Friday, August 22, 2014

Belden 1695a is Teflon FEP (not the holy grail, Teflon PTFE)

Teflon is an audiophile holy grail.  It has superior dielectric properties to all other plastic dielectrics.

So based on that, I was about to buy a Belden 1695a cable for the final stretch of my SPDIF line from kitchen servers to living room stereo.  Instead of 1694a, which is basically the same, but uses PE foam instead of "teflon."  Even though it's a digital line, the dielectric properties could be important.

But reading the fine print, I see that the Teflon used in 1695a is Teflon FEP.  This is not the Teflon that audiophiles seek out (if they know what they are doing, anyway).  Teflon FEP has dielectric nonlinearities 6 times greater than Teflon PTFE.  Comparing the linearity of FEP with Foamed Polyethylene, I'm not sure which is actually better, but I suspect it might well be the Foamed Polyethylene.  I know that's what my friend Tim thinks.

So I'm getting the cheaper 1694a.

I feel similarly about the FEP used in Valhalla cables.  I don't think much of it.

I wonder about the Teflon used in Cardas cables.

Meanwhile, I've decided to get 1695a to connect the Oppo to the SPDIF panel in the kitchen, because the 1695a is said to be slightly more flexible.  I used 1505F for the line from Mac to SPDIF panel because I thought that needed some more flexibility also.  Now I think I might have used 1695a for that one as well, regarding the solid core 1695a to be the better cable compared with 1505F.

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