Originally Posted by zanash
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 !
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
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