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Swiss Cables Reference

31.03.2014 // Jürgen Saile and Dirk Sommer
A lot has been written about cables over the years and now even we can't refrain from indulging in this topic ! Many readers are skeptics when it comes to cables which cost more than five Euro per meter, sensing some kind of rip-off. Considering the pricing of some premium cable creations, this may come as no surprise. That said, we would consider it grossly negligent to not inform our readers about the quality of the Swiss Cables.


The designers of the Swiss Cables obviously have a clear understanding of the long history of cable design, especially about what worked exceedingly well and why. The inner structure of their products reminds me a little of the fabled Western Electric cables of yore and some principles found in their design.

The Swiss cables' outer shell is very sturdy and can’t be pinched by hand. This was probably chosen to avoid the cables’ innards from being affected by external forces
The Swiss cables' outer shell is very sturdy and can’t be pinched by hand. This was probably chosen to avoid the cables’ innards from being affected by external forces

But the Swiss are far from having simply repackaged a role of Western Electric wires in a new shell. Actually, their cables are a blank sheet design, starting from scratch. As designers for their cables, Swiss Cables has commissioned Lumen White Research in Switzerland, a company known, between others, for their ingenious loudspeakers designs.

In the early 70s, Pierre Johannet of the French National Institute for Electric Research published an article in the French High End magazine “L’Audiophile” on his research surrounding MDI, signal distortions in cables caused by electrical micro-discharges at the conductor-dielectric junction. MDI distortions occur predominantly in the presence of synthetic polymer dielectrics, the very materials which practically dominate modern audio cable design! While the engineers at Western Electric did not know about MDIs yet, they used natural insulators like cotton and silk for their cables, as synthetic polymers were not yet available. 

The lightly dressed “Golden Boy” of the golden era of Western Electric, holding a role of cables
The lightly dressed “Golden Boy” of the golden era of Western Electric, holding a role of cables
Swiss cables avoid the generation of MDIs in their cables, inter alia, by using a dielectric made from natural fibers which bears at least some visual resemblance with the Western Electric textile insulations. The Swiss Cables use air as their main dielectric. Materials widely found in cables today, like Teflon, are explicitly excluded from the Swiss Cables designs - for sonic reasons. While the Swiss cables’ diameter could remind one of a decent gardening hose, when lifted up they prove to be surprisingly light. Their protective shell is very solid and does not deform easily, hence the cables are not the overly flexible during installation behind racks.

As seen here, no synthetic polymers are used as dielectrics
As seen here, no synthetic polymers are used as dielectrics

 

  • Swiss Cables Reference

    Was wurde nicht schon alles über Kabel geschrieben und jetzt kommen wir auch noch mit diesem Thema daher! Irgendwie sind viele Leser skeptisch bei Kabeln, die mehr als fünf Euro pro Meter kosten und argwöhnen Betrug. Und die Preisgestaltung bei manchen Edelstrippen ist auch für den gesunden Menschenverstand mitunter schwer zu verstehen. Trotzdem wäre es schon fast fahrlässig für ein HiFi Magazin, Sie nicht über die Qualitäten der Swiss Cables zu informieren. Die Schweizer haben…
    17.01.2014