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.
The external diameter of The FIRST ® Ultimate is 7.8 mm., perfectly matching our C - 8.0 RCA type connector.
Available: 0.6, 0.8 and 1.0 meter, single packed (for digital audio interface applications (SPDIF)) and stereo pair packed with our RCA type connectors.
The FIRST ® Ultimate is NOT available on reels for do-it-yourself purposes. Customising this cable really needs expertise.
The FIRST ® Ultimate
Cable Type: Coaxial
Conductor Material: Linear Structured Carbon ®
Design Purpose / Application Area(s): Highest quality line level audio interlink / SPDIF digital audio interconnect (75 Ohm) (*)
Eff. Conductor Ø / Eq. AWG No. / Strands: - / - / Core: 12,000; Screen: 114,000
External Diameter / -Dimensions: 7.8 mm.
Resistance (20 °C / 68 °F): Core: ~36 Ohm/m.; Screen: ~4.8 Ohm/m.
Capacitance: 61 pF/m.
Characteristic Impedance: -
Insulation / Dielectric Strength / Test Voltage: Core: PE foam; Jacket: HULLIFLEX ® 4 / 300 Vrms min.
Connector Types Suitable: Our RCA type C - 8.0.
Standard Sales Units / -Lengths: Stereo pair packed with RCA (unbalanced) connectors in 0.6, 0.8 and 1.0 m. lengths;
Single packed for SPDIF transport-dac purposes with RCA connectors in 0.6, 0.8 and 1.0 m. lengths.
Lengths longer than 1.0 m. only available on special request; These will not be accepted for return.
Jacket Colour(s) Available: Light yellow
Remarks: Connectors need to be factory mounted.
(*): For short distances only and exhibits an excellent impedance mismatch reflection damping.
Other types available in our “The FIRST ®” series: The FIRST ® Metal Screen.
Related Articles & Papers:
CARBON LINKS; Martin Colloms’ appraisal of van den Hul’s latest pure-carbon interconnect, The FIRST ® Ultimate, plus the new ROYAL JADE HYBRID, CS - 122 HYBRID and D - 352 HYBRID speaker cables. A review from Hi-fi news & record review, January 2000.
“Van den Hul The FIRST ® Ultimate”; A short product news item about our The FIRST ® Ultimate interconnect cable from The British Audio Journal, Issue 5, July/August 1999.
ON ITS METTLE; Martin Colloms auditions van den Hul’s The FIRST ® interconnect and REVELATION loudspeaker cable. This article gives an accurate account of the audiophile qualities of our top line CARBON and HYBRID Technology cable products. A review from Stereophile, May 1993 (Vol. 16 No. 3, p. 134).
FIRST A REVELATION; Another interesting review by Martin Colloms of van den Hul’s The FIRST ® interconnect and REVELATION loudspeaker cable appeared in Hi-fi News & Record Review, February 1993.
THE FIRST METAL FREE CABLE; An article giving a full and accurate description of van den Hul’s The FIRST ® interconnect in all its aspects. Written for the German audio magazine HIFI Exclusive, by Uwe Kirbach.
The FIRST as a DIGITAL INTERCONNECT; An interesting report from Peter van Willenswaard in which he scientifically attempts to explain The FIRST’s unique qualities in its use as a DIGITAL INTERCONNECT. An article from Stereophile, March 1993 (Vol. 16 No. 3, p. 53).
Our unique CARBON & HYBRID TECHNOLOGY: In this interesting “question and answer styled” article A.J. van den Hul discusses the vulnerable properties of metal audio cables in general and goes into great detail about his newly developed HYBRID and LINEAR STRUCTURED CARBON ® audio cable technology. This article answers many important and often posed questions about van den Hul’s audio cable technology and philosophy.
Our CABLE FAQ: In this interesting and comprehensive “question and answer styled” document, A.J. van den Hul treats a wide field of frequently asked cable issues in high-end audio and video as well as many other related applications and subjects. A treasure of useful information for anyone dealing with cables in any hi-fi situation. Browsing through it will certainly give you new ideas and insights...
DESIGNER TIPS; A.J. van den Hul gives some helpful hints on getting the best results from your speaker cables and interconnects. A short article from What Hi-Fi, October 1999.
TIPS & HINTS (Designer Tips 2); A longer paper giving yet more helpful hints on getting the best results from your speaker cables and interconnects.
Our AWG to METRIC conversion chart converts American Wire Gauge numbers to metric diameter, cross-section area and resistance. Some rules of thumb helping you to learn AWG resistance and diameter by head are included.
Stereophile’s DUTCH MASTER interview with cartridge and cable designer A.J. van den Hul, introduces you to A.J. van den Hul’s succesful philosophy in cable and cartridge design. Furthermore many aspects regarding his METAL FREE interconnects and GRASSHOPPER phono cartridges are discussed.
Hi-fi News & Record Review’s A VAN DEN HUL PROFILE interview, though dating from 1990, provides excellent background information on van den Hul’s patented LINE-CONTACT PHONO STYLUS, its invention and philosophy. Furthermore, van den Hul’s AUDIO CABLE PHILOSOPHY is discussed in detail.