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SilverFi IEM2 Cable

SilverFi IEM2 Cable

Rating:
4.5/5,
  • SilverFi IEM2 Cable

Recent Reviews

  1. flinkenick
    A silver cable - that sounds nothing like a silver cable
    Written by flinkenick
    Published Feb 17, 2016
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Natural tone, smooth & warm tonality
    Cons - aesthetic finish might not be for all
    Introduction
    A while back, one of my closest friends @MikePortnoy and I participated in a winter exchange program for underprivileged cables that want to travel the world. My Rhapsodio 2.98 8-strand cable, born and raised in a warmer climate, missed the sun so I sent it off to Turkey. @MikePortnoy shipped over his SilverFi IEM2 cable to Amsterdam in return; today’s topic of review. As long as I’ve known my good friend he’d been going on about the special tone of SilverFi cables, so my expectations were high; although I wasn’t sure in which way they would manifest.
     
    SilverFi is a Turkish-based company, run by Sezai Saktanber; a passionate craftsman, and very pleasant person to communicate with. SilverFi differentiates itself by manufacturing its own raw material, where most cable makers will buy the materials to produce the cables. The IEM2 cable is the entry model for iems; but their product line ranges up to a whopping $1999 for the IEM-R4 cable. Yes, that’s almost $2000 for a cable.
     
    Build
    The IEM product line all consists of 4-braid cables in a cream-colored sleeving. I find the color very chic, and the cable itself is one of the most beautiful I have ever seen. But in order for the unique wires to be attached to the connectors and plug, the connectors are finished with a red and blue plastic that looks like memory wire, but isn’t implemented for that function – it’s for connection purposes. The jack is also covered with a blue plastic. So its design has a pro and con from an aesthetic perspective.
     
    Impressions
    Truth be told; the first minutes I listened to the IEM2 cable (connected to Zeus), I realized I was hearing something special. It’s warm and soft sound, the realistic tone of instruments – I was stunned. Ask anyone on the forum what the difference is between silver and copper cables. Even though a large group unfortunately still doesn’t ‘believe’ in differences between cables, I think most people will be familiar with the stereotype of copper cables being warm, and silver cables being bright or analytical. A more experienced user will know that the differences aren’t that simple, as every cable has its own signature - just like iems or daps. But generally speaking, while silver cables can have a very balanced tonality, their atmosphere is generally very clear – not warm.
     
    The SilverFi cable line is a very rare exception to the rule. The IEM2 cable is noticeably warm; not in response to the mid-bass, just an inherently warm and pleasant atmosphere. I still don’t understand the physics behind a pure silver having this tone. Rumor has it, mr. Saktanber is aided by elves and fairies in the fabrication process – it’s an explanation that makes the most sense. Yet mr. Saktanber insists all labor is done by himself. I guess I’ll have to believe him on his word.
     
    The IEM2 cable produces a sound that doesn’t really appeal to an analytical breakdown of its components. The magic is in its holistic presentation: its tonality is just right, instruments sound very realistic, yet this realism isn’t coupled to a dry presentation. Its atmosphere is warm, and tones are thick and smooth; this is a romantic realism, inviting and enveloping rather than distant or analytical.
     
    The sub-bass is punchy, and hits with good depth and detail. The mid-bass is vey slightly enhanced, contributing to the overall thicker note presentation. The midrange is warm and creamy, and the IEM2 cable truly brings out the best in vocals. But it’s in the treble where the IEM2 differentiates itself from most silver cables; most silver cables open up the treble, allowing for more detail while making them more prone to sibilance and harshness. The IEM2 cable attenuates the lower and mid treble, taking the sharp edge off of bright sounds. Instead, tones are smooth and soft, while still having a very realistic tonality – the level of transparency is quite good. The upper treble appears to be a bit more attenuated, which can affect the resolution of iems that already have smoothed over treble. As such, the IEM2 cable is a better match with neutral or brighter iems. The presentation is slightly more forward and upfront, which brings the soundstage closer to the listener; it’s precise, but slightly more intimate. 
     
    IMAG0390.jpg
     
    Select comparisons
    Toxic Cables Silver Widow ($325)
    The Silver Widow brings out the best in the upper mid and treble region, improving resolution and detail. It’s a dynamic sounding cable, with an accurate display of quick transients. While the treble improves overall instrument definition, it comes at a cost of a recess on the lower midrange, resulting in thinner notes. Electric guitars sound less full, while affecting the depth of male vocals. The open treble improves the soundstage width, providing an overall airier sound. The Silver Widow’s background is clear, and only very slightly bright. The IEM2 cable has a very different approach; the overall tone is richer and more musical, compared to the slightly more analytical Silver Widow. The Silver Widow brings out more detail in the treble, but can also sound harsher and less controlled compared to the smoother IEM2 cable. The IEM2 cable falls slightly behind in resolution, but has a far thicker note presentation, and a more realistic tone.
     
    Rhapsodio 2.98 Silver-Gold 8-strand ($550)
    Rhapsodio’s 2.98 cable is another cable that departs from the silver cable stereotype of being bright or cold. It has a warm tone, and an enhanced mid-bass that gives a very full sound with thick notes. Notes are thicker than the IEM2 cable, the 2.98 sounds fuller overall. But the 2.98 also has a warmer atmosphere that seems to muddy the presentation a bit, although actual resolution and detail retrieval is higher. While the 2.98 impresses with its size, the IEM2 has a more natural and realistic tone. The 2.98 has a more midforward presentation; this cable was built for rock, giving electric guitars size and power. But the IEM2 performs better with acoustics and vocals, they sound more natural and transparent.
     
    Final thoughts
    I’ve heard and owned quite a few cables, but SilverFi’s IEM2 still managed to surprise me. It’s a cable meant for synergy; it will work best in certain combinations. Bright iems have their advantages, but can also be harsh or fatuiging in longer listening sessions. The IEM2 cable with its soft, romantic tone brings out the best of such an iem. It also works well for brighter daps that can use a touch of warmth. The 901S is an outstanding dap, that delivers a sound that borders on technical perfection; its resolution, transparency and dynamics are hard to beat. But in doing so, it trades its warmth for clarity and precision. The IEM2 cable brings that warmer touch back, while still uncovering abundant detail. Its tone is reminiscent of sitting by the fire on a cold winter day; a touch of warmth and light in a colder atmosphere.
     
    SilverFi IEM2 cable
    Wire: 4-strand pure silver
    Price: $389
     
    Iems used for listening:
    Empire Ears Zeus, Rhapsodio Solar, Rhapsodio RTi2, EarSonics Velvet.
      AC-12, proedros, Tony1110 and 3 others like this.
    1. raypin
      mmm......ordered my Zeus 2 weeks ago. Now, I have an option for the perfect cable for the Zeus.
      raypin, Feb 17, 2016
    2. Kerouac
      Just when I thought I had enough upgrade cables, this review made me reconsider that again :)
      Very well and detailled (concerning sound signature) written. Also some nice comparisons with other cables to put things in perspective.
      Kerouac, Feb 17, 2016
    3. flinkenick
      Thanks for the comments guys. Raypin, I'm mixed on the pairing with Zeus. It has a very special soft tone, but since Zeus has a slight dip in the lower/mid treble it can affect the instrument definition at times. But SilverFi is without a doubt a very special brand, I'd recommend contacting mr. Saktaknbar and asking for the best pairing.
      flinkenick, Feb 18, 2016
  2. MikePortnoy
    SilverFi IEM2 Cable Review: An Organic Sound
    Written by MikePortnoy
    Published May 15, 2015
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Musicality, Instruments' tones, Control and transparency, Flexible built
    Cons - Looking, Soundstage (it may be a preference and approach, not really a con)
    Mr. Saktanber from Turkey, is a silver cable maker. He already has top class interconnects, headphone cables, digital cables, speaker cables in his store. Before starting, I would like to talk about Mr. Saktanber himself. He is a very nice person and open to learning as much as he can, even though he has been a cable maker for 17 years.  He is also very helpful and wants to learn what we think about his cables. He does not sell cable to customers if he thinks that the cable is not beneficial for them.
     
    He listens to cables before selling; if he isn’t satisfied with results, he starts to improve them for mass production. He makes his own raw material, as well. A passage from his introduction:
     
    ‘’We use our own creation of silver-alloy and silver and both are hand drawn in TURKEY by our experienced technicians. Thus, it can be said that SilverFi is one of the rare cable manufacturers that produce its own metal/alloy, and draw its unique solid silver conductors used in its original designs. ‘’
     
    1.jpg
     
     
    Built Quality:
     
    It is really hard to believe that IEM2 is made by silver, since it has copper’s warmth and silver’s micro details. Also, it is really difficult, almost impossible to knot a tie in silver cables easily. Saktanber takes this dream into reality. The cable is really light, soft and flexible.
     
    The look is not the best; some may find other aftermarket cables more attractive regarding their looks. The white sheath gives a premium feeling, but sleeving on pins is not good looking enough. However this cable is a very first one of SilverFi’s IEM range, and I believe Mr. Saktanber will improve both looking and comfort.
     
    SilverFi offers old type Westone 2 pin, MMXC and Etymotic connectors at the moment. Cables are being made with Switchcraft plugs, but Mr. Saktanber also offers a variety of plugs including A&K 2.5 mm TRRS and Hifiman 3.5mm TRRS.  
     
    I asked Mr. Saktanber why he is not using black sheath at the moment. He said that IEM cables are much different than interconnects in terms of hygiene. IEM cables touch a lot to human body; he doesn't find the painting on current black sheath healthy. He thinks that black painting may have allergic and carcinogenic effects and white sheath is much more healthy compared to black sheath. He is looking for a healthy black sheath to use within cables. Once he find the proper one, he will make cables in black sheath. In sum, it is about health and I think it is good production logic.  
     
    2.jpg
     
     
    Sound:
     
    IEM2 has a smooth sound signature with rich tones on both mids and highs. IEM2’s low frequency is very tight and yet punchy. It gives your earphone tighter and more bodied low frequency response. Mid-bass presentation is not very prominent, but it is easier to hear resonances’ details compared to stock cable. 
     
    In general, mid-bass section creates some problems such as veiled presentation or making stage smaller due to their too much-bodied response.  In spite of bodied mid-bass section of IEM2, there is a spacious and unveiled presentation. So, we can say that there is a very balanced mid-bass presentation with IEM2. 
     
    IEM2 mids are very rich; it makes instruments more bodied. Some say that it gives a thicker note presentation to earphone. This would be good for earphones, which are on the thinner side of the presentation.
     
    However, we can say that there should be a more transparent center-mid presentation regarding our earphone. For example, I have no complaint about mid presentation’s transparency with UM Mentor, but we can have some transparency compliments with slightly V shaped earphones, such as H8P. Surely, IEM2 is very transparent compared to stock cable.
     
    There is an interesting texture on the whole spectrum, especially on mids. This is not a grain or something disturbing. This unique texture takes instruments’ tones to reality and makes presentation more musical.
     
    IEM2 has a smoother and very controlled sound signature on treble notes. It has copper taste presentation with silver’s detail articulation. It is very hard to believe that IEM2 is a pure silver cable. Although its smoother presentation compared to stock cable, there is no roll-off problem with this cable. Thanks to its smoothness, upper-mid region is very well controlled. Sudden attacks of vocals and instruments in this region are not piercing.
     
    As other Silver-fi products, the main aim of IEM2 is to give a closer sound signature to real tones. Making a large soundstage is not a goal for Mr. Saktanber. Indeed, IEM2 does not have a big soundstage. Its depth is very good, but we shouldn’t expect a very wide stage.
     
    The biggest improvement on the stage and instrument separation is its very dark background. Also, this black-dark background’s stability is superb.
     
    3.jpg
     
     
    Final Words:
     
    I think IEM2 is a top class cable for earphones on analytic/bright side, such as UM Mentor or CA H8P. Surely, this idea may change depends on our preferences, since we all have different tastes. We can get many different sound signature from SilverFi IEM cable range for different earphones. For example, IEM-X is really good for those have a blacker-darker or thicker sounding, such as EW Legend R or SE5 Ref.
     
    The price of IEM2 is around 360 USD. 
     
     
    Contact Info:
     
    https://www.facebook.com/silverficable?fref=ts
     
    http://silverfi.blogspot.com.tr
     
     
    Some pictures from SilverFi product range
     
    hd8001.jpg
     
    HD800 Cable
     
    xlr.jpg
     
    rca.jpg
     
    Pictures from SilverFi

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