John McDonald (Audience LLC company)

Innovating cable structure, envisioning unexpected apexes


For the first time we are granting room to one of the fastest emerging characters within audiophile industry, Audience's President John McDonald. Here's what we were able to learn during a brief interview in between his tight working schedules



-Hello John, thanks for your time: first of all: how long has your cable/loudspeaker/power conditioner company existed, what was the highest point in its history that gave you most satisfaction?
Audience was founded in late 1997.
Probably the highest point of satisfaction was the completion of our full range 3” driver and corresponding one way loudspeakers. This was the original vision and reason for starting the company.

-And how many people are currently employed?

-Do you have factories out of  the UK and the USA? Where are your cables actually put together?
We source parts from numerous countries. All Audience products are made in our factory in Southern California (USA).

-How has the cable and power conditioners been changing through the years? What new machineries and technologies are being used and what are going to be used in the next years? Can we expect big changes or has research stranded?
Audience has always and will continue to search for ways to improve its products. For cables and power conditioners that usually involves finding ways to improve conductivity and lower distortion. For speakers it also involves mechanical and acoustic matters. We have ideas and patentable inventions in mind as far as the eye can see. Our R&D is ONLY limited by time and money. I wish I could tell you more, but then I’d have to shoot you!  

-Besides not bending, stretching or crushing a cable, what precautions and advice do you give during and after the break-in of your cables?
It is always a good idea to keep cables and power cords raised a little off the floor, so as to allow the energy field, that extends beyond the obvious physical size, to flow unfettered by surroundings.  Also, it is important to periodically use a good contact cleaner like Caig Deoxit on all signal and power connector contacts. I cannot stress enough the benefit of maintaining a high degree of conductivity, particularly for high performance music systems.

-Does it make a difference to connect a speaker or interconnect cable on one end instead of the other?
I can only speak for Audience products. More importantly than directionality, it is important to stay consistant; i.e. always configure them in your system in the same direction. We have arrows on all of our signal cables for this reference.

-Are you for or against ferrite clamps around Audience cables?

-Is it useful, detrimental or indifferent to add special oils on the ends of your cables so as to improve signal transmission?
After cleaning with Caig Deoxit we recommend using Caig Gold contact enhancement.

-Is it better to use shielded cables in order to avoid RFI or is the remedy worse than the issue? Is the old piece of advice telling to keep diverse kinds of cables as separate and isolate as possible still the  most valid solution?
Shielding signal and speaker cables is certainly beneficial for RFI protection. However, we find that shielding power cords has more downside that upside, due to choking of dynamics.

-Please explain also to the not very tech-friendly why your Conductor, Audience AU24SE, the Audio Phono cables and the lines of your power chords and power conditioners are so freaking effective and better than competitors'.
Key elements that account for the high performance of Audience cables are simplicitylow masshigh purity conductorshigh conductivity, and proper design. With regard to proper design, for example, a seldom considered but extremely important aspect is consideration of a low eddy current design. Just like water passing down a river causing swirls on the sides of the banks called eddy currents, a similar affect occurs when an audio signal passes through a conductor. Audience offers an in-depth explaination of this phenomenon at as well as a video demonstration at Audience cables represent the collective intelligence of numerous great minds in this field.

-Since you have power chords for all the main markets (USA, UK and EU) if I'm not wrong, from your experience do the chords deliver more improvements in Europe and England as there are more old buildings, flats or houses with worse switch-boards, ground systems than the USA?
Basically the same degree of performance is provided no matter which country. However, if country A starts with better power conditions than country B by a factor of 1, the same “difference” will remain after the implementation of good cables; albiet both countries at higher levels of performance with good cables. Having said that, good power conditioners go a long way towards closing any of those gaps by removing a great deal of radio frequency noise from our power lines.

-What news and new products are you launching in 2014 after the recent 22-Khz-extended bookshelf loudspeakers 'One'?
I cannot divulge all 2014 product launches; however, I can say that we will be offering new high performance digital cables including USB as well as starting to offer high performance headphone cables. And if the stars are shinning on us we hope to broaden our loudspeaker offerings.

-I appreciate your detailed and clarifying answers. Feel free to use all the space you need to add something important I omitted to discuss with you.
Trust your ears!


Audience, LLC
120 N. Pacific Street #K9
San Marcos, CA 92069
(800) 565-4390