2019 marks the 40th anniversary of Kimber Kable, the US brand of cables that has been exclusively distributed in the UK by Russ Andrews since 1985.

Kimber Kable is instantly recognisable from its braided construction. This different approach to cable design has remained largely unaltered in the ensuing 40 years.

Ray Kimber

The design and functionality of the cables can be traced back to the mid 1970s when Ray Kimber, founder and owner of the business, was working in the pro sound and light industry in Los Angeles. While installing the first big discotheques he discovered that noise generated by the lights was picked up by the speaker cable, which was acting as an antenna and injecting noise into the sound system. The problem was partly solved by encasing the speaker cable in a steel conduit, but this had the unintended result of lowering the fidelity of the audio due to the interaction with the magnetic field of the cable. Ray had the idea that counter-rotating sets of conductors would cancel the magnetic interaction and also reduce the noise pick-up. He was right and also pleasantly surprised at the improvement in perceived audio quality. It was this discovery that set him on the path to develop braided cable designs for the audio industry.

Kimber Kable

Establishing Kimber Kable in 1979, engineer and entrepreneur Ray’s fondness for discovery and experimentation was fuelled by his natural curiosity, “If weaving cable could alter the sound so significantly, I figured everything else about cables was on the table for discovery, rediscovery or reinvestigation.” He has gone on to research different braiding geometries, metallurgy and dielectric materials in search of the perfect cable and is still innovating. Today Kimber Kable produces a large range of speaker cables, analogue and digital interconnect cables and headphone cables for all levels of hifi system.

Russ Andrews

Russ Andrews first met Ray Kimber at the 1985 CES in Chicago and recognised the unique innovations Ray was making in cable construction and manufacture, and how it solved the same problems Russ had encountered during his own audio experiments. As Russ says, “I was convinced that Ray’s approach was solving fundamental problems that no one else had successfully managed to do. I knew we had to bring these cables to the UK and so started a relationship that is still going strong some 34 years later.”

Today, Russ Andrews not only distributes the entire Kimber Kable range, but also uses Kimber’s braided cables in its own range of high-quality mains PowerKords. “Back in 1980s we produced the first specialist audiophile grade mains cable available in the UK,” remarks Russ. “It used Kimber’s braided design, which Ray had proved reduces pick-up of unwanted radio frequency interference. We felt this would be perfect for mains cables to help reduce mains-borne noise – one of the primary causes of bad sound in hi-fi systems.” Since then, Russ Andrews has gone on to sell tens of thousands of mains cables that use this design.

Kimber Kable 40th Anniversary

Marking the 40th anniversary, Russ reflects on the growth of Kimber and the very close working relationship the two companies have had. “In 1979 Ray started with one product, the 4PR speaker cable. It was a revelation and is so fundamentally ‘right’ that it is still one of the biggest selling speaker cables in the world today – we must have supplied miles and miles of 4PR to UK audiophiles!”

“To this day I believe that Ray’s coherent, honest design philosophy and the resulting superiority of Kimber cables is the reason why our customers enjoy better sound and get more enjoyment out of their music. Over the next few months a number of new products will be appearing – the results of Ray’s continuing research – and we are looking forward to sharing them with our customers in celebration of this momentous anniversary.”

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