The absolute uses air/foam teflon. It was worth the upgrade to me. - Jim
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Redoctober2 - I have 0.5m Absolute XLR but cannot really comment on the difference since I've never heard silver ref II. I jump to absolute because it was only 30% more ($600 vs. $450) used and review claimed better performance and I already have Satori Shotgun speaker cable. I wouldn't probably hear the difference on my system but decided to spend money "just in case" since it's non-perishable item. So far I am very satisfied - it is much better (cleaner, faster, more focused) than my previous AQ King Cobra XLR. As far as I know construction is different than silver Ref. Absolute is thin and soft while silver ref is very thick and rigid. Absolute uses foamed Teflon in oversized tubes to achieve 6pF/ft capacitance. Array of wires inside have constant twist. Also mentioned is double shielding. I could not find details on Silver Ref II.
Redoctober2 - that's true, but remember that King Cobra used to be called Python (and was much more expensive) before AQ move production to China and changed names to be competitive. King Cobra is decent cable for the price (at least neutral sounding).
Absolute sounds neutral in my system, but I don't have anything else to compare with. AZ Satori Shotgun speaker cable has slightly pronounced lower midrange - perfect for a little lean sounding Rowland 102 (class D).
In many reviews and threads Stealth Indra appears to be "reference" cable but it is at least twice more. Absolute, in spite of the price, is called bargain.
Now I have to investigate if power cables would improve anything in my system (Benchmark DAC1, Rowland 102).
I did have the silver ref II in my system for over a year and found the upgrade to absolute to be worth it. I am not a big believer in cables making a big difference but in this particular case I felt it worth it. As a matter of fact I prefer the matrix ref II to the silver ref II considering the price difference. There is just something about the silver ref that I just don't care for. My advice is to go with matrix if on a budget or if you've upgraded all your components already and still have the cash then the absolute will be an improvement. Buy them used and see for yourself. I doubt you will be dissapointed. As a side benefit they are much more flexible. - Jim