellurium Q ULTRA BLACK – speaker cables, read HERE (Polish)
  • TEST: Tellurium Q IRIDIUM 20 – power amplifier, read HERE

  • Recordings used during the test (a selection):

    • Dżem, Zemsta nietoperzy, Pronit/remaster Damian Lipiński, CD-R (1987/2015).
    • John Coltrane, Expression, Impulse!/MCA Victor MVCZ-39, “Master of Jazz”, K2 CD (1967/1996).
    • Marcy Gray, The Way, Stampede Management HMBT001CD, CD (2014).
    • Marilyn Manson, Personal Jesus, Interscope Records 9864166, SP CD (2004).
    • Mel Tormé, Sunday in New York, Atlantic/Warner Music 79684-3, “Jazz Best Collection 1000. No. 4”, CD (1966/2012).
    • Perfect, Unu, Tonpress/remaster Damian Lipiński, CD-R (1982/2015).
    • Various, For The Masses, 1500 Records | A&M, 540 919-2, HDCD (1988).
    • Wojtek Mazolewski Quintet, Polka, Agora 6813801, CD (2014).
    Japanese issues available at

    When we compare two products and cannot hear any difference between them, or the differences that we hear are negligibly small, then two scenarios are possible: either the two products in question “sound” the same or the system in which they operate is so non-transparent and blurs the differences so much that although in reality the differences are very clear, they mean nothing in the given system. In either case, it is not worth investing in the new product – a lack of changes is a lack of changes – and that’s it.

    If there is no difference, then it is all simple: we give up. Of course, we have to be sure what we do, which is more likely if we listen to a given product in a few different systems. However, if there is something wrong with our system, we are prone to derive false conclusions from our experiences and the problem is that we will not know we are wrong. We try new cables, supports and even devices, and we still cannot hear the differences. It is then easy to come to the conclusion that everybody around us is lying and trying to persuade us that this or that product is superb and changes sound. Manufacturers, retailers and the press are cheaters and we are their victims. If this is what you are going through, I would like to encourage you to experiment: to change one of the main system elements, or even two, maybe at your homes, by testing somebody else’s private equipment, or at a “friendly” audio salon (it is worth having one!). It does not hurt and the effects can change your lives.

    While talking about “products”, I mean anything that is connected with audio: signal sources, amplifiers, columns, cable systems, anti-vibration elements and acoustical structures. As you can see, even when I write about it, I create a specific hierarchy: cables can be found somewhere behind the “main” system elements. In fact, cables are as important as any other element in the system, which only operates as a whole – everything “sounds” well only when each component cooperates with the ones next to it and with the remaining ones. There are elements which easily become part of any system and ones that force us to make bigger changes, often even involving a change of our columns, amplifier or signal source. Tellurium Q cables, with their “soul” and “body” belong to the first of these two “camps”.

    Their sound almost instantly seemed to me to be an equivalent of the “BBC sound”. If you know columns produced by, e.g. Harbeth, Spendor, Rogers, Graham Audio, or other column manufacturers who were originally connected with the BBC Research Department, then you know what I mean. As far as the field of electronics is concerned, very similar philosophy is cultivated by Japanese manufacturers such as Kondo, Reimyo, SPEC and others. Each of them is a little different and the sound characteristic for each of these companies is created by a slightly different arrangement of basic features, but this very basis is their common ground and there is a shared goal: coherence.

    Tellurium Q cables connect everything into one whole, which functions well on all levels. They constitute some kind of “glue” for the whole system, but this honey-based “glue” rather than “Super Glue”. They give more weight to sound, by emphasizing the lower midrange and, simultaneously, distract us from its high end and the treble itself. This is the effect of rounding the attack and moving the “weight” of sound for the purpose of sustaining it. That is why, literally, each recording that I listened to with these cables sounded interesting.

    Thanks to the cables, the systems in which I listened to these recordings treated the signal read from CDs in a very warm and friendly way. Even tracks in which I could hear problems with sibilants (hissing sounds) in the vocals (caused by overemphasizing them at the time of recording – either because of using too much effect, due to lack of proper care during mastering, or, perhaps, too strong compression), all sounded as a whole with the rest of the track and were no longer “next to it”.

    It was so, for example, with the voice of Louise Post, the vocalist of the Veruca Salt band, who sings Somebody on the Depeche Mode tribute recording. The vocal is accompanied by the electric piano, which sounds like a Rhode piano. With the British cables, the piano gains more density and depth, whereas the vocal as if “concentrates” in itself and goes a little forward. When it comes to other tracks, the effect of greater depth and “front-coming” was even more noticeable. The more these two elements were emphasized on a given album, the stronger the effect was. It was very pleasant, even if it occurred at the cost of soothing the dynamics a little and making the whole recording quieter.

    During a listening session with the tested cables (at an audio salon or at home) it is worth paying special attention to this. It is known that sound which is played louder, even the same sound, seems to be better and more attractive. Tellurium Q cables eliminate unpleasant hardness of the attack from sound. Because of that, subjectively, it seems that they sound more quietly; by eliminating noise they bring everything to the right level. However, if we “listen” to them alongside other, more open cables (an A/B comparison, of course), we may treat Tellurium cables unfairly, while they deserve our utmost attention.

    After the first series of listening sessions, carried out at the same volume level, I had another series of listening sessions with the same albums (tracks), but with the cables from the UK and an increase in volume of 1 or 2 dB. The effect was amazing. After the first series of sessions already, the one with the same volume levels, I clearly realized that I was “listening to” exceptional, truly unique cables, but only after starting the second series I was ready for more.

    As I am saying, we (subjectively) have less treble with the tested cables. It is not true, as, for example, the sounds of percussion plates accompanying Mel Tormé in Sunday in New York were juicy and full, and the upper octave of the vocal itself was slightly lowered. Thanks to this, it became a more integral part of the whole record, there were no problems with slight overemphasis or other distortions that can from time to time be noticed in it. They do not disturb our perception of the recording, they are simply “witnesses” that give it its own, distinct character. However, with the tested cables the whole thing simply became more coherent and homogenous.

    The case is similar with Rysiek Riedel’s vocal in the album entitled Zemsta nietoperzy (Pronit PLP 0043, 1987). I have got its digital version, prepared using the analogue “mother” tape by Damian Lipiński in his analogue studio (the tape had been borrowed from the Polish Radio archive in Poznań where the recording sessions had taken place). As Damian says, the tape is in an excellent condition and it was recorded without using the Dolby A noise-reduction system, so it has natural, unchanged dynamics. The version that I have and that I have copied onto a CD-R is unique, because there are no Compact Disc edition plans. If everything goes well, the material will be released only on vinyl and SACD. The recording sounds excellent if, of course, one takes into consideration the limitations of time and place at which it was made. Its only problem is the slightly overexposed treble in the frontman’s voice.

    I talked about it with Damian for a long time and it appears that it is just the sound of the tape, probably caused by using too much effect on the vocal. It cannot be changed without changing the sound of the rest of instruments which sound perfect (we are talking about a stereophonic, not multitrack tape here). The Tellirum Q cables, however, did what cannot be done in a studio – i.e. they embedded the vocal into the rest of the recording, not allowing for the expansion of high tones in the voice. At the same time, they did not change the opening of the guitars and percussion. How did they do it? I am not a hundred per cent sure, I can only speculate.

    By going deeper, we reach a point at which it is impossible not to say what needs to be sacrificed to such sound. As I have already said, subjectively, the tested cables sound quieter. The reason for that is slight softening of the attack. Because of that it seems that there is less treble and that the dynamics “slumps” a little. In fact, it would be hard to say that the former observation is not true.
    The sound is really warmer and set even lower than with such cables as Siltech Double Crown that decrease the treble quite a lot (we are talking about comparing interconnects here). It is heard even more clearly when the Tellurium Q speaker cables are compared with the Omega Onyx Tary Labs model. This may be the reason why the cable dynamics seems to be more composed. By turning the volume up a little, we bring everything back to normal and even above normal, as the foreground is brought closer to us and the background is made slightly quieter, i.e. subjectively withdrawn.


    Tellurium Q cables will make your system “become” a whole. They are capable of going over any divisions and fastening scattered elements together to create something bigger than the elements themselves. The cable dynamics seems to be slightly more composed, but this is a subjective feeling, not a real change. The treble is slightly withdrawn and sweet. These are side effects of the cables’ operation, which is incredible when it comes to its influence on sound and, as a result, on the listener.
    Just like the best BBC columns, cult electronics from Japan, or the best tubes, Tellurium Q Ultra Silver do not lose information from any part of the band, giving out very well differentiated sound and leading to a situation in which listening to music from any album is pure pleasure. Even such listener-oriented albums from iTunes as The Way by Marcy Gray will be listened to with curiosity, at the very least. This is a sign that we are dealing with something exceptional in the audio world and the cables prove to be really unique.

    Distribution in Poland


    Skype: hifielements


    Wojtek Mazolewski Quintet

    Agora 268138801

    Date of release: 14th November 2014
    Storage device: Compact Disc

    Wojtek Mazolewski’s comment on the album:

    I am giving you an album full of passion and emotions. I am taking you on a journey. While visiting one inspiring place after another, I wonder who a Polish woman (POLKA) is in today’s world... This nostalgic, crazy and contemplative musical story is our answer to this question. For me, POLKA is a synonym of great power and life energy. It is a personification of beauty, courage and passion. The album is a tribute to the omnipresent female aura which emanates with love and warmth. This is what I associate the female element with – the element which has always been present in my life and to which I owe so much.

    The phrase which is most frequently used to describe the WMQ album is “a tribute to femininity” (“Jazz Forum”). When you look like David Beckham, what you say about women sounds really convincing.
    Wojtek Mazolewski was born in 1976. He is a musician, bass player and the founder of Pink Freud and Wojtek Mazolewski Quintet bands. He is known not only from music magazines, but also celebrity gossip blogs and magazines for women. As far as music is concerned, he is known thanks to his excellent musicianship, great compositions and cooperation with, among others, Pete Wareham, Tomasz Stańko, John Zorn, Tymon Tymański, Olo Walicki,  Andrzej Smolik, Mikołaj Trzaska, Wojtek Waglewski, Lech Janerka, Fisz, Emade, etc., whereas women know him because he is Maja Sablewska’s life partner.

    The album was recorded during a journey, in cooperation with Joanna Duda, Oskar Török, Marek Pospieszalski and Kuba Janicki, as well as Michał Bryndal (as a guest). Apart from compositions referring to jazz classics there are also covers – for example, a surprising, but extremely romantic version of Heart-Shaped Box by Nirvana. It might seem that these are two different worlds, but it appears that a good composition is not really limited by the arrangement and speaks with its own voice independently of the decorum. Apart from Nirvana, there are also covers of Major Lazer (Get Free) and Rage Against the Machine (Bombtrack). Get Free was the first single from this album and was in the charts of the Third Channel (Program Trzeci) of the Polish Radio.

    As part of the “Polka” album premiere, the band will go on a tour during which it will be possible to buy a limited edition album which is not going to be sold in stores. The album has been released by Agora, a press publisher. The company has used a clever trick – its albums are in fact published in a book form with an extra CD. In such a case, only 5% of VAT is paid. The price is therefore lower, but, at the same time, the way an album is published is better. Polka has the form of a small book in a hard cover, with text written by Mazolewski and excellent photos.


    One of the things that Wojtek Mazolewski is famous for is his attachment to the traditional analogue technology. It can be noticed in the way he records his albums . Polka was recorded and mixed in the analogue domain. It is great that Radio Gdańsk, where it was created, still has such equipment! It is wonderful, because there is a chance that other bands and singers will want to use it. It is a more difficult path to go, but the effects are incredible. It is not the first time Mazolewski has used magnetic tape, because his quintet recorded Smells Like Tape Spirit, an album from the year 2011, in a very similar fashion. The whole material was recorded and produced in the same studio in Gdańsk, without corrections or overlays, in its 100%. The recording was supervised by Piotr Taraszkiewicz, who was also present when Polka was recorded.

    Perhaps this is why the sound of the reviewed material is extremely intimate and tangible. The dynamics, including microdynamics, create a fast and natural transmission. The bass drum kick, like in the Berlin track, or the way low sounding double bass enters, like in Heart-Shaped Box, are so natural, full and mature as in the best jazz records that I know. The wind instruments, in turn, remind me of a unique recording of the Danielsson/Dell/Landgren trio – Salzau Music On The Water, recorded live for the ACT music company at 5:00 by the Lake Salzau. We have the same kind of energy here.

    The tone of the album is warm and dense. The density is higher than average, but it is no use looking for selectivity and clearly “cut-out” contours here. In reality, when played live, the instruments sound in the same way as on Mazolewski’s album – they function as “solids” whose edges are attached to other instruments and to the acoustics itself.
    Due to the fact that everything “sounds” well here, that the whole album is so coherent, it can easily be heard that the microphones were placed close to the instruments. It results in a high volume of sound and a fairly close perspective. It does not change even when echo is added.
    It is a fantastic album with really engaging, i.e. smooth, velvety and well-distributed sound. Now we only have to wait for an analogue version produced on the basis of the analogue “mother tape”. That would be SOMETHING!




    - Turntable: AVID HIFI Acutus SP [Custom Version]
    - Cartridges: Miyajima Laboratory KANSUI, review HERE | Miyajima Laboratory SHILABE, review HERE | Miyajima Laboratory ZERO (mono) | Denon DL-103SA, review HERE
    - Phono stage: RCM Audio Sensor Prelude IC, review HERE

    - Compact Disc Player: Ancient Audio AIR V-edition, review HERE
    - Multiformat Player: Cambridge Audio Azur 752BD
    - Line Preamplifier: Polaris III [Custom Version] + AC Regenerator, regular version review (in Polish) HERE
    - Power amplifier: Soulution 710
    - Integrated Amplifier: Leben CS300XS Custom Version, review HERE

    - Stand mount Loudspeakers: Harbeth M40.1 Domestic, review HERE
    - Stands for Harbeths: Acoustic Revive Custom Series Loudspeaker Stands
    - Real-Sound Processor: SPEC RSP-101/GL
    - Integrated Amplifier/Headphone amplifier: Leben CS300XS Custom Version, review HERE
    - Headphones: HIFIMAN HE-6, review HERE | HIFIMAN HE-500, review HERE | HIFIMAN HE-300, review HERE | Sennheiser HD800 | AKG K701, review (in Polish) HERE | Ultrasone PROLine 2500, Beyerdynamic DT-990 Pro, version 600 - reviews (in Polish): HERE, HERE, HERE
    - Headphone Stands: Klutz Design CanCans (x 3), review (in Polish) HERE
    - Headphone Cables: Entreq Konstantin 2010/Sennheiser HD800/HIFIMAN HE-500, review HERE

    - Portable Player: HIFIMAN HM-801
    - USB Cables: Acoustic Revive USB-1.0SP (1 m) | Acoustic Revive USB-5.0PL (5 m), review HERE
    - LAN Cables: Acoustic Revive LAN-1.0 PA (kable ) | RLI-1 (filtry), review HERE
    - Router: Liksys WAG320N
    - NAS: Synology DS410j/8 TB
    System I
    - Interconnects: Acrolink Mexcel 7N-DA6300, review HERE | preamplifier-power amplifier: Acrolink 8N-A2080III Evo, review HERE
    - Loudspeaker Cables: Tara Labs Omega Onyx, review (in Polish) HERE
    System II
    - Interconnects: Acoustic Revive RCA-1.0PA | XLR-1.0PA II
    - Loudspeaker Cables: Acoustic Revive SPC-PA

    System I
    - Power Cables: Acrolink Mexcel 7N-PC9300, all system, review HERE
    - Power Distributor: Acoustic Revive RTP-4eu Ultimate, review HERE
    - Power Line: fuse – power cable Oyaide Tunami Nigo (6m) – wall sockets 3 x Furutech FT-SWS (R)
    System II
    - Power Cables: Harmonix X-DC350M2R Improved-Version, review (in Polish) HERE | Oyaide GPX-R (x 4 ), review HERE
    - Power Distributor: Oyaide MTS-4e, review HERE
    - Stolik: SolidBase IV Custom, read HERE/all system
    - Anti-vibration Platforms: Acoustic Revive RAF-48H, review HERE/digital sources | Pro Audio Bono [Custom Version]/headphone amplifier/integrated amplifier, review HERE | Acoustic Revive RST-38H/loudspeakers under review/stands for loudspeakers under review
    - Anti-vibration Feets: Franc Audio Accessories Ceramic Disc/ CD Player/Ayon Polaris II Power Supply /products under review, review HERE | Finite Elemente CeraPuc/ products under review, review HERE | Audio Replas OPT-30HG-SC/PL HR Quartz, review HERE
    - Anti-vibration accsories: Audio Replas CNS-7000SZ/power cable, review HERE
    - Quartz Isolators: Acoustic Revive RIQ-5010/CP-4

    - FM Radio: Tivoli Audio Model One