I have been using several third party cables with my previous ES5 and current Miracles. They include TWag v1, v2, TWcu 26 and Silver Dragon.
I recently sold my Silver Dragon and am on the lookout for copper cables for use with my Miracle and 3rd Anniversary Studio V. With the help of some very nice chaps in the local forums here in Singapore, I managed to audition Silver Poison and Scorpion of Toxic Cables, and also TWag v2 Gold and TWcu v3 of Whiplash Audio.
I would like to share the impressions of what I heard with the local forum and would also like to share it with the community here. The listening is done with my Miracle customs and Studio V with FLAC files. I listen to a variety of music, and used tracks from Michael Buble, Chris Botti, Corrinne May, Adele, John Mayer, Prudence Liew and Kit Chan.
TWag v2 gold
I am happy to say that TWag v2 gold sounds very good. It is significantly better sounding than the old v2. The added gold content in the new cable addresses the issues that plagues traditional silver cables: the lack of bass impact and the "oh-too-clean-details". The bass now has more impact, better texture and slightly more in quantity compared to the old v2.
Tonality wise, the sound signature is now fuller, sweeter sounding for vocals and slightly warmer. Despite introducing more warmth, clarity has actually improved. Details are more forthcoming and apparent in the new cable compared to the old v2.
As a direct result of the added warmth, the mids now sound better. Tracks with vocals now sound better with more emotions and feelings.
Staging performance has also improved over the old v2. It is now has more width with better layering in terms of depth.
Treble is still well extended and very smooth despite the added warmth. It has the ever so slight sparkle of the usual silver cables, but it never overdoes it.
Here comes the million dollar question: is the TWag v2 gold a better performing cable compared to Toxic Cable's Silver Poison? The long answer is: it depends on the customs/ IEMs that you are gonna pair the cables with. I always tell my friends this: at a high level of portable rigs of customs/ amps/ source trinity, weather or not a complete rig sounds good or not always depends on equipment pairing. You always need to consider the customs/ IEMs you have and decide how to fine tune the sound signature.
For me personally, the Silver Poison edges TWag v2 gold with my Miracle. I cannot speak for others, but as far as I am concern, Miracle's forte is its treble and staging performance while bass is its weakness.
Comparing Silver Poison to TWag v2 gold, the former has a more kick ass bass, while maintaing an amazing amount of definition. This is high quality bass with even better texture and impact, combined even more bass quantity than TWag v2 gold. To be honest, while I am impressed with how TWag v2 gold performed in the bass department, I have to say I am amazed how Frank has juggled with the bass quantity, texture and impact without it bleeding into the other frequencies. I am more of a treblehead than basshead; give me a modest amount of bass and I can generally live with it. The bass performance of Silver Poison is just excellent; I did not think it is possible to extract bass of such quality from silver cables.
Tonality wise, Silver Poison is heavier and slightly warmer. Again, the overall tonality of Silver Poison impressed me to no bounds. The rule of thumb in audio is if one is to introduce more warmth to the frequency, something usually has to sacrifice. The quality to be sacrificed for more warmth is usually clarity. However, despite being slightly warmer, the clarity of Silver Poison is on par with TWag v2 gold. That is extremely impressive, as Frank just showed be how he defied a basic rule of audio.
Mids wise, I prefer Silver Poison's presentation. There is not much in between the 2 cables, but Silver Poison just shades it for me as vocals sounds slightly more emotional due to the slight warmer signature, while retaining the same amount of clarity.
For me, Silver Poison performed better in soundstage. It sounded wider and deeper in soundstage than TW v2 gold, while also comes across as more spacious sounding. The difference between to the 2 cables is not big, but it is noticable to me.
Treble is better sounding on TWag v2 gold than Silver Poison. This definitely has to do with the tonality differences of the 2 cables. As a direct result of its fuller and warmer tonality, Silver Poison's treble sounds slightly softer than TWag v2 gold's. TWag v2 gold sounds more crisp in the higher end, while retaining a slight sparkle that is missing from Silver Poison. Both cables are equally smooth sounding in the treble section.
The Scorpion/ TWcu v3 impressions to follow later. Gee, a cable review is much tougher than the usual IEMs/ headphones/ amps review, simply because the differences between cables can be rather close.