I reached a similar conclusion to you with regards to the 2 Meze upgrade cables. Silver-plated was definitely clearer (particularly in the treble region) and more balanced, although I overall preferred the Copper for the bottom end.
A shout out to @incredulousity
who I believe earlier in the thread suggested the Wywires platinum upgrade cable. I took a punt and ordered blind a few months back, and was\am seriously impressed. It's clearly a step up from both Meze upgrade cables in the sound department, though undoubtedly not as nice looking (apologies for the not great pics).
To me it combines the strength of both the bottom end & body of the Meze Copper whilst retaining and perhaps even surpassing the clarity provided by the silver-plated. Also, not crazy money (I believe there's a 40% off sale at the moment). I don't post much but found your contributions to this thread really helpful in making a decision to pick up the Elites, so hopefully this is useful.
At the moment, really enjoying the combination with my Sony NW-WM1A, but am looking for a better portable\transportable solution for around the house use. Really keen to try the Elites on the HiBy RS8 or the A&ultima SP3000. Any other suggestions for a potentially high-end portable pairing for the Elites?
My Platinum cable from Wywires has finally arrived after a month of placing the order. Shipping from the USA to the UK took one week.
It is probably not the last word when it comes to aesthetics, but the 5 years transferable warranty is reassuring regarding the build quality. The cable is surprisingly thin and light which I initially found strange as we usually associate thicker cables with quality, but very soon I grew to like this supreme lightness. It actually adds to the comfort quite a bit, I can pretty much forget about the cable while wearing it. Even the otherwise brilliant Meze upgrade cables feel like wearing chains in comparison. So, aesthetics: average. Build quality: promising/reassuring. Comfort: surprisingly good.
But how does it sound?
Based on the recommendation and surprising amount of positive press for a headphone cable, my expectations were high. I was expecting the Wywires Platinum to easily surpass the two Meze upgrade cables, and I think it does surpass them but maybe not as clearly and easily as I thought.
Out of the box the Platinum sounded a bit thin to me and not refined enough. This has definitely improved after 30 hours of usage. Recommended 'burn in' time is 100hrs. I always take these burn in time recommendations with a good pinch of salt, but most equipment do benefit from 20-30hrs in my experience. (In most cases, most of it is brain burn in.)
So, back to the sound: the Platinum has a very nice, very balanced and sweet tonality that stands out. It is also more resolving and better balanced than the Meze copper upgrade cable. The Meze copper upgrade cable sounds slightly thicker, softer and warmer, which somewhat helps the vocals but the full picture is less refined, edges of instruments are a bit smeared in comparison. With the Platinum the image is more focused.
Unfortunately I don't have the Meze silver plated cable here for direct comparison anymore (wait was too long for the Wywires cable), I will try to get one again so I can directly compare it to the Platinum. From memory I think the silver-plated cable might sound even clearer, but they must be very close in clarity, just somehow with different presentations. From memory, the enhanced clarity of the silver-plated Meze cable versus the copper upgrade Meze cable was immediately obvious, and the Platinum is also undoubtedly cleaner, I am just not sure if it is to the exact same extent. The silver-plated cable was definitely brighter sounding with noticeably less body in the low frequencies but everywhere very clean and clear. The Platinum retains the warmth generally associated with copper, but sounds pretty much as clear, also with good bass body: a very sweet, clean and balanced listen. I guess I agree with @venturer123
saying it is the best of both worlds when it comes to the two Meze upgrade cables: enhanced clarity and
bass with muscles.
Yet, I would love to have the silver-upgrade cable for another quick direct comparison just to double check the clarity difference.
For now I am enjoying the natural balance and effortless clarity of the Platinum. Thanks for the recommendation!
EDIT: The more I listen to the Platinum cable the more I like it. Effortless clarity and great tonal balance. When I switch back to the Meze copper upgrade cable it just sounds unrefined, hazy and poor at dynamics. The Platinum is so much more clearer and punchier in the bass. I am loving it.