The iFi Mercury USB cable is the single-run brethren of the highly-regarded Gemini USB cable. The Mercury USB cable takes the standard USB transmission standard and re-writes it for high-end audio. Crucially, the special geometry adheres to the 90 ohm impedance specification better than even the USB 2.0 standard. Resistance is 3x lower than textbook. The Final USB machined connectors are proprietary for exceptional shielding and rigidity. The atypical RF3filter design is user-adjustable. With all these technological breakthroughs, one audition and there is no going back.
A simple, yet effective illustration is the graph below. The Mercury (along with the Gemini) cable adheres to the 90ohm specification of the USB transmission protocol exhibiting just a 1% deviation from the 90ohm impedance end-to-end (ie. connector + cable together).
Other expensive audiophile cables by comparison, vary as much as 15% (or 78ohm-103ohm!) This one key parameter is often overlooked yet is essential to maximise the quality of the signal transfer.
The Mercury USB cable. It really is mercurial.
The signal runs through the cable and connector. Therefore, the connector must be as exceptional as the cable. Most USB Cables use moulded plastic covered connections. Plastic cannot shield the high frequencies present in the USB Data link, so noise will radiate out. Durability is also compromised. The FINAL USB connectors provides impeccable end-to-end RF shielding, being machined entirely from solid aluminium. Gold-plated connections make for years of steadfast service.
iFi’s proprietary machine connector looks and feels like it was hewn from a solid block of aluminium. This is not far from the truth. This is the iFi standard.
Addressing RF issues is usually non-existent in USB cables. Even those with filters fitted, they are off the shelf and as such, work only over too narrow a range. Also, too few are fitted and common RFI filtering is placed at the ends of the cables, leaving the whole length of the cable to act as effective antennae.
The Gemini cable is fitted with three custom-made metal oxide ceramic RF noise silencers. Each with different effective ranges; thus they greatly broaden the range over which RF noise is silenced. Further the middle silencer is design to be adjustable (moved along the whole length), to “detune” the antennae formed by the cable, depending on the conditions and requirements in the system. The other 2 silencers which are not affixed, should be kept as close to each respective end as possible.
Shielding, Conductors and Insulation Taken to the Extreme
The Mercury USB cable design is a complete and full solution that has left nothing to chance. It has a number of special attributes that enhance shielding, conductors and insulation that is quite simply, revolutionary. For further reading: