The technology behind

ULTRA-LITZ

Field Cable

A quantum shift in cable technology and performance

History

In addition to three patents, the design and construction of our Aurigen loudspeaker raised the conventional loudspeakers’ previous resolution limits and reduced its distortion limits. This highlighted weaknesses elsewhere in the audio chain, particularly in the area of cables. This drove the necessity to research and develop a new cable to match the transparency, speed and detail of Aurigen in terms of being as clear and clean as possible so as not to impede the transport of the signal carrying the original recording whilst matching Aurigen’s green, low carbon and recyclable footprint.

We came to similar conclusions when designing Aurigen that cables’ fundamental design and ethos had not changed much since 1974 when Akihiko Kaneda at Akita University Japan, argued that the sound quality of a speaker/amplifier interface could be impacted by the wire or cable. The majority of Hi-Fi cables contain copper wire of conventional dimensions and are insulated with petrochemical-derived plastics such as Teflon (PTFE) FEP and foamed insulators or to give them their technical name dielectrics.

In a similar way that conventional loudspeaker fidelity is inhibited by a performance ceiling created by the use of unevolved technology such as crossover filters dome tweeters and conventional cabinets; Cables generally continue to utilise insulation, conductor strand diameters and solder that has similarly not evolved for decades There are one or two admirable exceptions, but even they still utilise much petrochemical-derived insulation in their construction. We accept that new cables are launched annually claiming advances in performance but most are variations on the same theme.

It is time to think outside the box

The Core

Our cable is an ultra-litz design, each cable comprises, remarkably, 1500 individually insulated strands of wire.with 750 strands in the positive and negative lines . Each strand is only 35 microns in diameter which is about less than half the diameter of a human hair. The principle of Litz cable was invented and developed by the famous inventor Nikola Tesla specifically for alternating current which he also pioneered. In the form we use it, it has virtually zero petrochemical content, so no Teflon PEF or PVC.As you will see in our acknowledgement, any petrochemical based insulation will have a distorting effect on an AC signal passing near it. However it is not just the insulation that we have improved.

The Greener Alternative

Halogenated Polymers (PTFE and FEP ) not only are derived from petrochemicals but last in the environment indefinitely. One online estimate gives 4.4 million years before they break down. The silk and Wool Felt coverings on our cable are Compostable.

A Bluer Alternative

Our US distributor prefers to order our cables in conservative black, however, we offer an extensive colour range available on request at a small premium. 

In essence, in a conventional cable, Skin Effect makes the higher frequencies in a signal
migrate to the outer surface of the strands and travel in a different way compared with other parts of the signal carried in the body of the cable. In addition, because each strand is not insulated, signal flow in stranded cable becomes even more chaotic as it can jump from strand to strand within the cable. Over time there is a risk of oxidation on the surface of each strand within the cable, creating an effect similar to a semiconductor being in the signal path as copper oxide has a far greater resistance than pure clean copper.

By greatly reducing our strand size and rejecting insulators used by even the defence industry, we have, like our speakers, taken two massive strides ahead of conventional products.

These tiny strands are individually insulated to protect them from long-term oxidation. They are plaited into a special form and bound extremely tightly with two layers of silk winding. Silk is used because it has very high tensile strength, providing the extra tension required to keep the bundles stable and reduce signal-originating vibration. Additionally, it has excellent insulating properties.

The strand braiding is carefully arranged so that each strand occupies every possible position within the bunch.

By simultaneously distributing the electrical current among its independent strands, Litz cable reduces the eddy current (see Eddy Currents explanation below) losses that originate from skin and proximity effects. The proximity effect in cables refers to the phenomenon where the proximity of other conductors and nearby magnetic fields influences the electrical characteristics of a cable, thus modifying the signal it is carrying.

The hundreds of micro strands braided also minimize differences between the inductances and impedances of each strand and greatly aid the equalization of currents flowing in them. This pattern places each strand equally on the inside and outside of the cable, causing the current to spread uniformly throughout the conductor. The resistance ratio (AC to DC) then approaches unity.

The strand plaiting is carefully arranged so that each strand occupies every possible position within the bunch.

19 strands show in this visual

By simultaneously distributing the electrical current among its independent strands, Litz cable reduces the eddy current losses that originate from skin and proximity effects while also lowering operating temperature.

This is all vital in preserving the delicate integrity of the signal, enabling you to get closer to what was recorded on the day.

A diagram to show the proximity effect in conventional stranded cable (Left) A diagram to show the proximity effect in conventional stranded cable

The plaited hundreds of micro strands in our Ultra-Litz Field cable also minimise differences between inductances and impedances of each strand and greatly aids the equalisation of currents flowing in them. This pattern places each strand equally at the inside and outside of the cable (see Proprietary Plaiting or Clarity with a Twist above). This causes the current to spread uniformly throughout the conductor. The resistance ratio (AC to DC) then approaches unity. 

This is vital in our policy of ‘getting out of the way’ to emotionally connect you with your music. 

Conventional Cable Proximity Effect

(as illustrated the Proximity Effect is a direct result of the Eddy Currents which also exists in some RCA plugs)

The plaited hundreds of micro strands also minimise differences between inductances and impedances of each strand and greatly aid the equalisation of currents flowing in them. This pattern places each strand equally at the inside and outside of the cable. This causes the current to spread uniformly throughout the conductor. The resistance ratio (AC to DC) then approaches unity.

Developing our cable brought new challenges in dealing with conductors of such tiny dimensions. We evolved a 10-stage intricate manual process to terminate each strand reliably. This is a very labour-intensive and time-consuming precision operation perfected over many months of research and development. This is achieved under optical magnification with each stage going through rigorous inspection. This ensures bare clean copper on all 750 strands at our cable ends, to maximise signal conduction. As the strands are so tiny they are extremely prone to rapid oxidation we have therefore developed our own proprietary method to keep our hard tiny pristine copper conductors oxide-free over years of use . The benefits have far outweighed the effort, in now being able to hear far more of the performance and far less of the cable.

Many cable companies solder their connectors to their cables creating areas of signal inhibition. Solder makes an unstable joint with metal that, despite sometimes having a 5% Silver content it is still 10 times less conductive than copper, let alone silver. 

Our solution is proprietary but utilises a method to ensure an oxygen free joint between our cable and the silver and OFC copper, which are part the WBT Nextgen RCA, Atlas XLR plugs and our own hand-crafted solid silver spade connectors without the use of any solder. This ensures years of accurate transmission of the tiniest nuances of the signal the cable is carrying between your components. This brings you still closer to the music and the space around it.

With the core of the cable optimised, we wanted to create a protecting sheath which added
virtually no capacitance, and most importantly gave superior vibration absorbing qualities. We
had discovered like others, that like speaker crossover components, cables are prone to
adding distortion to signals by being exposed to vibration.
We chose wool felt to cradle the conductors, as although unconventional, it outperforms
plastic in all parameters. Wool felts are used as the material of choice. The fact that it is
used for damping in pianos, pipe organs and other musical instruments attests that it is a
superior material.

The structure and properties of the insulation have a direct bearing on sound quality, and indeed, the speed at which it travels in a cable is measured by a technical term known as the velocity of propagation; it is dependent on the dielectric constant (also known as Relative Permittivity) of the insulation. The lower this measurement, the better. 

Air has a dielectric constant of just 1. FEP is used as an insulator by the world’s best cable manufacturers and typically has a dielectric constant of 2.2. It is this figure that dictates the speed, known as the propagation velocity, of the signal down the cable. The higher the figure, the slower it travels, but not at all frequencies and this damages the signal. What is happening is that the insulator is charging up with some of the signal, then letting it go back into the field. This adds a very subtle mush around the sound, which we are all used to, but when it’s not there, we wonder how we put up with it (rather like an ex-wife or husband). It follows, therefore, that the better the insulator, the more accurate the signal it protects.

Having worked hard to eliminate eddy currents by virtue of our cable topology, using a standard RCA, phono and XLR plugs was clearly not an option. We have chosen the German WBT-0110 Ag solderless RCA, Atlas, solderless XLR and our own beautiful hand-fabricated solid silver spade connectors as the optimum way to terminate our advanced cable to maintain the quality of signal it carries for years to come.

Both single-ended and balanced cable plugs are fitted with bespoke handmade socks, which extends the all-important vibration elimination into the plugs.

Nextgen™ RCA Connector WBT-0110 Ag Profile in brief:

  • 75 ohms (typ.) characteristic impedance
  • Totally distortion-free (no eddy currents)
  • Ultimate conductivity (single-piece signal conductor made of pure silver)
  • Absolutely reliable signal transmission thanks to patented WBT Technology

It is sometimes forgotten that signals are transported by cables as a randomly generated alternating current, as current distribution is non-uniform due to the time-varying nature of the magnetic flux. Put another way, all the spatial timing and harmonic information captured on the day of the recording by the microphone is contained in a very easy-to-damage signal.

Our ears are way more sensitive than our eyes. If they were slightly more sensitive, we would hear Brownian motion (air molecules colliding). By preserving these micro-signals that in day-to-day hearing we all take for granted, we are able to make your music sound more real and easier to connect on an emotional level. 

Elevate your listening experience with cables that transcend the ordinary, delivering a symphony of clarity, depth, and precision.

Embrace the future of sound – your ears deserve nothing less. Let your system become your go-to unwind. The alternative to a single 20 year old malt, which can last the whole evening and you can drive the car afterwards.

As in the above (Protecting Signal Structures), after some experimentation, we found that damping both the RCA and XLR plug with felt dealt in the same way with the vibration in the cable. Bringing further benefits in by improving still further the resolution. So much so that we have decided to fit our socks as standard to our interconnects. 

Terminated with WBT Nextgen RCA solderless plugs and Atlas OFC solderless XLR plugs. Bespoke lengths are available but standard lengths of 1,1.5, 3,5 and 10 metres are available as standard, bespoke lengths can be ordered at extra cost.

We also offer a wide range of felt cable colours on request. 

SPECIFICATION
DC Resistance 0.00579 Ohms per foot
Capacitance 9.75 Micro Farads per foot

Acknowledgement

We would like to thank Graham Fowler, M.D. of Trichord Research Ltd , who shared our suspicions and far more practically, identified artefacts of distortion in a signal travelling in a cable carrying AC current and insulated with conventional plastic. This was found to be created by the proximity of polymers derived from petrochemicals and similar products.

We first became aware of this over fifteen years ago when Trichord saw the sonic improvements of finding alternatives to plastic for the insulation in their mains cables. Similar conclusions were drawn by the Late Max Townsend of Townsend Audio when
utilising bare Litz cables for his super tweeters and insulated single strands in his Fractal cable.

Graham Fowler was kind enough to share his findings and has continued to support our project with encouragement.

‘I have been listening to interconnects for years and thought I had the best but this has beaten everything I have .’