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Now we must ask whether we want tuning at the very beginning of the hifi chain where it affects the sound of all components in tandem. Personally we think it best to provide the most neutral power to all the gear and only tune things at the very end of the chain – and only when all other options have been exhausted.
For manufacturers it is best to first invest in material knowledge and actual listening tests. That's exactly the path Nanotec Systems have followed. Over the years they've acquired vast knowledge of using nano technology applied to audio cables. They investigated the use of nano-sized gold and silver particles suspended in a colloidal liquid over copper conductors. That liquid is a natural oil with hydrogen-binding action. In their laboratory Nanotec experimented with all conceivable ratios between their gold and silver particles and the total amount of particles in the liquid. These three factors alone make for an infinite amount of options. Only by listening can the most desirable density and ratio be determined for any given cable under development. Each type of cable asks for a different density and ratio. Interconnects have different requirements than loudspeaker cables and power cords.
Besides the colloidal composition, the conductor strands of the cable make a difference. Solid-core has different skin effect characteristics than Litz. For instance, the skin effect of Litz wire where many thin strands of wire form a lead makes the cable's impedance variant with frequency which has an influence on the sound.
The basic conductor material too is an important factor. Nanotec Systems always use copper of various purity and structural ratings because their colloidal liquid techniques allow them to adjust the sonic characteristics of the wires in their own laboratory. And that's clever and cost-effective because adjusting the density and gold/silver particle ratio to the specific requirements of a cable under development is far more flexible than ordering minimum quantities of many kilometers worth of any fixed ratio gold-silver alloy from one of the few high-end wire manufacturers like Mundorf, Crystal Cable, Siltech and their competitors have to. Raw copper is cheaper and widely available. In the end the music lover wins with a high-quality cable at a realistic user-friendly price.
Nanotec Systems recently introduced the latest offspring of their family of power cords named Power Strada #306. The core of the cable is three leads of 105 wires with a 0.26mm Ø. Combined the 105 strands create a cross-sectional area of 5.565mm2. Of course this wire is copper, here Furukawa PCOCC-A. This acronym stands for Pure Copper Ohno Continuous Cast – Annealed. Standard copper wire has about 5000 crystal grains per meter. Professor Atsumi Ohno invented a way to reduce the number of crystals in wires by enlarging their crystals. The method is called Ohno Continuous Cast. Wire made with this method has single crystals no less than 213 meters long. But still that wire has some stress in its makeup. The process of annealing—strategic heating followed by very slow controlled cooling—renders the raw conductor more flexible and slightly improves its conductivity too.