Thats weird..that cable on first pic looks almost copperlike..couldnt open second pic by the way..the cable i got with my new batch he500 is silver white and very thin! So there is a change in the silver cables? Interesting..Well i dont care to much to be honest..first thing i did with all my hifiman's is keepin the original cable in box and use my dhc cable instead..and soon i will get my toxic cables black widows 22 awg copper cable! I just love the combo he500 with good copper cables better then silvercables imho ofcourse and on my rig! Wait..i did listen to the silvercable after have it burnt in for 48 hours..but it was to bright and to hollow sounding compared to my dhc molecule cable..and i believe the black widow will be even better!
It IS pure copper (the second link is just a failed attempt at relinking the image in the first link). It just has a clear plastic sleeve on it that makes it a bit whiteish but it is definitely just pure copper.
I have both the later "pure white silver cable" that came with my HE300, and these old copper HE500 cables. They are very different. the silver cables are rigid, loud (in terms of microphonics), and sound cold almost thin, while the copper cables are flexible, quiet, and sound nice and lush. No idea why Hifiman decided to revert to those silver cables sometime this year.
On the other hand, the canare cable which I got with my HE400s, sounds like something in between, but is too bulky for me to like them a lot.
Fairly sure it's OCC, since the OCC copper XLR cable that Hifiman offers seems to be exactly the same cable / cup connectors, the only difference being the terminal connector being XLR instead of 3.5mm.
Edited by jerg - 12/22/12 at 5:01pm