Headwaters – from $245
Pricing (includes 72 hour burn-in)
RCA (shielded or unshielded) and XLR (balanced/shielded):
- .5m: $245
- 1m: $295
- Longer lengths: $50 per additional meter
Wind River – from $895
Introductory Pricing (no burn-in required)
RCA Termination (shielded or unshielded):
- .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.
- 22 AWG Stranded High Conductivity Oxygen Free copper
- PVC and polyethylene insulation (we prefer these to Teflon)
- ETI Copper LINK RCAs or Neutrik XLRs
- Effective Wire Gauge: 20
- Capacitance: 22 pf/foot
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 Construction:
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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!
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 hours’ labor to produce an interconnect).
About the Headwaters
Our search for a lower cost, low capacitance cable with no Teflon is over, and the Headwaters interconnect is the answer.
It’s 95% of the Wind River at one-third the price, and is a better match in some systems!
In the same way that ETI retained most of the Kryo RCA’s performance in their Copper LINK connectors, we think you’ll find the Headwaters cable to offer much more than a hint of our Wind Rivers.