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Thread: Silver cables-myth or fact?

  1. #1
    Join Date: Oct 2008

    Location: Aughton, Ormskirk

    Posts: 2,764
    I'm Jerry.

    Default Silver cables-myth or fact?

    I have recently changed my preamp from a BTE stepped attenuator silver wired internally to a much more expensive DCB1 wired with copper. I have noticed a slight loss of high frequency, especially cymbals.
    Some say silver cables exaggerate high frequencies. Is the problem caused by the cables or could it be an impedance mismatch? My old preamp was built to suit the amp.
    Jerry
    Hifi: IPL transmission line floorstanding speakers, Croft Series 7 power amp and a Standac. Squeezebox Touch
    Custom Hifi cables HA10SE headphone amplifier and Hifiman HE-400 headphones.
    AV system: LG 55B7, Denon AVR -x2300w receiver, Quad 12L (front) 11c Centre and 11L rear . Velodyne DD15 subwoofer.

  2. #2
    Join Date: Jan 2009

    Location: Sheffield - UK

    Posts: 6,750
    I'm Mark.

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    I’m not really sure where I stand on the silver/copper interconnect debate. However, my ‘sitting on the fence’ stance isn’t brought about by a lack of experience - I’ve actually compared identical cables made with both types of conductor and quite a number of cables designed and sold with copper, silver, silver clad copper, gold and silver alloy, super pure copper and super pure silver and a number of other similar options. My real problem relates to my understanding of electrical science and essential ‘LCR’ values. Not only does this understanding deny that any worthwhile differences can exist between interconnects but certainly the difference between a pure silver and pure copper conductor is so ridiculously tiny that the whole premise is entirely worthless and outright ridiculous.

    100% Analogue

  3. #3
    Join Date: Nov 2010

    Location: Yorkshire

    Posts: 7,956
    I'm AnDreW.

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    Another cable debate! They always end up turning to shit . Well, for what it's worth. I think I hear more detail with silver although I have a system wired in vintage nickel plated copper which I think sounds warmer. Personally I think I've been brainwashed into thinking these outcomes after reading too many cable debates.
    SS

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  4. #4
    Join Date: Jan 2009

    Location: Sheffield - UK

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    I'm Mark.

    Default

    Sorry, I’ve realised I’ve not actually expressed my opinion!

    So - my completely unscientific thoughts are that the best silver cables do give a particularly subtle and nuanced quality to their representation of upper frequencies but, in terms of the overall presentation, the sound is less dynamic and ‘fleshed out’. How much this impacts on your system very much depends on its individual strengths and weaknesses.

    Edit: I’ve actually found this incredibly hard to write because I have so many contrasting thoughts on the matter I find it hard to compose them - particularly whilst typing on my phone!

    100% Analogue

  5. #5
    Join Date: Jan 2009

    Location: Sheffield - UK

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    I'm Mark.

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    Further edit; I feel I should add that my stated views are not intended to override the views of others as I feel less than certain in my own experiences (I’m not generally short on opinion). I do generally feel something is going on with this issue but as to how that could be possible I am entirely at a loss.

    100% Analogue

  6. #6
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Birmingham

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    I'm James.

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    Tried lots of copper and silver cables and I feel both can work in the right situation depending on what they are connected too. What I am talking about is system synergy. It all depends on how the cable interacts with the system and what type of sound you are looking for.

    I don't think there is an absolute right or wrong or one is better than the other just carefully judged implementation.

    What sounds good to you will be the right choice.
    VPI Scout 1.1 - Ortofon 2M Black FGS - Croft 25R+ - Croft Series 7 - Spendor SP2

  7. #7
    Join Date: Nov 2015

    Location: Wolverhampton

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    I'm Oliver.

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    Quote Originally Posted by YNWaN View Post
    Further edit; I feel I should add that my stated views are not intended to override the views of others as I feel less than certain in my own experiences (I’m not generally short on opinion). I do generally feel something is going on with this issue but as to how that could be possible I am entirely at a loss.
    One of the best 3 part posts ever. I love it.

  8. #8
    Join Date: Nov 2015

    Location: Wolverhampton

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    I'm Oliver.

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    I agree with no one on this subject it seems.

    I have also done masses of experiments with cables. All the lovely types Mark has mentioned and possibly a couple he hasn't.

    Truth is, I never kept a Silver cable of any kind in my system. Every time I went back to copper.

    The copper cables always sounded more real, more expressive and dramatic. Silver, whilst I agree maybe has the edge I. The HFs, never convinced me that I was hearing a wooden bodied instrument, or the cymbals would be overly shiny. Vocals lacked volume or mass to be more precise and generally, just felt lifeless. Not to be confused with lack of dynamism. I mean, nothing ever sounded Alive or human or like organic matter!!!

    I'm being quite general here and throwing a blanket over a huge topic of debate but I'm condensing more cable comparisons than hot dinners.

    There are certain applications where silver works and Jim will tell you that he felt the need to have silver plated cables in his croft amps for a long time, to get them to sing.

    There are systems that possibly need a bit of zing but mine doesn't, IMO.

  9. #9
    Join Date: May 2012

    Location: Dagenham Essex

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    I'm I'mteachingmarcotheartofpishanto.

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    Why in the year 2019 with 2020 on the way do we not have foo'omiters , Somthing like a very sensative scope display that when used with a microphone shows full scale sound frequency's throught the entire range , From the lowest to the highest audible frequency's

    Then If you swap a component you could see the difference .

    Have I just invented something , or will I be silenced by the mob
    Music is vinyl it fills the gaps between silence !

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  10. #10
    Join Date: Nov 2015

    Location: Wolverhampton

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    I'm Oliver.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Audio Al View Post
    Why in the year 2019 with 2020 on the way do we not have foo'omiters , Somthing like a very sensative scope display that when used with a microphone shows full scale sound frequency's throught the entire range , From the lowest to the highest audible frequency's

    Then If you swap a component you could see the difference .

    Have I just invented something , or will I be silenced by the mob
    Haha, get inventing

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