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Conductor Materials

Most audio cables use copper or silver-plated copper conductors, because these materials are available at affordable prices.
While some manufacturers believe, that high-purity copper conductors are the best material for audio applications, there are others who prefer pure silver conductors.
Exaggerated claims about the purity of the conductor material, often expressed by the number of “Nines” do not address the problem. Even at a given purity of 99.9999% the remaining 0.0001% may cause sonic distortions.
At Heavens Gate Audio, metallurgy (the science of creating perfect conductor materials) has always been the key to best performance.


LCS Silver-Copper Conductor

High-purity materials such as 6N-Copper and 4N-Silver are used to manufacture our unique high entropy alloy.
Entropy alloys consist of multiple alloying elements. Unlike conventional alloys with one principal alloying element, the element concentrations in high entropy alloys are almost equal. However, combining atoms with different atomic radii always causes a non-linear signal transmission and therefore distortions.
The so-called atomic size misfit is utilized as a parameter which describes the lattice distortion in solid solutions.

I took us many years to find the right plants able to anneal, cast and homogenize our high entropy alloy in a way so that the atomic structure is perfect for the use in audio applications.
The result is a long crystal structure that reduces the crystals per meter from typically 50 pcs. (OFC-copper) to 0.05 pcs. per Meter

The LCS Silver-Copper conductors are used in the Ultra Supreme Gen. II Series.

LCS Silver-Gold Conductor

The manufacturing process for our LCS Silver-Gold conductor is the same as before, while a tiny amount of 24-carat gold is added to the silver. This small amount of gold atoms displaces any contaminant particles and fills the gaps in the silver crystal matrix.
In addition, the surface of the drawn wire is polished before the insulation is applied.
The LCS Silver-Gold conductors are used in combination with the LCS Silver-Copper conductors for the Ultra Silence Gen. II Series.


OHNO Silver-Gold Conductor

As for conducting materials, normal, high purity copper has about 5.000 grains in each meter, pure silver about 4.000 grains per meter.
The audio signal must cross the junctions between these grains 4.000 - 5.000 times in order to “travel” through one meter of cable.
These grain boundaries cause the same type of distortion as current crossing from strand to strand.

The first grade above normal high purity materials is called Oxygen-Free High-Conductivity (OFHC).
In fact, these materials are not Oxygen-Free. More properly would be Oxygen-Reduced.

The next higher grade is an elongated grain material sometimes called "linear-crystal" or “long-crystal” (LC-OFC) or in modern terms: "Monocrystal". These materials have been carefully drawn in a process that results in only about 200 grains per meter. Audio cables using LC-OFC conductors have an obvious audible advantage over cables using the same designs without using such LC materials.

In 1986 the Ohno Continuous Casting (OCC) process was introduced. The world patent "UP-OCC" (Ultra Pure Copper by Ohno Continuous Casting Process) was developed by professor Ohno of Chiba Institute of Technology in Japan.

This technology has been applied to the manufacturing of single crystallized copper with the process of heated mold continuous casting.

The resulting products are small rods of OCC pure copper, from which the wire can be drawn and which can have Copper grains of over 230 meter length!

Because of its characteristics of single crystal, unidirectional, free of impurity, flexible fatigue-resistance, corrosive-resistance, low electric resistance, none-crystal boundaries, rapid transmissibility, perfect in structure, and easy to process, all make it an ideal material for designing high performance audio cables.

Heavens Gate Audio took this technology to a completely new level of metallurgy science by applying the Ohno Continuous Casting process to pure silver.
The result was an incredible open, fast and detailed sound experience we have never reached before.

However, the emotion that music transports to the listener was missing.

After we asked our manufacturer to apply a small amount of 24 carat Gold to the silver and they started to laugh.
“The crystal structure of the material has a length of more than 200 meter so it doesn’t make any sense to add Gold to it, unless the cable has a length of 300 meter.”

Although, there is no chemical, physical, technical or measurable explanation so far, the small amount of Gold that is added to the silver makes a huge difference.

We insisted to try it and the result can be heard in the Ultra Extreme Gen. II Series!

Audio cable dielectrics

It’s a widely known fact that the insulation used to insulate the conductors in audio cables greatly impacts the audio performance. Charging effects and dielectric absorption both compress signals.

PVC or PE has become the most common dielectric for high end audio cables, but the results are poor and depend on how it’s used.

This is because it has both a mechanical and an electrical effect. That’s why Heavens Gate Audio uses innovative and complementary materials to carefully insulate the individual conductors.

Air would be the best material to insulate a conductor. However, it is not possible to use air for an audio cable. Most audio cables uses PVC, PE (polyethylene) or PP (polypropylene) to insulate the conductors. These material might be a cost effective solution but not suitable for high-performance audio cables.

Precision extruded PTFE (Teflon®) has superior dielectric insulation properties and is used for the LCS Silver-Copper Conductors.

PTFE is a relatively stiff material and because of the larger number of conductors used for the Ultra Silence Gen. II Series, we are using PFA to insulate the LCS SIlver-Gold Conductors. PFA is similar to PTFE, less stiff and it has even better dielectrcal properties. However, it is much more costly.

When designing the Ultra Extreme Gen. II Series, the insulation of the conductor became an even more important factor. Our design-team started to work with a company specialized in flouroplastics for more than 20 years. After two years of intensive research a new material was born:

Air-Foam-PFA® exceeds the advantages of PFA by far. It stores so less energy that it needs highly sensitive measurement equipment to make this 'visible'.
Air-Foam-PFA® is not only a perfect new material - it defines a new level of performance for recording and reproducing recorded music.

dielectric absorbtion

Cable Construction

Flat cables with parallel members typically have the highest propagation speed and the widest bandwidth with some of them passing signals freely into the gigahertz region.
Coaxial cables are also relatively high propagation speed, wide bandwidth designs.
Flat and coaxial cables are the designs of choice for digital and radio frequency transmission.
When these extremely wide bandwidth cables are used for audio applications, they are particularly subject to noise infiltration along the entire length of the cable, much like an antenna.

Inductance and capacitance need to be controlled carefully in an audio cable. Too much or too little of either characteristic will provide undesirable results.
Flat cables, coaxial cables, and even twisted pair cables without networks exhibit electrical characteristics that are not in the best interest of music for several reasons.
In lengths suitable for most home audio systems, these cables have too much bandwidth for audio applications and are particularly subject to noise infiltration.

Another problem is the point at which these cables achieve electrical resonance; i.e., the point at which inductive reactance equals capacitive reactance.
Most manufacturers of high praised audio cables uses factory made conductor strands that are cut off a spool, ready to get the plugs terminated at eachend.
To control the inductance and capacitance of a cable in relation to its length, we simply apply electrical and physical basic principals.
This might sound volatile, but at Heavens Gate Audio it becomes a very complex story. Up to twelve single conductors are aligned by hand to form a unique wire-weave-pattern that controls the electrical behavior.

You may not realize how much low-level noise is robbing your system of its potential -- until you hear your components linked with Heavens Gate Audio products. If the audio cables in your music system are not shielded properly, then every signal path is like an antenna to unwanted noise. All Heavens Gate Audio cables reject noise!
Noise at any point in the signal chain inhibits the ability of your music system to reveal all the subtle nuances of tone, body and dimension that are encoded in your favorite music material. These subtle nuances are the critical elements that help us to suspend our belief that we are only listening to electronic signals. They are the critical elements that bring our listening experiences to life.

Using conductors and a cable design, that allows a very wide bandwidth and propagation speed make an efficient shielding necessary.
Shileding, however, influences the capacitence of an audio cable and it is absolutely necessary to design a perfect shielding for any cable and any length.
The Active-Shield-Matrix invented by Heavens Gate Audio is the only answer when it comes to perfect signal transmission. Up to six different shields are used to protect the audiosignal against any source of noise, like electro - magnetical - interference (EMI), radio - frequency - interference (RFI) or electro - static - interference (ESI).
Unconventional is, that the Active-Shield-Matrix becomes a part of the conductor as the different shields are connected various times to one or more signal carrying conductors over the length of the cable.
Only by looking at the conductor material, the insulation of the conductors and the shielding of a complex conductor arrangement it is possihble to design audio cables without limiting the performance of an entire system.


Beside the importance of conductor material and cable design a good connector is necessary to provide a low impedance connection over a long period of time.
However, there is another phenomena to worry about: reflections.
Reflections back towards the input end of the cable are caused by variations in impedance along the length of the cable assembly. This includes differences in impedance between the cable and the devices to which it is attached. Typically the connectors and the interface between the connectors will be major contributors to the reflection.

To lower reflections, every solder joint and connection junction must be optimized. To make sure that we have the lowest level of reflections possible, we carefully select any connector used on our products.
Heavens Gate Audio works with carefully selected suppliers, concentrating on materials, mechanical integrity and contact quality. Every aspect of every plug that we use is designed and manufactures for these parameters, ensuring that our cable terminations provide the best possible connection between cable and equipment. Each RCA and XLR connector, the Spades, Banana-plugs and all a/c connectors unsed on Heavens Gate Audio cables are precision machined from the purest copper available, silver plated and then gold or rhodium plated. This is not done by a galvanic process but by a modern PVD treatment.

For the termination, a computer controlled TIC pulse welding device is used at a low temperature to not alter the conductor's structure.