Copper vs. Silver interconnects

We are running two systems from one CD player. We have a SET (tube, obviously) amp, a hybrid (tube outstage) amp, and the CD player also has a tube. I love my Verastarr silver reference interconnects, but it's always fun to try out different cables.

I have listened to a variety of copper cables (Kimber, DH Labs, Analysis Plus, Harmonic Technology, etc.), and I find them to lack the clarity and lively authority of the silver cables in these particular systems.

My question is this: do I stick with the silver cables (or gold, palladium, beryllium, etc.), or are their some copper interconnects that would really be worth trying? I'm asking for your collective expertise/experience on this one, as I don't want to continue going through the process of buying and selling cables that are only going to sound veiled and/or dull in comparison to the Verastarr's.

Thank you for the input.
Try NBS and XLO lines. They have superb copper cables.
Audience AU 24's are outstanding. IN MY SYSTEM I preferred them to numerous highly regarded silver cables.
Since your SET has quality output transformers, I'd expect that you don't need to overcome any high-end rolloff by using silver cables.

I use the all-copper Sonoran Plateau cables in my system with a SET amp, and feel very happy with them.

I work for Starsound, but I don't have to personally use any of their stuff if I don't want to. The Sonoran cables sounded just right in my system, after trying several different kinds, including DIY stuff. They had a very good neutral sound, and the price was in a range I could afford.
FWIW, I was using a AZ Silver Ref II from CDP to preamp and I purchased an Au24 to compare; I found both to be very close to one another but chose the Au24. Both are fine IC's IMO.
I went from silver foil (Lewis, Allen Wright, Goertz) to continious cast copper from Chimera Labs (Advantage is the product name) Not even close. The copper was better by far. If they are not an improvement, Dennis will give you your money back. Hard to beat that.
I've been thinking about trying the AU24's, as I've only heard great things about them. Thank you all for the feedback. All of the cables you mentioned will be on my list to try.
All the best,
Best copper cable I've heard is the Luminous Audio Synchestra Reference, which I currently have in my system.

My system is all SS (Ayre, ARC, Meridian)
Let me ask you a different type of question, or to try a different type of comparison. Find a recording with a very clean ride cymbal being struck. I use Earl Klugh and Bob James "Two of a Kind". The track "Sandstorm" starts off with a ride cymbal and a deep drum being struck one after the other (a little piano noodling in the background too).

If you listen closely to the cymbal with different cables you will see what I mean - on my system with silver the cymbal shimmers and sounds like it is being struck on its edge or in the middle. With copper it sounds more like the nylon tip of the stick is striking the cymbal on the dome where it's screwed onto the stand, producing a rounder sound showing more brass and a better scope of the cymbal's size, with slightly less shimmer to it.

Which is correct? I don't know, but I like the tone of the copper cable better (on this song, in this system, etc.).

It's preference. I have listen to silver cables and loved them because they bring out the high end particularly cymbals like Bob mentioned. However a good copper cable can do the same. I have found that the mixed strand cables seem to sound the best. I don't know your age and don't want to sound fatherly but years ago for a cable to be considered decent it had to have some silver. Then prices went through the roof and everyone started using copper to keep the prices reasonable. Today most manufactors use silver, gold, or a mix of copper / silver in thier high end cables. You may want to experiment with some hybrid cables like Siltech which uses silver & gold. They have a very natural sound compared to straight copper or silver. Something also to think abou is placement in your system. If you have bright interconnects, you can tone them down by your selection of speaker cables. I use bright interconnects(silver/gold) with copper speaker cables which are fairly large. I am working up to Kimbers 3035's which uses silver on the positive and copper on the negative. There next best speaker cable is all silver.What does that tell you? In any event the beauty of this hobby is that what ever sounds good to you make's it right for you.
Enjoy the music Woodman.
i have good luck with the audience is a very neutral cable

another good cable is the wireworld super eclipse 5 ( silver plated copper). i have found this to be a good match with audio physic speakers.
Ptmconsulting, are you a drummer as well? I prefer tonal accuracy in the sound of the drums (again, silver has worked best so far in my systems), and the sense that the music is coming to me as opposed to me having to suss it out, for lack of a better term. I tried a pair of Analysis Plus Solo Crystals the other day, and they just couldn't muster the same clarity and attack in the drum sound as the silver Verastarr's do on Robbie Robertson's first solo album. Manu Katche--what a killer drummer!

And Walkelin,
Happy for you to sound fatherly, as it's got to take a village to raise an audiophile. And I can always benefit from parental wisdom.

Thank you all, indeed. It's been most educational.
Not a drummer - a piano player and multi keyboardist in my college days. Lots of time in a room with a live drumset though, and there was one song we played where everyone switched instruments. I got to play the drums then.

I took tenor sax lessons about a year ago (always wanted to do that) and am now much more critical of horns too. Yes, it is true that only horn loudspeakers (i.e. Klipsh and such) can adequately do justice to brassy horns.

What doies this mean to me - that a REAL sounding system has great micro and macro dynamics. However, you can achieve a reasonable sense of tonal accuracy in a system that doesn't have unlimited dynamics too. This often means a lot of experimentation and different materials, as you suggested.

I use Jon Risch's Belden 89259/89248 twisted pair most everywhere, but on my DAC I added an extra 30guage strand of silver to each leg. Pure silver lost that midrange beauty that I like. The combo works best for me ... but only in that location - it's not as good as the pure copper anywhere else in my system. Go figure.

Howard, I've tried a number of copper and silver cables (including Kimber Select 1030, RS Audio MSE, Acoustic Zen Silver Reference), and I've come to the conclusion that I prefer copper...and especially the Au24. It's all personal preference, but the Au24s are sure worth buying used and trying.

I'm also (was also) a drummer. Silver has sounded like too much of a good thing to me. Too much treble detail, if that's possible. But again, it comes down to what you like (conveniently ignoring the quest for perfect accuracy as is being disccussed in other threads).

BTW, my system is all tubes right amp, tube preamp and tubed CD player.
Thanks again for all of the input. I'm going to try out the AU24's next. I'm not too harried about this process, given that I really like the cables I currently use. I just thought it would be fun to try out some others, and I'm always up for that "Who woulda thunk it?" experience. That's exactly what occurred for me when I first heard the SET/Klipsch pairing, and I've never found a setup that I like more.

Thank you again for the suggestions. Bob, maybe I'll have to give the Belden's a try as well.
All the best,
Howard, setting aside the obvious issues of taste and synergy... I was (and still am) a big fan of Siltech, most recently using SQ-80 balanced interconnects (which had replaced Kimber KCAG). IMS these ICs ran just to the bright side of neutral but the soundstage was deep and well-defined. Steve Creamer of Nirvana loaned me a set of his SX ICs about four years ago and these ultimately displaced the 80s. The SX' are very, very quiet, provide a wide soundstage and complement my tube/SS rig. I hate to keep pounding Nirvana's drum but I'm amazed more folks haven't checked out this fine, moderately priced product. Just my 39 cents worth...
Boa and Pmt,

Saw your posts here and had to chime in. I am a percussionist/kit player. Two drummers I appreciate a lot are Bozzio and Weckl. Bozzio for his melodic innovation with his solo work and Weckl for his technical finesse and fluidity.

Here's a link I hope you enjoy of a 9 minute Weckl solo:
As far as I've been able to find, this piece is not available on any of Weckl's discography. Wished it was.

And, just cause I like to show it off, my kit:
The Kit

BTW guys, Silver can be the ticket sonically if done with the appropriate care. Can just sound more real rather than hi-fi compared to other conductor materials.

You're supposed to make me feel better, not show photos of a drumset that looks like Bobby Brady's wet dream! I don't have photos of my kit, but if you could imagine a 35 year old Rogers set that my father passed along to me after he stopped playing, with a host of Zildjian's, some additional Pearl toms, an Axis double pedal, and my prized possession, an 8" x 14" Brady She-Oak snare drum. Talk about tonal spectrums, that snare drum has it in spades!

By the looks of that kit, you must like Simon Phillips as well. He is a drum monster. I've always preferred him and Mark Bryzecki (sp) when it comes to rock drumming, and ironically they both play on Pete Townshend's "All the Best Cowboys Have Chinese Eyes" album. For total world drum domination, I have to go with Dennis Chambers. As a drummer friend of mine says, "Many drummers do things that I can't do, but Dennis Chambers plays things that I can't even decipher."

Great suggestions on the cables. I've not heard Nirvana IC's, Islandear (Great user name, by the way). Yet another one to add to the list!
All the best,
I think Purist Audio Museus IC's are amazing and amazingly inexpensive for what you get, which is neither copper or silver but an alloy. It's not just what the wire is made of but how it is made and how the jackets are made as well. I will soon be trying the Venustas IC's from PAD as well at a much higher price, but I hear they are amazing.
Just to update this post, I tried an AU24 in my systems. It was an excellent cable. In fact, for the first hour or two, I was sure that I would keep it. By the fourth hour, however, the music no longer engaged me. I was getting bored, in other words.

With the Au24, I could hear some mid-bass frequencies that I was not hearing with the Verastarr cables. The AU24 sounded slightly fuller and warmer. However, with the AU24, the musicians sounded like they had moved from 5 feet away to the other side of a large room. And the AU24's did not have the clarity or attack that the Verastarr cables do, at least not in the two systems that we are using. My wife and I both liked them initially--by a very slight margin--but as I said above, we were bored after several hours of listening.

I'll see if I can find some of the PAD Musaeus cables, and maybe the Empress Cables by Michael Wolff, as they are getting some good reviews as well. I think we are ultimately partial to the clarity of the silver sound.

Thank you all again for your input.
All the best,
Howard (& my wife Gina, whose sharp ears pick out all of the nuances so well)
You should really try the NBS classic lines like King Serpent, Signature and Master.
Thank you for the suggestion, S23chang. I'll look into those as well.
Boa try the TGaudio they are exciting cable. I also
experience the same thing with the Au24, although
they are excellent, what can I say.The TG cables
they let you hear so much, that they are not bright at
all.See, no one want to sell them?

If it ain't broke don't what ?..... :-) 'had to bust your chops ..
I am glad to hear we passed another challenge.

FYI, we will be releasing some single crystal copper IC's that are very high purity Copper, in about 30 days. I will send you a demo pair to test out against our SR IC. If you like it, you can trade in the SR's for a new pair of continuous cast copper. (I haven't named them yet.) After that, we can let them do a tour of Audiogoners systems. In fact, why don't I send out 2 sets for each user to test. Silver and Copper....When each person is done, they will agree to send them via Priority Mail ($4.00 flat rate envelope)to the next set of ears connected to grey matter. Keep them for a week at a time to allow others to try...

What do you guys think ??
Anyone game ??

Mike Powell
I'm waiting....
Where's my demo pair, Mike????
If I like them, you can tell the next person in line to forget it, because I'm keeping them! I'm going to eventually spend bigger bucks just to try some other cables out, but thus far, I have not found an IC that I like better than the Verastarr.
Thanks for the offer, Mike. Can't wait to hear them.

In the interest of full disclosure, my family name is Verastarr. OK, just kidding...
I will be in touch when They are done. If you don't hear from me within 3 weeks... send a search party..
Cheers !!
Once you've listened to the Kimber Select silver cables (KSAG ****), you'll never go back to copper.
I listened to Kimber Select 1030 and went back to copper. I really liked
the Kimber. I just liked Au24 and/or VH Audio Pulsar better. How can it
be that I prefer $149 copper interconnects over $1300 silver
interconnects? It just proves wire sounds different to all of us in our
various systems.
Verastarr , put me on the list. I have not heard any of your cables before. Right now I use AZ. But I am about to start down the long and winding road of cables.
When I first heard the Verastarr cables, I thought they were a little bright, perhaps slightly edgy. But copper was my reference, so the silver cables were at first like driving a rental car compared to my own. However, I didn't want to take the Verastarr's out because I was hearing more of the music, and the performers felt closer. Also, they were new, and really took some time to break in. But they did break in, and I replaced my amp tubes with NOS, and I'll have to be surprised to find something better.
I'm still happy to try some others--and will--but the Verastarr's are one stellar product.
Hey There Howard,
We have a prototype ready to send you... It is made using single crystal, ultra high purity, solid core copper. I have it teamed up with some WBT Topline RCA's.
Email me @ with your address and phone#, and I'll send them. They are not broken in yet.
Next test for you should be the Signature Silver.... I think we may have topped out the Silver Reference with this offering.
Creege, if you are interested in trying our cables, we would be happy to put you on the "Verastarr USA tour". Contact me at the above email address.

Cheers to all !!
The competition is getting fierce! I've been listening to a pair of the Z-squared Au/Au cables for the past week. They were thin and bright at first, but now that they are opening up (40 hours or more), I have to say that they are extraordinary cables. They have the accuracy and detail of silver, with more body to the notes, and less edge to them. They are not overly smooth or warm. Rather, they are ultra engaging, and I have to stop every few words while I'm typing because the music is grabbing my attention.

I look forward to trying out the new Verastarr cables, Mike. It has been difficult to find a cable that tops the Silver Reference in my system. I've sent you my address.
All the best,
Will do thanks.
Try Denon or Ortofon 8N copper cables.

Thank you for sending along the copper prototypes. I've been listening to them all week. They are wonderful in our SET/horn system. They are just a hair less lively than the silver cables, but they are more emotional. In fact, I've been brought to tears several times this week while listening to the music, and for me there is nothing more powerful.

These cables have no personality, and work well in our fairly small, bright-sounding room. These are the first copper cables that I've heard that have the clarity of silver, but have no edge (silver) or veil (copper) that other cables have had in our system.

I'm curious to hear what other A'gon members think of them. Another outstanding product to add to your excellent lineup.
All the best,