This question has been addressed in other threads in other forums, but coming to this site only recently, I find that most of the existing threads regarding this topic have digressed. I am not an electrician, or an electrical engineer, just curious if some scientific principles can be applied to this discussion.
I would guess that the controlling electrical property of the cable is the overall resistance...connectors, solder, conductor all in the mix, and that lowest possible resistance in the cable system is desired for best SQ. If this is true, consider the equation:
RESISTANCE = (RESISTIVITY x LENGTH) / AREA
Resistivity is a property of the metallic conductors in the system.
Length could be considered the length of the cable.
Area is the total cross sectional area of one conductor, which likely has multiple individual wires or strands.
Ignoring the influence of the connectors and the solder, and considering only the cable...
1. The difference in resistivity between copper and silver is small...silver is a better conductor, but not by much. If the resistivity of copper is 1.0, then by comparison silver would be about 0.95. So changing the conductors from solid copper to solid silver and leaving everything else the same would lower the resistance by about 5%.
2. Assuming the average cable is about 48" long, reducing the cable length to 36" (with no other changes) would reduce the resistance by 25%...a far more significant improvement, and presumably a far more cost effective solution than in point 1. However, I do not recall ever having seen a claim that a shorter cable length improves the SQ.
3. Similarly, an increase in the diameter of the wire would also decrease the resistance. Increasing the diameter of the wire by 10% would increase the area by 21% and reduce the resistance similarly. This could also be accomplished by adding individual strands of wire to the composite conductor, Again, I have not seen any claims that using larger diameter wire or more wires in the cable strand will improve SQ.
What am I missing here? Is the resistance of the cable (ignoring the other components in the system...connectors, solder joints, etc.) the controlling electrical property of the cable?