Ecosse The Baton mkII
Using the ‘trickle down' theory, we looked at The Symphony Interconnect and wondered ‘can we introduce similar ideas and concept but at a lower price point'?
It's an incredibly complicated cable, so is that even possible? We can, it was, and we did. Heres the result, first the Baton Mk1 and now its replacement the brand new and superior, Baton Mk2 Interconnect.
This remarkable interconnect uses several complementary sub-topologies synergised in one cable. Space and secrecy preclude a detailed description but we can afford a brief glimpse in lieu of an audition. The conductor is UHP-OFC (Ultra High Purity Oxygen-Free Copper, plated in UHP-OFSTM (Ultra High Purity Oxygen-Free Silver-since silver has a 10% gain in conductance compared to copper, a copper wire plated with silver will have less signal loss especially at longer lengths) spirally wound around a PE (polyethylene) tube with a primary dielectric of gas-foamed low-density polyethylene (LDFPE).
Each conductor assembly has a continuous foil shield and drain wire. IsohelixTM is our patented technology for ensuring not only that the signal and return conductors always maintain a precise relationship to each other, but also that externally induced resonance (microphony) is entirely dissipated within its structure, thus fully isolating the conductors from the outside world. A further continuous foil shield and drain wraps the encapsulation before sheathing in soft PVC. Complicated yes, but musically a revelation. And at this price point , an absolute no-brainer!
When wired in a 'pseudo-balanced' fashion using RCA 'phono' connections, the screen is connected at one end only to drain unwanted RFI ‘noise'.
Here the termination is our MACH1 deep silver-plated non-compressing all-copper RCA plugs - where the centre pin and shields (designed to form a 'Faraday Cage'- a device designed to maximise RF screening) are built from copper materials. Locking plugs are on the Mark1 version.
For fully balanced equipment, 'The Baton Mk2' is fitted with our high quality MACH1-XLR plugs which have deep silver-plated pins and solder surfaces. The unique clamping mechanism exerts equal pressure around the circumference of the cable without compression. This ensures constant impedance from termination to termination and results in an almost perfect signal transfer.
Ecosse are the only company in the world offering non-compressing copper RCA plugs on our inexpensive premier/premier+ analogue, digital and video interconnects.
To maintain continuity and optimum conductivity, their contact points are made from OFC copper - same as the conductor wire itself (don't be fooled by inferior yet similar-looking brass plugs as used by some of our competitors, these are cheap and nasty!) Both centre pin and the return conjugate bracket (designed to form a 'Faraday Cage'- a device for reducing RFI) terminals or shells are direct gold hard-plated (others use 'flash-gold' plating which is a very thin coating that wears away very quickly and soon looks tarnished-you have been warned!). The plug casing is precision machined from highest quality copper alloy and is deep-plated. This thick casing offers further shielding - effectively a second 'Faraday Cage' - and reduces the ingress and radiation of EMI, ESI and RFI 'noise' even further, to virtually zero.
The interface of shells and casing is one of high mechanical impedance, dissipating energy and rendering microphonic effects negligible.
These shells are designed to perform a 5-fold function:
Multi award-winning UHP-OFCTM signal conductors
Dual close-lapped UHP-OFCTM braid screens
Rope-lay woven signal conductors
Superior ultra low loss Low-Density Foamed Polyethylene dielectric
8.5mm o/d (9mm on Mark1 version) vibration-absorbing low density LDPVC sheath
Baton Mk1: ..this cable offers the performance that begins to compare with THE BEST on an all round basis. It's for the listener who wants something good at a good price."
Tonal Balance: 90. Fit and Finish: 95. Value:95
"I was impressed by the bass, which came across as quite full bodied but tuneful-no single note rumbles here. It also has a certain energising fleetness...the mid range was precisely defined...imaging was good."
HIFI News Magazine, UK
"This superb cable gives a spacious, detailed and smooth sound that belies its price...the sound is perhaps most notable for its lightness and agility. Bass is there though, solid and tuneful, but never overstated...fine performance at a competitive price"
HI-FI Choice Magazine, UK
"...punch and authority: detail levels and clarity are fine"
What HI-FI? Sound and Vision Magazine, UK