STEALTH audio cables
Search

STEALTH Sound Technology Enabling Audibly Lucid Transcomponent Harmony

 

 

Varidig Sextet                                             

VariDig Sextet is our digital cable design to "match" our flagship analog interconnect, the Sakra.  

The Varidig Sextet cable consists of six identical, individually shielded Varidig cables, matched in length, spiraled together and run in parallel; the center of the cable is hollow and contains a flexible blank (no metal or wire) Kevlar reinforced supporting "guide" (which runs along the cable);

The concept of running several identical digital cables in parallel is similar to "stacking" several DAC chips, employed in a number of the best DA converters; usually, such configuration increases low-level linearity, as well as subjective clarity and overall resolution.  

Like all advanced STEALTH cables, the Varidig Sextet is made of extremely thin wire, and constructed entirely by hand.  The impedance matching variable-along-the-lengths Varidig geometry can only be handmade (including its hand-formed Teflon insulation). The Varidig Sextet is not available in the bulk - spooled, unterminated form, it cannot be machine-made or cheaply reproduced or copied overseas.

An assembled S/PDIF (RCA- or BNC-terminated) Varidig Sextet cable is very light weight and extremely flexible.

 

>> Enlarge
>> Enlarge

 

The balanced AES/EBU version of the Varidig Sextet is not as flexible as the RCA version because of the outer shielding. The AES/EBU cable is noticeably thicker in the middle, compare its ends, due to the impedance matching geometry of each of the six individual internal Varidig wires its composed of. 

The latest 2010 balanced version is made with the proprietary STEALTH XLR connectors (machined carbon fiber shells, Ultra-modified Teflon dielectric and solid silver contacts):

>> Enlarge

Varidig Sextet AES/EBU           

 

SOUND & REVIEWS

  • Srajan Ebaen (6moons.com)  "Varidig Sextet"
  • According to the feedback we have received from more than 100 Sextet users, testers and reviewers, not only the (expected) overall resolution and clarity is excellent, but also bass is profoundly better than any other cables the Sextet was put against, there is a noticeable improvement in dynamics and the subjectively perceived sound "body", as well as overall "sense of space".
  • Below is the link to the feedback we have received form the Indra beta testers; several of them also tested the Varidig Sextet, and submitted their opinions:  http://www.interlinkhouse.com/products/indra/beta.htm

 

 

The "Varidig Sextet" FEATURES SUMMARY

  • innovative "stacked digital cable" concept; 
  • proprietary impedance matching geometry;
  • hybrid shielding;
  • Teflon® dielectric throughout;
  • Ultra-modified Teflon connectors;
  • extreme S/PDIF cable flexibility;
  • state of the art impedance-matching connectors;
  • advanced termination technique;
  • standard Cryogenic treatment (special extended audiophile cycle)
  • built-in gradual strain relief;
  • internal Kevlar cable support ;
 

TERMINATIONS

The Varidig Sextet cables are available in single-ended RCA-to-RCA, BNC-to-BNC, and BNC-to-RCA, and balanced XLR-to-XLR (AES/EBU) configurations. 

We emphasize the type and the quality of the connectors used because - for digital cables - connectors and termination technique contribute at least as much to the sound quality as the design  and geometry of digital cables themselves.

 

REVISION HISTORY*

 

In early 2007, we started experimenting with Ultra-modified PTFE (Teflon material), which lead to development of our newest proprietary connectors - both RCA and XLR - that use this type of Teflon instead of the conventional PTFE.  The Ultra-modified PTFE features superior dielectric properties (reduced permeability and a lower dielectric constant - which offer even lower energy storage and further reduced "crossover-type" distortion in cables and connectors),  better mechanical characteristics (significantly lower deformation under load, higher elongation and tensile strength - these qualities improve the "grip" of the STEALTH connectors on the chassis mounted counterparts), plus a pore-free and extremely smooth surface - preventing contaminates from being trapped in high purity applications. Appearance-wise, the Ultra-modified PTFE is similar to the PTFE, the only visual difference is a shade of blue in the Ultra-modified version.

The latest prototypes of the STEALTH new connectors are shown below. Starting 2008, we supply the Varidig Sextet cables with these new connectors. Please note the machined Caron Fiber shells of these new XLR connectors - versus solid Titanium shells on the 2006/2007 connectors, and multiple grooves on the larger Titanium ring on the RCA connector. The center pin of the RCA connector has also changed: it now has a rounded tip and microgrooves for a better contact. If a contacts enhancer is used, these grooves would "hold" it better than a smooth pin.

We continuously work on improving our cables*, thus the actual production cables (and connectors) may look a bit different, and the pictures below shows a general appearance of the 08 connectors, and are placed here for information purposes only. 

> Enlarge >> Enlarge

 

Even the beta S/PDIF Varidig Sextet made use of a STEALTH developed digital RCA connector. This connector is similar to the Indra connector, but modified for digital application. These digital STEALTH connectors are very light weight, but robust; they are made of Kevlar, carbon fiber composite and machined titanium, with exclusively Teflon dielectric and ultra light 99.99% pure silver contacts); in order to achieve a true 75 Ohms characteristic impedance, the geometry of this digital connector is different from its Indra brother: it's larger in diameter at the termination point, and the center pin is hollow, but not cylindrical; in addition, a machined Teflon insert supports and positions the wires as they approach the termination point. 

>> Enlarge

 

The 2006 and 2007 balanced AES/EBU Sextet used the proprietary STEALTH XLR connectors (machined Titanium shells, solid silver contacts, machined PTFE dielectric)

 

>> Enlarge

 

>> Enlarge

 

 

The early Sextet AES/EBU (balanced)  beta version was made with XHadow XLR connectors. The male X-Hadow XLR connector works like a conventional XLR, but the female version of this connector is not locking, and it also lacks the "guide" that guarantees the correct position of the connector towards the pins on the panel mounted XLR counterpart, so it's necessary to be extra careful while connecting the female XLR end of the cable to the equipment. None of the production Sextet cables were made with X-Hadow connectors.

>> Enlarge
>> Info

 

PRICING

Suggested retail price for an RCA-terminated Varidig Sextet (with the STEALTH proprietary Titanium/Carbon/Teflon/silver DIGITAL  RCA connectors) is $2,400.00 for 0.6 meters, $2,700 for 1 meter, and $1,100 for each extra meter after 1 meter;

Suggested retail price for a balanced (AES/EBU) XLR-terminated Varidig Sextet (with the STEALTH proprietary Titanium/Teflon/silver XLR connectors) is $3,600.00 for 1 meter length (1 meter is the shortest for the AES/EBU configuration), and $1,300 for each extra meter after 1 meter;

 

INSTALLATION of the RCA-terminated Sextet:

One needs to apply a significant force to make sure the STEALTH RCA connectors are inserted all the way  onto the RCA female (on the back of an equipment piece).  When you insert these connectors, the feel is like forcing a knife through a cold chunk of butter: it goes slowly and smoothly, but with a very noticeable resistance. This usually requires either approaching your equipment rack from behind, or partially removing a component from a rack to have a clear access to it's back panel to insert the connectors using the axial force (along the connector's axle, along the cable); The internal part of the connector is made of Teflon, and the internal diameter of the Teflon cylinder is slightly smaller than the RCA female diameter. When the connector is fist connected, the Teflon cylinder expands to reach the internal part of the titanium housing (the outer titanium ring on the connector). Once connected, the connector sits very tight on the RCA female, and the three solid silver strips, that make the actual contact, are pressed to the RCA female outer part. If the RCA female was cleaned right before inserting the STEALTH RCA connectors into it (with a contact cleaner or with simply rubbing (isopropyl alcohol), the connection between these strips and the RCA female is very firm - close to air tight, and it won't  oxidize or deteriorate with time.



**We continuously improve our cables and connectors, and add improved and extra features to our products – as we design and test these improvements. The general sonic character of the improved cable remains the same, it just becomes progressively better and better.

Eventually, with a number of improvements added, the cumulative effect of these improvements becomes significant – i.e. a cable works clearly, considerably better. At this point, we introduce a new revision to a cable model, which summarizes all improvements since the initial release of a particular model (or after the previous revision), making these improvements and features standard for the latest revision.

It’s worth noting that we keep our research and experimentation separate from production, i.e. All cable and connector changes are thoroughly tested before going into production. We never make changes just for the sake of making changes: All improvements that we introduce make perfect and clear sense from the engineering point of view, and are always tested sonically We make absolutely certain that these changes are an actual improvement (i.e. NOT a degradation in any area); we pride ourselves that – since 1999 up to date - no mistakes, errors, or wrong moves have been made or noted. Before adding any improvement, and especially releasing a new revision to any of our products, we always make absolutely certain that the latest revision is better than the previous in each and every respect – being it sonics, appearance, reliability or user convenience.