your a better man then me charlie brown if you hear a difference. I would think in the long run there is less maintenance with gold. But copper has the advantage of no plating. Its up to your ears only.
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My preference is silver plated copper (because that is what I currently am using). I will admit though the different manufacturers do not always have the same sound characteristics with a given type of wire. In other words I have heard both great and bad copper and silver but not really gold. To me personally gold is a little too warm sounding in cables for me. Maybe because I have a tube integrated.
Just my opinion
I have had good success using both silver and copper. It does pay, however, to carefully evaluate products from various manufacturers to see what works best in a given system. The cables to steer clear of is from DakiOm. The guy that sells these things is basically a 'raving lunatic'. It's not hard to see that from reading his rather lengthy ads. What he has to offer are products that add an artificial warmth into a system at the expense of everything else that audio enthusiasts value.
each metal has different electrical conductivity. silver generally sounds fastest, and most resolving, copper less so, and gold the least.
the purity and other variables are important, such as connectors, so there is no absolute answer.
i think that silver presents a challenge in the treble, either geometry, dielectric, quality, or gauge need to be manipulated to avoid excess treble energy.
i personally favor gold, given a decent design.
I'm with 4est. I find mixing helps. I have one cable that is silver-clad solid copper with copper connectors. These have the best HF extension in my system. Another cable is solid silver with copper connectors. These have very similar sound to the other cable but are shifted down in frequency. Better bass and lower midrange but not as extended up top.
Silver cable with silver connectors can be a very vivid presentation to say the least. Too much for me. But the same cable with copper ends took the edge away and gave some depth. I haven't found a cable or connector using gold that didn't sound a little too dark for my taste.