The FIRST ® Ultimate is a threefold heavier shielded version of our highly praised classic The FIRST ® (world’s first METAL FREE interlink) and has been designed for highest quality (unbalanced / asymmetric) line level audio and SPDIF digital audio connections.
With The FIRST ® Ultimate the sonic results are so different and also so much better than found with any metal product we know of, that we think this is a complete breakthrough in cable technology.
Besides the many highly innovative technical aspects of this product, its sonic aspects are even more attractive:
Especially the lack of dynamic compression on higher signal levels, the extended low level information and the total lack of any harshness make this cable so different from any other product known so far.
And for critical listeners with high demands on spatial reproduction, this is your final choice; no other product so far produced, renders so much spatial information as The FIRST ® Ultimate.
The basic conductor material is Linear Structured Carbon ® (LSC).
- The coaxial constructed The FIRST ® Ultimate has a LSC centre conductor with 12,000 individually insulated 7 micron strands with a total diameter of 1 mm. The individual strand insulation prevents electrons to cross from fibre to fibre. The direct result is that electrons exclusively move trough the 7 micron strands in one dimension. Side movements are virtually impossible. This prevents a lot of audio problems.
Sonic result: a much cleaner sound reproduction.
The center core insulation is made of polyethylene foam to achieve a low capacitance between the inner and outer group with minimal dielectric absorption.
- In difference to our The FIRST ®, The FIRST ® Ultimate’s outer braiding, functioning as screen and signal return, is made of 6 (instead of 2) layers of braided LSC fibres. Together 114,000 individually insulated fibres.
The jacket is made of light yellow coloured HULLIFLEX ® 4 with black type printing.
HULLIFLEX ® 4 provides a superb mechanical protection and exhibits a very high chemical stability.
The result of all this innovative work is a product without any defects. Thus far in any combination of equipment, the improvements were very clearly detectable, and this not just for experienced listeners.
The FIRST ® Ultimate performs equipment independently. All owners will be really happy with their sound reproduction for the first time in their life. Also as a digital interlink, The FIRST ® Ultimate performs unsurpassed. The typical interface induced jitter-distortion is definitively finished.
You will remember the day and hour of your first listening to The FIRST ® Ultimate.
Why is The FIRST ® Ultimate equipped with a heavier shield?
With our classic The FIRST ® connecting to some brands of tube amplifiers in very rare occasions a slight background hum is audible. This weak hum is caused by excessive ground currents flowing through the (unbalanced) cable’s resistive shield, adding up to the audio signal. The FIRST ® Ultimate’s heavier shield exhibits a much reduced electrical series resistance, thus minimizing the risk of experiencing hum problems.
What are these so called “ground currents”?
Due to the fact that most audio equipment in your installation is powered by the mains voltage, an unavoidable hum voltage residual is induced on all cabinets and audio grounds. At all audio devices these residual voltages are of different magnitude (or phase) and will balance out by means of ground currents flowing through the shields of your interconnecting cables. Generally, these ground currents are in the same order of magnitude as the audio signal currents being transferred (microAmperes); When using unbalanced interconnects they are likely to interfere, thereby reducing transparency and imaging.
What can be done?
With the Van Den Hul POLARITY CHECKER , you can simply fine-tune your audio system to eliminate, or at least strongly reduce, these residual ground currents and thus improve your system’s performance.
In persistent hum situations one can bypass the shield of The FIRST ® or even The FIRST ® Ultimate with a metal wire, or switch to our Linear Structured Carbon ® cables: The FIRST ® Metal Screen or The SECOND ® which have a metal shield of their own.
material Carbon product category interconnect - Unbalanced, Analogue, Digital, Mid-range cable type Coaxial conductor material Linear Structured Carbon ® design purpose Highest quality line level audio interlink / SPDIF digital audio interconnect (75 Ohm) (*) eff conductor - / - / Core: 12,000; Screen: 114,000 external diameter 7.8 mm. jacket colors Light yellow resistance Core: ~36 Ohm/m.; Screen: ~4.8 Ohm/m. capacitance 61 pF/m. insulation
Core: PE foam; Jacket: HULLIFLEX ® / 300 Vrms min.
Our RCA type C - 8.0.
standard sales units
Stereo pair packed with RCA (unbalanced) connectors in 1.0 m lengths
Connectors need to be factory mounted. (*): For short distances only and exhibits an excellent impedance mismatch reflection damping.
The FIRST ® Ultimate is currently sold in its mark 2 version (Mk II as printed on the cable). There is absolutely no difference in sound quality or electrical or mechanical properties between the original and the newer Mk II version. The latter merely has a thin foil added directly underneath the cable jacket, which facilitates our connector mounting process.
Other types available in our “The FIRST ®” series: The FIRST ® Metal Screen.