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A/V Geek?

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Check the links below for current discussions about anything that is a hot topic in audio at the moment, or factoids about Wireworld processes, parts or whatever David feels like writing about : ) Enjoy!

Topics:

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The Value of Neutral Cable

Wireworld Glossary

(pending) Engineered for Reality

(pending) The Longer the Power

p Double-Blind Listening Tests

(pending) Metal Conductivity

(pending) The Truth About Jitter

(pending) Contacts & Connectors

The Importance of Understanding
Grain Structure & Signal Flow

 

 

 

 

 

It’s all about grain structure! The microstructure of copper and silver conductors is actually made up of individual grains of the metal. Unavoidable angular patterns in this grain structure can cause cables to perform differently in both directions. Wireworld cables are manufactured utilizing a proprietary Grain Optimization™ process that specifically controls the grain structure of the metal to produce the highest fidelity when the signal flows in the direction of the arrows printed on the cable. Some other brands of audio interconnects are directional because their shields are only connected at one end of the cable. The shields in Wireworld cables are connected at both ends to provide superior isolation from noise.

Cable signal flow, gran flow

For peak performance, always install Wireworld cables with the arrows pointing in the direction of the signal flow.

Audio/Video Cable Signal Flow graphic
Coil graphic, first lesson in audio cable design

The First Lesson in Audio Cable Design

The primary problem of audio cables was discovered and addressed over 100 years ago, when telephone companies struggled with problems of intelligibility over very long phone lines. British physicist/engineer Oliver Heaviside theorized that this problem was caused by inductive (electromagnetic) loss, and in 1893 he proposed the solution of increasing the inductive coupling between the two conductors to reduce the inductive loss of the telephone circuit. This solution was implemented in 1900 with telephone loading coils, which are still in use today. These coils are connected at intervals along phone lines to preserve the fidelity and strength of the signal.

The most audible differences among interconnect and speaker cables are also the result of inductive loss. While some listeners may actually like certain sonic colorations caused by cable inductance, these effects are always accompanied by dynamic compression and masking of the finer sonic details. For example, speaker cables with widely separated positive and negative conductors exhibit so much inductive loss that they distinctly thin out and compress the sound. This is the founding scientific principle used to originally create the Delineated Neutralizing Array, or DNA design used in most Wireworld cables. Optimally engineered, closely-spaced conductors  have been shown to provide dramatic improvements in the preservation of harmonic structure, three-dimensionality and dynamics.

How Composilex 2 Works

Composilex 2 insulation is one of the most important ingredients in the performance of Wireworld Series 7 cables. It is totally unique to our brand, and the effect it has on quieting a cable is quite noticeable. Composilex 2 minimizes triboelectric noise, which is generated where conductors touch insulation. This noise is caused by static charge/discharge effects induced by movement, vibration and signal energy. Engineered for the lowest triboelectric noise of any insulation material, Composilex 2 is also formulated in different versions optimized for the specific requirements of each cable application. This technology produces a great advance in the preservation of harmonic structure, spatiality and dynamic contrast.

Wireworld Composilex 2 graphic, how Composilex 2 works

The Value of Neutral Cables

Neutrality is essential to lifelike music reproduction because the highest fidelity can only be achieved by minimizing audible changes through each link in the audio chain.  These changes, commonly known as colorations, are actually distortions that lower fidelity because they filter delicate musical information and cannot be completely corrected by other links in the chain.  Identifying the audible distortions of most components is difficult because it is impossible to compare them to a perfect component.  However, cable distortions are much easier to identify, since cables can be compared to a perfect cable, a direct connection.

The upgrade audio cable industry exists because people realized that conventional cables are not neutral.  They realized this by observing that changing cables alters the character of the sound, especially the presentation of quiet musical information.  Unfortunately, simply comparing one cable to another does not tell us what either cable is doing to the sound.  This fact is proven by the widely varying opinions on the sound of popular cables.   Of the many cables described as neutral by reviewers, few actually sound close to neutral under objective test conditions.   However, when cables are compared to a direct connection, the descriptions of their sound quality are far more consistent, accurate, and useful.

The most audible differences among cables are caused by electromagnetic (inductive) effects; skin effect, proximity effect and eddy currents. This is not surprising, since the electromagnetic field is what actually moves the signal.  Those effects cause time-related distortions that sound much like frequency response errors.  As with other cable distortions, their audibility decreases as cables are shortened.  The most surprising aspect of these effects is the way they can interact within a system.  While the colorations of cables are often used to compensate for the colorations of audio components, the colorations of the various cables within a system tend to interact with one another to an even greater extent.  In fact, many cables can only sound close to neutral when their coloration is offset by a cable with an overlapping coloration than when they are used with an extremely neutral cable (or a bypass).  That is why interconnects and speaker cables which are designed together tend to produce the most neutral and coherent result when they are used together.

Of course, the most lifelike music reproduction is achieved when both the cables and components are extremely neutral, however, most cables have substantial colorations.  The majority of speaker cables have audible bumps in the lower treble and upper bass range.  These colorations tend to stand out unless they are offset by interconnects that balance them out, or the cables are very short.  Only the most neutral speaker cables we have tested allow all of the advantages of an interconnect bypass to be appreciated.  The most neutral interconnects must also be used with neutral (or very short) speaker cables to fully realize their benefits.  From this we conclude, that in the real world of cable and component limitations, the highest value is obtained by selecting components for their neutrality and compatibility, and connecting them with the most neutral cables available in the appropriate price range for the system.

The conventional swap-and-listen method of testing cables has limited the accuracy of cable reviewing and thus undermined the quest for higher fidelity.  Furthermore, the lack of objective proof of cable performance and value has undermined the audio industry in general.  Many people, including some notable experts, still believe that the concept of higher fidelity audio cables is a farce, and that those who believe in or profit from them are either dishonest or incompetent.  This anti-cable position has been reinforced the fact that many “upgrade cables” have little or no real benefit, and that the listening tests conducted by the Audio Engineering Society failed to prove that cable differences are audible under double-blind test conditions.

Wireworld addresses these issues by demonstrating and promoting cable bypass tests to audio professionals and consumers. The popularity of high quality headphones and headphone amps has made it easy to perform interconnect bypass comparisons. Bypass jumpers and cables can easily be swapped between a source component and headphone amp, revealing the losses and colorations caused by the cables. Less easy, but equally revealing tests of speaker cable can be done with mono amps docked directly to speakers as the reference. In these objective tests of fidelity, Wireworld Series 7 cables outperform all others in preserving tone quality, musical details and dynamics.

Wireworld Glossary

 

Cable Comparator

(US Patent #5,740,255)

In engineering, a comparator is a device for comparing something with a reference standard. Wireworld Cable Comparators facilitate comparisons between cables and the only scientific reference standard for cable performance, a direct connection between components, which is essentially a perfect cable.

 

Composilex 2

The second generation insulation technology of custom-blended composite insulation materials specifically designed to be quieter than any conventional material, including DuPont Teflon.

 

DNA Helix design

(US Patent #8,569,627)

A series of cable designs with layered flat conductors that channel electromagnetic signal energy more efficiently than others to provide the lowest signal loss, with the highest audible and waveform fidelity.

 

Flexi-Flat

Proprietary Wireworld conductors that utilize flat groups of parallel strands to provide smoother signal flow.

 

Fluxfield

The design used in Wireworld power cords to minimize interference and interaction with the power line.

 

Grain Structure

Though they look solid to the naked eye, copper and silver are actually made up of tiny pieces called grains. Longer grains are helpful because with fewer grains in the signal path, less energy is lost as it passes from one grain to the next. OCC conductors have much longer grains than any other types of copper and silver. The grain structure within strands is similar to a chain of stacked funnels, which makes them function differently in each direction. That is why Wireworld cables are marked to be connected in the direction that performs best.

 

HD-Grip

Wireworld HD-Grip HDMI plugs utilize innovative tensioning tabs to improve the reliability and quality of connections.

 

Jitter

Timing errors that reduce fidelity in digital signal transmission. Digital audio cables with superior waveform fidelity reduce jitter.

 

OCC

Ohno Continuous Casting creates the world’s purest (99.99999% = 7 Nines) copper and silver conductors. OCC conductors also have the longest grain structure and smoothest surfaces. OCC conductors are only produced in Japan and Taiwan.

 

OFC

Oxygen-free copper is 99.99% (4 Nines) pure, an upgrade over the standard TPC grade, which is 99.9% pure.

 

Silver-clad/Silver-plated

Since silver is the most conductive metal, adding a layer of silver over copper can improve performance. Our silver-clad cables have about three times as much silver as the related silver-plated model. Silver also makes the quietest and lowest loss connections, even when mated to terminals made of other metals. Silver improves resolution, which can reveal coloration caused by design faults, but in the best designs it simply reveals more music.

 

Silver-Tube Plugs

(US Patent #5,413,503)

Silver-clad tubular OFC contacts with Dupont Teflon® insulator and innovative silicone tension band make this the highest conductivity RCA plug in the world.

 

Symmetricon design

An upgrade to the conventional balanced pair design made by increasing the number of signal conductors and isolating them from the power conductors. The Symmetricon design improves both precision and efficiency.

 

Triboelectric Noise

Noise generated in cables by the interface of conductors and insulation materials where static charge and discharge effects are induced by movement, vibration and signal energy.

 

 

© 2017 Wireworld, Inc. All rights reserved.

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