North Creek Music Systems
1.0mH Music Coils in 14 AWG, 12 AWG, 10 AWG, and 8AWG
North Creek Music Coils
North Creek Music Coil Inductors have been developed and optimized through an program of subjective evaluation. We have tested many wire gauges of varying purity, core dimensions and materials, manufacturers, and even different insulations. Our military grade, high-purity copper, combined with our proprietary manufacturing techniques and unique, low tension winding method yields an inductor superior to those offered by other manufacturers. North Creek is the only domestic manufacturer to use low tension winding, consistantly producing an inductor with superior low end dynamics and smoother performance than those available elsewhere. Click forCOIL PRICES in .pdf.
Our fourteen gauge Music Coils are designed for those circuits where a small amount of resistance is acceptable, such as midrange series inductors, or in systems where cost is of some concern. The quality of our copper allows this gauge to perform well in all but the most demanding applications. Most high end manufacturers use fourteen gauge inductors throughout their premium circuits.
Our 12 AWG Music Coils are designed for high performance circuits. The large cross section of the 12 AWG wire (60% greater than 14 AWG, and 150% greater than 16 AWG) results in lower resistance and purer signal transmission. 12 AWG represents the optimum balance between performance and price, and is recommended for most series applications and high performance parallel applications.
10 Gaugeand 8 Gauge
Our 10 AWG and 8 AWG Music Coils have a lower DCR than any other air core inductors on the market, providing stunning midrange purity and a bass line that is unmatched. Highly recommended for all cost-no-object applications where only the best will do. These are the ultimate air core inductors.
Made To Request
Each pair of North Creek Music Coils is precision wound to customer specifications from a single production run of copper, hand tested and matched to 1% variation. We wind every inductor to request. Please note that custom wound inductors are not returnable.
It is difficult to describe in writing the relative size of our 10 and 8 Gauge Music Coils. Suffice to say that upon first seeing inductors like these, the initial reaction is usually "Woah!" After using them for a while, even 14 gauge inductors, which are far superior to what one generally finds in commercial systems, begin to appear a little "wimpy".
We can not recommend going to a larger gauge whenever possible strongly enough. When one considers that the average woofer inductor requires 10-20 times more wire than most speaker cables (usually well over 100'), it quickly becomes apparent that the quality and gauge of the inductor wire contributes far more to woofer and midrange performance than any other element in the system. -GES
North Creek Music Coils
I have to thank you for the 10 AWG coils. They allow the music to
exhibit a higher level of "realism" while providing greater bandwidth
at both ends of the spectrum they cover. I'm using realism to
connote the extra information in pitch, bandwidth, and detail that
were not there even in the 12 AWG coils! As someone who has used the
same 1st order crossover (and drivers) for 3 years now, the inclusion
of these coils represent a major upgrade.
Again, I must ask you to stop being so modest! You should have a
page on your web site for "Ultra" or "Super" crossover parts-where
you can make the case for using these inductors (as well as the
Crescendo Caps) in the best speaker crossover's.
All my best
Why does North Creek make wire wound inductors, and not copper foil inductors?
North Creek has had the ability to make copper foil inductors since 1995, but the fact of the matter is that when properly made, wire wound inductors have much better bass and a smoother midrange than any of the copper foil inductors available today - even those we make here. There are two reasons for this:
First and foremost, our wire wound inductors are made on a custom built, tension-free winding machine. This winding method minimizes the stretch and mechanical deformation of the copper, so there is no strain on the copper and its conductivity remains at a maximum. All copper foil inductors (and most copper wire inductors) are wound at very high tensions, so both the copper and the insulating film are stretched and remain under tension for the life of the product. Tension is differential stretch, which creates microfractures in both the copper and insulating material. This is about the worst thing one can do to a conductor.
The second factor is mechanical stability: North Creek inductors are varnish sealed in a vacuum chamber, which bonds each winding to the six surrounding it throughout the entire body of the coil. Most copper wire inductors are varnish dipped, which seals the outer wraps but not the coil body. Copper foil inductors are usually heat sealed, which seals the edges but not the body. Typical copper wire and copper foil inductors will have a number of mechanical resonances that are activated by current flowing through the inductor, and can be heard to "sing along" with the input signal. Because of their unique vacuum impregnation, North Creek inductors do not show any signs of mechanical resonance.
Copper foil inductors also have long term stability problems. This is because over time, air entering the coil body slowly oxidizes the copper surface and begins to penetrate the foil. This oxidation gradually degrades the conductivity of the copper, and over time the performance of the inductor.
The only application for copper foil inductors - where high DCR is acceptable and low ACR may be beneficial - is as series inductors in small dome midrange circuits.
Why does a larger gauge always lead to better sound?
While I can not objectively prove this, I believe it is all about DCR.
A larger gauge wire means lower DCR, and lower DCR means the amplifier has better control of the woofer cone at low frequencies, particularly near resonance. A lower DCR always translates directly to tighter bass.
For parallel inductors, low DCR keeps the crossover slope order the same. A high DCR parallel inductor will at some point cause the crossover slope to decrease by one order, limiting attenuation of the midrange or tweeter. This means that at some point, low frequency information will begin to crawl into those drivers that were not designed to handle it. This is especially important in series crossover circuits, where the DCR of the parallel inductor sets the limit of the tweeter's attenuation.
What about ferrite core inductors, which have very low DCR?
The problem with ferrite core inductors - all of them - is hysteresis distortion. Hysteresis is related to the energy loss incurred by the core material during the magnetization polarity shift that occurs in every cycle of the signal flowing though the inductor wire - for a 500 Hz signal, this is 500 times the core polarity has to be reoriented, per second! Hysteresis distortion sounds like compression - and also measures as wave-form compression. Furthermore, when the current though the inductor is large enough, the core will saturate and the value of the inductor dynamically shifts to a much lower value. This is also clearly audible.
The only practical application for ferrite-core inductors in high end audio is as low DCR "trap" coils in tweeter resonance trap circuits, where the circuit is functioning in a very narrow frequency window and the current flow is extremely small.
Is "Perfect Lay' better than "Scramble Wound"?
This is very dependent on the manufacturing process. Perfect Lay uses slightly less wire than Scramble Wound, resulting in slightly lower DCR. However, Scramble Wound inductors have slightly less self-capacitance, which some individuals claim is audible. But there is a caveat - perfect lay inductors that are wrap-and-dip (not vacuum-impregnated) have mechanical resonance problems because the inner windings do not get bonded. Scramble Wound wrap-and-dip inductors do not have this problem because of the increased penetration depth of the bonding fluid.
In our subjective tests, no one has been able to hear the difference between a vacuum-impregnated Perfect Lay and vacuum-impregnated Scramble Wound.
Are bobbin-wound inductors any good?
Bobbin wound inductors are usually scramble wound under high tension inside a nylon bobbin, then taped with masking tape so the outer wrap does not come loose, and are the least costly type of air core inductor to produce. This is called "bobbin-wound, wrap-and-tape". They suffer from high tension microfractures, severe high mechanical resonance problems and also tend to be microphonic - not a good combination inside a loudspeaker cabinet. Luckily, most bobbin-wound inductors can be upgraded, by carefully removing the tape, applying a bead of hot melt to fix the last outer wrap, then dropping the entire inductor sideways in a can of clear shellac that has been thinned at least 50% with alcohol and letting it sit for two or three days, rotating the inductor every day, then allowing them to drip-dry overnight. Because they are usually scramble wound, and thinned shellac has very low viscosity, the penetration depth is quite high. Again, there is a caveat - shellac is very brittle, and dropping a shellac-dipped inductor will usually break its bond. If this occurs, repeat the dipping process.
What about "goop-wound"?
Goop-winding is the process of winding an inductor inside a bobbin or former, while a bonding agent (usually hot melt adhesive) is applied directly to all of the windings throughout the entire process. Goop-winding makes a very unattractive inductor, but they sound remarkably good. This is the only method recommended for those that wish to "wind their own".
Can North Creek wind any value?
Up to the physical limit of our machine, we wind all coils to the inductance value requested by the customer.
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