Litz vs stranded?

Discussion in 'The Cutting Edge' started by AuFX, May 14, 2018.

  1. AuFX

    AuFX Member

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    Im looking to buy a silver headphone cable, it will the first and last aftermarket headphone cable I will buy so I want to make sure its as good as possible.

    For about 25% extra I have choice of Litz over standard stranded wire, it isnt a huge deal more expensive and if it offers even the smallest improvement over stranded (small even for cables) then I may just go for it.

    Does anyone have experience with litz wire for speakers or headphones? Would you recommend it?
     

     

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  2. Wildcat

    Wildcat Audio Sommelier

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    My Cardas ICs use copper litz wire (basically, enamel-coated wire), and these are the best ICs I have owned so far. Litz wire contributes to the sound in some small way, but since they never made a non-litz option of the interconnect, there is no way to judge what it does for sonics. One claim is that the enamel insulation reduces the skin effect of small strands of wire (when bundled together within a stranded interconnect or speaker wire, for example). For copper, litz makes sense since copper corrodes quickly and the enamel coating ensures oxygen does not touch the copper. Cardas applies their enamel simultaneously with the last drawing of the copper through their dies, in a pure hydrogen environment, so the copper remains pure. Cardas also offers silver litz wire. (Cardas is more a metals company--they supply much of the high-purity copper wiring used in many high-end products, including supplying other cable manufacturers.)

    One thing I noticed is that there is a misunderstanding on the Internet of what litz wire is. Litz wire is enamel-coated bare wire. Nothing more. The same type of wire used to wind transformers and solenoids. It has nothing whatsoever to do with braiding, or how wires are arranged within a jacket, yet you see such terms as "litz braiding" out there that only cloud the meaning.

    I won't spend your money, but I would just go with the litz version and be done with it. ;) Ultimately you would be able to compare both versions side by side, but that is not possible when ordering online.
     
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  3. AuFX

    AuFX Member

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    interesting, that means 90% of cheap IEM/headphones are actually using litz
     
  4. Wildcat

    Wildcat Audio Sommelier

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    Anticables makes interconnects and speaker cables that I guess could technically be called litz wire, as they are solid copper conductors with an enamel coating. I am actually considering their speaker wire in the next few years once I move somewhere permanent and know how I am going to set up my system in terms of speaker cable length.

    It is no surprise that cheap headphones could use it--it can work perfectly well at insulating and it is less bulky and lightweight as well.
     
  5. ConradH

    ConradH Addicted Member

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  6. gadget73

    gadget73 junk junkie Subscriber

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    Something I will say about litz wire in tonearms, don't get the double insulated stuff. It has a thin plastic coating over it, and its a lot less flexible as a result. Did that with an arm and it started binding because the wires weren't bendy enough.

    but yeah, its not just varnished wire. Its braided, often made from a foil wrapped over a thread center. The idea is for maximum surface area since the stuff is really designed for RF connections where skin effect is significantly in play.
     

     

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  7. kfalls

    kfalls Super Member

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    According to the wiki page, Litz is multistrand individually insulated wires.

     

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