PGS - "Pure Gold Signal": a single,
very thin (0.004" in diameter), 99.99% pure gold signal conductor, surrounded by porous Teflon® insulation, and a complex cross-wrapped
"return" (multiple thin strands).
PGS was beta-tested in 1999 and was in production since December 1999 until April
2002 (when it was replaced with the PGS-XL).
After several years in production and several hundred opinions collected,
it became clear that the PGS is one of the most "refined" and "analog sounding" interconnect cables in existence. Note - the same as with copper and silver cables, not all gold cables sound the same! There is much more than just using pure gold wire in these cables...
But why using gold while silver is more conductive?!!!
Well, there are several reasons:
- In line-level interconnects, conductivity per se is NOT the main factor that determines the sound quality:
purity, internal grain structure and gauge (thickness) of the wires
effect the sound of a cable much more than conductivity all by itself.
Certain qualities of the dielectric used to insulate the wires
(such as its dielectric constant and mechanical damping
factor) are also more important to the sound than the measured
conductivity of the wire. This is not a mere personal opinion: the vast majority of
foremost cable designers promote similar ideas.
- According to "The Essex Echo" article by Malcolm Omar Hawksford (which is the ONLY classical and acknowledged article on the on audio cables sound theory: 10 or 12 printed pages that explain what sounds best and why using a lot of math) interconnects sound more "focused" and "extended" if they are made of a VERY thin wire: the thinner - the better, in fact. Clarity, resolution, bass tightness - everything is better with thin wire. Why? Because thin wire allows to "move" the skin effect out of the audible range and eliminate (or greatly reduce) the time smearing of audio signal - i.e. the time domain distortion subjectively perceived as excessive upper midrange "brightness" and "boomy" unfocused bass...
- So, the wire must be VERY thin and VERY pure to sound good. But...
- Thin wire is fragile. Plus it is VERY difficult to make a very thin silver wire of high purity - since despite of using special measures, it gets terribly polluted in the production process. It is
expensive - but possible to make a chunk of silver of 7N (seven nines) purity (i.e. 99.99999 pure).
However, making a REALLY THIN wire is a multi (multi) step
process, the metal inevitably gets polluted, and the resulting
THIN wire is only 99.9% pure or even worse. It is close to impossible to make pure enough thin copper wire either.
Plus - unless immediately protected by a layer of SOLID
dielectric - a very thin wire "ages" very quickly and becomes even more fragile
(and even brittle) with time. Oxidation is not the only factor
of aging: silver oxide IS highly conductive (unlike copper oxides) - but silver is easily polluted with Sulfur and
other active elements (from the outside air or from a contact with human skin).
When polluted, silver loses conductivity, uniformity and "plasticity". It's not a problem with thick silver wires or contact surface, but it IS a real problem with extremely thin
bare wires or silver foil used in interconnects.
- Back to the dielectric. Vacuum is best. Air is almost as good. Teflon is best of solid dielectrics (because of the fast charge/discharge characteristics = less energy storage = better transient response). Foamed Teflon is better than solid Teflon (since it contains air bubbles). The more air - the better. But - how to protect our thin silver or copper wire if it 's surrounded by a lot of air?
- So - gold IS the solution - since it IS possible to make a high purity VERY thin gold wire. How thin? Approximately a half as thin as human hair :-) How pure? 99.99% or better (24 carat gold is only 99.9% pure). Plus gold is practically grainless, a properly made gold wire is considerably more uniform than silver or copper. And it stays that way!
- STEALTH PGS (99.99% gold) cables are made with extremely thin gold conductors in a proprietary porous Teflon dielectric, and they do sound special...
REAL LIFE OPINIONS
Please check the latest reviews and customers' feedback on the PGS interconnects.
Here are some quotes:
"...The (STEALTH PGS) wire is extremely transparent with good focus and detail...
The PGS interconnects do some things better than I have ever heard from another interconnect. Its midrange is liquid and provides the best reproduction of harmonic structure in this range that I have ever experienced - even with the Transparent Ultra XL..."
Greg Graff email@example.com
"...The PGS is truly remarkable! I can't find words strong enough to convey my amazement at what it did for my sound. The sense of instruments blending together, yet each being separate and distinct, and of dynamics, with sounds jumping out at me but just in due measure, as they would in a live performance, was a source of great listening pleasure. This gold interconnect gave me the most involving music my stereo system has ever achieved. It too has a distinctive "voice", but I wouldn't call it light or dark, just beautifully balanced... Among all the STEALTH cables I've auditioned, the gold is the undisputed champion on detail. Any "softness" is simply a refusal to overemphasize highs. This gold interconnect also strikes me as handling transient decay better than any other I've used. This may be a key factor for realism and naturalness, as important as good handling of transient attack. The pleasing silence that closely follows a transient is unique in my listening experience.
Tom Patton, firstname.lastname@example.org
...The PGS middle and upper range is very smooth and exquisitely detailed. Female voices sound especially lovely.
Eiichi Mimura, Tokyo Japan email@example.com
"... My first impression of the STEALTH 99.99% GOLD interconnect cables was that they were very well made. Workmanship was first class! When plugged into my system, Wow! I could instantly notice the improvement in the vocal, i.e. more nuances and vividness..."
Kua Soo Chong firstname.lastname@example.org
PGS retailed for $2000 per a 1 meter pair. RCA and
balanced XLR were priced the same.