The S/PDIF (Sony/Philips Digital InterFace), which arrived in 1983 along with the CD, is still very much a part of our world today. S/PDIF is transmitted through digital coax and a 75Ω cable is like a conduit that has to carry relatively low-frequency analog video (composite video, up to 4.2 MHz), or super-sensitive digital audio (S/PDIF, up to 24.576 MHz), or uncompressed High-Definition video (up to 750 MHz), or cable TV/broadband (CATV, up to 1 GHz).
- Solid 100% Perfect-Surface Silver (PSS) Conductors
- Hard-Cell Foam Insulation
- 100% Shield Coverage (Copper Foil + Perfect-Surface Silver Spiral)
- 72V Dielectric-Bias System (DBS, US Pat #s 7,126,055 & 7,872,195 B1)
- Carbon-Based 7-Layer Noise-Dissipation (NDS), 3 x EMI Absorption
- Silver-Plated Terminations
Solid 100% Perfect-Surface Silver (PSS) Conductors :
Strand interaction is the single greatest cause of distortion in a cable. Semi-Solid Concentric Packed Conductors avoid many strand-interaction distortion mechanisms. Solid-core conductors offer a complete and compelling solution to this problem.
Conductor metal quality is critical for the best cable performance. The conductor surface is the only area of the conductor with 100% current density at all frequencies. The smoothness of the conductor surface is imperative because the surface is a guide rail for the entire energy envelope. The best copper and silver conductor metals have fewer grain boundaries and low oxygen content for low distortion and high performance.
Perfect-Surface Technology applied to extreme-purity silver provides unprecedented clarity and dynamic contrast. Solid conductors prevent strand interaction, a major source of cable distortion. Extremely high-purity Perfect-Surface Silver minimizes distortion caused by the grain boundaries which exist within any metal conductor, nearly eliminating harshness and greatly increasing clarity compared to OFHC, OCC, 8N and other coppers.
Hard-Cell Foam Insulation :
Insulation is necessary to keep the positive and negative conductors separate and to give stability to cable geometry. Insulation is also a “dielectric” because it is inside the conductor’s magnetic field. Dielectrics absorb energy, which after a delay is then released in the signal, causing smearing and distortion. Better insulation reduces distortion by absorbing less energy.
Hard-Cell Foam insulation is used exclusively in most of AudioQuest’s video and digital audio cables. Similar to Foamed-PE, it is nitrogen injected to create air pockets. ‘Hard’ foam is used because the stiffness of the material allows the conductors in the cable to maintain the same relationship with each other along the full length of the cable, thus ensuring that the characteristic impedance of the cable is consistent.
All of WEL Signature’s conductors use Air-Tube insulation because air absorbs next to no energy, and FEP is the best extrudable solid insulation and absorbs less energy than other materials. The FEP Air-Tubes used in WEL Signature have almost nothing but air around the solid PSS conductors (117% more air than the AudioQuest Wind interconnect.
100% Shield Coverage (Copper Foil + Perfect-Surface Silver Spiral) :
Shielding always plays an important role in any cable design, but the shield on coax interconnect plays an especially important role because it functions not only as a shield but a return path as well. Because of this, AudioQuest pays special attention to the shield’s metal quality and the fabrication techniques as both will affect the sound and the picture.
72V Dielectric-Bias System (DBS, US Pat #s 7,126,055 & 7,872,195 B1) :
All insulation slows down the signal on the conductor inside. When insulation is unbiased, it slows down parts of the signal differently, a big problem for very time-sensitive multi-octave audio. AudioQuest’s DBS creates a strong, stable electrostatic field which saturates and polarizes (organizes) the molecules of the insulation. This minimizes both energy storage in the insulation and the multiple nonlinear time-delays that occur. Sound appears from a surprisingly black background with unexpected detail and dynamic contrast. The DBS battery packs will last for years. A test button and LED allow for the occasional battery check.
WEL Signature utilises the Carbon 72V DBS. This takes things a step further by utilizing proprietary technology that was originally developed for use in the AudioQuest Niagara 7000, which includes a superior RFI filter, used for draining harmful Radio Frequency Interference.
(The batteries within a DBS battery pack will last for years because there is no current draw. The batteries will eventually die due to internal leakage, as will any batteries, even if never unpackaged).
Carbon-Based 7-Layer Noise-Dissipation (NDS), 3 x EMI Absorption :
100% shield coverage is easy. Preventing captured RF Interference from modulating the equipment’s ground reference requires AQ’s Noise-Dissipation System. Noise-Dissipation System prevents a significant amount of RFI from reaching the equipment’s ground plane.
AudioQuest’s Noise-Dissipation System (NDS) offers a compelling solution to this challenge by using metal only or alternating layers of metal and carbon-loaded synthetics to effectively “shield the shield,” absorbing and reflecting the Radio Frequency (RF) energy before it reaches the layer attached to the ground.
WEL Signature ultilises the Carbon-Based 7-Layer Noise-Dissipation System (NDS) to prevent most RFI from reaching the equipment’s ground plane.
Triple-Balanced Geometry :
Geometry is the physical relationship of the conductors to one another within a cable and determines a cable’s most basic electrical values (capacitance and inductance). Different cable applications have different/specialized geometry requirements, and so these applications do not merely follow a ‘one size fits all’ approach. Better geometry leads to lower levels of distortion.
The three conductors in “Triple-Balanced” WEL Signature cables ensure that whether prepared with RCA or XLR plugs, the positive and negative signals have equally low-distortion conducting paths. The 100% coverage shield is never used as an inferior conductor.
AudioQuest’s understanding of conductor directionality and its effect on audio performance has steadily evolved, growing stronger and more complete. All audio cables are directional. The correct direction is determined by the arrows on the plugs or cable parts.
Cold-Welded Hanging Silver Directly Over Machined Solid Exreme-Purity Red Copper :
AudioQuest specifies materials and designs each of its own connectors from the ground up, resulting in the long-lasting quality and exceptional performance you deserve. These components are crucial to the overall performance of a cable.
To provide the best possible performance for each application, AudioQuest designs each of its connectors from the ground up. These components are crucial to the overall performance of the cable. Painstaking care is taken to evaluate the highest quality materials and design for every application.
AudioQuest pays special attention to the plating it uses over its connectors’ carefully crafted base metals. This proprietary, novel plug design allows for a connection devoid of solder, which is a common source of distortion. Because the ground shells are stamped instead of machined, the metal can be chosen for low distortion instead of machine ability. Red-Copper offers a cleaner, clearer sound than the nickel-plated or OFHC metals commonly found in competing manufacturers’ plugs.
This plug design enables a perfect heat-free connection between cable and plug. The connection between the plug and conductors is made using AQ’s Cold-Weld System, which provides a superior connection that ensures that the structural integrity of the conductor is kept completely intact. The Cold-Weld System refers to a combination of high pressure at the point of contact and the use of copper- or silver-impregnated paste. (WEL Signature silver conductors get silver paste.) XLR plugs are also available.