Every March 17 on St. Patrick’s Day, New York City merely paints a green line down the center of its parade route on Fifth Avenue, a stunt that any city could easily pull off. But it’s only Chicago that dyes an entire river the perfect shade of emerald green to honor Irish culture. Why green? Thanks to Ireland’s lush vegetation, the island is often lovingly referred to as the Emerald Isle. To the Irish, a green display of pride is not to be taken lightly. In the United States, even those who are not of Irish descent know to wear green clothing on St. Patrick’s Day, or else be playfully pinched by an Irish friend or colleague! But there is a big difference between putting on a green T-shirt or a green tie and turning a 156-mile long river green. Chicago’s Stephen M. Bailey, the man who orchestrated this transformation, boasted that he would turn the River Chicago into the River Shannon (Ireland’s longest) for a day, and eventually, he did.
There was no specific recipe for successfully dyeing a river. A bit of trial and error was required. Initially, over 100 pounds of dye was used, and the river stayed green for a week! In the second year, 50 pounds of dye kept the river green for three full days. In the third year, it was found that using 25 pounds of dye would turn the river green for a single day. Two years later, environmental concerns led to the formation of a new vegetable-based dye that produces a perfect sea of green and lasts for four or five hours—40 pounds of the stuff does the trick. Following suit across the nation, major canals, minor creeks, city blocks, drinking fountains, and even the Presidential Fountain at the White House are dyed green for St. Patrick’s Day—all thanks to the wonderful example set in Chicago.
METAL-LAYER NOISE-DISSIPATION It’s easy to accomplish 100% shield coverage. Preventing captured radio-frequency interference (RFI) from modulating the equipment’s ground reference requires AQ’s Noise-Dissipation. Traditional shield systems typically absorb and then drain noise/RF energy to the component ground, modulating and distorting the critical “reference” ground plane, which in turn causes a distortion of the signal. Noise-Dissipation “shields the shield,” absorbing and reflecting most of this noise/RF energy before it reaches the layer attached to ground.
DOUBLE-BALANCED GEOMETRY Specifically designed for single-ended applications, Double-Balanced Geometry offers a relatively lower impedance on the ground for a richer and more dynamic experience. While many single-ended cable designs use a single path for both the ground and the shield, Double-Balanced designs separate the two for cleaner, quieter performance.
HARD-CELL FOAM INSULATION Hard-Cell Foam (HCF) Insulation ensures critical signal-pair geometry. Any solid material adjacent to a conductor is actually part of an imperfect circuit. Wire insulation and circuit board materials all absorb energy. Some of this energy is stored and then released as distortion. Hard-Cell Foam Insulation is similar to the Foamed-PE used in our more affordable Bridges & Falls cables and is nitrogen-injected to create air pockets. Because nitrogen (like air) does not absorb energy and therefore does not release any energy from or into the conductor, distortion is reduced. In addition, the stiffness of the material allows the cable’s conductors to maintain a stable relationship along the cable’s full length, producing a stable impedance character and further minimizing distortion.
COLD-WELDED, GOLD-PLATED TERMINATIONS This plug design allows for a connection devoid of solder, which is a common source of distortion. Instead of solder, the process employs a high-pressure technique. Because the ground shells are stamped instead of machined, the metal used can be chosen for low distortion instead of machinability.
SOLID LONG-GRAIN COPPER (LGC) CONDUCTORS Solid Long-Grain Copper (LGC) allows a smoother and clearer sound than cables using regular OFHC (Oxygen-Free High-Conductivity) copper. Solid conductors prevent strand interaction, a major source of distortion. The surface quality is critical because a conductor can be considered as a rail-guide for both the electric fields within a conductor and for the magnetic fields outside the conductor. LGC has fewer oxides within the conducting material, fewer impurities, fewer grain boundaries, and definitively better performance.