Edited by herbie12389 - 4/17/14 at 10:38pm
Copper is typically a warmer heavy or weighted sound. It can often be muddled at times lacking detail. What if my system sounded bright and over analytical to my music causing stress or fatigue while listening, maybe even perhaps a but thin sounding? Copper is a great way warm a system up, give the music a bit more body and smooth things out. Silver on the other hand seems to be a bit more active, can carry extreme amounts of detail and clarity. This is great for a system experiencing the opposite problems (VAGUE I KNOW, so feel free to jump in and comment). What it all boils down to is the process it takes on how that wire is drawn. Some companies do it better than others and the price usually does reflect in audiophile dollars but on the other hand, other companies offer a extreme value for what it can do to musically enhance your system. Its fun to find out what each do to your system and between each parts. Odds are you'll find yourself using a good mix and match when you give your ears some homework.
The truly entertaining thing about this claim? There is a bigger difference in electrical resistance (by a factor of 5 or so) between two copper wires differing by 1AWG (for example 16AWG vs 15AWG) than there is between an identical gauge copper and silver wire. Inductance and capacitance depend more on the geometry and insulating materials than they do on the conductor. Despite all this, you don't hear people going on about how replacing all the 14AWG wire in their speaker setup with 12AWG suddenly made it "bright" and "analytical". On the other hand, for no conceivable reason, the "warm" colored metal sounds "warm", and the "bright" colored metal sounds "bright". That fact alone should make you stop and wonder if there could be something psychological going on, rather than a real effect. Similarly, if you have a pair of headphones with a 5 foot copper cable, you'll get a similar change in resistance if you either 1) replace it with a silver cable of identical dimensions or 2) replace it with a copper cable 4'9" long. Despite this, you don't see people rushing out to chop 3 inches off of their cables to increase the detail they can hear. The type of solder used (as long as you have a good electrical and physical connection between the cable and plugs), and all kinds of fancy cable geometries are similarly irrelevant.
(and yes, I'll freely admit that I'm ignoring things like skin effect, reflections, and characteristic impedance. Why? Because they are completely and totally irrelevant at anything remotely near audio frequencies. If you're running a hundred meters of 10AWG wire to your high-power tweeters on the other side of a gymnasium, you might start to care about skin effect, but in normal home audio applications, all you really need to care about is the cable resistance.
Enough already - this is the Sound Science forum. Either contribute something that fits this forum or move your unicorn and fairy dust discussions to somewhere they belong.