An ultimate quality balanced cable for your Astell&Kern player.
Air Audio single-ended and balanced cable systems for the Astell&Kern AK380, AK240, AK120 II and AK100 II players are highest quality interconnects in each price band, allowing these high quality portable DAPs to be used as high-end source players by perfectly matching them to your home audio system.
To ensure your Astell&Kern offers the most faithful reproduction through to your audio system, Air Audio interconnects for Astell&Kern use the very best conductor materials, connectors and manufacturing processes.
Ultimate Balanced Option
This interconnect cable from Air Audio Components offers maximum resolution and neutrality, due to the highest quality UP-OCC stranded silver & gold wire with PTFE (Teflon®) dielectric and Xhadow XLR connectors using silver plated oxygen free copper (OFC) connectors held in a PTFE insulating dielectric. All solder connections are made using silver loaded solder.
These handmade cables then undergo a cryogenic material de-stressing treatment (cold annealing at -195 degrees C) that further enhances their sound qualities.
This ultimate balanced cable will enhance your complete system, it offers superb performance and the highlights of this cable are purity of sound, extreme bandwidth; lightning fast response time and accurate tonal colour due to the UP-OCC sliver/gold conductors having the lowest micro-distortion capabilities of all cable types.
Model: Air Audio Ultimate Balanced Cable UBC-220.1
Compatible Astell&Kern Models: AK380, AK240, AK120 II, AK100 II
Wire Specifications: l UP-OCC Cable Silver & Gold in PTFE Dielectric
Terminal Specifications: Player end: AK500 – XLR: Xhadow male XLR (female to order)
Pin XLR Cable: European system – Pin2 Pos. Pin3 Neg. (US pin-out to special order)
Cable Length: 1m (other lengths to special order)
Why Air Audio uses UP-OCC wire
UP-OCC stands for Ultra-Pure Ohno Continuous Casting – a patented process for manufacturing wire that has virtually no impurities in it and the wires are drawn from one material crystal. This ‘single crystal’ cable has only 5 parts per million (PPM) of oxygen atoms in it, as opposed to the next best OFC cable which has 10 or more.
UP-OCC cable has the lowest electrical resistance offering rapid signal transfer, plus flexibility and fatigue resistance without impairing conductive characteristics over time. UP-OCC wire production is a slow manufacturing process and only supplied by a handful of foundries in the world, so its cost is high and only used in the very best audio cables.
Why is PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene) the best wire insulation?
The unusual combination of chemical and physical properties of PTFE leads to a material which has an almost universal inertness, complete insolubility in all known solvents below 300°C, excellent thermal stability and unsurpassed electrical properties, including low dielectric loss, low dielectric constant and high dielectric strength. Furthermore, PTFE does not embrittle at very high or at very low temperatures. The perfect material to insulate wires carrying audio signals, it interferes least of all commercial insulating materials with the audio signal being carried by the wire.
Why cryogenically treat the made-up interconnect?
Deep cryogenic treatment is a process that slowly takes the components down to a temperature of -195 C, ‘soaks’ them for several hours at this temperature and then slowly brings them back up to ambient temperature.
At these very low temperatures the structure of the metal changes, offering a closer molecular bond in the material by leaching away of oxygen and other non-metallic atoms found between metallic crystalline structures (metals of all types). It is this effect of cryogenic treatment on non-ferrous metals that offers better audio performance (it is thought) – it’s clear that this will affect solder to substrate interfaces and non-OCC connector materials, but it is less sure as to why it also has a beneficial effect on UP-OCC material, where there is almost no crystalline structure or impurities to start with – but it does.