Saturday, March 30, 2013

Argento Audio Flow power distributor

Argento Audio is proud to finally introduce our new power distributor.

Unfortunately the development process has taken significantly longer for us than we initially planned.
The reason for this is that we wanted the product to truly bring something unique to the market and not just another “me too” product.
You may think that a product as fundamentally simple as a passive power distributor can’t be improved significantly compared to the offerings already available on the market.

However through a “blank sheet” approach I believe we have de-signed and build a product that once again shows that Argento is one of the most innovative and unconventional high-end audio companies.

Initially we will look at the fundamental construction of all the power distributors in the market (figure 1).

Going through the diagram you can see that there are plenty of variables in a relatively simply device as a power distributor and a rather high number of parts (more than 100 in a product with as many outputs as the Flow power distributor - of which 40 are conductive).

Instead of simply trying to optimize these parts by choosing pure copper or silver for the conductive parts, damping the box for low resonance, cryo treating the parts, etc. we taken a the path of simplification.

This path has led us to a power distributor that consists of essentially only 5 parts in total plus 18 bronze springs to ad contact pressure, 4 screws to hold it together and an aluminum foot to add a finishing touch and create a solid base for experimenting with different isolation devices.

These 5 essential parts are:
-2 very large and complex parts made of Bakelite. Together these parts forms the insulator for 9 outlets, the inlet, and the conductors.
-3 very complex copper sheet metal parts that are cut and shaped into the three conductive parts. One for Neutral, one for Live and one for Ground.

These conductive parts perform the task of the following parts in a regular power distributor:
-Pins in the inlet
-Internal cabling
-Blades of the outlet

The copper parts are made of annealed OFC copper of 99.997% purity with a layer of pure silver to protect against oxidation.
Because of this the conductive path are not broken a single time inside the power distributor and for that reason the resistance is significantly lower than competing products. However high conductivity and conductor continuity is not the only advantage of our new power distributor.

Because we have reduced the numbers of essential parts by more than a factor of 10 (compared to competing designs), we have created an assembly that is significantly less prone to vibration issues.

Further, the design of the Bakelite parts creates a clamping effect around the 3 conductor/connector parts limiting the potential for vibration significantly. The internal and external geometrical shape is also a result of our “blank sheet” process and take into account the shortcomings of a traditional power distributor with a row of sockets. The round shape ensure that all sockets have identical distance to the input.

The result is that all the output sockets sound the same and the device provides perfect star grounding if used with identical power cords leading to less grounding issues.

As a final testament to the attention to detail each of the neutral and hot clamps in the outlets are reinforced with, a bronze spring that enhances the contact pressure significantly compared to designs that rely on the springiness of the blade metal alone.

This ensures that the transmission of power from the power distributor to the power cord is meet with absolute minimum resistance.