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Three-Part Review: Signal Cable Silver Analog, Magic Power Digital

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
This is loaner #2 (of 6) of my Loaner Program, for Signal Cable's Silver Resolution Analog RCA interconnects and Magic Power Digital Reference power cord. In order to help spread the appreciation and information of these cables, 3 people were subjectively selected to review them for the community at large.

This thread is a repository for reviews (and pictures) of the cables.

List of participants: (CLOSED)
1 - granodemostasa (NorCal)
2 - Matt_Carter (Canada)
3 - Icarium (NorCal)
post #2 of 4
The Signal silver interconnects.

These are very nice interconnects as far as silver goes. The fact that you can get them for so cheap actually makes it remarkable. Before this I was considering going into 200$+ silver interconnects. The build quality is nice, the sleeves and connectors all seem to be of “audiophile quality.

Sound quality wise, they sound like what they are: silver cables. The first time I heard silver cables was someone of an enlightening experience. They were ayt999 build interconnects that astounded me with their clarity and soundstage. However, once I heard the trumpets I backed them out of my system. This time I came in with more caution, but was pleasantly surprised. As expected the silver cables offered a larger soundstage, harder hitting bass and far more air than either my UR8 or my Audio art cables. Overall, the detail was on par with the Audio Art and ahead of the UR8. The one thing that was most pleasant was the fact that they don’t thin or harden the highs. Their added clarity and air has certainly helped the Meier Corda Opera deal with some of its issues.

If I were to come up with something to complain about it is the overall tonal balance. It basically sounds like there are silver cables in my system, as oppose to no cables at all.

Now the hard part: the Signal digital power cable.

The cable itself is pretty nice. It’s labeled “hospital grade” and certainly looks and feels the part. The cable is stiff, somewhat hard to turn and certainly the owner of its domain. Red, and seemingly well built, it gives an aura of confidence and “audiophileness” that I would not expect in an 80 dollar cable. Now to the sound…

This power cord made a difference. I did this back and forth between the volex and the signal cable using my VDA-2/VAC-1 combo on the Zana Deux. My test music was Mahler’s 3rd symphony.

The differences were apparent. While the signal cable projects a clean, dynamic, and SS kind of sound, the volex is warm, dark, tubey and somewhat foggy in comparison. During that beginning French Horn solo the section is clearly identifiable in the soundstage with the Signal cable, whereas it is somewhat more projected onto the audience and less pin-point accurate on the volex. During the next 2 minutes of the piece, the calm tension of the brass and string sections is far more evident than the smoothened out presentation of the Volex. The dynamics don’t seem to change but what I hear certainly does. During those large ramp-ups to the timpani crashes, I can clearly hear more percussion and strings on the Signal, while the brass and low-strings dominate the dynamics of the Volex. Don’t ask me which one is correct, I don’t know.
post #3 of 4

Now, I’m all for a narrow dynamic range, but if a narrow range lacks the contrast to back it up; you end up with a snoozer of a signature. With the SilverResolution’s snooze time dynamics, and extremely flat response; this cable will knock you out faster then a 40oz’er. The only thing that could possibly wake you from this coma would be its low-end punch.
As low as my ears can see, they witness zero role-off, and maybe even a little role-UP… The lows literally tickle your ear drums. Just too bad the cables are so dang greedy when it comes to its release.
If they could just let go of the past, these could easily hold king of low end. Instead there lows resemble something along the lines of,

Fat, slow, and obnoxious.

Where these cables lack, they lack further more in regards to fatigue. Easily the least sibilant, most neutral cables I’ve ever heard. I really find it hard to believe they’re actually silver.

If your current system has your ears in crutches due to exaggerated dynamics, sibilance, and colour; these cables are for you. If you're looking for jaw dropping technical ability’s; unfortunately… these are probably not your best bet.

Although the cables have a deep rear and side stage with extremely coherent imaging with in; the front and center stage lacks in depth.
With detail being a play on dynamics, it’s detail presentation’s a bit too single sided, and upfront.
But when it comes to balance and channel separation, I have to give it to the little guys. They’re coherence falls into a whole new class for me; now known as conjoined pair.

The signal cable SilverResolution with upgraded SilverBullets is more of a monstercable x10 than an inspirational audiophile piece.
Nonetheless, there’s no denying the cables still hold tremendous value, and with its focus on neutrality; it should work to a minimal satisfactory grade with probably every system on the planet.

__________________________________________________ _______________

I only use digital outs on my transporter, so I was extremely Skeptical wither a power cord would actually do anything.
Well, with the exception of the “cord” being more of a metal rod then an actual cord, I was more then impressed with every aspect this ‘expected novelty item’ was capable of bringing to my system over stock.

-More defined edges.
-Less fatigue.
-Increased dynamic range. (Not necessarily a good thing, but its presentation’s very unique and not overdone at all)
-Implies an accurate transparent signature.
-Eliminated a lot of interference over previous stock cord.
-Fast, not necessarily in its presentation but in its source to source transit speed; presenting a more infant pureness to the power signature.
post #4 of 4
I received the cables earlier this week from the last guy. I think Matt?

Anyway... while I am a believer in interconnects I was a bit skeptical of a power cord esp without a power conditioner used in conjunction.

I haven't used it with my SDS prior to today because I always boot it up without thinking and then because of the tubes + warm up time I get lazy to turn it off and switch.

A little bit of background... I've been using my SDS which I received last week? While it performs some magic with the L3000 which I haven't liked much with my RP010 it hasn't really dazzled me with the Qualias. It killed off a bit of the soundstage, organifies the sound a bit but no more than the RP010 (A colored solid state by all accounts but tuned as it is for Qualias/Sennheiser the sound it marries to them is perfection)... there is a lack of clarity that is very distressing with this ultra clear/detailed headphone. I figured that the difference might be fixed with tubes as the tubes I am using now (Driver is the Kenrad VT231 and output are Sylvania VT231s) are optimized for the R10. So I wait as Mikhail sends me more to test (They were mailed out yesterday and should be received Wednesday).

However.... today after listening to some reference albums (Aoi Teshima's Kashu the Tales from Earthsea vocal soundtrack) with the stock computer power chord I have been using i went out for a bit of a walk before coming in and powering on the amp with the Signal Cable.

Even without significant warm up time the difference is immediately obvious as soon as the first notes are heard. The clarity has returned. The sound is at LEAST on par with the RP010. Keep in mind this is without tube optimization. If any of you have ever heard the RP010/Qualia combination with a good fit then you will know how great that is. Though I haven't heard it out of the Dynamight/B22 which by all accounts are good, I think the RP010 beats out the GS-X handily when used in conjunction with Qualias. And until now I haven't heard it better except from the Ultra Singlepower SS-1 though how much is that the source and how much the amp? I don't know.

Sound is SOO clean and clear. I see that a $$ power cord is what I'll have to be investing in not too long. Mayhaps this one... mayhaps something even more pricey. I don't have enough experience with other nice power cords really to comment on this versus others in a price/performance ratio. I have heard the Virtual Dynamics masters 2.0 LE one with my RP010 and in conjunction with a DV50s source it was pure magic... but I attributed much of that to the player. Now obviously the cables were part of the equation.

Anyways the gist of this is that the old adage "Crap in, Crap out" and the reverse is definitely true. A quality power cord seems to me to provide cleaner power that is unpolluted by whatever flaws a cheap power cord might have and as power is basis of the signal... the improvements are audible and apparent.

Hrm I the main difference between the SDS/RP010 is that the SDS does a little bit of a finer job on stringed instruments and the RP010 has a slightly wider soundstage.

I am doing my comparisons both single ended with my blue dragon XLR cable adapted with [AK]Zips cotton option'd XLR -> 1/4th" adapter.

I might add to this when I queue up another album.

Put on Amy Winehouse's Back to Black in FLAC.
This album seems to have a lot of distortion that can be consistently heard. I figured before it was my mp3 version, but it stays in the FLAC version as well. Well the power cable doesn't seem to get rid of that. However, it does add a bit more of a 3 dimensionality to the sound and the micro/fast sounds of percussion and what not are really enhanced in clarity and dynamics. The bass also seems a bit tighter and to extend lower as well.

As for the interconnects I haven't had much of a chance to do much with them only a brief listen with the L3K/SDS and my Sony player as my cosine dac is out of commision. I'll have it running for sure by Wednesday perhaps Monday... so look out for that. Immediate impressions with that was... I wasn't immediately blown away as I was with the power chord. I was using some grandenigma rca to rca (None of his $$ ones with Eichman plugs but a real budget one he threw in with a DAC I bought from him).
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