Technological aspects of the manufacturing process

Wiring of audio systems by Argentum company is designed, constructed and produced on the basis of universal principles of selection of material for conductor as well as its cross-section, insulators, wire geometry, together with their mutual arrangement, electromagnetic compatibility and reliable performance and elegance.

The main and the only material used for conductors in Argentum company audio cables is a noble metal, silver having a purity of 99.999 (5 N). Silver has a paramount physico-chemical and technological properties, i.e. the highest electrical conductivity rate of 0.01612Ω mm²/m (copper has 0.02222 and gold has 0.01724Ω mm²/m), corrosion resistance, low chemical activity, high thermal conductivity, solderability, and above all, sonic qualities. These characteristics rank silver in the first place in application of wiring and audio/video systems electronics. The possibility of widespread use is limited by its economic considerations - high cost. Manufacturing process of Argentum cables besides forming, and mechanical wire drawing, is an entirely handicraft process. Each batch of silver granules undergoes a refining process by which 5 N - 99.999 high purity is obtained. Regardless of positive results obtained, a sample from a batch of silver wire is subjected to further analysis of the degree of purity in the Measuring Office in Krakow. Confirmed by the Measuring Office result of analysis, the degree of purity equal to 99.999 decides to admit the batch to produce a silver wire cables. Silver wire, obtained by mechanical wire drawing has in its surface layer of stress and structural defects in the form of draft, which in turn creates a spindly - fibrous structure. Draft induced adverse effects are removed by carrying out a controlled process-heat treatment - annealing and stabilization. Annealing process is optimized in terms of selection of the recrystallization temperature of silver and its degree of purity /each impurity, ie, degree of purity shifts the recrystallization temperature limit/ and the duration of each of its phases. The initial recrystallization, the so-called primary recrystallization removes own internal stresses and proper recrystallization restores structure to its original state.

Full heat treatment process takes several hours and results from the heating rate, proper soak time and ends with thermal stabilization phase. The structure formed by primary recrystallization is in a state of equilibrium and as a result of proper recrystallization grain growth occurs through migration of their wide-angle borders. As a result of heat treatment carried out in such a manner, silver wire has a structure that is appropriate for unrestricted free movement of electrons.

The Argentum company was the first and only to develop and implement in production a method an alternating system of individual wires in the conductor. Every second wire in the conductor is placed opposite to the direction of broaching. Approaching empirically the method of alternating wires, we can say that the wires in the Argentum conductors have the same direction, but the opposite turns. This method takes into account the phenomenon of "memory" of a metal subject to plastic treatment - broaching.

The heat treatment process and the method of alternating wires in a conductor are completely developed by Argentum and constitute its intellectual property.

The main and the only first contact insulation material with the conductor is air and polytetrafluoroethylene PTFE /trade name Teflon, the Polish name Tarflen/. Teflon has excellent chemical properties, which include indifference to virtually all chemicals, thermal properties, particularly a low coefficient of thermal conductivity of 0.2 - 0.4 [Kcal/m ⨯ h ⨯ ˚C], electrical properties and dielectric strength 20-30 [kV/mm], the dielectric constant of 2.1 and no absorption of water. Insulating air space is obtained as a result of the cold imposition of Teflon tape with a thickness of 0.08 mm specially impregnated by saturant on a twisted beam of conductors. Teflon application process under normal conditions ambient temperature /does not initiate the so-called, "the diode process"/ appearance of oxides, which can occur in a classic production process where Teflon is hot applied /over 300ºC/, and which is particularly undesirable for copper conductor due to the occurrence of non-conducting copper oxides. Such optimum insulation conditions can be achieved by a developed method of manual clipping, as a result of which the desired optimum insulation space is created. The effect of clipping method is shown in a pictorial description of construction at various audio cables.

In order to work smoothly regardless of the extent of "contamination of the environment or rather the noise level of electromagnetic disturbances in which audio/video cables are located and that they do not interact due to the proximity of the field cables are specially shielded. Argentum cables use hybrid screening made of a film of polyethylene aluminum AL/PE powdered with 12/48 ratio /trade name 'Mylar'/, which is closed along the conductor by so called "baffle pier" /conductor foil wrapping creates a inductor - it is comfortable in the production process, but should be avoided, because the coil can not provide effective protection/ and tinned copper OFC braid. in terms of EMC Exclusive and Extreme series wiring is treated in a comprehensive manner. Cables of these series have received screening, which is OFC copper wattle with coating of silver or 24 carat gold and a very tight chrome - nickel Cr/Ni wattle where in the case of a Extream series – instead of Mylar foil it is the shielding XC mesh.

Exclusive and Extreme series signal cables /interconnects/ due to particular sensitivity of the signal connections have received triple shielding, which very significantly minimized the impact of RF and EM effects on the course of the useful signal. Moreover, the connection by the so-called "chicanery" of external screen with chrome-nickel steel braid with RCA plug allowed to obtain the effect of a barrier to "leakage" of harmful electromagnetic waves.

The screen is never good enough to provide full protection, and so, for example, at frequencies of 50 Hz it would have to be made ​​as thick as steel of armor of military vehicles – having in mind, of course, tens-order reduction of effective interference.

Due to the shielding signal cables /interconnects/ are polarized - they have directionality. Signal cables /interconnects/ Extreme Series are equipped with Gold-plated Argentum connectors or Rhodium plated. Argentum RCA plugs are characteristic because they have an inner pin of 5 N purity silver, which is rhodium plated. Speaker cables are equipped with so-extra cable called "pig-tail" that allows to equalize the potential /potential equalizing/ of cable shield with the ground of intermediate plate, which in the case of the audio amplifier is a metal casing /chassis/.

To get the highest degree of noise reduction the connection between cable shield and amplifier housing should be as short as possible. The shorter the distance the higher the degree of noise reduction. It is a pity that the current standards of mounting speaker cables sockets are not compatible with EMC. Speaker cables with GCG symbol and signal cables with SCG symbol have the Star-Quad structures of conductors. This system affects the elimination of the internal crosstalk causing harmful interference in a useful signal and additionally in the case of speaker cables allows bi-wiring connection method. Exclusive series signal cables and Extreme Series speaker cables are equipped with single and dual zone STOPER system, which effectively dampens vibrations, reduces the 'microphone effect' and eliminates static electricity. Exclusive and Extreme series cable means also an elegant natural finish with black leather with silver interlace for Silver type and with gold interlace for Gold type and a natural red leather and gold interlace for type Gold in Extreme series which makes these cables recognizable.