Please search through the archives. This has been discussed many, many times before. Much valuble information in the archives.
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I've been researching the subject as well. If deciding on silver IC's check out the IC's made by a Canada violin maker, Leif Luscombe. (www.violins.on.ca/) I only own one silver IC, a Music Metre Signature. Very articulate and smooth sounding but the bass is ever so lightly softer. It really depends on one systems and tastes I suppose. DH Labs I've heard makes very good products for the $. But, for my tastes and system I'm going the try a set of VH Audio "Pulsars" which use a copper conductor. 60-day Money-back guaranntee. I'll see if they do the trick! BTW, I'm really tempted to try the Luscombe IC because from what I've read pure silver conductors sound better the silver-coated conductors. I believe they have a 30-day money-back guarantee. Lots and Lots of choices!
The point is that you need to hear the cables in your own system. Although there can be some generalizations regarding silver versus copper, cable performance depends on the design. I current am auditioning silver and copper interconnects where the silver sound less detailed then the copper. Pricing and value depends on what you yourself hear and how much any improvement is worth to you. Price does not always mean better.
Sorry if this is not helpful.
Eldart, to some point it's true, but if the signal goes bellow the tolerance input on a certain volume level than the electric loss isn't negligable.
In the digital source of my primary system I have a high output device which is EAD DSP7000 DAC which is flat linear at any volume and cares none about the wire wether it's copper or silver. However when I did an experiment with the generic CD/LD player(used in the different room) I found that connecting it through the copper ICs v.s. silver ones inflicts loss of a detail at even higher volumes while with silver ones more details are heard. Nontheless to say that the sound is still crap through both wires but that due to the poor analogue output but the voltage drop in the wires seemed to be non negligable in that case.
Just to add to what Bigkidz mentioned, there are alloy IC's which eliminate the debate about which single metal can be made to sound best.
My favorite manufacturer in this category is Auricle Audio Design, and when auctions end "his prices are insane" to borrow a word from Crazy Eddie's long departed television ads. Or, one could say these designs are "insanely great," a phrase added to popular culture by Steve Jobs of our modern era.
The low auction bid prices are a tribute to Audiogon's appeal to me -- great items hiding in plain sight don't have to cost what they're worth.
I have successfully inserted in more than one system, and more of what each component can deliver becomes evident. In a well assembled system be prepared for a pleasant shock.
I've been following this thread with interest. I have been using CRL copper ICs and have been really happy with them. Based on what I have read here I have a pair of Auricle Audio cables coming to me. I'm very interested in hearing how they would sound on my DAC, which is the only component not using a CRL IC (I have Nordost Red Dawn on it).
As to the Luscombe cables, they look eerily similar to the cables that come with the Whest PS .20 phono stage. If they are the same or sound anything remotely like the Whest ICs, then all I can say is they can really deliver the detail in the music.