However, the fundamental features of the cables are still the same:
- 99.999% pure OFC annealed copper ribbons for conductors.
- Custom made XLR, RCA and Spade connectors with contacts made of the same type of copper as the conductors and Teflon dielectric.
- DAD “Damped Air Dielectric” consisting of low mass fibers that have limited contact with the conductors – leading to a very low dielectric constant while still providing good damping of vibrations.
- Geometry optimized for low capacitance.
- No shielding – for even lower capacitance.
The Organic Connectors:
Even in todays high end market it is rare that a cable manufacturer makes their own connectors made particularly for their cables. Instead they choose a standard component made by a third party.
This leads to constrictions on the design of the cable and in many cases fit and finish that are several steps from being “high end” because they are covered in layers of heat shrink that compensate for poor strain relief and/or mismatch between the cable and the connector
As you have without doubt noticed in your trip through the audio world many cable manufactures have a very intense focus on the purity of the metal used for their conductors. leading to claims of 99.9999999% purity by some manufactures.
However, the connectors that are mounted on these high purity cable are surprisingly often made of metal that is a copper alloy such brass, bronze, and in the best cases Tellurium copper.
So, all of sudden purity is not so important anymore??
In reality the difference in conductivity between a 99.99% pure copper conductor and a 99.9999% pure conductor at room temperature is around 1% (maybe even less) but the difference between 99.99% pure copper and brass used for many connectors are at least a factor of 4.