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August 29, 2012 / btgaudio

Been a while

Been a couple weeks since my last post. College just kicked in and made my life that much more difficult. Thank God I’m taking next week off…. Sorry about those of you who are going to have their cables delayed a week.

In other news, and exciting change is going to happen to BTG-Audio! I’m getting my own “.com”! Also there will be more information readily available on the site, post-upgrade.

Moving on, I just got a sample from an American wire manufacturer of my new wire. It’s Clear Linear Low Density Polyethylene insulated Silver plated copper! I choose LLDPE over XLPE because it’s more flexible than XLPE. Unfortunately my new wire is not 30 strands like the copper (which I’ll still be carrying), but 19 strands. But because of the added benefit (on your end)* of LLDPE, the wires will still remain largely the same in terms of flexibility. If I could I would have retained the 30 by 40AWG construction in XLPE, but most wire manufacturers can’t offer such a high strand count in the Polyethylene dielectric that I demand.**

Now I say most, because every American wire company I’ve talked to said they could not source the wire under any conditions. Disheartening, but this is the American market. I could go overseas to China and get something whipped up, but I again demand as many USA made parts as I can possibly have. I realize I can’t get everything I want from USA at the price I would like, but knowing I don’t outsource my parts and give away American jobs just makes me that much happier at the end of the day.

So I will finally be able to get back to my roots, but this time with wire that is acceptable to my standards. No more Navships SPC like the VERY early days of BTG-Audio (not even called that in the beginning). I am now moving on to some real custom designed shiz!

*What I mean on “your end” is the fact that LLDPE is not as good at resisting shrink back when heat is applied vs my XLPE. I can usually heat up XLPE with my iron and suffer no shrink back, but with LLDPE, I do incur some shrink back if I don’t work quickly.

**Polyethylene dielectric materials are not exactly the cheapest to manufacturer. Machines to process the material run upwards of $100k so you could see how restrictive that would be to most wire manufacturers. I have met ONE company (of dozens contacted) who can do the 30 by 40AWG build, but they lack the heavy machinery to create Polyethylene based insulators. Rather the cheaper alternative is to go with PTFE (commonly mistaken for Teflon, which is a brand name). Many companies can do PTFE and similar insulators because it’s cheap, but it just doesn’t work for headphone cables. I’ve found PTFE, FEP, and PFA to be far too stiff and noisy. I’m not sure how other people can stand cables made with those materials, because I know I would go insane.

Anyway, I’m continuing my search for 30 strand wire, but I’m considering pure silver and another secret cable instead. 😉 You might see these cables popping up next year…..


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