What are some of the most exotic parts used in high end audio?

caesar

Active Member
May 31, 2010
2,933
0
36
#1
One hears of things like $15K+ of fancy glue used in $100K+ wilson speakers, I guess for "better sound" and I assume to justify the big price tags. Or nano-technologies in Magicos, I guess to "eliminate distortions" and impress people from a marketing sense. Or companies developing their own solder that sounds better than anything else.

What are some of the other exotic parts out there?

Anyone mine their own metals?
 
May 30, 2010
13,919
8
38
Portugal
#2
One hears of things like $15K+ of fancy glue used in $100K+ wilson speakers (...)
Can you point us a link referring to the "$15K+ of fancy glue"? I would love to have more details about the value of the glue of my speakers!
 
Jan 29, 2014
983
0
0
Cape Town South Africa
#3

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
7,081
4
38
#5
One hears of things like $15K+ of fancy glue used in $100K+ wilson speakers, I guess for "better sound" and I assume to justify the big price tags. Or nano-technologies in Magicos, I guess to "eliminate distortions" and impress people from a marketing sense. Or companies developing their own solder that sounds better than anything else.

What are some of the other exotic parts out there?

Anyone mine their own metals?
i'd say that Furutech and others, mixing tourmaline crystal powder into housings used for power grid related products is a trend worth watching. the anti-static action caused by the thermal effect of the power grid on that material pays performance dividends everywhere they try it. I predict you are going to see circuit boards and maybe even chassis built with that material and anything that gets warm will allow for benefits. basically if your gear is warm to the touch, then the more of this stuff used wherever they can put it, the better the performance.

i'm not techie enough to see possibly obvious limitations to this direction, but i'll be surprised if over time we don't see this happen.

for myself; i'm adding Furutech 'NCF' IEC connectors to any new piece of gear, or anything that goes back to the factory for upgrades. i'm not messing with it myself, but when I can I will get that upgraded.

no doubt any parts using this so far are very spendy for small items. but I have no idea of the cost of making these parts.
 

mrlemon

New Member
Dec 6, 2017
2
0
0
Toronto, Canada
#6
I seem to remember that Audio Note used hand wound Capacitors, some using exotic materials.

Currently, they use Silver Wound transformers and of course silver wire in their more exotic tube amps.

TOM...
 
May 30, 2010
13,919
8
38
Portugal
#7
Nothing documented. Just word on the street.
Is it a nice way to say sensationalist and probably untrue? :D

As far as I know Wilson Audio uses an adhesive developed for aerospace because of its excellent mechanical properties, nothing else.

BTW, most electronics in the high-end uses components developed for the military, not consumer electronics components.

IMHO you picked the wrong company to use as an example of your thread - IMHO there are good technical reasons behind the Wilson Audio choices, they are not just fancy or exotic choices. The same for Magico, also as far as I know.
 

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Co-Owner, Administrator
#8
Is it a nice way to say sensationalist and probably untrue? :D

As far as I know Wilson Audio uses an adhesive developed for aerospace because of its excellent mechanical properties, nothing else.

BTW, most electronics in the high-end uses components developed for the military, not consumer electronics components.

IMHO you picked the wrong company to use as an example of your thread - IMHO there are good technical reasons behind the Wilson Audio choices, they are not just fancy or exotic choices. The same for Magico, also as far as I know.
I too am bothered by the fact that this thread is started on nothing more than hear say
 

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Co-Owner, Administrator
#10

caesar

Active Member
May 31, 2010
2,933
0
36
#11
Bricasti makes a version of their DAC in gold. Not sure how much gold the upgraded enclosure contains, or what else the upgraded unit contains, but it is claimed to sound significantly better.
 

caesar

Active Member
May 31, 2010
2,933
0
36
#12
nothing is documented but you want to fuel the fire
Steve, what's there to fuel? High end audio are expensive luxury products. Before you have a coronary, I got information from a HIGHLY PLACED individual inside Wilson Audio and an individual of impeccable character and highest integrity. Don't want to believe me, fine. I will leave it at that.
 

BlueFox

Member Sponsor
Nov 8, 2013
1,075
0
36
Silicon Valley
#13

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Co-Owner, Administrator
#14
Steve, what's there to fuel? High end audio are expensive luxury products. Before you have a coronary, I got information from a HIGHLY PLACED individual inside Wilson Audio and an individual of impeccable character and highest integrity. Don't want to believe me, fine. I will leave it at that.
Nothing based on fact but rather a mole inside Wilson Audio? Really caesar
 

DaveyF

Active Member
Aug 1, 2010
5,617
2
38
La Jolla, Calif USA
#15
Maybe a better OP question would be...do exotic parts used in high end audio have any true value except to increase a) the desirability of said piece and b) justification of the price asked. I suspect this question would get a wide variety of responses....:)
 

caesar

Active Member
May 31, 2010
2,933
0
36
#16
Maybe a better OP question would be...do exotic parts used in high end audio have any true value except to increase a) the desirability of said piece and b) justification of the price asked. I suspect this question would get a wide variety of responses....:)
Sure, Davey, it's possible. We have been down that road many times, and can still go down that road...Bricasti guys have solid engineering and integrity, and I trust them when they say the gold one sounds much better...But that was not my question...

Guys are so sensitive these days. Face the reality, high end speakers cost more than homes, hign end DACs cost more than cars. The hobby uses expensive parts... ignoring it won't make the reality go away
 
#18
I modded other manufacturers equipment for 10 years. I learned a lot about what passives perform well.

Then I decided to design my own components in 2009. I use the same high-quality passives in these products that I used in modding, cost no object. Here are some of them:

1) Duelund caps from Denmark
2) V-Cap teflons and oil caps
3) Jensen air-core inductors from Denmark
4) planar thick-film resistors - Caddock and others
5) cotton-insulated OCC silver wire from Japan

I don't use these because they are "exotic". I use them because they approach the text-book characteristics of ideal parts more closely than other inferior parts. Because of these more ideal characteristics, they perform better. Better sound quality is the goal.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
 

metaphacts

[Industry Expert]
Feb 1, 2011
166
0
0
Lower Provo River
#20