In order to raise the performance of Sky over Niagara AudioQuest expands the diameter of the FEP Air-Tubes by 50%. The Noise-Dissipation System is also improved by increasing the system from three layers to five layers, further reducing the modulation of noise on the ground plane. The overall effect is less interference from the insulation and an improvement in dynamic contrast.
Solid 100% perfect-surface silver (PSS) conductors
Perfect-Surface Technology applied to extreme-purity silver provides unprecedented clarity and dynamic contrast. Solid conductors prevent strand interaction, a major source of cable distortion. Extremely high-purity Perfect-Surface Silver minimizes distortion caused by the grain boundaries that exist within any metal conductor, nearly eliminating harshness and greatly increasing clarity compared to OFHC, OCC, 8N and other coppers.
Dielectric-bias system (DBS, US Pat #S 7,126,055 & 7,872,195 B1)
All insulation slows down the signal on the conductor inside. When insulation is unbiased, it slows down parts of the signal differently, a big problem for very time-sensitive multi-octave audio. AudioQuest’s DBS creates a strong, stable electrostatic field which saturates and polarizes (organizes) the molecules of the insulation. This minimizes both energy storage in the insulation and the multiple nonlinear time-delays that occur. Sound appears from a surprisingly black background with unexpected detail and dynamic contrast. The DBS battery packs will last for years. A test button and LED allow for the occasional battery check.
Carbon-based 5-layer noise-dissipation system (NDS)
100% shield coverage is easy. Preventing captured RF Interference from modulating the equipment’s ground reference requires AQ’s Noise-Dissipation System. Metal and Carbon-Loaded synthetics prevent most RFI from reaching the equipment’s ground plane.
FEP air-tube insulation (Fluoro-Polymer)
Any solid material adjacent to a conductor is actually part of an imperfect circuit. Wire insulation and circuit board materials all absorb energy (loss). Some of this energy is stored and then later released as distortion. All of Sky’s conductors use Air-Tube insulation because air absorbs next to no energy, and FEP is the best extrudable solid insulation and absorbs less energy than other materials. The FEP Air-Tubes used in Sky have almost nothing but air around the solid PSS conductors.
The three conductors in “Triple-Balanced” Sky cables ensure that whether prepared with RCA or XLR plugs, the positive and negative signals have equally low-distortion conducting paths. The 100% coverage shield is never used as an inferior conductor.
This plug design enables a perfect heat-free connection between cable and plug. The connection between the plug and conductors is made using AQ’s Cold-Weld System, which provides a superior connection that ensures that the structural integrity of the conductor is kept completely intact. The Cold-Weld System refers to a combination of high pressure at the point of contact and the use of copper- or silver-impregnated paste. (Sky’s silver conductors get silver paste.) XLR plugs are also available.