"Litz" and "Litz Braided" The confusion amongst consumers and DIYers
As decribed and depicted in the graphic above, True Litz utilizes a large number (100+) of ultra thin ultra fine enameled strands in complex twist per conductor (Custom twist or alsoType 1, Type 2, etc.). This design is only offered by a limited number of cable companies primarily due to the extra labor involved during assembly (higher degree of complexity to produce true Litz based cables). Every single Litz conductor must be perfectly tinned in a solder pot (molten solder) before being soldered to the connectors.
Are you actually getting Litz based headphone cables or just a simple "Litz Braided" common stranded or solid core headphone cable?
There are many out there using the buzz term "Litz Braided" to describe only the (4 or 8 conductor) physical braid of their cable. This usage of the term "litz braid" or "litz braided" has caused mass confusion and created a haze over what truly is a Litz conductor. "Litz braided" is actually a marketing term for the same braid that pretty much every headphone cable maker uses. Realistically there are only so many ways you can braid 4 or 8 conductors in a headphone cable, even fewer that bring the top performing result.
Our goal with this page is simply to help the consumer understand what true Litz conductors are and why they represent the ultimate option for the best and most trasparent design available today.
We will commonly refer to our Litz conductors as "Fine Stranded Litz" or "Fine Stranded Complex Litz" to help differentiate and stress the fact that we are using Litz based design with a large number of very fine individually enameled strands in specific pattern.
Are all Norne Audio headphone and interconnect cables utilizing true Litz?
Yes. Every Norne Audio cable uses true fine stranded Litz design. Our Litz based conductors utilize a large number of very fine separately insulated strands which are then twisted in a very specific complex construction. These Litz conductors (22,24awg, etc) containing the very fine litz strands are then braided in the usual top geometry or braid (for example in 4 or 8 conductor using a high angle crossed symmetrical braid). Some of our cables can actually have up to 1,344 separately insulated ultra fine 44awg strands (e.g, 22awg, 8 conductor).
Norse Audio being the first to bring OCC (Ohno Continuous Cast) with the combination of true Fine Stranded Litz in headphone cables, we pride ourselves on our OCC Litz based design. We have found no other design that can reach the highest level transparency and sonic truth like true fine stranded cryo treated occ copper and silver complex litz can.
What is the best definition of Litz and why is Litz the best choice?
Litz Wire is defined as:
"Wire consisting of a number of separately fine insulated strands woven together so each strand successively takes up all possible positions in the cross section of the entire conductor, to reduce skin effect and thereby reduce radio-frequency resistance."
There currently is nothing superior to litz when it comes to defeating skin effect and proximity effect in larger gauges along with eliminating degradating oxidizing effects over time. While it is debatable in smaller gauges if skin effect is a factor at our human audible frequencies, it certainly matters for larger gauges.
As mentioned another primary benefit of fine stranded litz is elimination of any degrading oxidation effects over time. The lack of corrosion and oxidizing is something unique to fine stranded litz and is just one of the various reasons why Litz design rises to the absolute top.
Note also that all other common stranded and solid core conductors will oxidize and have reduced conductivity (increased resistance) over time in ones system. Even with a thick PE or Teflon jacket, oxidizing will take place for the common stranded designs.
Used throughout the high end audio industry in most flagship cable products, occ provides the superior quality copper and silver possible today.
OCC (Ohno Continuous Cast) is the name given to the casting process developed to help defeat annealing issues and virtually eliminate all grain boundaries in copper or silver with a unique patented process. The OCC casting method uses specialized heated moulds in order to draw a single crystal up to 125 meters in length. With only a single crystal in very long lengths, there is an unimpeded free path for the best possible signal transfer. Along with this superior single long crystal structure, OCC provides copper and silver with the least possible oxides and other impurities. UP-OCC is the name given by Neotech for their OCC manufactured wire, with the "UP" standing for Ultra Pure. All of our wire is manufactured by Neotech, absolutely one of top and most experienced manufacturers in the industry.
In high contrast to OCC, there are other lower grade coppers such as ETP and OFC with a multitude of grain boundaries and other impurities. ETP (Electrolytic Tough Pitch), aka. TPC (Tought Pitch) aka. CDA110 actually has around 1400 crystal boundaries per foot with oxygen content at around 235 ppm. ETP is the most common copper available today (known simply as electrical grade). OFC (Oxygen Free Copper) has around 400 crystals per foot and despite its name has an oxygen content of about 10 ppm. Having less oxygen content and less overall impurities compared to ETP, OFC has been popular in more mid level audio cables. Regardless, both ETP and OFC have a plethora of grain boundaries per foot that the signal must route around and pass. OCC delivers the solution that eliminates all of these issues plauging ETP and OFC based coppers.
The question ultimately comes down to the following: Would you rather have your signal flow in a path with many cracks, bumps and obstacles in the way (OFC/ETP) or flow along a completely unimpeded free path with the lowest possible impurities (OCC). From our view the choice is simple, and the bottom line is most top cable designs utilize OCC as it gives the absolute purest base platform to get that much closer to true absolute transparency.
Cryo OCC: The purest copper and silver on planet Earth.
Litz: The top design for eliminating skin and proximity effect
Litz: The strongest and most durable conductor design
Litz: The top design for eliminating any degradation from oxidation
Cryo OCC + Fine Stranded Complex Litz
The most dominant and sonically the most transparent cable.
Contact info@NORNEAUDIO.com for pricing and ordering information.