GAIA PHONO  A.k.a. 423.5Phono-Litz Plus           DIN-RCA & DIN-XLR  versions

Cable geometry: Star-Quad

Conductor Type/Geometry: LITZ (Gaia Pure OCC silver -Teflon Litz)

Conductor size: 23AWG

Dielectric/Insulation: Multilayered solid & medium density Teflon (PTFE)

Shields: 2 x overlapping silver plated OFC copper braids (each 98% optical coverage).

Cable jacket: Flexible Silicone compound.

Outer braided sleeve: Soft black Multifilament

Diameter of main body - 9mm including outer sleeve

Diameter of cable neck & tails - 7mm

The GAIA PHONO (A.k.a. 423.5Phono-Litz PLUS) is a low capacitance phono cable which incorporates some truly original features that set higher standards in audiophile silver cables. The cable belongs to our Gaia Series of pure OCC silver handmade audio cables. For this series we have created a state of the art Litz conductor consisting of individually Teflon insulated pure OCC silver strands.

Since the initial launch of the 423.5Phono-Litz we have gradually improved certain aspects of the cable design. While preserving its original structure we have  further reduced its capacitive and inductive impact preserving a very efficient balance (Capacitance: 49pF/m, Inductance: 0.69H at 1kHz. & 20C). In addition, the shielding effectiveness has further increased by using high density, silver plated copper braids with very high levels of optical coverage.

The 423.5Phono-Litz Plus is a starquad cable with Gaia Litz type conductors. The unique Litz conductors used by the 423.5Phono-Litz Plus are a significant improvement over solid, stranded or traditional Litz designs that are available in the industry. As with all of our handmade cables, the OCC strands are made of one of the purest silver and have practically no crystal boundaries. However, the uniqueness of the Gaia Litz conductors lies mainly with the characteristics of their insulation and the methods of its application.

Conductor & Cable design:

Effectively Gaia Litz conductors are formed by combining individually Teflon insulated OCC silver strands. This may appear straightforward and/or common. It isn’t! No silver silver Llitz (or copper) wire is simply insulated with PTFE. The manufacturing process of Teflon insulated Litz wires requires the use of other, less desirable materials that enable Teflon to bond on the metal surface. In most occasions, Teflon Litz wires will only have an outer layer of Fluoropolymer. The actual  insulation of the individual strands will typically make use of nylon enamel films, polyurethane enamel base coatings etc. This is a largely unaccounted factor when assessing Litz wires for audio applications and given the electrical properties of such materials/insulators it shouldn’t be.

The primary, solid PTFE insulation we use on our Gaia conductors is manually extruded over the silver cores to create an airtight layer with the desired thickness, firmly attached to the surface of each of the silver strands. The insulated strands are helically wound and encased in an outer secondary layer of medium density PTFE insulation to form a single Gaia litz conductor. The airtight PTFE insulation prevents the movement of the wires maintaining a fixed distance among all the strands of the same conductor and it creates an outstanding layer of primary dielectric with excellent electrical properties (remarkable electrical stability over a wide range of frequency and environmental conditions, with a low dielectric constant that shows less change over a wide range of temperatures and frequencies than any other solid material, and dissipation factor which remains constant and below 0.0004) compared to any coated Litz wire currently produced.

The pure silver Litz conductor used for this cable is the result of extensive work and experimentation in order to produce the ultimate result. The twisted strands carry the signal as individually insulated  “transmission lines” exposing a much larger surface area than a solid or stranded 23AWG conductor would. Ultimately, These each of these Litz conductors is a group of low mass signal lines. The small cross-section of each discreet conductor permits an even distribution of the signal carriers across each wire resulting to stable capacitive and inductive values at all frequencies.

One of the main advantages in using such Litz conductors is that they have outstanding mechanical characteristics. They achieve  the flexibility and strength of stranded wires but do not suffer from the inherent weaknesses of bare stranded formations. In addition to their excellent mechanical characteristics Litz conductors also prevent surface marring (weathering/oxidization and mechanical wear/friction) and their embodiments have  excellent conductor resistance and inductance to cable capacitance ratios.

Four of the Gaia Litz conductors described above (approx. 23AWG effective gauge each) are arranged into a starquad geometry. Star-quad geometries are used throughout the cable industry and in particular where low level signals are involved in order to enhance the noise rejection  characteristics of the cable. However, note that the geometry of the cable (star-quad, Litz braid, twisted pair etc) does not replace the effectiveness of the shield in terms of dealing with EMI and RFI. Claims of “self-shielded” Litz geometries for unshielded cables are rather misleading. A cable that does not have a shield is an unshielded cable and subject to all the consequences this entails. This does not mean  that such a cable may not perform well enough. It means that if this cable is used in a certain environment it will not be able to prevent EMI and RFI from becoming an audible nuisance. For these reasons as well as for added protection of the cable conductors, we insist in producing very well shielded cables with efficient earthing arrangements.

The starquad formation is encased  in two additional layers of medium density Teflon (bedding/packing insulation) to determine the proximity between the signal conductors and the cable shield. Medium density Teflon is a material with a very low dielectric constant (significantly lower than solid PTFE) while it is also very flexible.

The entire bundle is threaded  into two braided silver plated OFC copper shields, each having a 98% optical coverage. The combination of these very dense braids achieves extremely low impedance to the ground, an almost 100% optical coverage and skin depth adequate to deal with unwanted, low level interference in the most demanding conditions.

The outer protection of the cable aims at creating a good electrical insulation with excellent mechanical properties (i.e. strength,  flexibility, vibration absorption & isolation, abrasion protection etc). At the same time it offers adequate protection against moisture, UV light and general weathering conditions in a domestic or professional environment.  To achieve this the 423.5Phono-Litz Plus has three insulating layers above the shielding: Teflon insulation, a flexible silicone compound jacket and a flexible braided outer sleeve. A 0.2mm layer of PTFE (Teflon) is applied directly onto the  shielding of the cable. Then an ultra-flexible, premium silicone  jacket is used and the cable is finished with a high-quality, soft multifilament braided  sleeve. Ensuring that the cable is adequately protected and not simply dressed with an outer braid (which is the case with most handmade cables) will result to a long life of consistent performance.

Overall the Gaia Phono has a robust but highly flexible construction, dense shielding to effectively block any noise, and an efficient Faraday Cage ground/shield arrangement that isolates  the external ground path from both send and return signal conductors.

The sonic result is simply amazing. A fast and  transparent cable. Open but not edgy with natural upper bass extension, rich midrange and detailed layering. It is truly neutral and casts a beautiful three dimensionality to the soundstage. It will not increase bass or mask detail.

The cost of the materials and the work required in order to form such conductors inevitably set a high price for these cables. However, its performance alone fully justifies its price regardless any claims we may make about the costs involved, the design advantages or its electrical characteristics.  The construction of each of these cables requires many hours of work  over a period of a few days and each cable is made on order from its  first stage to the last. This means that these cable are not available for immediate dispatch and usually a 4-6 days lead time is suggested.

Tonearm Connector options:

1877phono tad88

423.5Phono-Litz - Gaia - Yannis Tome handmade tonearm cables

423.5Phono-Litz - Gaia - Yannis Tome handmade tonearm cables

423.5Phono-Litz - Gaia - Yannis Tome handmade tonearm cables

423.5Phono-Litz - Gaia - Yannis Tome handmade tonearm cables

423.5Phono-Litz - Gaia - Yannis Tome handmade tonearm cables

423.5Phono-Litz - Gaia - Yannis Tome handmade tonearm cables

423.5Phono-Litz - Gaia - Yannis Tome handmade tonearm cables

423.5Phono-Litz - Gaia - Yannis Tome handmade tonearm cables

423.5Phono-Litz - Gaia - Yannis Tome handmade tonearm cables

423.5Phono-Litz - Gaia - Yannis Tome handmade tonearm cables

423.5Phono-Litz - Gaia - Yannis Tome handmade tonearm cables

For more tonearm connector options as well as other destination connector options (i.e. BNC, TRS, DIN & mini XLR) please get in touch.

Note on connectors:

We have chosen to make our cables available with a variety of connectors/plugs. The reason we have done so is because we want the customer to have the option to choose what is best for his/her needs and his/her budget. We do not suggest that one should go for the most expensive combo of connectors he/she can afford.  Prices are determined by the various factors in the market and they are not necessarily representative of performance and quality. The options we have selected are what we believe is the best available in their price range and matched to our cable designs.

Keep in mind that often some of the top connectors come at such high prices that are hardly justified by the potential advantage in performance. Connectors are evaluated based on their design, build quality, materials, price and performance. We are more than happy to offer our honest opinion on specific brands/types and we will consider using other connectors of your choice whenever this is suitable and possible. 

For any further information on our cables please feel free to send us an email at info@cabledesigns.co.uk

Yannis Tome Audio Cables, 36 Dinas Terrace, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, SY23 1BT, U.K

© 2021. Y. Tome Audio Cables