With audio connections between individual devices, the cable capacities play a key role. As the signal sources have very low levels and are rather sensitive to high cable capacities, audio cables are perfect candidates to air insulation using the Air Helix technology. For the Referenz NF-1204 Air, we have developed an entirely new and fully solderless RCA-connector design. It comprises several parts that are assembled only during the manufacture process. First, just like with the speaker cable, the highly-pure copper wires of the Cross Link Super Speed waveguide are mechanically stripped from their thin lacquer coating; then, the tellurium-copper connector pin is crimped onto the wire at a 1.5-t pressure. Another innovation is the shield bonding, which is hermetically sealed using a screw.
BREATH-TAKING SOUND AT AN AFFORDABLE PRICE
In our quest for finding true air insulation, we have certainly set standards with their Referenz series of high-end audio and speaker cables: Our unique Air Helix technology leads the way to unspoilt audio transmission. Now, we have added two new top-notch Air Helix cables for the high-end newbie to our Referenz range: the NF-1204 Air audio cable and the LS-1204 Air speaker cable. This way, every aspiring music aficionado can benefit from this high-tech design. Thanks to air insulation, enjoying hi-fi sound becomes a literally breath-taking experience. Referenz cables with our innovative Air Helix design have enthralled numerous high-end enthusiasts all around the globe as well as the trade media. Built for interconnecting true “reference” high-end devices, they certainly make more than just a small difference in the sound of best-in-class audio systems. To make the ground-breaking Air Helix technology available to high-end newbies as well, we designed the NF-1204 Air audio cable and the LS-1204 Air speaker cable. The new members of the Referenz family are tailored to the needs of the many small yet fine high-end systems – and the budgets of their owners. Carefully crafted and with outstanding properties, these cables help any high-end system produce the perfect sound.
For a better understanding, let’s dive into the technical details. It is widely known that the dielectric (i.e. the insulating material) of a capacitor plays an important role for the sound quality of hi-fi components and speakers. Therefore, engineers always select all parts with greatest care – even those incorporating only the smallest amount of dielectric. On the other hand, a cable of some length typically might incorporate several hundred cubic centimeters of dielectric material – mainly the electric insulation. The dielectric stores electric charge or energy, which is perfectly fine with electronic components such as capacitors; with cables, however, the resulting capacity is a “parasitic” effect – and undesirable for natural music reproduction because it significantly affects the transmission properties and leads to interactions with the connected electronic equipment. When it comes to high-end audio, air is the best insulator currently available. Using it allows for achieving low capacities and low dielectric losses—key factors for unspoilt transmission. Any extra material used on a cable (e.g. PVC insulation) causes a degradation of its electrical properties. In an ideal world, there wouldn’t be any insulating material, so our Air Helix cable design is the decisive step towards perfect air insulation. The Air Helix principle is literally unique: we have designed a special clip to approximate to air insulation as closely as possible. Inside the cable, a large number of those clips are arranged to form a special helical support holding the signal conductors freely in the air while keeping them at an exact distance throughout the cable. The structure is highly flexible thanks to two crosspieces that do not only interconnect the clips but also ensure highly accurate spacing. Obviously, the conductors themselves play a key role, too. The Cross Link Super Speed waveguide is made of high-purity copper wires braided around a PE core. A very thin lacquer coating on the wires prevents the formation of eddy currents inside the waveguide. The braided wire design also produces neutralizing effects by ensuring that the magnetic fields created by the current are at least partly compensated. In particular, with speaker cables that carry the highest currents in the entire audio path, this design ensures neutral conductor behavior over the entire frequency spectrum. Just like all speaker and audio cables from the Referenz series, the LS-1204 Air and the NF-1204 Air are entirely manufactured in Germany. The clips are meticulously assembled by hand at in-akustik’s own on-site factory. The resulting Air Helix then receives a PE network jacket and connectors before the finished cable is subject to thorough final inspection. We have opted for tellurium copper as the conductor base material rather than brass. This is because tellurium copper offers almost twice the conductivity. Using a complex technique, a custom-made machine strips the highly pure copper wires of the Cross Link Super Speed waveguide from their lacquer coating. Afterwards, the bare wires are crimped with a 1.5-t pressure directly onto the connector. This technique prevents the occurrence of contact resistances that often occur with the use of additional materials such as solder or wire end sleeves. The connector surfaces are rhodium-coated because this extremely robust material ensures optimum contact even after many mating cycles.
• Air Helix structure
• Extremely low capacities thanks to air dielectric
• Cross Link Super Speed waveguide
• Tellurium-copper connectors
• Directly crimped connectors (1.5 T pressure)