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Thread: DIY RCA cables - pure silver vs silver coated copper

  1. #1
    Join Date: Jun 2015

    Location: London, UK

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    I'm Lawrence.

    Default DIY RCA cables - pure silver vs silver coated copper

    I've got the chance to get some silver coated cables, 4 strands in a litz weave, I'm just wondering if it will make a decent cable. Does anyone know the answers to these questions please?

    -Does it have some of the beneficial properties of pure silver cable?

    -It has a thin plastic coating round the strands, does the litz weave make up for the lack of thick shielding?

    Could it make a decent speaker cable?


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  2. #2
    Join Date: Dec 2015

    Location: Alicante. Spain.

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    I'm Adrian.

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    Without getting into cable wars - I've researched this and some think that the silver plating/skin effect leads to phase distortion. Pure is better.

    Adey

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  3. #3
    Join Date: Nov 2015

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    I'm Oliver.

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    From what I've read, the silver plate carries the HF and the copper carries the LF. Can sound good as I have some my TT at present. They sound very good to me. Lots of bottom end and really good detail.

    This kind of thread always causes a row lol

    Get some and try it.

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  4. #4
    Join Date: Jun 2015

    Location: London, UK

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    I'm Lawrence.

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    Thanks I agree that "suck it and see" is the best way to find out given the disparate views on cables in general.

    @Bigman80 do you use a branded cable? I would be interested in seeing some reviews for silver plated copper cables.

    I'll get enough cables made up to change my system from the current pure silver cabling and decide which suits me best. As I don't want low quality plugs to be the weak spot in the chain what are good quality but also good value RCAs to use?


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  5. #5
    Join Date: Dec 2015

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    According to some (I'm being so bloody careful) hi frequencies are carried on the outer skin of any cable - and it's the migration from one metal type to the other that can cause distortion - perceived as extra detail.

    My ane-s are internally wired with ludicrously expensive silver cable (500 0.5m) but until I changed my copper speaker cables to.... copper cables... didn't sound particularly detailed! They do now, but not because of the silver - just a different type of copper/construction cable.

    I figured that if I wanted to bring about a real change then it would be better to begin at the arm, followed by interconnects, but as there are hundreds of meters of copper cabling in the transformers of my valve amps I couldn't see the point - if copper softens the detail from upstream silver...

    Hmmmm

    Adey

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  6. #6
    Join Date: Jun 2015

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    I'm Lawrence.

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    Interesting points there. Yes putting in 1000/m cable in series with a different (presumably cheaper) cable does seem to be counter intuitive.

    This all began with my Hifiman headphones which use a silver plated litz cable, and I like the sound but it is possible the apparent detail is actually skin induced distortion.


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  7. #7
    Join Date: Dec 2015

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    It's a difficult subject to discuss as opinions are so polarised. I've read and reread and read and reread countless articles and forum posts to try and find an answer when looking to replace my speaker cables and interconnects. Logic told me to use the same silver audio note silver cabling and maintain type - but I just couldn't justify spending 2k on a couple of metres. Plus litz is not the best speaker cable for valve amps - which according to some prefer solid core - and as the last bit of wire is in the transformers which are solid magnet wire I figure theres some logic in it. Hence the isolda which is solid.

    For interconnects I reckon it's worth a try - but I'd still go for solid over plated.

    Adey

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  8. #8
    Join Date: Oct 2012

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    Quote Originally Posted by farflungstar View Post
    Without getting into cable wars - I've researched this and some think that the silver plating/skin effect leads to phase distortion. Pure is better.

    Adey

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    What is this strange new science of which you speak?

    If you needed ultimate efficiency of power transfer at frequencies of around 2MHz then litz (shortened from litzendraht, German for woven or stranded wire) may increase efficiency, by minimising skin effect and proximity effect, such that there may be an improvement of maybe 2-6%... but bugger all effect at audio frequencies.

    Phase distortion due to the metallic make up of a conductor is impossible.
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  9. #9
    Join Date: Sep 2013

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    IMO the definitive read about cables and audio frequencies is written by Cyril Bateman
    here discussing the speaker amp cable relationship so a wee bit off topic.

    http://www.waynekirkwood.com/images/...nteraction.pdf

    Also
    http://www.waynekirkwood.com/images/...ing_Cables.pdf

  10. #10
    Join Date: Mar 2012

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    Quote Originally Posted by Light Dependant Resistor View Post
    IMO the definitive read about cables and audio frequencies is written by Cyril Bateman
    here discussing the speaker amp cable relationship so a wee bit off topic.

    http://www.waynekirkwood.com/images/...nteraction.pdf

    Also
    http://www.waynekirkwood.com/images/...ing_Cables.pdf
    +1

    Great article.

    As Jez points out, there is little evidence for any phase distortion between dissimilar metals in signal interconnects with audio frequencies. That's a myth popularised by forums and marketeers, one of those things that's repeated so often that some people then believe it and propagate it further. Litz braid (as apposed to pure litz wire) is a BAD idea for a single ended interconnect as there is no common mode noise rejection in play, so screening effectiveness is practically zero, plus capacitance is usually quite high. The capacitance doesn't matter as much for signal cables (except where used for phono leads from MM cartridges) as it does for loudpeaker cables but the braided cables irrespective of being silver, gold or unobtanium are bested in almost every area by inexpensive copper coaxial cables where single ended circuits are concerned.

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