News: February 1, 2011, The explosion in the cost of raw materials continues!

Sadly the rise in the cost of silver and most oil based insulation materials continues unabated, so I am sad to say that silver wire prices will have to have yet another price increase, which given the forecasts for commodities will not be the last.

As of March 1, 2011 the prices will increase to the ones shown below.

Newsbrief 31.03.2008.

The cost and value of silver and copper have continued their astonishing rises in cost, silver has more than doubled in the past couple of years, and despite our best efforts hedging the price forward (I bought over 2 tonnes of silver ingots early in 2007 which we have already used), we are now caught in spiralling increases in the cost of our silver wires, which will have to be reflected in the retail prices at some point unless the increases reverse themselves off course, fine 99.99% pure silver now sells for over $ 30.00 a troy ounce, in addition the increases in the cost of oil has pushed all plastics up in price as well, so the overall impact is considerable and copper is no different, posting an increase of about 70% over the past two years, we shall continue to absorb the increases in cost in the hope that they will reverse themselves in 2008, if not, well, then our cables and wires and much else will have to have another round of price increases.

Now some real news;
New SOGON, SOOTTO & Pallas Silver Interconnects.

The new SOGON50 replaced the 42 strand version in November 2007, the SOGON50 has 50 strands instead of 42 in the previous version, thus providing an improved signal transfer behaviour, at the same time we introduced our take on what represents the ultimate interconnect, the SOOTTO (SO Over The TOp!) which with 120 strands of pure silver strands in each conductor, split between 3 different wire gauges to further enhance signal transfer behaviour rewrites much of what interconnects are supposed to do, its clarity and dynamic differentiation almost defies what one would have thought possible.

It is no secret that being litz construction our interconnects do have a higher capacitance than most, this is not a disadvantage in most circumstances unless the signal impedance is fairly high, and the only place in an Audio Note™ system where this is an issue is between the high impedance secondary of our moving coil transformers (100kOhm) and the pre-amplifier input, here the cable needs to have high transfer ability, but with low capacitance, so over the past 3 – 4 years we have worked on the design of low capacitance addition to our cable range, and now it is here, dubbed the Pallas after the comet that gave name to the metal Palladium, it is a finely Palladium coated pure silver foil in an air dielectric within a plattic tube then drawn in a silk stocking and then a braided sheath, it is offered without a screen terminated with either AN-P silver plated RCA plugs or offered screened with XLR plugs, being hand made and very hard to make, availability is somewhat limited.

About Audio Note™ Silver Wires & the use of Silver in Audio Products

A lot of myth and conjecture surrounds the use of silver in audio products. I shall not try to make this any worse by trying to explain why silver makes such a great difference when used thoughtfully with care and skill in an audio product. Suffice to say, that whether it is used to wire loudspeaker speech coils, in an inductor in a speaker crossover, a signal capacitor, a coupling transformer or as a digital or analogue interconnect, silver brings with it an almost magical quality, especially at very low signal levels.

Its detractors are many and their reasons vary greatly. From the tech types who cannot believe that 6-7% better conductivity is audible to engineers or designers who have tried to use silver and failed. They failed because they did not understand that when you open a sonic window in one place (or several places) you must accompany this in equal measure by using other parts with complimenting properties, otherwise the voice of the system is distorted. Otherwise the better part (in this case the silver) will show up and expose the sonic character of the weaker sounding parts. To those who object on the basis of cost alone (although they may disguise their arguments with techno babble!), their preference is clearly for low cost solutions about which they can make claims that bear little semblance to the sonic reality their products represent.

Yes, silver is much more expensive than copper (and even more so than aluminium, copper plated or not), and it cannot therefore be used in inexpensive products that is fairly obvious, but why exclude it from high priced products?? This is one of many aspects of the specialist audio industry I have never understood, on one hand we profess to seek to make the best possible products for the reproduction of music, however, on the other hand on the whole we refuse to use the best technologies and materials to achieve that goal, this fundamental contradiction between stated goals and actual application seems to me to indicate a serious gap either in comprehension or honesty!

I firmly believe that silver is central to achieving the best possible sound quality and that this view is strongly vindicated in the sound of our better products. In the end, however, it is up to you to make this judgement. We can put all the facts on the table in the form of products with great performance, wonderfully well conceived, designed and considered, and supported by well-argued explanations and in addition to this profess our great love and appreciation of music.

But if you hear no difference you should not buy them on reputation alone, save your money and buy something less expensive!

So do judge for yourself, when you audition a product, whether ours or some one else’s. As always buy what you like, but always bear in mind that Audio Note™ products are designed to be used within a carefully designed and voiced system. To inform and aid your choice we grade our products according to levels (see “The Audio Note™ Performance Level System” explained elsewhere). The better products are capable of performing the more they will yield when set up with know how and care, this applies to audio, cars and pretty much everything else in life!

In our finished products, we use silver where we know it makes the most difference to the sound, which within an effective design philosophy maximises the quality to price relationship considerably. We are constantly learning how to improve the application of this and our latest research has revealed that even silver plated parts (provided the plating is thick enough, see Audio Note™ Fixtures & Fittings Section) can compete with solid silver versions sonically. Having pure copper or brass as a base material has the added advantage that it does not break so easily, pure silver is both soft and brittle, so to this end we have introduced silver plated sockets and connectors across our entire product range, there are places where it is impossible at the moment to use these sockets, so we stay with the gold plated versions. But future product development and production engineering will take this into consideration.

Some Notes on Wire Coatings/Insulation Used On Our Silver Wires.

As a rule all our signal cables are made with wires that have solderable polyurethane insulation, this includes all interconnects and speaker cables, but also the AN-WIRE-150 to AN-WIRE-185 (which is essentially a 20 strand internal wiring wire, the conductor count is at the moment being raised to 23 strands, so some AN-WIRE may come with either for a period of time) also come with a solderable polyurethane coating.

The single core wires (AN-WIRE-005 upwards) can come with one of three difference coatings, solderable polyurethane, ML (which is a Teflon related coating) or more recently polyesteramide. ML and polyesteramide are high voltage insulation materials which we need for our various output, driver, MC, digital and other audio frequency transformers. We are phasing out the ML coated wires as experience has shown that polyesteramide is more durable when wound tightly under high tension.

We also offer the 1 mm wire either uninsulated for use wiring power supplies as we do in our Level Four and higher level amplifiers or with silk insulation, used as choke wire in our better speaker crossovers.

Audio Note Solid Core 99.99% Pure Silver Wires

Order Code Wire Gauge Insulation Material Price Ex. UK Vat per Meter
AN-WIRE-005 0.05mm Polyurethane 8.50
AN-WIRE-006 0.1mm Polyurethane 10.00
AN-WIRE-008 0.132 mm ML 12.50
AN-WIRE-010 0.2mm Polyurethane 14.50
AN-WIRE-013 0.3mm Polyurethane 17.50
AN-WIRE-017.1 0.45mm Polyurethane 21.00
AN-WIRE-020** 0.6mm ML 25.00
AN-WIRE-021.1** 0.71mm ML 28.00
AN-WIRE-030** 1mm ML 31.00

The above solid silver wires are suitable for everything from internally wiring of tonearms, amplifier power supplies, making your own interconnect to low level interstage transformers, output transformers, power supply chokes, inductors for speaker crossovers, both active and passive or for internal wiring in tonearms, amplifiers etc. A wider range of gauges than shown is stocked, so enquire about required gauge, it may well be stock.

On top of the already great price reductions we offer further trade discounts on large quantities (minimum 2 kgs per gauge).

AUDIO NOTE™ 20 or 23 Strand 99.99% Pure Silver Wiring Wire.

Order Code Wire Gauge/Stands Colour Insulation Price Ex. UK Vat per meter
AN-WIRE-170 0.1 mm 20 strand RED Polyurethane 6 coat litz 44.50
AN-WIRE-155 0.1 mm 20 strand WHITE Polyurethane 6 coat litz 44.50
AN-WIRE-165 0.1 mm 20 strand GREEN Polyurethane 6 coat litz 44.50
AN-WIRE-150 0.1 mm 20 strand BLACK Polyurethane 6 coat litz 44.50
AN-WIRE-175 0.1 mm 20 strand YELLOW Polyurethane 6 coat litz 44.50
AN-WIRE-160 0.1 mm 20 strand BLUE Polyurethane 6 coat litz 44.50
AN-WIRE-180 0.1 mm 20 strand VIOLET Polyurethane 6 coat litz 44.50
AN-WIRE-185 0.1 mm 20 strand ORANGE Polyurethane 6 coat litz 44.50

Note some of the above now come with 23 strands rather than 20, as the 20 strand stock runs out for each colour it will be replaced by 23 strand stock.

This is the wiring recommended for signal wiring in all hardwired circuits, the same wire is used in the AN-Vx interconnect and as signal wiring wire in all Audio Note™ Level Three Silver Signature, Level 4 and Level 5 amplifiers and pre-amplifiers, available in red, white, green, yellow, blue and black. We will sell as little as 25cm of each colour, so buy a little and see if it makes a difference in your amplifier, a good place to start is on the Phono or CD input.

AUDIO NOTE™ Internal Tone Arm Silver Wire.

The ultimate wire for rewiring your tonearm, made from 3 individually insulated strands of 0.05mm Audio Note™ 99.99% silver wire, this is not just the best sounding internal wire, it is also the most flexible, so why not upgrade the sonic performance of  your tonearm dramatically with a rewire?

As with our other solid core wires, the AN-AI has been reduced drastically in price, due to much greater usage, so now there is no excuse for not Audio Note™ silver wiring your tonearm, prices are holding at current levels despite the increases in the cost of silver as we have good stocks still!

Order Code Wire Gauge/Strands Colour Insulation Price Ex. UK Vat
AN-WIRE-300 0.05 mm 3 twisted strands Clear/Silver Polyurethane 6 coat litz £ 29.50 per meter
AN-WIRE-310 0.05 mm 3 twisted strands Blue Polyurethane 6 coat litz £ 29.50 per meter
AN-WIRE-320 0.05 mm 3 twisted strands Red Polyurethane 6 coat litz £ 29.50 per meter
AN-WIRE-330 0.05 mm 3 twisted strands Green Polyurethane 6 coat litz £ 29.50 per meter

AUDIO NOTE™ Coax Interconnect Cables.

Order Code Type/Colour Construction Price Ex. UK Vat per stereo meter
AN-CABLE-100 AN-A  yellow symmetrical  6N copper litz coax, £ 24.58

AN-C  red

symmetrical OFHC copper litz coax, £ 54.17


Symmetrical 6N copper litz coax, 42 strands £ 82.50

AN-S, black

Symmetrical 99.99% pure silver litz coaxial, 15 strands £ 208.33
AN-CABLE-250 AN-V silver grey symmetrical 99.99% silver litz coax 15 strands 0.1 mm £ 332.50
AN-CABLE-300 AN-Vx silver grey symmetrical 99.99% silver litz coax 31 strands 0.09 mm £ 708.33
AN-CABLE-1300 SOGON50 silver grey Dual symmetrical 99.99% silver litz coax 50 strands two gauges £ 2,458.33
AN-CABLE- SOOTTO silver grey Dual symmetrical 99.99% silver litz coax 120 strands (!) 3 gauges £ 4,583.33

All Audio Note™ interconnect/coax cables are priced per stereo meter.

AUDIO NOTE™ Speaker & Wiring Cables.

Order Code Type/Colour Code Construction Price Ex UK Vat per mono meter or single strand
AN-CABLE-500 AN-D, black or red single conductor 6N copper speaker wiring £ 9.16**
AN-CABLE-550 AN-Ba, black double strand, i.e mono, screened 6N speaker wire £ 27.50*
AN-CABLE-600A AN-La, black double strand, i.e. mono, screened 6N litz copper speaker wire £ 41.67*
AN-CABLE-630 LEXUS XL, black Single strand 6N litz copper speaker cable 80 strands £ 41.25**
AN-CABLE-800 AN-SPa, silver single conductor 13 strand 99.99% litz silver speaker wire £ 83.33**
AN-CABLE-850 AN-SPe, silver single conductor 17 strand 99.99% litz silver speaker wire £ 166.67**
AN-CABLE-700 AN-SPx, silver Single conductor 27 strand 99.99% litz pure silver speaker wire £ 416.67**
AN-CABLE-900.1 SOGON96, Silver SINGLE conductor with 4 separate internal conductors totaling 96 strands 99.99% silver speaker wire £ 2,083.33**

All Audio Note™ speaker cables are priced per,
*MONO meter or
**as a SINGLE conductor, where you need two conductors for mono, a plus and a minus.

Updated February 1, 2011

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