Tchernov Cable Company


Only rigorously selected materials and the highest quality modern components are used in our products, resulting in an immense sonic richness that translates into a spectacular musical experience. Most of them are one of a kind, designed and manufactured in Russia: specially developed cable PVC compositions with enhanced dielectric and mechanical properties, unique organic dyes of a refined chemical formula, a high purity non-polar PE without any artificial polymerization accelerators that do have polar molecular structure, custom weaved pure cotton cords for conductor damping; all feature amongst many others. But nothing is more fundamental than Balanced Refinement Copper or BRC, used in our conductors and shields.


Unlike most of our rivals who religiously adhere to the use of ‘oxygen free copper’ (OFC), we have elected to take a different approach with BRC - Balanced Refinement Copper. Every ounce we use is made from high quality copper from the Ural region of Russia which then undergoes electrolytic refinement. When shaped into foil or rod wire forms the result is an extremely uniform and defect free crystal structure with exceptional conductivity. Added benefits include high ductility and resistance to tearing. It is principally used in heavy duty industrial applications with demanding quality requirements.

We examined these properties in detail. To this end, extensive chromatographic and mass spectrum analysis was combined with our findings from comprehensive listening tests. A consistent result of this testing was that oxygen free copper performed far worse than the electrical one. This is almost entirely down to the presence of higher quantities of silicon (Si) which is used as an oxygen absorber during the deoxidisation process.

As well as the negative impact of silicon, the elements in the 3rd, 4th and 5th periods, such as sulphur (S), germanium (Ge), arsenic (As) selenium (Se), tin (Sn) and antimony (Sb) also have an entirely negative effect on the performance. Even when present in quantities of no greater than 0.001 to 0.003%, they can create chemical compounds that have semiconductor properties and form Schottky barrier junctions at the borders of crystals.

The effect of metals in the iron subgroup - chrome (Cr), manganese (Mn), iron (Fe) and cobalt (Co)- are also very unwelcome. Quantities of no more than 0.001 to 0.005% can affect the plasticity of the copper and make it brittle. This in turn leads to an increase in non-linear distortion in the conductor especially at higher current densities.

When we reach the metals of the 5th and 6th periods, such as silver (Ag), gold (Au), lead (Pb) and the platinum subgroup (Rh, Pd, Pt, Ir) and the non-metals of the 2nd period such as carbon (C), nitrogen (N) and oxygen (O), the results are different and much more benign. In quantities of between 0.01 to 0.03%, there is no noticeable effect on either the electrical properties or sound quality of the conductor. Additionally, the presence of elements such as silver in a quantity of up to 0.02% and lead at a lower quantity of 0.0005% serves to improve the uniformity of the crystal structure in copper wire, increases the recrystallization temperature and helps the wire to retain high electrical conductivity after it has been subjected to mechanical stress. These are attributes that are especially useful in high quality audio and video cables.

The effects of these different materials might be likened to mineral water. Many impurities are entirely unwelcome but the presence of other substances in trace amounts results in a water that is preferable in both taste and health terms to “purer” distilled water. Seeking to achieve a similar benefit in conductors, we place orders for samples with the specified ratios of chemical impurities. Further chromatographic and mass spectrum analysis of these samples led to the selection of a specific batch to be used for all Tchernov conductors and shields. It is named Balanced Refinement Copper (BRC). BRC performs optimally and with stunning fidelity for both audio and video, rendering information precisely as it was recorded without added coloration and distortion.