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Silver Plated Copper Wire - How Good?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
What are peoples opinions on the use of silver plated copper wire in interconnects? Is it just cheap, low quality wire or is it decent?

I'm interested in purchasing the interconnects below but am a little worried about the quality of sound from them:

http://cgi.ebay.com.au/SLCABLES-SILV...QQcmdZViewItem

http://cgi.ebay.com.au/SLC-SILVER-TO...QQcmdZViewItem
post #2 of 14
for the price it's hard to beat a well made SPC cable
post #3 of 14
I use it often. Sure you can get poor SPC wire but you can get poor copper and silver wire as well. Navships on eBay is terrific. I did an A/B listening test with a pair of K81DJs that I wired with SPC and one that I wired with a spare Headphile silver cable. Yes, I did hear a difference but it was slight. I think people put a bit too much emphasis on cables. Use quality wire and the differences are negligible in my book. Though I do advocate recabling headphones since most stock cables are not very good.
post #4 of 14
The price looks good enough to try and see. If you do give us a report.
post #5 of 14
One of the biggest rip-offs in Hi-Fi is cables.

Making your own I/Cs, power cords could'nt be simpler and saves loads of money. It only gets a bit difficult if you use fine gauge wires and that's down to developing the right construction techniques.

I use mil. spec. silver plated copper wire for all my cables. This is so cheap via Ebay from the likes of Navships (totally reliable).

I don't like copper but I have never tried CCC - continuous cast copper.

I've tried silver wire but sonically prefer silver/plated copper.

Important questions are: what gauge wire/s to use / weaving, Litz style or something else, what dialectric and of course plugs, again I prefer silver/plated plugs.

Take a good look at all the various articles available on the net. Have a healthy contempt for all the 'received wisdom' especialy regarding sheilding, which may only have significance if your rig is computer based.

Buying your US mil. spec. wire from Ebay is so cheap and easy. Buy quality plugs which you can use over and over again.

So, you can try all kinds of gauges/solid core/stranded etc until you find the sound that suits you and all for virtually pennies.

Do cables make a difference yes and sometimes big differences, contrary to what some would have you believe and that's the point - believe nothing, except what your own ears tell you
post #6 of 14
I've been very happy over the last six or seven years with my LAT International interconnects using multistrand high purity copper that is then dredged in silver and drawn through a die to size. Very smooth and a little faster than copper alone.
post #7 of 14
I'm a believer after directly comparing what mil spec SPC can do to a measly stinking KSC75!
post #8 of 14
Quote:
I use mil. spec. silver plated copper wire for all my cables.
The mil. spec is important as not all silver plated copper is created equal.

I used to be in love with the Audio Magic silver plated copper cables that seemed to give me the smoothness of silver with the bass and dynamics of copper.
post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by wixy View Post
What are peoples opinions on the use of silver plated copper wire in interconnects? (...)
Standard RG-223 cable works well for line level interconnects.

Greetings from Munich!

Manfred / lini
post #10 of 14
I compared copper solid, silver solid and silver coated copper. I liked the silver coated copper best.
post #11 of 14
I just made a 26awg x 6 silver plated copper mini -mini and don't like the sound of it. Compared to practical devices mini-mini it's brighter but has noticebly less air and smoothness.Maybe it's poor soldering ? because the wire is from navships and It's made of 2 3-litz strand wires.I think I will try some cryo treated copper now..
post #12 of 14
MILSPEC silver plated copper wire is the best and its fairly cheap. As BLACKSTUART recommends, buy some different gauge wire and connectors and experiment. You just might like the results!
post #13 of 14
oh dear.....

the reason silver is used in mil spec cables has nothing to do with conduction. Its to do with joint failure....a silver plated cable prevents metal migration in the solder joint. End of story...

now the sound of silver plated copper .....

I stress this is my opinion but many others agree with me !

silver plated copper seems to take the worst aspects of both copper and silver and combines them throwing out all the good qualities. For me the sound is bright sharp with a rising treble and has an uneven balance across the frequency range. You often see people comment on the sound of silver cables and say how bright and excruciatingly forward they sound.....I bet that if they took a sharp knife and scrathched the conductor they would find that the so called silver cable was actually just copper silver plated....I mean who's going to open up there $500 ic and scratch at the conductors ?

I had to reterminate a set of $800 "refference" silver ic for a friend ...the web claims solid silver conductors...but low and behold one of them was silver plated copper...... as a case in piont !

the sound of copper

this is warm plump plumby with a noticeable hump in the upper bass and lower mid treble is flat ....this makes copper often sound like its giving more bass ...but it tends to be a one note bass. Don't ever use thick multistrand copper.....this adds "distortion" that can be quite disconcerting once heard
its as if the trailing edges of the notes warble....hard to describe almost as if each strand has its own signal and they don't quite integrate back together.

the sound of silver

assuming a reasonable purity ie 925.....this is smoth and buttery the bass is deep and doesn't emphasis any particular freq. The balance of silver cables natural and neutral with great dynamics once you hear a good one ...your hooked !

other conductors

gold is surprisingly good ...warm rich like silver but with added body.
platinum alloys ....fast clean smooth incredible detail....sublime draws you into the music....but who can afford the $300 for just the wire in a 0.75m ic ? the ic should then cost $4K or more depending on the mark up
steel...keep away
chromium...bright brittle
aluminium.....bugger to solder but surprisingly good sound similar in nature to silver..

And yes I've built ic using all these materials .....

An interesting aside if you build identical ic's except for the signal conductor ...its clear that its the metal that creates the different sound...rather than as some people would lead you to believe the construction technique. How do I know.....I've done it!

Another interesting fact [?].... why does a simple twisted pair of say silver ...sound far better than the identical cable with a braided shield ? haven't we always been told that ic have to be screened ......
Could it be another hifi myth ? I don't know
post #14 of 14

With this post you basically make every affordable wire sound bad.. Are there any good combinations? I'm thinking about recabling my Beyerdynamic DT 770's. Thanks
 

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