Rushing a product to production runs the risk of skipping one key step – the final review and acceptance test.
Designers focus on the concept stage, along with development, testing and prototyping.
Launch schedules being what they are, tend to exert pressure to wrap up the project and move on.
It’s the tail end of the project which is always compressed.
Be Your Own worst Critic
It’s always a good idea to pause, and ask if you’ve fulfilled the project’s objective. You need to be willing to tip over game board and start over.
Note (October, 2019): since this post was published, further experimentation led us to the ETI Kryo connectors which can be thought of as the next generation of the bullet plug / KLE RCAs. Cotton jacketing replaced the polyester outer sleeve. You can read more about this here and here. We’re offering our customers a generous rebuild program to bring their cables to current build status.
Cotton outer jackets are only one example of our swimming against the current.
Another one lies in elimination of as much plastic as possible. Contrary to audiophile dogma, we’ve found Teflon to be one of the worst offenders.
We had a watershed moment during development of the NiWatt amplifiers. When we eliminated Teflon from the signal path (both wiring and capacitors), the tone colors and subtle dynamic textures came alive.
This was the genesis of our interconnect experiments (disclosure: the NiWatt’s filament wires are Teflon jacketed as a safety precaution).
That this sped up the amplifiers’ break-in was a secondary (but much appreciated) bonus. The fact that Teflon based parts have long long break-in periods (typically 300-400 hours) would be barely tolerable if the material ultimately delivered the sonic goods, but we’re of the opinion that waiting so long for mediocrity is unacceptable.
Even worse, the break-in path for Teflon looks like a stock market graph – trending in a generally positive direction, but reversing its course multiple times along the way. From week to week, you don’t know what to expect.
How many audiophiles give up on a component before it’s “properly” broken in?
Audio Jewelry & Perceived Value
Garden hoses give you more perceived value for your dollar, but good sound isn’t purchased by the pound (or kilo).
If you value sonics, the value proposition is quite the opposite of the “massive = good” philosophy … at least with cabling. Flexible cable runs are an added bonus.
The minimalist plugs originally conceived of by Keith Eichman and subsequently refined by ETI don’t reveal their benefits from a casual inspection, but they’re yet another example of a balanced, innovative design.
This family of connectors is by no means the only design with minimal material mass, but their grounding scheme applies some basic principles that have been overlooked by all other connectors we’re aware of.
You’re buying a “tool” to perform a stated task, and not jewelry, right?