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The Asimi XLR is a state-of-the-art interconnect designed to be effectively ‘invisible’ in the replay chain and to reveal the entire content and ambience of the recording without any sense of exaggerated detail or brightness.
The original aim of the Atlas Asimi project was to take a completely fresh look at cable design and, where necessary, to develop new techniques to create a cable which would satisfy the most critical listeners for years to come. For this latest generation version, we again went back to basics, re-assessing our existing design & manufacturing processes, exploring different construction methods and experimenting with new materials.
The Asimi XLR features pure silver conductors, manufactured using the highest-quality ‘Ohno Continuous Cast’ technique for drawing pure silver. Silver cables have a reputation for poor sound quality in some quarters, we believe the Asimi definitively shows the problem is with low grade materials and poor manufacture, resulting in a cable with a coarse grainy structure which compromises sound quality. By contrast, in the manufacture of Asimi, we maximise the silver’s conductivity by ensuring that there is typically one grain in approximately 125 metres of conductor, allowing the signal a continuous unbroken path –in effect, the signal has a faster, cleaner and more direct path to follow.
The cable consists of a pair of conductors, each made up from six bundles of 12 multi-conductor wires, plus a thicker centre wire, all covered by a copper shielding braid.
Conventional termination methods involve this braid being partially removed and twisted, therefore reducing the mechanical integrity of the screen, resulting in compromised RF resistance. For the Asimi XLR, Atlas developed a new system using two symmetrical drain wires (each attached to 180° segments of the plug) inserted between a 100% copper/Mylar™ foil and screen. This unique system connects the screen effectively to the cable return/plug interface and provides total 360° screening, without affecting the integrity of the screen in any way.
Theoretically, the best dielectric (insulation layer) is air, but realistically a dielectricis needed to protect the conductor – although all conventional dielectric materials impose their own signature distortion and loss on the signal. We developed a new technique, using a microporous PTFE (Teflon™) tape, which is wound around the core conductors, then covered again and stabilised using a protective FPE (Flexible PolyEthylene) dielectric. Our process allows the required conductor geometry to be maintained and offers greater manufacturing consistency.
Atlas use cold-weld terminations wherever possible, including our current generation ‘dark Chrome’ XLR connectors. By reducing the number of materials and break points in the signal path, our objective its to minimise discontinuity and loss in the signal path, resulting in more consistent construction and improved audio performance.
The result is the best cable we currently know how to make. Asimi, perhaps more than any other product, is responsible for Atlas now being viewed as one of a handful of top manufacturers worldwide.
The Asimi XLR interconnect. Our analogue masterpiece.