I love the solid core sound. I've listened to many many IC's and settled on solid core for my system.
I'll email you to not promote my product.
But to answer your question about the difference.
Sonics are more open and and imaging is pinpoint.
The depth I've been getting is spooky.
Solid core has allowed me to reach the true three dim. soundstage that I've been trying to achieve for years.
I've heard IC's that come close, but the price has always been a factor.
07-18-11: Trebejowhen's Audiofeil going to chime in with his opinion?? :-D
I like a noise-rejecting braided or woven bundle of various gauges of solid core wire. Examples include Kimber, AudioQuest, Cardas, and the Zu I have, which even varies the metallurgy and dielectric among the individual strands, and PS Audio XStream which I also have, but is no longer made.
I also have a subwoofer cable by Analysis Plus, which is woven copper forming a hollow oval, and it sounds fine to me too. I am also impressed as hell by Transparent Cable, which uses network boxes on most of its products and I have no idea what its cable topology is. If I could afford anything, I'd probably have a fairly high level of Transparent. Lacking that I have a mishmash of PS AUdio and Kimber on my HT system and all Zu on my 2-channel analog system.
I just swapped out some unmatched stranded everything (off to my vintage cable museum!) for newer A'quest balanced and single ended ICs, solid core digital (coax) and solid core speaker. Nothing particularly pricey, and I did keep one old stranded Straightwire IC for a headphone amp because it looks cool (so sue me..it's blue with groovy plugs). There is some synergy there now and somehow solid core makes sense to my addled brain. I think the electrons are happy and moving along properly and my system sounds better...the major "skin effect" issue I have now is attended to by my dermatologist.
cogan hall, years ago manufactured hollow core interconnects. in the recent past, legenburg manufactured hollow core cables. both companies are no longer viable.
if by chance there exists a company which designs and manufacturers hollow core cable, listen to them and compare them to your favorite solid core cable. there are several types of solid core cable, including, rectangular solid core, cylindrical or circular solid core and ribbon cable.
So now it's "Expanded Core?" Most of my cables, according to the mfgr description, are "soft core". "Hard core" cables are tawdry. Note that silver plated carrots can be used as "veggie core" and plated animal parts strung together are "meat core". Avoid "molten core" as they can burn a hole in your rug.
Pmboyd: I've enjoyed the solid core cables more than others because of this: the solid cores made me think less about analyzing and more about feeling emotions of music. You know that feeling you get when you stop analyzing the music and you just listen. Then the moment hits you when you realize you haven't criticized anything for 30 minutes. 30 minutes go by and you haven't asked yourself, "am I getting enough bass? Is the tone accurate? Do I need to move the speakers?
So my answer has less to do with detail and more about raw musical emotion. The other cables impress in the 10 minute demo, but show their true annoying colors over time.
I have used DNM solid core speaker cable. This design is 1mm in size and fixed in a spaced configuration. There was a jump in clarity and pace compared to traditional stranded copper cable.
The only downside has been a lack of bass in the last octave.
For the money (around 60 pounds for 8 feet terminated), it would be hard to beat. If cost in not a consideration, I do think ultra thin ribbon cabes are the best for IC and speaker cables.
After using various solid and stranded cables over several decades of audio madness, I recently found a synergistic match to my current pile of electron manipulation gear in a recent iteration of relatively inexpensive Audioquest solid core speaker wire...I'm not sure why people want to spend 3 to 10 times the price of this stuff on anything else as it lacks nothing except quasi entertaining mysterious voodoo...if a cable is light on the last octave of bass and musical "pace" (meaning timing I suppose) I can only imagine it's as thin as a polyester microfibre, or the designers blended condor guano into the metal formula. I'm not a cable luddite and if I had unlimited cash I might buy some extreme $26,000 per inch cable just to marvel at how it looks (and engender geek cred in spades, as well as disdain from sane people), but otherwise I remain in the world of the actual, and welcome others along for the ride.
To address the bass issue that Agisthos mentioned, DNM has developed two different solid core speaker cables. The Precision Speaker Cable (the thinner of the two) is designed to be used for speakers above 90db. I used this in my old 300b to Lowther speaker set up with great results. The Stereo is designed to be used in speakers that are under 90db. This is a "thicker" cable that DNM made for high current amps and harder to drive speakers. DNM found through customer feedback that the Precision wire wasn't doing all it should in this configuration. I am now using the Stereo in my curent set up and have no desire to change it out.