Ecosse Reference The Soundman Digital Interconnect
Of course, for audiophiles with reference level 2-box transport and DAC CD/SACD system, or videophiles who wish the ultimate level of detail and resolution coupled with astounding low frequency sonics, you must check out our stunning, new Soundman digital interconnect.
'The Soundman' propagates a full bandwidth signal within an ultra low noise environment that ensures the most accurate signal transfer possible and represents Ecosse’s ‘statement’ digital transmission product.
As a recent customer from Chile informed us: The Soundman Digital Bests The Nordost Valhalla.
“Son los mejores que he utilizado, producen un sonido más transparente, natural sin énfasis en ninguna nota, permitiendo una experiencia musical limpia con los instrumentos perfectamente delineados, y producen una presentación más suave y más orgánica, más aún que cualquier otro de esta categoría, inclusive Nordost Valhalla, o cualquiera otro de referencia que he probado antes. En breve, The Soundman agrega un efecto de claridad muy beneficioso para mi Esoteric transporte (P-03), clock (G-0Rb) y dac (D-03) con una remarcada nueva presencia real, fuerte y muy bien definida. No podría retroceder”
“These are the best I have used, produce a more transparent sound, natural with no emphasis on any note, allowing clean musical experience with the instruments perfectly delineated, and produce a more smooth and more organic, more so than any other of this category, including Nordost Valhalla, or any other reference that I have tried before … In brief The Soundman clearly adds a very definite effect on profit for my Esoteric transport (P-03), clock (G-0RB) and dac (D-03) with a highlighted new real presence, strong and well defined. I could not go back ...”
Another added: “It is also very good the rest of the system (in digital Esoteric / Mark Levinson amplification”
Previously it was said that the best digital interconnect in the world (in real-world price terms) is the old Kimber Illuminati D60. (Hey we don’t mind name-checkin’ a brother…). Of course, Kimber no longer produce this interconnect (as Ray himself did not actually design it). NO MORE…because The Ecosse Reference ‘Soundman’ creams the old Illuminati BIG TIME, and as our Chilean customer has pointed it, it creams the Nordost too!
Meticulous Technical Construction
Here’s how: It is vital that ‘reference’ quality digital cable closely matches the ‘characteristic impedance’ 75ohm of the digital signal - this being the most important concern of digital signal transmission. Of near-equal importance is ‘capacitance’-which must be kept as low as possible. The topology of '‘The Soundman” digital interconnect is carefully controlled to precisely match these required specifications-it is a precision 75 ohm cable designed to provide the highest quality single-ended digital interface and of especially low capacitance. The signal conductor is made from a perfectly circular solid wire of 6N’s silver.
Ultra low-loss Foamed Polyethylene forms the dielectric insulator and the former for the first two of three screens. A pure copper foil is surrounded by a close-lapped braid screen of silver-plated Ultra-Hi Purity OFC. A layer of PTFE (Teflon) separates this screen from an outer screen of the same close-tapped silver plated UHP-OFC. Such a screen conmination fully protects the digital bit stream from the distortions introduced by RFI, EMI and ESI ‘noise’. It is necessary and appropriate to ground this type screen at ‘source’ only- for maximum noise reduction.
A layer of Neoprene™, acting as a damper and vibration absorber is sandwiched between the outer screen and the soft PVC outer jacket.
The plugs we use to terminate this cable are the finest development of Ecosse’s RCA plugs, the simply awesome constant-impedance MACH3 the best, non-compressing plug available anywhere! Uniquely, their centre pins and conjugate bracket shields (designed to form a ‘Faraday Cage’-a device designed to maximise RF screening) are both deep silver-plated Monocrystal™ Copper.
Meticulous care and attention to detail is exercised during termination assembly, the contact surfaces being thoroughly cleaned and treated prior to the application of Ecosse lead-free SuperSolder™-our new ultra high purity silver and tin alloy wire, together with our unique, passive organic flux, ensuring a joint with varnishing low resistance, ultra low chemical contaminants and very high strength.
Optionally we can offer the MACH3 FURUTECH™/FURAKAWA BNC jitter-free plug termination-BNC being the truest 75ohm device and the preferred termination of audiophiles. Ecosse are proud to offer this unique option with but a small premium in price.
Tighter tolerances have improved the fit, offering a lower impedance, gas-tight connection, a greater level of RFI/EMI/ESI noise rejection and a more linear and extended frequency transfer characteristic with negligible-no jitter contribution. All these factors contribute to a performance, which basically means that the signal at one end as near as dammit equals the signal at the other end.
In the interests of the most accurate signal transfer with lowest noise ingress and since capacitance increases with length, Ecosse recommend that 'The Soundman' be kept as short as possible. Hence it is available in 0.1m increments from a standard 0.4m length, made specifically to order.
We cannot stress enough that cable synergy will ultimately influence aural satisfaction. Go here to find the best cable synergy.
At audiophile-reference level you may encounter the AES/EBU interface, which uses symmetrical connections with transformer isolation and an output impedance of 110 ohm. The signal-level of this interface is reasonably higher than in S/PDIF. Because AES/EBU digital audio signals are transmitted at high, video-like frequencies (at around 6MHz) they require very precise construction and termination.
At Ecosse we offer the finest AES/EBU digital cable on the market today - our all-Monocrystal™ Silver individually wound and hand-made 'In the Beginning' Interconnect! We don’t advertise it and you wont find it here on our website. (In fact the first rule of ‘In the Beginning’ is there is no ‘In the Beginning’ interconnect - BUT...if you require the ULTIMATE digital cable-for goodness sake ask us as we don't keep this cable in stock-every single one is hand-wound to order).
Ecosse Unique Terminations
A word about our unique terminations: The terminations at the ends of cables-PARTICULARLY DIGITAL CABLES- are part of the transmission path and therefore vital to it. They must not impede the delicate audio signal as inappropriate termination on a digital cable changes the so called characteristic impudence (and other electrical attributes) of the cable. Where a digital signal is concerned, the audio industry has set a standard of 75ohms, but this can be severely compromised by poor, compressing RCA plugs that grip the cable with a grub screw or a collett action. The cable loses it's integrity and the impedance can drop to somewhere in the region of 35 Ohms resulting in reflections and a deletions.
To maintain the quality of the all-important interface between interconnect and component and compatibility between wire material and plug, Ecosse has developed our unique and ULTIMATE non-compressing constant impedance MACH3Cu deep copper or silver plated over copper RCA plug. This high quality RCA plug consists of a centre pin and conjugate bracket shield* which together offer going and return paths for the audio signal. To maintain continuity and optimum conductivity, these contact points are made from Monocrystal™ copper which are then direct hard silver plated. (others use 'flash-gold' OFC plating which is a very thin coating that wears away very quickly and soon looks tarnished!).
The plug casing is precision machined from highest quality copper alloy and is deep-plated. This thick casing offers further shielding - effectively a second 'Faraday Cage' - and reduces the ingress and radiation of EMI, ESI and RFI 'noise' even further, to virtually zero. The interface of shield* and casing is one of high mechanical impedance, dissipating energy and rendering microphonic effects negligible. The full assembly represents Ecosse's Reference Grade RCA termination and we believe the Ecosse MACH3 RCA to be the best available price wise, electrically, mechanically and aesthetically - anywhere!
These shells/shields are designed to perform a 5-fold function:
They provide a terminal to which the return/screen conductors can be firmly crimped and soldered.
They incorporate tiny teeth that grip the cable firmly and evenly around its circumference without compressing the cable and thereby maintain the cable's characteristic impedance right up to the solder joint.
When assembled, they form a Faraday cage, screening the signal right up to and including the RCA socket.
They form a union of high mechanical impedance with the outer casing, dissipating energy and therefore rendering the plug immune to the effects of microphony.
They firmly locate and clamp the centre pin's polypropylene dielectric, which, in conjunction with the outer casing, results in a strong, stable and extremely durable structure.
Pure Silver Solidcore signal conductor
Dual Ultra Hi Purity-SPC-OFC™ close-lapped braid screens
Copper foil and Teflon additional screens
Superior ultra low loss FPE dielectric
Vibrakil™ jacket technology ensuring virtually zero microphony
Ultimate MACH3 version of our RCA plug termination
Comment Vibration-absorbing low density 8mm o/d PVC sheath