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TECHNO CORNER
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TECHNO CORNER

Straight Wire welcomes you to this section of the website and we hope you will find it both informative and useful in the complex world of audio/video cables. We hope you have visited the SYSTEM ANALYSIS section of our website to share with us your equipment and room environment so that we have a foundation to better know your system and what you are looking to improve (change).


Straight Wire orchestra

If you allow us the opportunity, we’d like to learn more about your listening tastes (orchestral, chamber, classical, rock, jazz/blues, etc) and typical listening volume. The better we know your preferences, the better we can make suggestions to enhance your listening enjoyment. Not just about cables, about your whole system!

To begin, there is no magical cable that can offer you penultimate performance or audio nirvana.  All cables act as passive filters with issues of complex reactance (capacitive and inductive) and numerous other electrical and mechanical considerations. The subjective preferences you will develop or have developed are largely based on the main components – the “meat and potatoes” of your system. Think of the cables as spices – they are clearly evident in most dishes – even to those who don’t claim to have a discriminating palette.


Your favorite Chili has meat, beans and green chilies but varying amounts of chili powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, salt, ...based upon your individual preferences.


MATERIALS = INGREDIENTS
DESIGN = RECIPE
PROCESS  = COOKING

 

  Straight Wire chili

MATERIALS
(Each Ingredient has its own Sonic Flavor and Tendency)

CONDUCTORS

  • COPPER - good bass, solid midrange, potential variance in HF based upon strand diameter

  • BETTER COPPER- better bass, clear midrange, HF less restricted if strands have less surface corrosion

  • COATED COPPER - minimizes strand - strand (electrostatic) effects. HF and upper midrange are clear if coating has good dielectric properties and is not too thick 

  • SILVER PLATED COPPER - minimizes copper oxidation & adds slight HF speed if coating is moderately thick (2-4%)

  • COATED SILVER/COPPER - with thick silver (6%+) very stable balance with excellent sonic balance throughout the audio spectrum

  • SOLID SILVER - high velocity of propagation- HF can be too dominant, bass is tight, clean and can be lean.

 

 

 

Straight Wire work


INSULATIONS

  • POLYETHYLENE - common insulator with fair mids and highs.
    Foamed versions are more accurate, bass is OK.

  • POLYPROPYLENE - tight bass, accurate midrange and sharp highs. Foamed versions offer fuller bass and midrange.

  • HARD PTFE - strong bass, relaxed mids, HF not restricted

  • FEP - and skived types of PTFE are tight throughout all frequencies (considered lean by some) and may pick up mechanical noise.

  • FOAM HYBRID TPR - full bass, lush mids, clean but not pronounced HF. Mechanically non resonant

  • SOFT FOAM PTFE - accurate bass, lifelike mids and highs great insulation - must be careful in manufacturing not to crush or performance will vary.

 

 

Straight Wire material


DESIGNS - These recipes have been refined and perfected over the past 30 years



SYMMETRICAL COAX
 - very accurate, low inductance design provides very uniform electromagnetic control. Tight not sloppy, detailed not bright.  Concentric braids around a non-conductive inner core. 
USED FOR SPEAKER CABLE , INTERCONNECT & DIGITAL

 
Straight Wire CAG-cutaway

 

STAR QUAD - low noise, smooth highs, distinct vocals, full and controlled bass can be configured in balanced, unbalanced and noise dumping terminations. We optimize for balanced resistance and controlled impedance. USED FOR INTERCONNECT

 
Straight Wire MCA-cutaway

 

HELICAL ARRAY - similar design used by many companies - we optimize it. Choose strand size for best current penetration and accurate twist (little air space). Insulation and thickness is based on simultaneously optimizing 4 parameters. Non conductive cores allow for good mechanical stability and control of music. 
USED FOR SPEAKER CABLE, INTERCONNECT

 
Straight Wire SNSC-cutaway


DUAL SYMMETRICAL COAX - Utilizes twin coaxs for great shielding and versatility in termination options. Delivers music signals with all nuances intact - even over long runs. Enchanting presentation with true tonality and depth. One piece of cable with this design can carry two channels ( not suggested for premium performance but a consideration when space is limited). USED FOR SPEAKER CABLE , INTERCONNECT

 
Straight Wire VSIR-cutaway

 

SYMMETRICAL HELIX – Internal helix for positive conductors covered with multiple braids for the negative conductors. Offers the blended attributes of the Helix and Symmetrical Coax designs. Low resistance with excellent dimensionality and focus in a compact format. 
USED FOR SPEAKER CABLE

 
Straight Wire VSCH cutaway.

 

AIR CORE HELIX – Each positive conductor has a thin non conductive rod spiraled around it and is predominantly air suspended in a dielectric tube. Multiple braids for the negative conductors. Unrestrained presentation without pronounced HF – great for smaller more reflective room environments. USED FOR SPEAKER CABLE , INTERCONNECT

 
Straight Wire Expressivo


PROCESSES – We take a hands-on approach in “cooking” our cables to ensure consistency so that each cable has performance qualities that will please your palette..

  • CONDUCTOR BRAIDING - special machines at slow speeds for low deviation. The use of flat planar braiders vs. typical Wardwell style ones that have bobbins at a pitched angle.   The flat planar braider maintains greater braid uniformity for large diameter cables.

  • EXTRUSIONS - temperature, moisture and cooling are highly controlled. On line capacitance monitoring and regulation of water Ph for the cable cooling bath ensure insulations meet their intended specs for dielectric and dissipation measurements.
  • TAPE WRAPPING - critically monitored by technicians & tension analyzers. Especially critical for soft foam PTFE taping which is subject to physical deformities and related electrical/mechanical variances if not properly monitored and controlled.
  • LESS REWINDING THAN OTHER CABLE MAKERS - unique machines to reduce take-ups/put offs and handling which tends to deform or alter cable structure. Concurrent braiding and taping or taping and jacketing. This simultaneous processing / fabrication minimizes the compression of internal cable structure during manufacturing

 


Straight Wire glow Braider

 


MECHANICAL ISSUES

We evaluate and optimize the cable design and production for the following:

  • PRIMARY DIELECTRIC & JACKET TOLERANCE - careful analysis & control to meet tight spec tolerances and minimize unwanted mechanical damping

  • FILLER MATERIALS - various ones considered based upon dielectric, dissipation, anti static & compression/expansion tendencies.

  • CONDUCTOR GROUPING / RESONANCE TENDENCY -  using perfect lay conductor groups – 7,19, etc and Compressed Conductor Technology (CCT) to minimize random resonances and internal conductor group movement in actual usage.

  • NATURAL CABLE RADIUS / STRESS - wall thickness, fiber braid layers, non conductive core material choices and real life application factors are carefully considered.
 

Straight Wire laser-machine

 

 



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