Headwaters – coming on 30-Sept-2020
Pricing (includes 72 hour burn-in):
- .5m – $245
- 1m – $295
- Longer lengths: $50 per additional meter
Wind River – from $895
Introductory Pricing (no burn-in required):
- RCA (shielded & unshielded): $895
- XLR (Balanced and Shielded): $995
Any length up to 1.5 m. Inquire for pricing for longer lengths. These are extremely labor intensive to manufacture in longer lengths.
- 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 (shielded & unshielded): 17pF / foot
- Capacitance – XLR: 17pF / foot (positive to negative)
- Capacitance – XLR: 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
In general, we haven’t encountered many situations where shielding an interconnect between an MC step-up and phono stage is necessary. It does happen on occasion, but most noise issues associated with MC step-up transformers are due to magnetic interaction – where re-positioning/reorienting the transformer is required.
To lend a bit of perspective, take note that Kuzma’s standard wiring for their 4Point Tonearm is unshielded (a loose twist of the 4 signal wires with no outer shield).
For reasons of low capacitance, we recommend as short a length as is practical. Of course, the logistics of positioning your transformer comes into play – both locating it on a shelf as well as orienting it to eliminate any hum interaction.
Our unshielded cables have a capacitance of 17pF/foot. We typically build this cable in an 19 inch (50cm) length, but 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.
The near ubiquitous use of Teflon in mainstream audio, combined with our experience with ETI connectors mandated that we develop our own interconnects.
A key element in our search for a more cost effective model (the Headwaters) had several key criteria. Low capacitance was one of them and another was that there also be no Teflon in the construction.
It 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). With a value oriented cable, specifying Teflon-free construction (while meeting all of our other criteria) was a bit of a challenge.
We think you’ll find both of these cables to be a breath of fresh air. Contact us for details on demos as well as our satisfaction guarantee.
About the Headwaters
Our search for a low capacitance cable we could partner with ETI connectors is over, and the Headwaters interconnect is the answer.
It’s 95% of the Wind River at one-third the price (and a better match in some sytstems).
ETI took the same approach with the Copper LINK RCA that we did with this cable – to bring their Kryo RCA architecture to a product at a more affordable price point.
Our philosophy of employing solid design principles with relatively modest components has served us well – to design a near world-class product at a fraction of the price.
Specifying the best parts and materials (the Wind River cable) is where you achieve the last 5%. Of course, it also increases the price by many multiples.
We’re confident that the design goals we share with ETI and their Copper LINK RCAs enables the Headwaters to hit that 95% sweet spot, and we encourage you to contact us for a demo.