The aim of the new Atlas Asimi project was to take a completely fresh look at cable design and to develop new techniques to create a cable that would satisfy the most demanding customers for years to come. We're now proud to reveal the extraordinary all new Atlas Asimi Ultra RCA interconnect.
The "best in class" brief looked at all areas of the design, from the materials used to create the cable and connectors through to the manufacturing processes. Specifically, we looked at whether an improved neutral high fidelity sound could be achieved using standard metallic connectors, whether the capacitance cable load could be improved and whether the RF (Radio Frequency) rejection performance could be improved. Throughout the development process, we conducted iterative design and testing to achieve our aims, with the resultant cable being the all new Asimi Ultra.
The Conductor and Dielectric
Building on the work that led to the original groundbreaking Mavros, the new Asimi Ultra symmetrical RCA adopts the latest world-leading construction, but with the added benefits of pure silver conductors, manufactured using the highest-quality technique for drawing pure silver, "Ohno Continuous Cast" or OCC. Using OCC solid silver in the manufacture of high quality Atlas cables increases the conductivity of the material by ensuring that there is less than one grain or signal deleting crystal boundary in about 125m of conductor! OCC silver allows the signal to travel through a continuous conductor instead of traversing repeated grain boundaries - in other words, the signal has a faster, cleaner and more direct path to follow.
The best realisable dielectric is air and in an ideal world, suspending the conductor in free air would be the best method to transfer maximum fidelity. However, this is not practical so a dielectric is necessary to 'protect' the conductor. To achieve the necessary amount of protection without increasing inefficiency, Atlas has developed a new technique, which uses a microporous PTFE (Teflon) tape, which is wound around the OCC solid silver conductors, then covered again and stabilised using a protective FPE (Flexible PolyEthylene) dielectric. This process allows the required geometry of the conductor to be maintained and offers greater manufacturing consistency. This new air spaced tape improves on the performance of the best solid teflon or PTFE insulators, by providing a 30% greater signal velocity and better integrity, particularly in the area of high frequency delivery. This VOP (velocity of propagation) is achieved because the new material has a dielectric constant of around 1.3 - significantly better than the 2.1 achieved by the more typical PTFE insulators which up to now were the best available in HiFi or audiovisual applications.
The construction of the new Asimi silver interconnect cable consists of a pair of conductors, each made up from six bundles of 12 multi conductor wires plus a thicker wire in the centre.This in turn is covered by a continuous Copper-Mylar electrostatic screen and a silver plated copper close weave shielding braid ensuring the minimal pick up of RF interference and noise. The outer sheath is made from hard wearing PVC covered by a decorative light grey woven cotton.
The 'Ultra' Connector Plug
Designed in-house at Atlas, the modular design of the new Ultra plug is a clear example of the continuous development program into materials and technology embedded into the Atlas ethos. This new plug employs a novel approach to the problems of mass reduction, residual conductivity (eddy currents) and dielectric discontinuities, all of which can affect the mechanical and electrical properties of a cable. The all new Atlas Ultra has a 57% reduction in mass over its predecessor, employs an internal non-conductive sleeve matched to the dielectric properties of the cable (Teflon) as well as maintaining the renowned Atlas plug attributes of solder free construction, self-cleaning insertion and material consistency, all of which are formed from OCC thus ensuring a consistent signal path. High quality, exclusive, solder free Atlas XLR connectors are also available as an alternative.
RFI (Radio Frequency Interference) is a major factor in cable design, especially now with the amount of ambient electrical wireless signals present in the majority of homes. To combat RFI, traditionally a metallic barrier (or braid) is encased around the insulated conductors and terminated at one or both ends. The predominant industry wide methodology of terminating the braid to the plug involves the braid being partially removed and twisted, therefore reducing the integrity of the screen, introducing mechanical screen distortion and thereby delivering an inconsistent RF performance. For the new Asimi Ultra, Atlas has developed a new system that uses two symmetrical drain wires (each attached to 180 degree segments of the plug) inserted between a 100% copper Mylar foil and SPC screen. This unique system connects the screen effectively to the cable return plug interface and provides total 360° screening, whilst not distorting the integrity of the screen in any way.
The Asimi interconnect cable is designed to be 'invisible' and has been designed by Atlas to reveal the entire content of the recording. In listening tests, the results are surprising; the Asimi introduces an air and ambience of sound hitherto hidden.
- Atlas Asimi Silver Symmetrical, 2 XLR to 2 XLR Audio Cable
- Length: 0.5m
- Construction: Symmetricalwith dual screen
- Conductor Material: OCC Pure Silver
- Screen: Yes
- Dielectric: Microporous PTFE (Teflon)
- Outer Diameter: 8.5mm
- Connector: Ultra XLR Plug
- Colour: Grey
- Lifetime Warranty
- SAME DAY DISPATCH BY FIRST CLASS POST (If ordered before 4.30pm Mon to Fri)
FREE CABLE BURN-IN SERVICE OPTION USING THE NORDOST VIDAR MACHINE WHEN YOU PURCHASE THIS CABLE FROM FUTURESHOP.CO.UK
- Capacitance (pF/m): 50.17
- Resistance (Ohms/m): 0.0181
- Inductance (µH/m): 0.7162
- Velocity of propagation: 0.81
We are pleased to offer a free cable burn-in service for this cable when purchased through us. The Nordost VIDAR cable burn-in machine combines three different functions all in one operation:
- It neutralises charges that build up around the cables and the insulation
- It provides a very wide band and deep conditioning into the conductor core, which produces changes in the way signals pass through the metal.
- It ultrasonically conditions the surface of the conductors.
The VIDAR uses a proprietary combination of composite and complex signals to condition the cables. Parts of the signal oscillate at ultra-low frequencies, while other parts are in ultra-high ranges which extend beyond the range of video frequencies. The signal bounces in a ping-ping ball-like fashion from one end of the cable to the other. During the burn-in process, ultra-low frequencies penetrate deep into the core of the cable. The ultra-high frequencies zip along the surface. This method of signal transmission a set up beat harmonics, or heterodynes, between the two complex waveforms. In the digital domain, this would be referred to as aliasing products. These beat frequencies penetrate all layers of the cable.
The design of the circuitry also has a unique feature which drives electrons above the conductor into the dielectric (or insulation) area. The VIDAR not only sends ping pong signals along the cable, it also sends a similar signal from the centre core to the outer shield in the case of interconnect cables. This function neutralises the electrical charges discussed above.
So what does that all mean to me?
The end result of conditioning cables with the Nordost VIDAR is improved sound staging, increased detail, and an overall more musical presentation.
READ MORE ABOUT THE NORDOST VIDAR CABLE TREATMENT
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW
About Atlas Cables
Atlas Cables are a major producer of interconnects and cables in the United Kingdom of Great Britain. All products are researched, developed and most are assembled in the Atlas purpose built factory in Scotland. Many of these products are unique and use advanced techniques of production or manufacture in order to bring to the user the very finest quality products. With each new model we continue to push the boundaries of reliability and performance. It's little wonder then, that Atlas Cables have had so many mile-stone advances in the past and that Atlas Cables have secured so many awards in comparative tests against other products.
What is OCC Copper
In 1985 Professor Ohno from the China Institute of Technology developed his patented method for the extrusion of a grain free copper wire. (Technical papers are available from the Japan Inst. Metals and from Chapman & Hall, publishers.)
When a pure metal solidifies, its crystals grow in a specific geometrical pattern (typical to that metal) emanating from a nucleus, rather like the dendritic growth pattern of a tree. The size of the metal crystals grown can be varied by repeatedly annealing metal such as is done in the LC-OFC process. The structure of a strand of copper may be likened to that of a bag of sugar. Every grain of sugar has a crystal boundary. In a conductor, these crystal boundaries (potential barriers) act as a non-linear resistance to the flow of electric current. It follows that, the fewer the boundaries, the less the effect on an electric signal as it propagates from one end of the conductor to the other.