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Line Level Interconnects

Shielded?  Unshielded?  How do you approach your cabling?  Click to read our thoughts on the topic.
Does length matter?  Click here.

Headwaters – from $249

Galibier Design - Headwaters Interconnect
Headwaters (click to enlarge)

Pricing (includes 24 hour burn-in)

Galibier Design - ETI Copper LINK RCA
ETI Copper Link RCA

Click here for the full story of the Headwaters cable project.

  • 1m:  $249 (RCA shielded/unshielded or balanced)
  • Longer lengths:  $10 per additional meter

Standard connectors are ETI Copper Link RCAs or Neutrik XLRs

Optional Substitutions:

  • Furutech RCAs – FP-126(G) or FP-126(R): same price as above
  • ETI Copper Link XLRs:  add $80 to above price
  • ETI Kryo RCAs:  add $80 to above price
  • ETI Kryo XLRs: add $189 price

DIY Cable Pricing:

We’re happy to sell you a kit:

Furutech FP-126(G)
Furutech FP-126(G)
  • Either ETI or Furutech connectors (click links for pricing)
  • Mogami 2549 microphone cable ($1.00 / foot)

Also included (at no cost):

  • An 18″ length of Cardas solder
  • 18″ of dual walled, adhesive-backed heat shrink (9″ red, 9″ black)

Kit Notes:

  • These kits are sold with no technical support.  We assume you know how to build cables.
  • ETI RCA connectors are very difficult to solder.  Even an experienced builder runs the risk of ruining a connector by applying too much heat.  Ruin one connector and there goes your cost savings.  There are no refunds for ruined connectors.  If you have any doubts, select the Furutech.  They are also very good!

Headwaters Construction

  • Galibier Design - Neutrik XLR
    Neutrik XLRs
    PVC and polyethylene insulation (we prefer these to Teflon)
  • ETI Copper LINK RCAs or Neutrik XLRs
  • Optional connectors noted above

Specifications

  • Effective Wire Gauge: 22 AWG
  • Capacitance: 23 pf/foot

Vintage Modern

Don’t underestimate these cables based on their price. If we priced them based on their sonics, we’d charge much more, but we’re bringing them to you based on their manufacturing cost.

You may well decide that the Headwaters are a better match for your system than the Wind Rivers. The extended top end of the Wind Rivers renders similar reactions from our customers to silver (extended treble response) which is not for everyone.

In contrast, the Headwaters’ presentation reminds us of vintage modern cartridges like those from Ikeda and EMT, which is nothing to apologize for.

Scroll down for more details about the Headwaters.

Wind River – from $895

Galibier Design - Wind River Interconnect
Wind River (click to enlarge)
Introductory Pricing (no burn-in required)

RCA Termination (shielded or unshielded):

  • Galibier Design - ETI Kryo_RCA Plugs
    ETI Kryo RCAs

    .5m:  $845

  • 1.0m: $895
  • 1.5m: $975
  • 2.0m: 1,095

XLR Termination:  add $175.

Inquire for longer lengths.  These are extremely labor intensive to build and difficulty rises exponentially with increased length.

Wind River Construction:

  • Galibier Design - ETI Kryo_XLR Plugs
    ETI Kryo XLRs

    Copper litz wire

  • ETI Kryo Low Mass Connectors (RCA or XLR/balanced)
  • Cotton sleeving for ideal dielectric behavior
  • Shielded cables have a braided, tinned copper shield
  • Click the “Technical” link (thumbnail, below) for more details.
Specifications:
  • Effective Wire Gauge: 24.5
  • Maximum length: 2m
  • Capacitance – RCA (unshielded): 17pF / foot
  • Capacitance – RCA (shielded): 32pF / foot
  • Capacitance – XLR (shielded): 17pF / foot (positive to negative)
  • Capacitance – XLR (shielded): 26pF / foot (positive to shield & negative to shield)

Scroll down for more details about the Wind Rivers.

About the Wind Rivers

Development of the NiWatt amplifiers exposed the flaws in our current cabling.  This theme runs through all of our cable products.

The NiWatts showed us how unsuitable many materials are for audio, not the least of which is Teflon – whether it be in capacitors or wire. 

Most manufacturers blow their horn over the use of Teflon, foamed PTFE, etc.  We’re not most manufacturers.

Choosing our dielectric (cotton) was a simple matter with the Wind River, since we manufacture the entire cable (including jacketing) in-house (about 3.5 hours’ labor to produce an interconnect). 

Auditioning

Choose between the Wind River and the Headwaters based on your system and not by price. We love the frequency balance of the Wind River interconnect in our system, but keep in mind that our NiWatt amplifiers are so revealing as to clearly reveal a change of a 3″ length of internal wire.

In some systems, we’ve found the Headwaters interconnect to be a better match.

General Notes

Shielded?  Unshielded?

Click on the link above for an expanded commentary on our cabling philosophy which includes why you might want to specify shielding even if you don’t have a noise problem.  There’s no one size fits all solution, and we can walk you through the decision making process.

Conversion Cables Available

Balanced to unbalanced conversions:  applications where a balanced device is connected to an unbalanced device.

MC Step-up Transformer to Phono Stage

Due to the unpredictability of your step-up’s construction, internal shielding, and grounding scheme, combined with the characteristics of your electronics, this is the one one application where we recommend a shielded cable. 

The good news is that our shielded cables are still very low in capacitance (see above). 

Most noise issues associated with MC step-up transformers are due to magnetic interaction however (where cable shielding doesn’t help), and this is typically addressed by re-positioning and/or reorienting the transformer (laying it on its side, its face, etc.)

While we recommend as short a length as possible, you’ll need to consider the possibility of having to rotate the transformer or move it in order to determine its quietest position.  Too short of a cable may restrict you in this regard.

Ideally, we would use a .5m (19.5″) length, but we can adjust it to your requirements.

The reason length is important in this position is because a step-up transformer multiplies the cable’s effective capacitance by 100 (this is for a 1:10 step-up transformer).  In other words, a one foot interconnect in this position has the effective capacitance of a 100 foot interconnect!

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