Not longer than 25 years ago the plugs and sockets of a HiFi system were regarded primarily as something one used to connect the devices, nothing more than a necessary evil. At that time, scarcely anybody believed that a solid connector with precisely machined locking and screwing mechanisms could affect the sound of a hifi set. Nevertheless, WBT’s first-generation connectors were an epoch-making success. Not only they influenced the sound itself, but also provoked a new evaluation of the connecting parts as such delivering a lot of new parameters for connector design which have been well respected by part suppliers world-wide ever since.
With the time when people were facing problems with the interfaces of their computers one got an even better understanding of the benefit of high quality audio connectors in hifi equipments. End of 2003 the time was ripe for another ‘Connector Revolution by WBT’, as it was proclaimed by the German magazine Stereo in their basic review on WBT’s next generation of connectors. The nextgen concept has aimed at conserving all the ingeniously designed locking and clamping mechanisms, but just simply reduced the mass of metal because of its undesirable electrical storage effect. Was it simple? Of course not. A completely new hybrid technology especially for connectors needed to be developed, ultra-strong high tech plastic had to be applied replacing the metal in its support tasks. Pure copper and fine silver were skilfully bent and incorporated in the new non-metal body elements. The result was a significant improvement of the electrical characteristics. Combining the soft copper/silver with a connector body whose metal content is now reduced of approx. 90% makes the signal transmission of WBT nextgen™ connectors extremely quick thus the sound even more authentic. This development also represents a meaningful step towards preserving our resources of precious metals.
However, the most important message goes to the audiophiles:
We feel pleased and honoured that the entire product line of nextgen™ including all the plugs, sockets and terminals were awarded in 2009 several times exactly for this aspect.
The Innovation Award received from the German hifi magazine stereoplay initiated WBT’s series of victories.
Known for famous prizes such as “HighLight of the Year”, “The Golden Ear” or “Hifi device of the Year” the three magazines stereoplay, Audio as well as video/HomeVision each created in 2009 for the first time an Award for Innovation alongside the existing prizes.
The Innovation Award is granted exclusively by the knowledgeable editorial staff of each magazine. We thank very much indeed the editors of stereoplay for this selection!
The Plus X Award contest is sustained by a committee of top-class jurors, acting neutral in terms of industry preference, whose main task is to nominate innovative and outstanding quality products and make the public aware of them. The Award has been and will be a credible quality seal for the most innovative products offered in the technology industry sectors.
„Prerequisite for an award is: The product must be of absolutely the highest quality, have a long life cycle, be functional and its design must be leading-edge. The advances made as a result directly benefit the consumer. And: It must show one or more additional convincing features, i.e. functional innovations – these being the ‚Plus X’ factors of real brand quality.“
The Plus X Award for Innovation is granted exclusively to products which „are innovative and represent the latest state-of-the-art technology. Cutting-edge technology is an absolute must for these products, because only with this feature will they be considered future-proof, which is the basic requirement for long life and use cycles.”
In this concert of awards there is one product which is worthy an extra note: the nextgen™ WBT–0610. The banana plug received not only the Award for Innovation and for High Quality but also for Design!
The Plus X Award for High Quality is „one of the most encompassing hallmarks of excellence a product can possibly acquire, for it embodies the manufacturer's effort to deliver nothing but the utmost quality on the one hand and, on the other, the seal represents both durability and sustainability. Hence, ‘High Quality’ products are contrasting strongly with the bulk of mass–produced goods that are made for prompt consumption and replacement. ‘High Quality’ products are genuine investments into the future.”
Prized with the Plus X Award for Design as well the nextgen™ WBT–0610 has all reasons to carry its nose even higher in the air. With this prize the jurors agree upon the following: „Reducing complex technology is visibly gaining in significance, both in terms of content as well as technically and for many manufacturers is becoming more and more a part of their overall philosophy. Whether their products are TV sets, fully automatic coffee machines or portable devices – functional design is a trend that is truly recognizable. And it's a successful approach, as can be seen by many products awarded with the Plus X Award.”