Stereolab is not a purveyor of boxes of commodified “stuff,” nor of “products of the month.”
Rather, it is a roof under which a philosophy is tended. At the nexus of soul, eternity, art, nature - when we are completely immersed in the truth and beauty of music - the world becomes timeless and thereby revealed.
Since 1992, Chris Sommovigo has been designing and manufacturing specialty cables for high end audio according to a fairly spartan philosophy: Do What Works
It may seem elementary, of course – perhaps even insultingly simple, however one need only observe the vast selection of cables on the market and realize that most can be categorized into two compartments:
- Overly simple and austere, appealing to the budget-oriented audiophile and the quasi-cable-skeptic.
- Overtly exotic, appealing to the status-oriented audiophile and those who are susceptible to Magical Thinking (attributing an effect to an impossible or implausible cause).
Somewhere between these extremes lies a grand territory where work can be done to evolve the State of the Art in non-steady-state signal transfer, an area of philosophical and empirical territory that begs experimentation and investigation. In the audiophile cable world, there are but a few sincere and authentic designers constantly pushing the envelope to discover what works – whilst avoiding the temptation to merely develop what sells.
Chris Sommovigo counts among these few.
In 1992 he introduced to the world the first truly precise 75 Ohm digital coaxial cable under the brand name “ILLUMINATI,” and since then has designed more than a dozen other digital cables for the market – either for the Illuminati brand, for Stereovox, or for other brands (such as Kimber Kable and i2Digital). His digital cable designs remain among the most sought after and popular designs in the world, and reasonably so: he has proven himself as an effective designer producing positive results.
In 2000, he introduced a new brand: STEREOVOX. Under this marque he examined new concepts in analog signal transfer for high end audio systems, very purposefully exploring the brute-force aspects of applying Skin Effect to extremes. The result of that expedition was a catalog of cables that met with 10 years of critical acclaim for their extraordinary performance.
During this time Chris introduced a novel concept in conductor technology: the thin-walled, pure copper microtube: CuTube™ for short. At a scant 0.035″ in outer diameter with mere 0.008″ thick walls, annealed dead soft using the purest copper available for tubing, CuTube provied to be the closest thing to a “magic bullet” in Chris’ design portfolio, and it would go on to inform many products throughout the history of Stereovox.
2008 saw the introduction of a new brand from Chris: STEREOLAB™
Drawing from ongoing development of specialty conductors (including improvements to CuTube™, and introducing newer technology conductors, the AERON™ dielectric and insulation system, InterPole™ micro-woven conductors, and QuieTex™ noise reduction/absorption technology), this new marque from Chris is his most exciting yet, while new sub-brands have been introduced at various price levels and employing various new techniques and technologies:
- BLACK CAT
Like his other marques that came before, STEREOLAB remains a small company with a limited output of specialty cables that always radiate from the same core ethos: Do What Works. We do not produce thousands of cables per month, nor do we provide our products to hundreds of dealers and distributors … we aren’t able to meet that kind of demand due to the very specialized nature of our manufacturing processes.