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Reference and OPUS Series Design

Reference and OPUS Series cables have the most demanding specifications and require the most skill and expertise to produce. These ultimate products are the consummate expression of Transparent's audio cable design process. All technology advances start with these Transparent flagship products and then trickle down to all other audio cables in the Transparent line-up. Transparent is committed to including as much technology as possible at each performance and budget level.

Repeated measurements before, during, and after assembly are key to the performance of these specialized products. This measurement process allows precise calibration of some of the critical network parameters to the precise inductance, capacitance, and resistance measurements of that particular length of cable and that particular termination.

The precise mechanical fit of the cable with each component it links is also important to performance. Some speakers and amplifiers require long connection leads to span the distance between their binding posts. Plus and minus leads must also hook up in a straight path to the binding posts of linking components without crossing over each other. The effective series inductance of the cable is altered by changes in lead length or the relative position of the leads with each other. In Reference Series cables, Transparent measures the precise effect of these changes and compensates for them by adjusting the values of the network components. Incorporating all of these parameters into products makes each Reference Series or OPUS cable unique to its application and built one at a time by hand. Reference Series and OPUS cables take longer to build than most other components in your system.

Reference and OPUS Series networks also optimize the cable’s ability to match electrically more ideally with specific components. Knowing the source component output impedance and the input impedance of the component that receives the signal is very important to help determine the most ideal filter characteristics for a specific type and length of cable for a specific system.

The Transparent design model incorporates the impedance characteristics of a wide range of associated components. If a Reference or OPUS Series customer has a component that has an unknown input impedance, then Transparent will find out the required information before building that customer's cable. The design model consists of an intricate interpolation of data that correlates Transparent’s listening criteria with the measured electrical characteristics of cables with networks in different impedance applications. The model has evolved considerably over the past 15 years as a result of compiling tens of thousands of cable measurements.

This ongoing research and development of the design model has been punctuated by 4 major technological advances over the past 15 years; i.e., first generation Transparent products, XL Technology, MM Technology, and MM2 Technology. In addition to network advances, these technologies have been characterized by improvements to the construction of the cable itself, connectors, termination techniques, soldering techniques, mechanical resonance damping, parts, and materials.

One of the services Transparent provides to the original owner of any Transparent Reference or OPUS Series product is cable recalibration and reconfiguration for new system components. For example, if a customer gets a new amplifier, Transparent will optimize the networks on the existing speaker cables to work more ideally with the different output impedance of the new amplifier and reterminate the spades if necessary on the amplifier side to provide a perfect fit on the binding posts of the new amplifier.

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