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What's Your Preference? Silver, Copper, Silver Plated Copper (and More) Wires?

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  • What's Your Preference? Silver, Copper, Silver Plated Copper (and More) Wires?

    The topic of wire conductor material came up in the SME thread and thought that it deserved its own thread. Know there's lots of people with strong opinions on both sides of the fence regarding type of wire used in IC and speaker cables, power cords and tonearm wires. What's everyone's experience with wires in their systems and what are you currently (NPI) using?
    Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
    Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
    ________________________________________

    -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
    -Goldmund Telos 300 stereo amp
    -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
    -Doshi EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 phonostage
    -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
    -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
    -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga Mk. 2, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
    -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
    -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 6, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
    -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz 3 racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA OHIO Class 2.1+ platforms.

  • #2
    stranded 20 GA silver wire on my interconnects. I'm not sure what kind of wire is in my tonearm wand and base (graham 2.2) very heavy gauge (not sure of actual number) braided copper wire for my speaker cables bi wired,
    Magnepan 1.6 QR Loudspeakers, Amherst A-2000 MOSFET 150 WPC Amp, Conrad Johnson PV-10A Modded Tube Line & Phono Stage, Electrocompaniet MC II Class A Head Amp, Audio Technica AT-OC9XML Cart (Stereo) , Graham Engineering 2.2 Tonearm (Stereo) , VPI Aries-1 Turntable (Stereo) , VPI Clamp, Denon DL-102 Cart, (Mono) , Luxman Tonearm (Mono) , Kenwood KD-500 Turntable (Mono) , Michell Clamp, Marantz 20B Analog FM Tuner, Pioneer SACD, Onkyo DX-6800 CD Transport, DIY 24B/192K DAC, Sennheiser HD-650 Headphones, Headroom Max Balanced Headphone Amp, DIY Silver Interconnects

    Comment


    • MylesBAstor
      MylesBAstor commented
      Editing a comment
      I think Bob uses Ag wire in his tonearms. At least up to the last series.

    • JCOConnell
      JCOConnell commented
      Editing a comment
      Good. That makes all my ICs silver.

  • #3
    I do not like silver-only wiring for IC's and Speaker cable. It adds too much brightness for my liking. My tonearm is copper-wired with a silver Litz ground. My Phono cable is silver-coated copper, as are my speaker cables.
    Dynavector DV20x2L MC cartridge - Genesis G7.1f speakers - Marantz Reference PM-KI-Pearl Int. Amp. - Oracle Audio Paris MkV turntable - Various Morrow & Valab/King cables

    Comment


    • JCOConnell
      JCOConnell commented
      Editing a comment
      my IC are all silver but my speaker cable is pure copper

  • #4
    It has been a long time since I had silver cables in my system. Currently using all MIT Oracle and Magnum which I believe are all copper. Many years ago experimented with Audioquest hybrid silver/copper speaker cables and pure silver as well. At the time I found pure silver too bright and I didn't like the hybrid for other reasons. My system was completely different so I have no idea today how I would react to different materials. I guess sometime down the road I will try other cables.
    Turntable: TW Acustic TT with Ref motor & controller; Tri-Planar Arm; Ortofon Windfeld-Ti Cartridge, Harmonix-Combak platter mat & weight; PS Audio Stellar Phono Preamp; KLAudio Ultrasonic Record Cleaner.

    Digital: Bluesound Vault-2 Music Server & Streamer

    Amplification: PS Audio Stellar Phono Preamp, VTL 6.5 preamp Series II, Pass Labs 150.8 Amp

    Loudspeakers: Piega C711 Loudspeakers

    Isolation: Symposium Osiris Rack; Symposium Platforms and Roller Blocks plus grade 2.5 Balls

    Misc: PS Audio Noise Harvesters, Acoustic Revive RR-888 Low Frequency Pulse Generator, Synergistic Research 12 UEF SE Line Conditioner, Level 3 HC AC Cord and Level 3 power cords, Synergistic Carbon fiber wall plates, Synergistic Research Orange Outlet, Furutech NCF Booster Braces, Audio Art Ref IC, MIT Oracle IC, synergistic Research Atmosphere X Euphoria Level 3 Balanced ICs, Synergistic Research Euphoria Level 3 Speaker Cables, Synergistic Research Cable Risers.

    Sennheiser HDV 650 Headphone Amp; Sennheiser HD800s Headphones.

    Comment


    • #5
      Originally posted by 1morerecord2clean View Post
      It has been a long time since I had silver cables in my system. Currently using all MIT Oracle and Magnum which I believe are all copper. Many years ago experimented with Audioquest hybrid silver/copper speaker cables and pure silver as well. At the time I found pure silver too bright and I didn't like the hybrid for other reasons. My system was completely different so I have no idea today how I would react to different materials. I guess sometime down the road I will try other cables.
      Oracle phono?
      Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
      Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
      ________________________________________

      -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
      -Goldmund Telos 300 stereo amp
      -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
      -Doshi EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 phonostage
      -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
      -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
      -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga Mk. 2, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
      -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
      -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 6, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
      -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz 3 racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA OHIO Class 2.1+ platforms.

      Comment


      • 1morerecord2clean
        1morerecord2clean commented
        Editing a comment
        No Myles. My Tri-P uses a trapped copper cable. I can't experiment there unless I send the arm back to Tri and have him change it to a cable ready box. When I ordered the arm Tri thought the dedicated wires supplied were better than a configuration enabling use of different wires. That was 8 years ago. I have spoken to Tri many times over the years but not about that subject.

      • MylesBAstor
        MylesBAstor commented
        Editing a comment
        Ahh....now I remember. You are probably better off eliminating that junction box. Next arm I get will be direct wired out but the whole wand and wire will be switchable.

      • 1morerecord2clean
        1morerecord2clean commented
        Editing a comment
        My cable is hard wired Myles. No junction box here.

    • #6
      I think silver works well for low level signals like cartridge and tonearm.

      For ICs and speaker cables, I have no clue what's inside and don't really have an opinion as long as they sound great. The MIT Oracle IC and speaker cables I bought 15 years ago were the best sounding I could find at the time. Whatever Brisson is doing seems to work.
      Thiel 7.2s, Manley NeoClassic 250s, Wadia 850, MIT Oracle V3 speaker cables, MIT MI-350 Oracle interconnects, Black Diamond Racing Shelves and Cones in a dedicated room with ASC Tube Traps, Room Tunes and 3 X 20 amp dedicated circuits.

      Comment


      • #7
        I always preferred the Silver offerings from Audioquest over just about anything I had heard, never really thought of them as Silver cables, just good cables. I am now moving towards all Kubala cables. (speaker & ICs) Never really think of them as silver or copper either.
        SOURCE: VINYL - EAT C-Sharp with, EAT LPS power supply, My Sonic Lab Signature Gold
        DIGITAL - Mola Mola Tambaqui DAC. Roon Nucleus w/EAT Lps power supply. Auralic Aires G1
        PHONOSTAGE: AudioNet PAM G2 with AudioNet EPX power supply.
        PREAMP: Audionet PRE G2.
        AMPLIFIER: Audionet MAX monoblocks.
        SPEAKERS: YG Acoustics Anat III Signatures (upgraded to Sonja 1.2) JL Audio F112 V2 (x2)
        CABLES: Kubala-Sosna, Kubala Sosna Xpander.....Audio Desk Systeme RCM, Adona Rack, GIK & Acoustimac room treatment, Isoacoustics

        Comment


        • #8
          I stay with copper.

          Silver is kind of hit and miss and to date, I have not been able to pinpoint which is which.
          We have feedback from our own customers which reflected my personal experience too.
          Some systems went up a notch, so to speak, with silver while others went downhill pretty quick with just 1 silver cable plugged in.
          Hugh Nguyen
          ACA

          Comment


          • #9
            I believe it is all copper what ever Cardas is using I have been buying.

            I have heard silver used to good effect .

            I am not a big fan of using wire as tone controls if I could I would like a clean signal as short as I can make it.

            I am not sure anyone understands what the length thickness strand size braid twist coatings all do to the signal and sound but they all seem to have an effect.

            On wooden blocks or fishing line the effect is not big in my system.

            I would tend to lean toward copper the devil I know best.

            Comment


            • #10
              Originally posted by MylesBAstor View Post
              The topic of wire conductor material came up in the SME thread and thought that it deserved its own thread. Know there's lots of people with strong opinions on both sides of the fence regarding type of wire used in IC and speaker cables, power cords and tonearm wires. What's everyone's experience with wires in their systems and what are you currently (NPI) using?
              I listen and choose based on sound. I once had bias about using silver with digital until I heard the Audioquest Diamond USB. I loved it, used it for years until Purist developed the new 30th Anniversary USB. Both of these USB cables are silver and both excellent with my music server (JRiver + Mac Mini). I still prefer Audioquest Diamond USB over other Purist USB cable until you get up to the new Purist 30th Anniversary.

              I've had my system wired with 100% copper, silver clad copper blends of copper + silver + gold and 100% silver.

              My current system is all silver. Head shell wires are silver, internal tonearm wire, DIN to RCA tonearm cable, all interconnects (XLR), biwire speaker cable, AC cables and USB cable. I believe Focal Grande are silver caps, silver wire and silver solder in their crossover. Only thing copper is internal wiring of each component and my electrical outlets.

              Visitors typically remark that my system is slightly warm. Many say musical. I don't believe sound of cable can be predicted based exclusively on the metals used in their construction.

              Comment


              • #11
                I'm a big fan of silver, particularly with my Audio Note gear, but I have copper or silver-plated copper cables of different types where I needed something cost effective for a long run or where I felt that a pure silver sounded too bright (which is rare for me).
                Transrotor Rossini Turntable w/Jelco SA-750DB
                Audio Note Io Gold Cart. w/AN-S9 SUT
                Audio Note CDT-Four Transport/Woo WDS-1 DAC
                Ayre QX-5 Twenty Dig. Hub & 13” MacBook Pro w/Roon w/Melco N1A NAS
                AN OTO Phono SE Signature Int. Amp w/AN-E SEC Silver Speakers w/Murata Super Tweeters
                Purple J-Corder 1520 R2R and Nakamichi Dragon Cassette Deck
                PSAudio P10 AC Regen./Equi=Tech Bal. Transformer
                Harmonic Technology, Audio Note, Kondo Sound Labs, Stealth, AQ Cables
                Woo GES w/Sfax SR-507 Headphones

                Comment


                • mkuller
                  mkuller commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I recall when I briefly reviewed the Audio Note Ungaku amplifier ($60,000) in the early 1990s. It was full of silver wire and even the transformers were wound with it. Not surprised it would sound good with AN gear.

              • #12
                Never liked the sound of silver wires anywhere in the system and still don't, I know that I've rejected equipment in the past and found out later that there was silver in their construction. Something is always unnatural and hifi sounding to me when silver is present. To be honest I turned away from highend wires completely years ago in favor of some basic mass market copper ones and stopped selling them to my customers completely, I find that they do too much or too little for what they cost!

                david
                Last edited by david k; 09-16-2016, 05:55 AM.
                Manufacturer: American Sound Turntables and The Nothing Rack
                Distribution: NEODIO

                Special Sales: van den Hul
                Industry Representation: Lamm, Kharma OLS Speakers, Ortofon, ZYX, Keith Monks, Audio Desk, Jensen Transformer, Venta Airwasher

                Unique Items: Vintage Horn Speakers
                http://www.audionirvana.org/forum/ti...stening-room-1
                http://www.audionirvana.org/forum/ti...earfield-setup

                Comment


                • #13
                  I have never worried about the metal that is being used. Currently, I am using Kubala-Sosna and I have been totally satisfied. Although, I do use solid silver jumpers to give my PBN speakers. A little zip.😄

                  Comment


                  • #14
                    Originally posted by Garth View Post
                    I believe it is all copper what ever Cardas is using I have been buying.

                    I have heard silver used to good effect .

                    I am not a big fan of using wire as tone controls if I could I would like a clean signal as short as I can make it.

                    I am not sure anyone understands what the length thickness strand size braid twist coatings all do to the signal and sound but they all seem to have an effect.

                    On wooden blocks or fishing line the effect is not big in my system.

                    I would tend to lean toward copper the devil I know best.
                    One might say cables should be seen and not heard. Audiophiles focus on bass, dynamics, imaging, etc. but to my ears, the biggest thing that cables bring to the table is their noise floor. Especially as systems improve. In fact, In fact, it's so much about the noise floor whether we are talking about equipment, speakers or cables. The problem about appreciating the noise floor is that the ear easily adapts to a noise floor and listens through it (at least below a certain level). It's only when one hears something better do you realize just how noisy what you were listening to was. And in this case (as opposed to what HP wrote about early digital), the absence of noise is the presence of music.
                    Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
                    Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
                    ________________________________________

                    -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
                    -Goldmund Telos 300 stereo amp
                    -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
                    -Doshi EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 phonostage
                    -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
                    -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
                    -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga Mk. 2, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
                    -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
                    -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 6, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
                    -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz 3 racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA OHIO Class 2.1+ platforms.

                    Comment


                    • #15
                      Originally posted by Galileo View Post
                      I'm a big fan of silver, particularly with my Audio Note gear, but I have copper or silver-plated copper cables of different types where I needed something cost effective for a long run or where I felt that a pure silver sounded too bright (which is rare for me).
                      I don't know about the Audio Note silver cables but the Kondo silver cables were the least silver sounding I've heard. In fact, some might be hard pressed to ID them as silver. The Kondo silver were even just a little soft sounding.

                      Does anyone have any love for Siltech cables that are silver and gold?
                      Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
                      Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
                      ________________________________________

                      -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
                      -Goldmund Telos 300 stereo amp
                      -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
                      -Doshi EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 phonostage
                      -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
                      -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
                      -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga Mk. 2, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
                      -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
                      -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 6, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
                      -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz 3 racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA OHIO Class 2.1+ platforms.

                      Comment

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