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Technology

 IMG_7281 (2)Merlin Cables have all been designed to excel in all areas of use and design. For those technically minded, all Merlin Cables use 6N laboratory-spec high purity oxygen free copper conductors in low temperature polyethylene dielectrics. In addition to this we also use many of our own technologies explained below to further enhance the audio and visual performance of our cables.

All these technologies are the foundations for the Award Winning success of Merlin Cables and have provided the platform from which to build on. All of our models use one or more of these technologies, the higher the level of model the more you will see incorporated.

HCT – Hybrid Core Technology

Traditional multi strand cables often exhibit excellent frequency extension but are normally impaired by a veiled mid-band and a slightly undefined bass. Conversely solid core cables tend to present a more open sound but suffer from a tailored frequency range.

By using our Hybrid Core Technology (HCT) the benefits of both multi-strand and solid-core cables are combined and their drawbacks effectively minimised. Constructions of our cables can consist of anything between 4 and 54 various diameter individual cores of copper arranged in either a spaced flat ribbon-style configuration or various precision helical spirals to ensure consistency of performance of all cables made.

Each OFC core is individually insulated to minimise energy transfer between the strands which can cause phase and timing  issues.

CCT -Conductive Carbon Tubes

To drastically reduce the Effects of certain types of EM and RF interference as well as electrostatic energy  we employ the use of a custom designed carbon shielding system. It is a unique blend of special carbon based additives to get the ideal combination of conductive (for shielding of the cores from interference) and dissipative properties to carefully control and remove electrostatic energy. There is still electron flow across or through the dissipative material, but it is controlled by the surface resistance  of the material. This shielding system gives 100% coverage of the area it is applied to. It should be connected to our energy management system for maximum effect.

CCT  allows the transfer of the turboelectrically generated charge to ground via our energy management system or will over time dissipate most of the stored energy on its own . The transfer of charge from  the CCT material happens in a more controlled fashion than from a full metal screen and it does not have the problems of the large capacitive increase and associated problems with this that you get when use of thick metal screens are encasing the conductors.

NAS – Noise Absorbing System

Another of the technologies we use is a passive (NAS) Noise Absorbing System. This totally non-intrusive absorption technique is designed to remove damaging RF (radio frequency) and EM (electro-magnetic) interference from your cables or signal. NAS enables the components in a Hi-Fi or Audio Visual system to operate more efficiently without suffering from the detrimental effect of harmful harmonic noise.

Leaked emissions from the equipment itself and those picked up by the cable represent the focus of the proprietary system. Whilst conventional audio cables only use screening to prevent RF and EM interference, an audio cable can still transmit RF and EM picked up internally from equipment – simply using a screened cable to combat these problems is not effective. The philosophy of Merlin Cables is to remove the problems before it enters the system. The NAS is designed to work at frequencies of 20MHz and above, with a bandwidth greater than 30GHz.

As already explained, all cables can have the ability to act as miniature antennas they transform noise voltages and noise currents into radiated EMI (electro magnetic interference), thereby having a damaging effect on the sound or picture quality of your system. By drastically reducing these levels sound and picture quality becomes more detailed and defined.

On Audio the higher frequencies becoming clearer and sweeter coupled to a more agile and tuneful bass performance, the improvement in the high-frequencies enables the key mid-range to open considerably and become more liquid and focused. With video images the picture becomes sharper and clearer with a far more vivid depth to colours yet displaying less saturation and exhibiting sharper edge definition and reducing noise allowing the hole image to become far more 3 dimensional and natural.

Energy Control

Cables are afflicted by a myriad of noise problems, they not only radiate energy but are affected by EMI from other devices. The CCT carbon tubes are applied as closely to the conductors as possible to wick energy away from the conductor dielectric and to minimise the chances of the conductors picking up EMI. EMI can be broken down into two components, electric and magnetic fields, and different aspects of the  cable design will effectively counteract both of these fields. The Electric fields are blocked by  the CCT carbon tube screen and the tightly twisted conductors offer very good relative immunity from a magnetic field.

All of the materials used in the construction of our cables have been specially selected for their individual and combined properties. Our conductors are covered in extruded LDPE , while having a slightly higher dielectric constant than Teflon in suffers less from microphonic issues and is lower on the Triboelectric scale so doesn’t build an electrostatic charge as readily and dissipates it easier.

We use natural cotton filler, these act to damp the cable construction mechanically and also do not store energy, either electromagnetic or electrostatic in the same way that plastic based fillers do.

A conventionally terminated screen will be connected to the signal return at one end, it is a very convenient way to construct a cable and can offer benefits although it is simply injecting the noise back into the equipment. Some companies offer a floating screen to get around this problem, but noise is energy and if it does not have a path to follow it will simply remain where it is, in the cable. Using a metal screen like this still has a parasitic effect on the cable increasing capacitance and radiating its own noise. This is where our energy management system comes into play, it offers a low resistance path for the noise to follow which is electrically isolated from the system ground plain. through the use of different conductive, dissipative and absorbent materials it has been designed to not only manage noise and take it away from your system but to  dramatically reduce it as well.

Our Connections – Plug Types

All Merlin Interconnect Cables are available as standard with high-quality low-mass or locking RCA Phono plugs. Higher grade RCA plugs are available by request and as standard fit on higher spec models. Professional-grade Neutrik XLR connectors are available for true balanced operation on appropriate models on request as are BNC, F-Type, Coax, 4 & 5 pin Din, 3.5mm Stereo, 1/4 inch stereo, 1/4 inch mono connections.

Speaker Cables are normally terminated in low-mass dual-function 4mm Banana/BFA plugs for ease of use.  Spades are available as a cost option alternative as are other very specialist terminations on request. Providing we can get access to them we can use any plug type you choose. Most of our Speaker Cables are designed as a single run connection for resistance and impedance but it is possible to terminate some of them in bi-wire, bi-amp or tri-wire format’s depending on suitability of the model chosen.

All our Mains Cables are at least fitted as standard with BS Approved 3 Pin UK Mains Plugs and Re-wireable 3 Pin 10Amp IEC Plugs that offer a professional and reliable fit as well as a high quality connection. Also available is the fitting of High Current 3 Pin 16Amp IEC Mains Plugs or 2 Pin 5amp IEC Connectors (figure8) depending on appropriate models. We can also do specialist connections such as 20amp Neutrik or old style 3 Pole connectors for items such as Quad Electrostatics.