Lavricables Master 12 core silver cable for Audeze/Empyrean/ZMF - Reviews
Pros: light, nicely braided, good quality, good value for money
Cons: level of improvement might depend on your system
I have always been sceptical (or skeptical, depending on your location) regarding the benefit of cable upgrades.

When it comes to cable upgrades, you definitely have to be extra careful. Choose only experienced, trustworthy sellers and believe only your own ears.

I have had mixed experience with silver upgrade cables. The Toxic Silver cable with my LCD2C didn’t really bring the difference I was expecting after a blind test. The dual silver/copper cable of the Unique Melody Mason V3 IEM however had a clearly different tonality with silver vs. copper.

Since most Meze Empyrean owners recommend a silver cable, I thought I buy one too. I have been looking for the most affordable good quality cables out there. Even £300 sounds quite a lot for an upgrade cable; let’s find out if it is worth it.

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After a good search, Lavricables seemed to be the best balance between quality and price.
They have got a two weeks return policy on their 2m long silver cables with 6.35mm/quarter inch plug, exactly what I needed. I agreed with Lavricables to send my silver cable back in case I don’t like the sound and I am unhappy with the improvements; or write a positive review in case I like the sound for a certain percentage of refund.

After two weeks of excessive A/B testing their silver cable to the stock Empyrean cable I ended up keeping the silver one and writing this review for the offered discount and for sharing my experience.

The only difference to the stock 12 core 2m long sleeveless Master line silver Lavricables cable is the 6.35 plug I ordered. Instead of the generic and good quality ‘ViaBlue’ plug which is gold plated brass I went for the Aeco plug which is pure copper and heavily gold plated.

My system is a Chord Hugo TT2 with Meze Empyrean.

Lavricables says:

“The difference compared to any copper cable is pretty obvious and unless the source is a decent one, you'll get audible improvements. Pls also note that cable might sound a bit harsh from beginning, once burned in for 100+ hours, it will be much more pleasant and neutral sounding.”
“These are two different plugs, AECO is made of pure copper and heavily gold plated. ViaBlue is made of brass and gold plated on top. It's pretty noticeable difference as well, however this will be dependent on your setup as well.”


Ergonomics:

The 12 core silver master cable from Lavricables is nicely braided and very light compared to the stock Empyrean cable. It doesn’t have any microphonics, whatsoever. Depending on the length and your usage scenario the cable can jump around a bit, but it is very light weight and completely disappears once you stop moving around.

To me ergonomics is a clear upgrade compared to the stock cable. I find the stock cable nice, but pretty heavy. Something you have to put from one side to another when you change position. The silver master from Lavricables is just a lot lighter.

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Sound:

Burn in or not to burn in?

According to Lavricables the cable needs 100-150hrs burn in time to sound at its best.
“After burn in time the cable will sound more relaxed and neutral, less grained and harsh as on some setups it might sound a bit unpleasant. There are pretty technical process that happens with silver during burn in time, you may find lots of non-audio articles regarding that on the web. The key point here is that it is quite audible with silver, not that as with copper.”

Another note on the number of cores:
“In general with number of cores you would get a bit better microdynamics, deeper low end register, slightly wider soundstage.”

I can definitely hear a difference between silver and copper, I am still unsure whether I can hear a difference between the raw and the 150 hrs+ sound of my Master silver cable.
I am tempted to say I can hear a difference after burn in, but I can’t prove it since I don’t have a raw Master silver cable here to compare to.
What I think is a difference after using the cable for 150 hrs is that the sound is less bright and less harsh. It is definitely more rounded and much fuller; filled up with a more natural and balanced body versus the thinner and less balanced sound of the stock cable. This silver cable sounds surprisingly balanced, full and natural without a hint of harshness or brightness.

The general preconception regarding silver cables is that they make the sound brighter. After trying this 12 core silver cable from Lavricables I have to disagree. Perhaps the initial impression was a brighter sound, but after 150 hrs this is all gone.
What remains is a more balanced, airier sound; a much fuller and more rounded more natural sound. This might have something to do with the 12 cores as well. A lot of silver cables are only 8 cores which might sound thinner and brighter.

On the stock copper cable the mids are a little bit more forward; the bass seems to be punchier bur emptier. Switching to the silver cable it feels like the sound from the copper cable is just an ‘empty shell’. It punches without content and body.
The silver cable offers a much fuller, more balanced and more natural sound. Overall it is much more pleasing to my ears.

If I would want to exaggerate; the copper feels thin like the sound was coming from a box. The 12 core silver cable offers a much more natural sound which is fuller and closer to reality. Also, there is an undeniable improvement in clarity. This 12 core silver cable just sounds more natural compared to the stock cable and the overall balance is more pleasing.

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Conclusion:

We are not talking about night and day differences here. The Empyrean is still extremely enjoyable with the stock cable. I would never spend £500+ on aftermarket cables, but around £300 I think the improvements both in ergonomics and sound is worth my money.
In my opinion a cable upgrade must be the last one of your upgrades. Once you have got an amp and a DAC you absolutely love, consider reaching for the last 5% or 10% by buying a silver upgrade cable. In my experience Lavricables offer outstanding quality for the price.
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betula
After four months of moderate usage my Lavricable developed a connection issue in the left mini XLR connector.
I was convinced this will be solved under warranty, but Lavricables in a cocky manner accused me with misuse of the cable. After a few heated messages finally I agreed to pay 65 euros for repair, even though the damage was not my fault.
While the cable sounds nice, Lavricables customer service has a somewhat outdated Eastern-Europe style and I also question build quality after this experience.
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