Esprit Cables

Hi All,
My name is Eric and I am French. I work with Richar Cesari of Esprit Cables and am in charge of export markets for the company. I joined the forum after discussing with Chris, to answer some of the questions you may have about Esprit. 

To make things clear, I'm absolutely not here to try and sell you cables, or to say our cables are the best in the whole wide world. There are some very fine products out there and we all know it. 

I'll be glad to discuss hifi and music in general, as we all share the same passion. And of course, I'll be glad to answer questions about Esprit cables.

Quick presentation : I'm 45yo, I live in Brittany in a tiny town by the seaside in the North Western part of France. I've been into music for longer than I can remember, fell into hifi at age 16 and never managed to cure the disease. I have the same kind of passion for guitars and guitar amps, as well as for classic American cars. Those are two other costly hobbies, believe me. And finally, I'm an avid angler. I started fishing before I could read or write.

I look forward to a good chat with you guys, and I hope I can travel again soon to come and meet the team at AE as well as some of the forum members. 

Comments

  • Eric 

    Welcome to this extreme community!  I am using Eureka power cable to my delight. 


  • Hello Eric, likewise I have an eureka power cable too. And the Volta AC bar is phenomenal.  
  • Hello Eric, 

    I am glad to see your voice (messages) here. I am enjoying to use two balanced interconnect cables - one is Lumina and other is Eureka. Just connected a white-colored Eureka power cord for my integrated amplifier last week.  It is lovely.

    Speed Learner

  • Hi Eric, 

    Glad to have you joining us in the forum.  As a cable freak, how can I miss the Esprit cables.  I find them meeting every stringent criteria for a super league cable.  Gaia is simply faultless and is not eclipsed by any other super cables in the hall of game that I know of.

    L'esprit is something I am most interested at since I have listened to it in the Divin Lab.

    Can you share more here on what makes the brand stand out so much from the others.  I have read many positive reviews and seen awards.  Good to give a quick summary of the technologies behind for the benefits of other cable gurus in this community.

    Marvel
  • Hi guys and thank you for chiming in ! I'm glad to hear some of you are enjoying the cables. It's always great to have some feedback, even when it's negative, that's what makes progress possible.

    Marvel, you mentioned L'Esprit. What you listened to is the first prototype that we sent to Chris. Since then, Richard went back to the lab and worked around it. Some substantial modifications have been made, but I can't say too much about this now, as some design features may change again in the future. The power cable will be the first of the L'Esprit range, and we will probably send another prototype to Chris. The technology used in L'Esprit is quite different from the rest of the range. Pure OCC silver is used in conjunction with 6N copper. Not silver plated copper, but solid silver. The connectors are different too. But more about that later, when the final product will be ready. 

    Now, regarding the way Esprit cables are designed, there are a few things to say about where they come from. Richard was a music-lover AND a drum player when he started playing with cables, a long long time ago. He realized that his frustrations with his hifi systems at the time came in part from cables. All cables are destructive. All of them. The original idea was to come up with cables designed to bring as little signal destruction as possible. That's the idea that got him started. 

    So, Richard started making cables for himself and as friends came to his home and got to hear them, they started asking him to make some cables for their own systems. And as word of mouth went around, he created the Esprit brand and started to make cables for a living. 

    Richard has been hand-manking cables for about 25 years. In that time, he has kept experimenting with everything he could, from wires to insulation material, braid size, connectors, shielding, polarization, you name it. He basically spent most of his life testing ideas, which is probably the reason why Esprit cables are what they are today. The design philosophy behind is is quite simple : make the cables as little destructive as possible, to let you hear what your other components are doing. 

    Some of the ingredients in Richard's recipe -he often calls it a recipe, but hey, we're French !- are as follow : 

     1. Structure

    All Esprit cables use a symmetrical structure for conductors and an asymmetrical structure for insulators:

    Symmetrical structure of materials: identical conductors for both phase (+) and neutral ( -). Compared to coaxial cables, it makes for a more dynamic, more detailed and more silent performance. It also helps tonal balance and timbre.

    Asymmetrical structure of insulating materials: to avoid the build-up of an electric load inside the cable, two different insulating materials are used. Identical insulators load up the same way. Once they are loaded, it can often result in a more aggressive sound. The asymmetrical structure avoids this so that the tonal balance of your electronics and speakers are preserved.


    2. Materials

    There are many varied myths regarding materials that have circulated among audiophiles over the decades. The aim here is not to debunk myths, but rather to establish a few facts about conductors.

    Esprit uses only OCC copper as a conductor throughout the range. With silver, OCC copper is the best conductor available on the market. One advantage of OCC copper over silver is that it is reasonably easy to find a good supplier that will guarantee consistent quality of the material. Price, of course, is another.

    A robust myth is that silver cables enhance the top end of the sonic spectrum. Pure silver is in fact a very smooth sounding material, much like the sound of OCC copper. The myth behind that reputation actually comes from the fact that most ‘silver’ cables you can find on the market are in fact made of silver-plated copper.

    Silver-plated copper cables are not originally manufactured for audio purposes. The plating consists of an extremely thin layer of sliver, applied with a technique called flash plating, typically 0.3 to 0.4µm. The reason for the existence of that material is purely industrial: the layer of silver is there to make the copper thread more resistant to heat when a PTFE insulation sheath is extruded over it. That super thin layer of silver is responsible for the ‘toppy’ and somewhat bright sounding character of those cables.

    Esprit uses only 5N and 6N OCC copper. 5N is 99.999% pure OCC copper, and 6N is 99.9999%.

    5N copper is used in Alpha, Bêta and Kappa Series. 6N copper is used on all cables from Celesta to Gaïa. We source our copper from a Japanese company that guarantees consistent, high-level quality.

    As can be seen in that table, only pure solid silver is more conductive than copper, and by just a few percent. And the price of OCC silver is simply prohibitive. Esprit uses large cross section diameters of pure copper, as this eliminates the risk of noise generated by a thinner over-exploited conductor. The lower resistance of those larger conductors allows for better dynamics all across the bandwidth.

    Multi-stranded structure is favoured, with 0.07mm strands on all RCA and speaker cables and 0.32mm strands on XLR interconnects.  Those conductors were selected for each application according to their sonic performance after numerous listening tests.


  • 3. Insulation Materials.

    Insulation materials have their own sonic signature. For instance, stiffer dielectric materials such as High Temperature PVC tend to have a bit more bass, a slightly attenuated treble and quite a lot of punch. Softer dielectric materials, such as silicon, have a drier bass, as well as a more detailed midrange and treble.

    Esprit cables use two different insulating materials: one wire is insulated with a stiff dielectric material, the other with a soft one. The result is a more balanced sonic performance, with a combination of the qualities of both.

     

    4. Shielding.

    If we were to stereotype things: fully shielded cables tend to be very silent, have a wide bandwidth and a lot of details but can be a bit dull.

    On the contrary: unshielded cables are livelier, have more punch but they also generate more noise, have a narrower bandwidth and retrieve less detail.

    Esprit developed what we call progressive shielding:

    On the first third of the cable, there is no shielding. On the next third, there is one layer of shielding and on the last third, two layers of shielding. The result is a true combination of the qualities of shielded and unshielded cables in terms of silence, bandwidth, dynamics and details.

    Esprit uses only superior, high-quality shielding material: silver on pure copper weaved strands. It’s the kind of shielding material used in military or satellite applications.

     

    5. Connectors

    As explained before, silver is the best conductor of all metals. Esprit uses proprietary connectors with a very specific technology.

    Like silver plated cables, most silver-plated connectors are flash plated with an extremely thin layer of silver: 0.3 to 0.4µm. To make the silver adhere to the copper, the manufacturer generally adds a layer of nickel or chrome. And those metals are not good at conducting electricity. Gold plating is no better, and rhodium is even worse. The main quality of rhodium is that it is a self-levelling material, ensuring a nice even surface. However, its conductivity characteristics are very poor.

    Silver is the way to go for connectors. Esprit have their connectors made from pure copper, then sent to a plating company where multiple layers of pure silver and pure copper are applied to the connectors. This is as close as you will get to a solid silver connector.

    Where solder is used, Richard uses only 4% silver solder. 

    The result is a sweet tone, zero harshness in the treble and plenty of dynamics.

    6. Polarization.

    The aim of polarizing a cable is to protect it from electromagnetic interference. Protecting a cable from EMI makes it more silent. More silence means bringing out more micro-dynamics and more details too, as well as more evenly distributed dynamics across the bandwidth.

    There are two ways to consider an insulation material: as an insulator, or as a poor conductor. The way we polarize our cables is based on that assessment. We polarize the dielectric materials of our cables in a proprietary fashion. I can’t say much more about this here, as it forms part of the ‘secret recipe’ of Esprit! The overall idea behind it is to load the dielectric materials with an electrical signal  which is not the audio signal itself.

    I'm just realizing now that this is a very long post. I hope you had a good seat and something nice to drink ! 
    I hope this will help you understand where Esprit cables come from. At the end of the day, technique is one thing, but it's not the important part. What's important is to listen to music. At Esprit we spend a lot of time working, but it's a lot of fun as it's always with one goal in mind : having fun when listening to music. 
    Cheers,
    Eric. 
  • Thank you Eric! Those are really informative and really appreciate your hard work!
    Esprit sounds no cable, they simply disappear!
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