What do polyester leisure suits have to do with hi-fi cables, why are people returning to cotton underwear, and most importantly how could anyone wear such an ugly suit?
With respect to the first question, I wonder how audiophiles will view the current fashion of large, unwieldy audio cables in twenty years. Frankly, I’m amazed at how long this trend has persisted. Will we look at these garden hoses the way we view this fellow in his 1980’s disco-garb?
Some of you are likely aware of the “retro” trend toward using cotton sheathing in place of polyester braid. This is born out of practices from the previous millennium – the heyday of Bell Labs and Western Electric.
I’ve been watching this for quite a while, but with a focus on turntables and amplifiers, it took us some time to get to evaluate this.
Technically I haven’t investigated this as we build our cables to length (they’re suspended off the floor).
I suspect the reason audiophiles have taken to using cable lifters is the same reason we’ve eliminated polyester braid – because of an electrostatic effect whether it be from braid, or a cable’s proximity to a synthetic carpet.
If you’re using cable lifters to good effect, then you need to hear our polyester-free interconnects and speaker cables.
Preparations for the official launch of our cable line mandated that we evaluate polyester vs. cotton sheathing in the construction of our signal cables.
After prototyping, we took two sets of speaker cables on a “proof of concept tour”. One set was “naked” (no sheathing) and the second set had polyester braid. The “naked” set was configured so that a polyester braid could be added and then removed (adding a control to the experiment).
Not a single individual preferred the polyester braid to the naked cable. It wasn’t close. Adding cotton to the naked cable had no effect. One of our early adopters wrote this.
In comparison with the naked as well as cotton sheathed cables, the polyester sheathed cables have a rougher/grittier upper frequency presentation. It’s one of those “you don’t know it’s there until it’s gone” sort of thing.
Tools – Not Jewels
Cosmetics of the cotton are certainly “plain Jane”, and the major manufacturers hesitate to be thought leaders in this area. Everyone is conditioned to a certain “look” for high end cables (polyester leisure suits, anyone?).
You know our stance on this – cables are tools and not “audio jewelry”, so you know what Galibier is offering.
Note that we’ll be doing a new photo shoot (likely, the first week of May). The current photographs of signal cables on our cables page show the polyester construction, but we’ll be bringing this up to date shortly.
Early adopters take note: we’ll be happy to retrofit cotton sleeving to your existing interconnects.