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"The AG Monolith features all the engineering knowledge and manufacturing experience PSC Audio has collected over many years of creating what is one of the largest cable ranges available today."

With the latter I’d have to agree. Up until relatively recently PSC Audio’s range of cables was staggering and quite confusing. Too much choice, too many levels and price points and within those levels not entirely dissimilar products. Of late however PSC has wisely consolidated and simplified its product portfolio which I’m sure will soothe customer choice anxieties. Of course the AG Monolith is the new flagship. And as a statement product at a rarefied fiscal level, design techniques, ideas and manufacturing processes would have to hold interesting new ideas and concepts. So I enquired:

Can you tell me about the type and purity of silver you're using in this design?

Two of our team, Ben and Paul, were trying for years to improve methods of purifying silver. Just before the construction of the Monolith RCA was completed, they managed to come up with a new device which can purify silver to near 100% purity. The actual conductor in the Monolith is made from the highest purity silver which in this case is 9N. Higher conductivity (purity) means lower resistance so signal can be transferred with nearly no loss at all. We are in the process of applying for two patents, one for the silver purifying method and another for the unique construction of the cable. The process of purifying silver is very expensive and time consuming. Only a few cables can be made each year. That also is the main factor behind the extremely high price. PSC plans to introduce Monolith Junior which will be made from 6N silver and whose expected retail price should be lower.

What configuration in terms of shielding and conductor topology do you use?

The conductor replacing the RCA pin starts with the same 3.2mm diameter and ends with the same round conductor. The conductor is shaped into a ribbon in the middle and annealed eight times before being fitted into the air tube so air as the best dielectric is the surrounding dielectric. This helps avoid the charge of commonly used extruded surround materials like Teflon or PVC. Charging Teflon or PVC leads to loss of high frequencies and signal degradation but cannot be avoided in machine-made cables. Copper conductors inside air tubes cannot escape constant oxidation. Silver-plated braid shielding surrounds the round air tube with the conductor inside. Conclusions from countless listening sessions have assured us that the type of material used for shielding and signal return are less important than the shield’s specific distance from the core conductor.

Can you expand on the unusual way you terminate the conductor?

To make one single cable and terminate it on both ends with RCA plugs requires a few bits. Some of those have a very low conductivity:
1. RCA pin (20 % conductivity)
2. Solder (4%-10% conductivity)
3. Wire (80% conductivity if copper, 100% conductivity if silver)
4. Solder (4%-10% conductivity)
5. RCA pin (20% conductivity)

Each point of contact acts as a small resistor to degrade the audio signal, solder in particular so by exhibiting the lowest conductivity of all. To connect a few hifi components might require three pairs of interconnects to increase these resistive junctures to 15. Monolith doesn't require termination in the signal path since we are dealing with a single silver wire which the audio signal travels across at maximum speed and uninterrupted with no loss or degradation.