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No-Compromise Coax Cable with 6% Silver Plated Cardas Copper Conductor and Premium Prime 750 RCAs
Pangea Audio's Premier XL coaxial digital cable takes a no-compromise approach to digital audio, featuring precision-wound 18-gauge conductors using a Cardas Grade One Copper signal conductor with a 6% silver coating. It also boasts an exotic form of PE insulation that to our knowledge has never been used in a digital coaxial cable before, premium Prime 750 RCA connectors, and a tough woven nylon braided jacket.
Breakthrough Digital Audio Cable by Jay Victor
In creating Pangea's new Premier digital coaxial cable, designer Jay Victor tackled the three big challenges of digital cables: transmission, shielding, and connections. Each of the three areas presents its own set of design challenges. While Jay had considerable experience in each technical area, his extensive research led him to develop new strategies to take advantage of the latest advancements in materials science.
Superior Signal Transmission
For signal transmission, Jay chose American-made Cardas Grade One Copper, "the best copper on the planet," according to Jay. Cardas Copper is mined in Arizona and then shipped to New England where it is SLOWLY drawn into wire in a custom-designed Argon gas chamber to insure no impurities get into the conductor.
The use of Cardas Grade One Copper is unprecedented at this price point.
Jay has the Cardas Grade One Copper wire shipped to a second factory, where the wire is plated with a 6% pure silver coating. "I have found silver plating is crucial to digital audio cable performance," reports Jay, "and I use it in all my digital audio designs."
After years of experimentation, Jay discovered that proper shielding is crucial to digital audio cable performance. "Any noise or interference that enters a digital audio cable distorts sound," Jay says. "You can really hear a big difference between inferior and superbly insulated cables on standard CD-quality digital signals. With the introduction of new high resolution 24-bit digital files, the difference becomes even more drastic, and optimal shielding is crucial to great sound.
"I found that dual-layered shielding is essential, provided you use the best combination of materials. Triple-layered shielding is even better. However, quad-layered shielding is by far the best solution for accurate signal transmission.
"Quad-layered shielding can be tricky,” cautions Jay, “because simply piling on additional layers can add stiffness and certain layers won't work well in combination with others. In this cable I'm using three different types of shields and one in a dual layer. One layer is silver-plated because I found this sounds better than just using a copper shield. That's one of things you only learn after listening to a lot of test cables."
The Best Connections
Jay spent countless hours experimenting with RCA connectors and visiting factories in the Far East where connectors are made. "Most factories don't understand the requirements for high-end audio," observes Jay. "They think that gold-plating makes a connector 'audiophile quality.'" Eventually Jay found a factory that not only understood exotic materials, but also how to employ them to create the best connectors in Asia. "These guys get it," enthuses Jay. "They are a step ahead of everyone else. The Prime 750 RCA is a testament to their amazing expertise."
The Prime 750 RCA features a special ultra-low mass design that takes best advantage of the fine properties of exotic metals, while avoiding technical issues caused by using higher mass metal contacts such as eddy currents. Prime 750 has an ultra-low-mass, hollow, direct-gold plated Tellurium Copper center pin and ultra-low-mass direct-gold plated beryllium copper spring-type ground contacts. Instead of a heavier metal ring, Prime 750 uses an advanced polymer insulator to hold the connector together – further reducing the amount of metal required in the connector. The outer shell or cover is made from non-magnetic brass treated with a tough-as-nails scratch and chip resistant black chrome plating.
Add it up and Premier XL offers three radical cable innovations in a single coaxial digital cable design. Thanks to Jay's clever design and his superb relations ship to the manufacturers, Pangea Audio is able to bring you this cable at a surprising low price.
The Pangea Premier Coaxial Cable Story: As Perfect As Anyone Could Make It
When Pangea Audio first approached legendary designer Jay Victor and asked him to design an audiophile coaxial digital cable that would excel with hi-res music files, Jay became very excited.
"You won't believe this, but I've already worked on this problem for a while," Jay told Pangea. "A couple years ago, another high-end audio cable company approached me about designing coaxial digital cables. The owner of that company was very challenging to work with. He demanded that everything be as exact and perfect as possible before he would approve it.
"I worked countless hours with the factory on these designs, and I learned a great deal in the process. Finally, they were as perfect as anyone could make them. Then the company I was designing them for was sold. The new management team took the entire product line in another direction. All my designs and work were abandoned. I was really bummed out, not only because my designs weren't going to be made, but also because the cables I designed were so amazingly good for the money, I wanted others to enjoy them."
The Right Materials in the Right Combination
"What I discovered on the earlier project was that, while you can spend a fortune on exotic materials and make a very good – although very expensive – coaxial cable, it's really the right materials used in the right combination that makes this cable great," Jay said. "I found several combinations of the latest generation of materials that produce outstanding results but don't break the bank on cost."
This sounded great to the folks at Pangea Audio, and they green-lighted the digital coaxial cable project. A few months later, Jay got back to them.
Cardas Grade One Copper
"Sorry it took me so long," he said. "I wanted to review my designs and make one more change. I'm sure you'll be very happy with the results. The change I made was to use Cardas Grade One Copper for the signal conductor. I love the sound of the Cardas wire, and I've started using it in more and more of my designs."
George Cardas of Cardas Audio developed Cardas Grade One Copper for his own premium cables. George's copper is mined in Arizona, then shipped to a New England factory where it is very S-L-O-W-L-Y drawn into conductors in a process that includes reduction annealing between steps to further purify and meld the copper.
"I think it's the best copper on the market regardless of price," says Jay Victor.
Designed for Ultimate Sonic Performance
"I created three coaxial digital cables for you," Jay told Pangea. "The flagship Premier XL is for the discriminating audiophiles who want the ultimate sonic performance from their digital gear. It features Cardas Grade One Copper for the center conductor. Cardas Copper improves the sound in every cable I've tested, and I added a 6% silver coating for even more enhanced performance. I also used an exotic form of PE insulation that to my knowledge has never been used in a digital coaxial cable before. It's expensive, but I found it to be worth a modest price increase," said Jay.
"I terminated Premier XL with the Prime 750 RCA, one of the best RCAs on the market. The Prime 750 RCA has ultra-low-mass gold-plated beryllium copper spring-type ground contacts, an ultra-low-mass hollow direct gold-plated tellurium copper center pin, an advanced polymer insulator, and a premium hand-soldered connection. The hollow center pin reduces the effect of eddy currents that occur in a solid center pin."
Extremely Durable Baked-on Chromium Finish
Covering the RCA is a non-magnetic aluminum barrel with a baked-on chromium finish. We asked the designer, Jay Victor, why he chose this finish. "I've designed and built over one hundred RCA cables for various brands around the world and found that after months or years of use, paint will eventually flake off the barrel. This chrome finish is extremely durable and will last for years without cracking or flaking," answered Jay. "And besides, it looks sexy, doesn't it?"
"Put it all together, and Premier XL is an amazing cable at a very reasonable price," Jay concluded.
Pangea Audio Premier XL Coaxial Digital Cable
|Write Your Own Review|
|A giant killer of a product|
After a couple of days of break-in the Premier XL really blossomed out in my headphone mainly CD system, consisting of an Ayon Audio player, Schiit Yggdrasil DAC, Woo Audio WA-6SE headphone amplifier and Sennheiser HD800S headphones. I was comparing the Pangea Audio Premier XL with a very expensive cable, the $1400 Shunyata Anaconda, and also with a Cardas Clear. The Pangea Audio easily beat out both the almost nine times as expensive Shunyata and the Cardas. In comparison, the Premier XL has much better transparency and high frequency extension, and as part of this it removes a fine layer of smearing or "grundge" that was obscuring instrumental images. Depth and width of soundstage were also improved.
|- Don M, CA|
|Impressed by the improvement|
I have owned AudioQuest Cinnamon two years now and the cable made a big difference compared to the Monster cable it replaced. Yet the cinnamon was meant to be an interim cable until I found something even better. Longer term, I couldnt see myself using a $60 cable on a $3,000 dac. Well my hi-res digital music collection has been growing so I decided it was time to upgrade my digital cable. I considered the Audioquest Carbon and Nordost Blue Heaven, but then read about the Pagnea Premier digital. The four separate shields and Cardas copper peaked my interest. The discussion about low-mass beryllium copper and direct-gold-plated tellurium copper intrigued me. I bought the Premier XL digital and, after a 24-hour break-in the best way to describe the sonic effect is that it was like removing a fog or haze from performances. The sound is clearer and images are sharper - more life-like. Vocals are especially vivid - more like having Diane Krall in my room. I am impressed with this cable and thrilled that I only had to spend $150 to get this much improvement.
|Friends think I'm crazy|
My friends think I'm crazy for spending $150 on this digital cable but after trying it I find I am addicted to the sound. It must strip away digital artifacts I didn't know were there because I can heard details I never noticed before on songs I've listened to a hundred times. There's even improvement with Tidal streaming music. Maybe I am crazy but at least I'm happy.
|- Han Z, LA|
|Now Sounding Even Better|
Two weeks in now and my highest res music files are sounding more relaxed and images more 'present' in my listening room. After a twenty-four hour burn in the XL was sounding highly detailed with bass superior to the Audioquest Carbon digital I was using before. After a longer burn in images became more transparent especially through the mid-band. Treble is airy, extended and beautiful. This is the best digital coax I've heard so far. Before this one I used a Nordost Blue Heaven and two different Audioquest cables - Cinnamon and Carbon. Using with my Aurender N100H 4TB and Bryston BDA3 DAC.
|- Jasper O, IL|
|Like the sweetness|
After a short, 24-hour, break-in period I'm already a big fan of this cable. It easily bested several other digitals I had lying about in terms of detail and transparency - however - the biggest gain I hear and the one I can't live wihtout is the natural sweetness of the sound. Voices sound articulate and refined with a soothing character I can only describe as 'sweet'. Is that from the Cardas copper? I don't know and, frankly, I don't care. I just know I really like.
|- LA - Ira D, AZ|
|Kaan was right about this cable|
Thanks to my salesman Kaan who helped me pick up this cable. Music is very important to me. My music collection is also very important. I have over 5,000 CDs in along with hundreds of 24-bit high resolution music files and I add a few more every month. I have three disc players, an older NAD model – which still sounds pretty good, by the way, the Oppo BDP103, and my Bryston BCD2 – all connected to my Bryston BDA2 DAC. I just love musicality of my Bryston DAC. It was the best upgrade I made to my system in a long time – OK, maybe until now. I was using a hodge-podge of digital cables – one Straightwire, one XLO and AudioQuest – but Kaan convinced me to give this new Pangea one a try. Boy, was he right! Using this cable was like having the ear wax removed from my ears. The soundstage got much bigger, bass deeper, treble seems to go on forever, singers voice soar and the rock god’s bass guitar thunders. I didn’t realize what I was missing - its like having a whole new system. Thank you again, Kaan.
|- Les DDS B, TN|
My review is a testimonial to my salesman, Tim. I called him to discuss replacing my Musical Fidelity M6 DAC with either the Auralic Vega or the Bryston Model 3 because I just wasn't satisfied with the sound of the M6. The DAC was warm and full sounding, but not as detailed as other DACs I’ve heard in the price range. When Tim heard I was using a good but not great MIT video cable as a digital cable he suggested I try the new Pangea XL Digital before buying a new DAC. After plugging in the Pangea I was immediately struck by the extension in the highs. Every album was more open, spacious and ambient. The mids were still warm but now have gobs more detail. Bass is punchier - I turned my Velodyne subwoofer down a half a notch. Smart recommended, Tim, you nailed my problem. This cable is recommended.
|- Ben T, IL|
Premier XL is breathtaking. I don’t know any other way to put it. Recorded music doesn’t just sound live. It sounds alive. Highly recommended and well worth the money.
|- Morgan, IL|
While I was still breaking in the Premier XL cable my friend invited me over to hear his new Schiit Yggdrasil dac. He also told me he had scored an expensive Nordost Tyr digital cable on audiogon.com for $200. I decided to bring the Premier XL along but not tell him how much it cost. We went back and forth between the two cables for a while and the sound was very close. I thought the Premier was a bit more transparent but my friend thought the Tyr was a tad warmer. When I told him he was surprised by what I paid for the Premier cable. He’s used to paying a lot for audiophile cables and I’m not. Petteri Livonen’s ‘Art of the Violin’ Violin Sonata in G Minor finally decided it for me. I’ve listen to this album at least a hundred times and the Premier was more transparent and musically involving. Very happy with this purchase.
|- Ahmed M, IL|