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Splendid isolation

It’s a widely known fact that the insulation used to wrap the conductors in audio cables impacts greatly on audio performance. Charging effects and dielectric absorption both act to slow and compress signals, robbing the resulting music of life and dynamics.

PTFE or ‘Teflon’ has become the staple dielectric for high end audio cables, but the results depend on how it’s used, and indeed how much of it is used. This is because it has both a mechanical and an electrical effect. That’s why Siltech uses innovative construction and complementary materials to carefully manage its sonic signature.

Kapton®

PTFE offers extremely low dielectric absorption, but still has a measurable effect on audio cable performance. As well as electrically damping the signal, the relatively soft insulating layer also mechanically damps the conductor, and this too is audible.

To avoid such signal degradation, Siltech uses a different but electrically more effective material called DuPont™ Kapton® polyimide film. This is more usually found in the voice coil formers of high end loudspeaker drive units. It’s chosen for that application due to its extreme rigidity and very low electrical absorption – both of which help maintain the dynamic efficiency of the driver.

Our unique approach sees us using Kapton® tape to wind individual conductors in a super-thin, stiff and light insulation layer that combines excellent electrical and mechanical characteristics, and prevents overdamped cable construction.

If Kapton® is so good, why don’t more companies use it? The answer is that it’s really difficult to work with. Its incredible rigidity makes stripping cables for termination by hand extremely difficult. Instead we have had to develop specialised tooling – precision cutters that trim each layer on each conductor to an exact length and depth, automatically and in a matter of seconds.

The consistency of this process is central to the accuracy and pair matching of our finished cables, ensuring that the physical and electrical properties of each and every conductor are as identical as we can make them.

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