more than 1’s and 0’s
We engineered Foundation USB cables with the same technologies found in other Foundation Series cables plus newly developed technologies first developed for our flagship Galileo SX Active Ground Block and HDSX Ground Cables. From the Galileo Ground Block, we adapted the same UEF compound for an even lower noise floor and increased holographic realism compared to other Foundation Series cables. We then apply the same 3-Stage High Voltage Process first developed for our new HDSX Ground Cables to increase resolution without the listening fatigue generally associated with digital cables this resolving. As always, you are encouraged to audition Foundation USB cables in your system risk-free and make up your mind in the only space that matters, your home system.
UEF Matrix Shield with Graphene
Learn more about UEF Matrix Shield
Atmosphere X began when we started exploring ways to improve our UEF Shielding by applying UEF Technology first developed for our BLUE Fuses to Atmosphere Series cables. By placing UEF Tech in a grid pattern on the shields of Atmosphere cables we were able to dramatically lower the noise floor with a surprising increase in musicality or the subjective enjoyment of music. We then began a painstaking double-blind 6-month trial where we would listen to seemingly identical cables marked with random alphanumeric codes to conceal differing patterns of UEF Tech inside each prototype cable and record which options elicited the strongest responses among a control group of listeners. By gauging actual emotional response, we were able to isolate grid patterns that better conveyed the essence of music. We would then build on these patterns to find additional patterns that performed better than the last. In this way, our latest shielding technology is highly evolved from anything we have ever done before with each shield pattern selected for its ability to not only lower a cable’s noise floor but to also convey a greater sense of musical enjoyment. The net result is the most advanced shielding technology we have ever developed with each model in the Atmosphere X Series gaining a special shielding pattern that best compliments the geometries of ALIVE, EXCITE and EUPHORIA.
Foundation USB Specifications:
($90 per addl 1 meter/ Available in 1, 2, 3 and 5m)
Available in Black and White
Foundation USB Build Notes:
4 each Copper Matrix conductors:
- 23 gauge solid copper conductors
- Dielectric: Solid Polyethylene
- Shielding: Dual Silver Mylar / Braid shield-Quantum Tunneled Ground Plane Technology
- Listened for signal direction before build
- Hand crafted in our California factory
- Foundation UEF Graphene Shield: 2 different UEF coatings with Graphene are applied to connectors and cabling significantly reducing the noise floor and allowing a purer signal to transfer with less grain providing more warmth and detail. The conductors also benefit from dampening effect that UEF provides
- Three Stage Quantum Treatment: The completed cable is treated with 1,000,000 volts of electricity at highly specific frequencies and varying pulse modulations. This process (known as Quantum Tunneling) creates a “channel” in the conductor material and at all contact points, aligning every one of Foundation cables’ metal elements down to the molecular level. This process smooths the digital pathway, allowing more of the signal’s energy to flow more freely. Quantum Tunneling improves every aspect of cable performance, especially low-level detail retrieval, enabling Foundation cables to deliver the highest amount of musical realism.
- Secondary UEF Blue Treatment originally developed for SR Blue Fuses
- Hand build time: 1 hours
- 5 day Burn-in: 2 step process
- Hand crafted in our California factory
50 Greatest Bargains in High-End Audio
"Jonathan Valin wasn't expecting much- and certainly not this much-from Synergistic Research's immensely pliable, bargain-basement Foundation Series interconnects and cables, which are far slimmer, lighter, and less sophisticated in design than their rich relatives, the superb Galileo SXes. But, trust him, sonically the Foundations come way closer than shouting distance to the Galileos. Indeed, these two SR lines have a great deal in common-rich vibrant tone color, robust dynamics, spacious staging, lifelike imaging, high resolution. Oh, the more sophisticated Galileos are less bottom-up in balance, more finely detailed, and harder-hitting than foundation: then again, they ought to be-the cost ten-to-twenty times the dough. Put plainly, the Foundation Series is the best budget-priced wire Jonathan Valin has hear-and one of his references. (forthcoming)"
The Absolute Sound, 2020 Buyer's Guide
Synergistic Research is clearly on the cutting edge with their flagship Galileo line and new SRX power cable. The new Foundation Series cables are ample evidence of trickle down technology designed to capture new customers at price points where a lot of audiophiles call home. Dressing my gear with a complete loom from sources to speakers produced a consistency of sound among the different sources and easily revealed the differences when other components were swapped into the rig.
I was skeptical that the Foundation cables would make such an improvement in my system, yet they have replaced cables that cost far more and taken my music far higher. Combined with a handful of their fabulous Orange Fuses, a $2000 to $3000 investment toward Synergistic Research's Foundation cables has taken my mid-five-figure rig well into six-figure territory. That's real value and an admirable feat!
Rick Becker - Enjoy The Music - January 2020
"Clearly, you are getting a fairer taste of Synergistic technology and build-quality than you might’ve expected in the affordable Foundations. But it isn’t the relatively sophisticate way they’re made, but how they reproduce recorded music that comes as the true surprise."
Though my current set of Crystal cable Ultimate Dream wires from Gabi and Edwin Rijnveld of Crystal Cable and Siltech is undoubtedly the best (the most vividly and accurately colored, powerful, quick, detailed, three-dimensional, just plain lifelike) stuff I’ve had in my system in better than forty-five years of cable-swapping, its incredibly lofty price tag brings into painful focus a problem I’ve had with “gourmet” cables from the get -go. You see, that “loom” (in the parlance of our time) of Ultimate Dream costs as much as my reference MBL 101 X-tremes, the MBL electronics that drive them, and the MSB DAC, the Walker and Clearaudio turntables, and the United Home Audio reel-to-reel tape deck that feed those electronics put together! You’d not only have to be stupid rich; you’d also have to be clinically insane---or an audiophile, which, I guess, amounts to the same thing-to buy it. (And the funny part is that the Ultimate Dreams don’t even come close to the sticker shock of the most expensive cable and ICs out there.)
Over the years, the exorbitant cost of high-end cable has troubled me that I used to regularly swap out whatever goodie I was currently listening to for old-fashioned zip cords of various twists and gauges, just o make sure that I was hearing what I thought I was hearing---and not falling for the price tag. Of course, the losses of bandwith, resolution, transient speed and definition, density of the tone color, and lifelike dimensionality, solidity, and presence were always and inevitably the same. Which is why, after a decade or so, I stopped AB’ing and just accepted the fact that (to a greater or lesser degree) when it comes to wire you get what you like and what you pay for. My only proviso when it came to cable-swapping was this: If I found something I enjoyed, I stuck with it rather than moving on (as I have so often done with other kinds of components)to the next “best” (and inevitably more expensive” thing. After all, as my dear departed friend Ray Andrews used to say: “How good does ice cream get?”
Which brings me to the product under review, Synergistic Research’s new budget line of cables and interconnects, the Foundation Series. At $599 for a one-meter pair of interconnects and $649 for an eight foot pair of speaker cable, the Foundations are indeed reasonably priced. They are also downright plain-looking. Unlike Synergistic’s expensive offerings, they have no in-line filters, no ground wires with associated outboard active grounding stations, no tuning modules with gold and silver “bullet” attachments. No fat, hefty, gough like twists of wire, either. In their simple black or white coverings, the Goundation look almost anorexically thin, light, and basic, through their looks belie the relative sophistication of what’s inside their plain-Jane wrappers.
Each Foundation RCA interconnect has four (six for the XLRs) 99.9999% pure monocrystal silver conductors in an air deliectric with a braided-silver, “Quantum-tunneled” shield. The connectors (silver Teflon SR 20 RCA or Neutrik (NC-3MX-BAG XLR) are coated with graphene to lower noise and are silver-soldered to the conductors by hand. The speaker cable has foru 99.9999% pure monocrystal silver plus four 99.95% pure “ high-current” copper conductors in an air dielectric with braided-silver, “Quantum-tunneled” shielding. Once again, the terminations (SR BoFa Banana and SR Silver Spade connectors” are silver-soldered to the conductors by hand. Both the ICs and the cables are said to be burned-in at the factory for five days, in a two-step process.
Clearly, you are getting a fairer taste of Synergistic technology and build-quality than you might’ve expected in the affordable Foundations. But it isn’t the relatively sophisticate way they’re made, but how they reproduce recorded music that comes as the true surprise.
It’s been my experience with high-end-audio components that they often (though by no means invariably) sound the way they look. So something that appears to be markedly thin, light and basic-as the Foundations certainly do-tends to sound thin, light and basic. Though these Synergistics done completely overturn this paradigm-sonically, they are certainly thinner, lighter, and less complexly and fully detailed than the 65-times-as-expensive Crystal Cables (or than Synergistic’s own 27-times-as-expensive Galileos)-they are nothing like the tissue-paper cutouts that I’ve come to expect from budget wires. Indeed, and in spite of some clear losses in focus an at the frequency extremes, they sound more like Synergistic’s high-priced offerings (Galileo has been one of my references for almost a decade) than anyone could reasonably expect.
Take, for instance, a recording I’ve been listening to a lot lately-guitarist/vocalist Hans Theessink’s 2011 LP Jadermann Remixed-The Soundtrack, on the Austrian Blue Groove label. As I said in my Clearaudio Master innovation review (TAS 301), this is a record that will sound more or less great on just about any bonafide high-end system. The tricky par-and the entire raison d’etre of The Absolute Sound-is the “more or less.”
Theessink’s mainly acoustic blues and gospel numbers are, as I noted in Issue 301, lit up like a musical Christmas tree with marvelous instrucmental ornaments-from the thrilling bottleneck glissandos of slide guitar to the coffeepot burble of the Hammond organ vamps-but the centerpiece is Theessink’s Johnny Cash-like baritone (backed up by the vocals of Terry Evans and Bobby King). Via my reference Brystal Cable Ultimate Dreams, Theessink’s voice is smooth, dark, and husky with deep throat and chest tones, wonderfully focused (without any sense of edge enhancements or redction of natural size), and shockingly three-dimensional and realistic-as are the accompanying voices, guitars, and other instrucments, which have the speek, color, and transient detail of life.
With everything else remaining the same, the Synergistic Foundations reatian a surprising amount of this same sonic realism on voices and guitars, etc. However, timbre, through quite plausibly lifelike, is not as rich, dark, and vibrant, and images (both at centerstage and at the sides) are not as well-defined as they are via Ultimate Dream. It’s as if (as is probably the case) a small blur of noise has crept into the presentation, slightly (and I mean slightly) de-focusing images, softening transients, bleaching timbre, damplening down the high-end air that makes studio ambience so audible with the Ultimates, and introducing a bit (though not a particularly annoying bit) of shoutiness on fortes and gortissimos, particularly at very high volume levels.
Still and all, the noise that is being added by the Foundations does not keep Theessink from sounding like himself. (Indeed, one could argue that the Foundation is slightly more neutral in midrange balance, albeit less detailed and extended at the frequency extremes, than the much richer, darker, quieter Ultimate.) Nor does the Foundation’s mild de-focusing of images and slight shoutiness on fortes keep Theessink’s voice (and the accompaniment and backup vocals) from sounding “there.” Yes, vocal and instrumental are a bit outsized, desaturated in color, thinner in substance, and less well-controlled on hard transients, but they haven’t lost their inherent character and with it their tast of realism=as has so often been the case with budget wire in the past.
What is true of the Theessink recording is true across the board.
Now, I have to remind you that the comparison I’ve been making-between Synergistic Foundation and Crystal Cable Ultimate Dream-amounts to a difference in dollars that would allow you to buy the rest of the system I’m currently using, with money left over. Is Crystal Cable’s Ultimate worth that much dough-and is Synergistic’s Goundation that much lower in fidelity? To those questions, I’d have to answer:”Yes” and “No” If I could afford Ultimate Dream, I would but it, but then I’m crazy. If I weren’t crazy, I could happily live with the Foundation with give you approximately 35%-40% of what the Ultimate Dreams offer, for sixty-five times less dough! If that isn’t a bargain, I don’t know what is. One of the highest-fidelity budge wires I’ve hear, Foundation obviously comes enthusiastically recommended.
Jonathan Valin - The Absolute Sound - April 2020
Foundation has the added bonus that for more attainably priced systems, it covers its tracks well and could stay in a system for the long haul; in fact, it’s only when you insert them in a monumentally high-end wide bandwidth system do you begin to crave even more detail and extension… which points you further up the Synergistic range. And best of all, it makes systems sound coherent and entertaining and both of those qualities seem to evaporate at Synergistic’s removal.
Synergistic Research has taken the technologies used in its top cables and trickled down to an affordable level without sacrifice. Foundation is an excellent, er, bedrock in audio that can make a potentially good system into a really great one.
Alan Sircom - HiFi+ - July 2020
Atmosphere acoustic field generator
Supercharge your cables.
Imagine listening to Charlie Parker at Birdland, then walk into Carnegie Hall to be seated at the best place in the house. This is can all be possible in your listening room by adding Atmosphere. No other product allows you to tailor the size and depth of your soundstage with stunning realism to accurately match the type of music you are listening to. Atmosphere is a multi-wave RF generator that has the ability to change your listening environment. Simply place it your room, turn it on, and let yourself be amazed.
UEF Performance Elevators
Elevate your system.
UEF Performance Elevators not only elevate your speaker cables from the floor, but they also dramatically improve fundamental aspects of system performance, including low-frequency weight and control, mid-range clarity, and high-frequency extension. Perhaps most dramatic is the effect on your system’s ability to portray soundstage scale with improvements in front to back and side to side image placement and variations in image height, all with a greater sense of the sound field wrapping around your listening position. To make this possible, we first experimented with several elevator materials, including wood, ceramic, and plexiglass. Ultimately aluminum was chosen for its musicality, neutral tonal balance, low-frequency weight, and high-frequency air. We then experimented with multiple HFT variations (the red dot you see on the riser below where the speaker cable rests) to interact with a cable’s EM fields. Ultimately we choose the HFT variant in Double-Blind Testing that brought out the most dramatic and musically satisfying results. UEF Performance Elevators do far more than elevate your cables from the floor; they raise up your entire system. So go ahead and audition UEF Performance Elevators against other cable elevators or make some yourself to compare and prepare to be amazed, guaranteed or your money back!