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Questions About Outlaw Interconnect Cables

(Last updated 2010)

Q. Why Outlaw Cables?

A. Among the questions we are asked, queries about "Which cables should I use to connect my new system?" appear quite often. While there are many fine brands of cables in the market, we felt that interconnect cables was an area where the Outlaws' philosophy could be brought to bear to the benefit of our customers. In addition, with the increased need for cables due to the introduction of products such as Model 7900 and the LFM series subwoofers, we wanted to be able to offer a total Outlaw system solution.

Q. There are so many cables in the market, what makes the Outlaw cables different?

A. We design all Outlaw cables in conjunction with a world-class, ISO 9002 certified manufacturer in Taiwan and are different from other products in the market. Prior to offering these cables we met with the manufacturer and personally inspected the facilities where raw copper ingots are processed, extruded, and built into our own PCA offerings. Even the connectors are made for us and the final assembly is done under strict supervision with silver content solder.

Q. The PCA cables list "OCC" copper as a main feature. What is OCC copper and how is it different from conventional oxygen-free copper?

A. The OCC process for refining copper was developed and patented by Professor Ohno of the Chiba Institute of Technology in Japan and is licensed to our manufacturer for use in the production of wire and cable products for the audio/video industry. In conventional processing, hot molten copper is poured into a cooled mold for extrusion, resulting in multiple, fractionated crystal structure. While the copper may be "pure" in the sense of measuring gas impurities in the copper in comparison to standard copper refining techniques, Oxygen Free Copper (OFC) has undesirable effects that lead many to use more expensive materials such as silver for their conductive strands. As developed for A/V cable use, the OCC process utilizes a heated mold for casting and extruding, with cooling taking place in a separate process. The result is a larger crystal size and increased purity that approaches the 6N, 99.9998%! Looking at it another way, traditional copper has oxygen impurities of 200 to 500 parts per million (PPM), while traditional OFC copper reduces that to less than 10 PPM. With the OCC process, the figure is cut in half to less than 5 PPM of oxygen, and less than 0.25 PPM of hydrogen (compared to 0.5 PPM for OFC). With these results, the OCC process creates "ultra-pure" copper, and thus the acronym for the copper material is more properly known as "UP-OCC", for Ultra-Pure, Ohno Continuous Casting. Summarizing the benefits of the UP-OCC material used in our PCA cables you get the following:

• A true unidirectional copper crystal that is as free from impurities as possible to prevent corrosion
• Flexibility and fatigue resistance without impairing conductive characteristics
• Low electrical resistance
• Rapid signal transmission

We are proud to be one of the very few brands to offer UP-OCC products.

Q. How do your OCC based cables compare with silver?

A. When looking at silver conductor products it is important to distinguish between those using silver coated copper and those with solid silver conductors. Many products that are advertised as "silver" are simply silver coated, rather than full silver, meaning that the low frequency signals that tend to flow through the center of a conductor travel through copper, rather than silver. We are confident that the transparency and quality of our UP-OCC products will out-perform most copper and silver-coated audio products, and that they will provide a high performance, value priced alternative to solid silver.

Q. What is the construction of the PCA interconnects?

A. We are firm believers in the use of twisted, twin conductor construction for analog audio interconnects. This type of construction is superior due to the natural hum and noise reduction when twisted pairs are used, something not possible when coax type construction is used for audio applications. In addition, the use of twisted pair construction allows us to build semi-balanced style cables, where the ground is lifted at one end. This allows for a further degree of noise immunity not possible when coax style cables are used for audio applications. To further increase the transparency of our cables, the PCA interconnects are designed in a "dual-symmetrical" configuration, with two separately jacketed conductor paths for each side of the cable.

Q. How do you handle shielding?

A. The PCA cables have a dual shield system to isolate them from RFI and EMI as well as the digital noise that permeates today's complex audio/video systems. A 100% coverage copper foil shield, as opposed to the less expensive aluminum shield used in competitive products, is the first line of defense, covered in turn by a high-coverage copper braided shield. This dual system gives the maximum possible defense against both high and low frequency intrusion into the audio signal path.

Q. Anything else?

A. The PCA cables have an internal fabric braid and the outer covering is a tough, clear PVC jacket. The connections are made with silver content solder and high quality locking connectors are used.

Q. What about your optical cable. What makes them different?

A. Our PDO optical cables deliver exactly what their name implies: Pure Digital Optical. A quick look will immediately show that they differ from common grade optical cables thanks to a precision connector that has the size and strength to deliver superior connections. On the inside, our PDO cables use heavy metal free, high-grade polymer optical fibers that take advantage of high-speed communications-reflecting technology in the optical layer. This means that they are low-loss and deliver reliable, high speed, wide frequency connections. Beyond their construction and technology, the additional benefits of the PDO are their length and price. Outlaw PDO cables are priced substantially below competitive audiophile grade optical cables, and they are offered in our exclusive 1.8-meter length.

Q. Can I order custom length cables?

A. No. In order to keep our costs, and your prices, as low as possible, we are offering our PCA interconnects in just a few lengths. The subwoofer version of the PCA cables is available in three additional lengths, a 3m, 5m and 10m cable.

Q. What is the difference between your PCA and PCA Sub cables?

A. The PCA cables are sold in pairs for all audio connections, but are packaged for the short lengths typically needed in equipment rack configurations. The PCA SUB cables are shipped as a single cable in much longer lengths to provide maximum flexibility in subwoofer placement.

Q. What if I want to run two subwoofers?

A. To run a dual subwoofer configuration like our S2 LFM-1EX package, you will need the PCA Y-Adaptor. The PCA Y-Adaptor uses the same PCA cabling and locking barrel connectors as our PCA and PCA Sub cables. This ensures that your signal integrity is maintained and not lost through an inferior splitter.

Q. What else makes the PCA Y-Adaptor so special?

A. Unlike most splitters on the market, the PCA Y-Adaptor uses a high quality molded combiner to ensure that EMI/RFI is not introduced into the signal path at the critical split point.

Q. Can the PCA Y-Adaptor be used in any other configurations?

A. Yes. The PCA Y-Adaptor can be used in any RCA type audio application that requires the splitting of one signal to two separate locations such as a bi-amp configuration. The PCA Y-Adaptor offers one male and two female connections.

Q. What about video cables?

A. We offer two pure silver video cables in varying lengths. For composite video and component video connections we offer the PSC cable. For digital video connections we offer the PDV (DVI), PDH (HDMI to DVI) and the PDAV (HDMI) interconnect cables.

Q. How can the PSC cable be used for both composite and component video applications?

A. The PSC cable is a pure silver 75-ohm coax cable with RCA terminations. Unlike many “video” cables on the market today, the PSC maintains its 75-ohm impedance from tip-to- tip. Our special RCA terminations actually maintain the 75-ohm impedance critical to quality composite and component video connections as well as digital coax connections.

Q. Did you say that the PSC cables can also be used as a Digital Coax cable too?

A. Yes. The specifications for composite video, component video and digital coaxial cables are EXACTLY the same! Since our PSC cable maintain a 75-ohm impedance from tip-to-tip, it is the perfect cable for each of these connections. For component video applications you will need three PSC cables (which we offer on our website in special component cable discount packages).

Q. Earlier you mentioned that many silver cables are often just silver coated copper cables. Is this true of the PSC and PSSV?

A. NO. The PSC and PSSV use ultra-pure, highly refined pure silver for their center conductor.

Q. Are the silver conductors the same size in the PSC and the PSSV?

A. While the geometry and size of the dual mini-coax cables that make up the PSSV are smaller than the PSC, the result is the same: Unparalleled transparency that virtually eliminates any on-screen artifacts due to signal loss.

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