Author Topic: Copper versus silver what to use  (Read 12536 times)

Offline stevenvalve

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Copper versus silver what to use
« on: March 23, 2014, 04:42:34 PM »
My experience has shown me that under no circumstances will I use silver in a system. Silver sounds clear, clean, but also white, bright and harmonically threadbare, worst of all, silver has artificial and anaemic sounding timbre. That last property is in my opinion a death Nell to building a great realistic sounding system. If a system needs a dose of silver flavouring that's telling you something loud and clear. For example if your system is dark thick and lacing transparency, silver acts like a band aid. Sometimes this coloration seems to improve your sound, but ultimately that system will never reach an elite status. In reality Silver is a nice band aid to get a poorly tuned system out of trouble. Copper has all the ying and yang needed to tune a system correctly. If you try various copper types, example, solid core with different diameters and manufactures, multistrands from various manufactures, strand amounts and most importantly gauges. Attributes, Solid core has a full solid, grainless, midrange orientated, quality, with good base weight, but lacking some air and apparent frequency extension. Multistrand has air and a bigger 3 dimensional and layered soundstage, perceived detail and high frequency extension, but with the baggage of possibly sounding grainy and brittle particularly in the high frequency's. I usually use mostly solid core, and in the final tune stage, and try various multistrands types in selected signal path areas, till its right. Copper can and does have the necessary Ying and Yang to cover the complete spectrum. It's up to you and your ears, to just juggle the wire or parts combinations till you are happy with the balance. The bottom line, i have never in 40 years heard a truly brilliant, amazingly real sounding system, wired with or containing anything silver. Silver in a system just never sounds complete. Thoughts gentleman
« Last Edit: May 28, 2014, 06:53:34 PM by stevenvalve »

Offline skc

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Re: Copper versus silver what to use
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2014, 05:00:38 PM »
Just like there are variations in how copper sounds, the same is true for silver; not all of it sounds the same. I had some locally made silver IC's I used and didn't mind though I'd describe them as lacking texture. I demo'd some annealed silver Japanese offerings and the difference was stark; as was the price! Not only were they clean, but they had palpable layers of texture. Simply fantastic. I was so impressed, I bought another pair to chop up and use throughout the signal path of my amps.

Offline stevenvalve

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Re: Copper versus silver what to use
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2014, 05:25:17 PM »
Just like there are variations in how copper sounds, the same is true for silver; not all of it sounds the same. I had some locally made silver IC's I used and didn't mind though I'd describe them as lacking texture. I demo'd some annealed silver Japanese offerings and the difference was stark; as was the price! Not only were they clean, but they had palpable layers of texture. Simply fantastic. I was so impressed, I bought another pair to chop up and use throughout the signal path of my amps.
Good point. Some audiophiles have told me there is good sounding silver, and that not all silver sounds the same. Is it just a varying degree of OK to good, ultimately does it really sound as completely natural as copper.  (Some annealed silver Japanese offerings) this sounds interesting, do you have any info on it.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2014, 05:27:25 PM by stevenvalve »

Offline ozmillsy

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Re: Copper versus silver what to use
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2014, 05:43:09 PM »
Vitavox has been chewing my @rse about using cat5,  he uses some type of high quality silver, and feels strongly that I'm giving everyone a bum steer re cat5.   I hope he chimes in about this.    8)
It's all about the music,, not the equipment.

Offline hedalfa

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Re: Copper versus silver what to use
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2014, 07:26:06 PM »
WBT also make sililver phono connectors. Reviews found when run in  it in was superior to the cooper.

A small amount of silver may not necessary be the undoing of a system. The silver interconnects worked better with mc step up transformers than cooper when we did a test at Paaul Bakers. That not rulling out cooper could be better, yet for what we tried the silver was better.

Having real silver hand made speaker cables and interconnects I do agree there are tradeoffs in using them.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2014, 07:44:35 PM by hedalfa »

Offline skc

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Re: Copper versus silver what to use
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2014, 07:35:43 PM »
(Some annealed silver Japanese offerings) this sounds interesting, do you have any info on it.

The wire I am using is age annealed silver from Kondo in Japan. Individual wires are drawn, polished, then coated and the age annealed. I thought it was effusive bumpkis till I had it in my own system. In fact, I actually only demo'd it to "prove" it was all overrated nonsense. I was wrong.

Offline ozmillsy

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Re: Copper versus silver what to use
« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2014, 07:37:49 PM »
The wire I am using is age annealed silver from Kondo in Japan. Individual wires are drawn, polished, then coated and the age annealed. I thought it was effusive bumpkis till I had it in my own system. In fact, I actually only demo'd it to "prove" it was all overrated nonsense. I was wrong.

I'm interested to know more.   What did you pull out and replace with this stuff,  and what effect does it have (how did the sound change) ?
It's all about the music,, not the equipment.

Offline skc

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Re: Copper versus silver what to use
« Reply #7 on: March 23, 2014, 08:01:16 PM »
I've had Dueland silver foil in silk, Cardas 20awg copper in cotton, some copper ribbon from 47 Labs, and some copper from JPS; the age annealed silver had all the body of the copper wire I tried, but had a clarity and texture the copper lacked - without at all sounding etched like the Dueland solver foil.

Offline stevenvalve

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Re: Copper versus silver what to use
« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2014, 08:17:32 PM »
The wire I am using is age annealed silver from Kondo in Japan. Individual wires are drawn, polished, then coated and the age annealed. I thought it was effusive bumpkis till I had it in my own system. In fact, I actually only demo'd it to "prove" it was all overrated nonsense. I was wrong.
Interesting. This is what I tend to think. If you and I tried multiple types of copper in that very spot, including many exotic 99999.00 wires multistrand and solid, I feel we will find a copper wire that will have all the strengths of the silvers, but without the silvers usual down side. There is only one way to find out if this silver wire cuts it. I will get some of this same silver wire,  then try it I a critical position. A Question, if you had more of this silver wire and for example rewired your preamp, what do you think would be the result (soundwise).

Offline stevenvalve

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Re: Copper versus silver what to use
« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2014, 08:25:48 PM »
I've had Dueland silver foil in silk, Cardas 20awg copper in cotton, some copper ribbon from 47 Labs, and some copper from JPS; the age annealed silver had all the body of the copper wire I tried, but had a clarity and texture the copper lacked - without at all sounding etched like the Dueland solver foil.
What are your favourite capacitors.

Offline Tuyen

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Re: Copper versus silver what to use
« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2014, 09:26:33 PM »
I've always preferred copper on my system. Usually solid core of foil.

Only time I preferred something else was when I was playing around with Western Electric stuff.  The WE 597 field coil tweeters and  Chinese copy of the WE124B 6L6 based power amps (using IE iron/caps/wiring), I preferred using tin plated copper (Supra Ply 3.4).  The lighter/thinner sound from the tin helped to balance out the 'overly rich' WE stuff.    Funnily enough, as I did more research on WE gear, discover that lots of the vintage WE wire was tin plated copper.  Lots of the vintage WE systems are using tin plated copper for interconnects, speaker and field coil cables.

Apart from that, I've only tried modern silver and never really worked on my system(s).

But in saying that, I have heard a 'vintage' Kondo Ongaku on a variety of speakers now and it being full silver (inc output transformers) is the sweetest integrated amp I have heard. Can be so delicate but then so powerful when needed.  I can hear so many inner tonal shades between the notes that it does draw me into the music.  I don't feel off in tonal balance when I listen to it. Maybe not as rich in comparison to a nice copper based amp, but still beautiful no less.  Perhaps more to some.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2014, 09:30:20 PM by Tuyen »

Offline stevenvalve

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Re: Copper versus silver what to use
« Reply #11 on: March 23, 2014, 09:46:09 PM »
I remember an audio importer and high end hifi shop owner, he told me a few years ago , it seemed everyone went crazy on silver interconnect. He imported tons off this stuff, all the big brands, but he eventually ended up being stuck with most of  it, no one wanted it. In the end he could not even give them away. 

Offline ozmillsy

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Re: Copper versus silver what to use
« Reply #12 on: March 23, 2014, 09:50:03 PM »
That richness, full body presence, seems to be so easy to lose, and hard to get back.

It's really easy to be drawn towards speedy details, but it so often comes at the expense of 'body'.

It's a fine balancing act.    The Kondo silver sounds like it has the best of both speed, silky details, and body all at the same time.
It's all about the music,, not the equipment.

Offline guru

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Re: Copper versus silver what to use
« Reply #13 on: March 24, 2014, 12:43:44 AM »
Silver cables implies a generic which exists but tends to bypass cables not that common in their availability or construction. The cables mentioned as Japanese are silver litz construction which puts them in an uncommon basket and therefore having a very distinctive sound compared to non litz silver cables.
There are silver cables designed to balance the tonal and dynamic responses of certain types of electronics, Gryphon being a perfect example.
I will have to continue this commentary at another time, I didn't realise how late it is.

Offline data

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Re: Copper versus silver what to use
« Reply #14 on: April 03, 2014, 03:41:58 AM »
I have always preferred copper over silver, but that was all silver plated stuff (yuk).

I'm in two minds now as I have a mix of copper and silver used in the IC's I have from Geoff, I'm thinking that the Neotech 7N silver could change me over. I really need to save up for some all 7N silver speaker cables and see what I find.

Will I prefer it over the 7N copper? who knows till i try i guess.

Offline Tuyen

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Re: Copper versus silver what to use
« Reply #15 on: May 28, 2014, 03:50:37 PM »
Hi Steven,

Do youe thoughts still hold true on silver after now hearing the gZero 6 interconnects with silver plugs?   

Also regarding % silver content in different solder, you prefer using the solders that have least amount of silver?

Offline ozmillsy

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Re: Copper versus silver what to use
« Reply #16 on: May 28, 2014, 03:52:20 PM »
My understanding is the gZero6 IC's use copper wire.   

It's often been said to me that copper with a smidgen of silver,  can be a nice mix.   The harmony plugs being that smidgeon.   :)
It's all about the music,, not the equipment.

Offline Tuyen

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Re: Copper versus silver what to use
« Reply #17 on: May 28, 2014, 04:08:40 PM »
Probably does, but looks like it has sliver plugs?


Offline ozmillsy

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Re: Copper versus silver what to use
« Reply #18 on: May 28, 2014, 04:34:20 PM »
Probably does, but looks like it has sliver plugs?
Yes, correct.    Copper wire with Silver Plugs = smidgeon of silver.  ;D
It's all about the music,, not the equipment.

Offline Tuyen

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Re: Copper versus silver what to use
« Reply #19 on: May 28, 2014, 05:34:47 PM »
True true  :D

What are your guys thoughts about TIN?   lol..   I think I got a bit in my system   :-[