Reviewing the fabulous Silversmith Fidelium Speaker Cables

If I like a product, I tend to hold onto it for a long time.
Take my stereo gear for instance.
I’ve had my Hales Signature System Two Speakers for almost 30 yrs.
I love the sound, imaging and soundstage they produce and I have no intention of ever letting them go.
The same situation is with my speaker cables; the venerable Straightwire Maestros. But in this case I knew that I would eventually upgrade them.
Both components have always been a tad bright, even with all-tube Amp, Pre Amp and CD Player on the front end.
After many years of constantly tweaking, I hit upon a combination which helped alleviate almost all of the glare.
Namely, a complete front end of ModWright products.

The only “problem” remaining was a time smearing element to the sound.
Fast piano and bass notes were not quite up to snuff in their separation.
Also, if I turned up the volume too much the sound would exhibit a bit of glare and the soundstage would tend to collapse.

I had long been a fan of Magnan products and currently use their interconnects and AC power cables in my system.
I’ve been looking for their speaker cable on the cheap for a while now.
I thought their approach to reducing skin effect signal doubling and phase issues would help in the articulation of fast consecutive notes (or sounds).
Plus I still had that tiny bit of brightness that needed a final taming.

I recently stumbled upon a glowing Sound Advocate review of the Silversmith Fidelium Speaker Cable. ... st-review/
It actually was one of the finest cable reviews I had ever read.
There was great detail coupled with a ton of enthusiasm.
Like the Magnan, it utilized a thin ribbon to reduce skin effect anomalies. Plus, it used no termination products. (a BIG deal as far as I was concerned)
There were separate + and – leads for each speaker.
A “U” notch was cut into each cable end to interface with the Amp and Crossover.
I thought this was novel and highly desirable.
I called the owner, Jeff Smith and we discussed his cable at length.

One important item was that the Hales Speaker uses an external crossover with the capability to bi-wire.
This option was highly desirable to me so I broached this subject with Jeff.
He strongly recommended that I do so. Although not a deal breaker, the fact I would have to buy double the amount of cables was a bit of a concern.
Jeff replied two cable runs were not necessary and had a unique alternative configuration.
Namely, short Fidelium Crossover Jumpers with a simple but effective interconnect device right at the jumper’s midpoint where the long single speaker cable would connect.
His opinion was that this setup was as good as the traditional bi-wire method.
So just a 6’ set of speaker cables and a 1’ set of jumpers would be required.
I ordered the cables and patiently waited for their arrival.

Upon arrival, I was amazed at the light weight of them, which is understandable since the foil is less than 1/1000” thick and 2.25” wide.
The actual securing of the cables to an Amp or crossover binding post was a bit of a challenge, but not too bad.
The cable ends can be bent to fit into tight places, although there possibly are a few binding post configurations where connection would be very difficult.
Jeff told me that in a couple of months there would be finished adaptors available for those with fully plastic encased binding posts. He has been producing these adaptors by hand for those customers who needed them.

I turned on the system. No warm up.
Put my ear close to each driver. Absolute silence.
With no warmup, I slipped a CD into the player and listened.
The resultant sound was certainly very different than I was accustomed to.
Great detail but in a non fatiguing manner.
A beautifully balanced frequency spectrum.
Great Highs which were hash free.
Great tight Bass with accurate pitch and timbre.
Crisp, clear and sweet Mids.
Fast transient response, but not etched.
Very low noise floor. In fact, no noise at all.
I was excited that the Fideliums sounded so good with no system warmup.
With about an hour of warmup, I was ready for some serious listening.
All the attributes I previously heard were present but heightened.
The soundstage was deeper and wider than I had ever experienced.
The imaging was pretty incredible.
Each instrument could be easily localized and followed, without interference from another in the same proximity.
Really spooky!

But there was something else that REALLY set this cable apart from anything I had previously experienced.
The leading edge of each note (or sound) was wonderful, but it turns out the trailing edge and decay reproduction is incredibly super accurate. I mean SOTA!
IMO, this is the most important quality this cable possesses and sets it apart from all other speaker cables designs.
Distortions due to skin effect are vastly minimized.
Because of this, time smear/phase artifacts are virtually eliminated.
Fast piano and bass notes are truly distinct from each other.
Low level signals were readily discernable.
Echoes and decays of instruments was positively other worldly.

Because of these characteristics, I was able to turn the volume up to higher levels.
With my previous cables, the soundstage would collapse and the sound would harden up if I pushed them too hard.
Fideliums showed no such problems.

In the editors comments from the Sound Advocate review, it was mentioned how accurately this speaker reproduced the sound of a piano. I can vouch for that. In spades.
The depth and power of the bass notes are just plain ridiculous.
And the highest treble notes have a real body to them, not thin and tinkly.
I would like to add brass, drums and percussion to the list of “scary real”.
And again, that decay...

In closing, the sound you’ll experience from the Fidelium will be totally different than you’re accustomed to. It’s kind of unnerving until you live with it a while. Nothing stands out. Everything is in perfect balance. It’s KILLER!

If you click on the Silversmith website there are numerous testimonials from other satisfied customers.
As you can deduce, I’m 100% sold on this product.
I cannot recommend Silversmith Fidelium Speaker Cables highly enough.  

Really interesting, and I like the fact that there are no connectors. The most surprising thing is that they are really affordable! 
I'm interested in the Fidelium for it's unique design. I'm also interested in the Atlas Mavros Grun speaker cables which have a grounded shield. 
No connectors is neat, but the width of the cable at the U notch means that it would be problematic with the positioning of the posts on the back of a good number of amps.
I have used flat ribbon cables (speakers and power cords) and they are not easy to work with most gear unless the binding posts and outlets are are spaced out.

Do they sound better than the round wire, well that’s subjective and system dependent, IMHO.
@ twoleftears,
Thanks for your comment.  Your concern about the ease of connection is understandable and fairly common.  Obviously, the connection is a radical departure from the norm but the challenge is very easy to overcome and the sonic benefit cannot be overstated.  Once you feel the label ends of the cables in your hands, you will likely see how the connection is easier than it looks.  The label ends are similar in stiffness to a generic business card.  You can try a simple experiment at home to see how it works.  Cut a 1/4 in notch in the middle of the short side of a business card (it's only a 1/4 smaller than the 2 1/4 in wide Fidelium).  Next, bend and hold the card in a 'U' shape and simply slide it in to your binding post.  The Fidelium cables have a 3/4 in x 3/4 in square area of metal exposed on only one side for the connection and that exposed area will fit almost entirely under the binding post nut.  The rest of the label area is entirely nonconductive so it is not an issue for the labels to overlap or touch an adjacent post.  One of my customers shared a photo of the Fidelium cables attached to his Convergent Audio Technology amps.  You can see the binding posts are very close to each other and that the inside edges of the labels are flared up and rest against each other.  That blog entry can be viewed here:

Another option with tightly spaced binding posts is to enter from the opposite sides, instead of side by side.  The labels are so flexible that you could even insert both cables between the binding posts and flare out the ends to make the connection.  That's how I connect mine.  

For those who have the fully plastic encased binding posts with only a narrow slot for a traditional spade, I do have an option for an adapter made from the same foil that will facilitate the use of the Fidelium with those posts but will not have any sonic degradation.  As the review stated, I also have a unique option for a bi-wire adapter that will alleviate the need for two sets of cables but still provide exactly the same bi-wire sound quality. 

Lastly, this cable is so durable that there is no risk of tearing, so don't be afraid to bend or twist as needed to connect them in your individual situation.  The method of holding the label end in a 'U' shape should make the connection simple.  For best results, I recommend attaching the cables with the conductive surface down, facing the component and tightening the binding post nut down onto the nonconductive side. 

Feel free to contact me directly if you have any questions at all.

Best Regards and happy listening!

Jeffrey Smith
Silversmith Audio

I'm sure Jeff can come up with an answer to just about any interface problem. He's a pretty sharp cookie!
Just read the description that Jeff posted about the connection issues. Not sure if it would work when you have dual binding posts spaced closely together as I have on my speakers, but I do think it is great that Jeff is willing to attempt to solve the potential problem. Now I just need to try and hear these cables, as a friend owns them--- and swears by them!
I appreciate your interest in the Fidelium. If you are still running the
Sonus Faber Guarnieri, connecting the Fidelium is fairly simple. Also, in the next month or two, I’ll have a bi-wire adapter available that will provide the same sound quality of bi-wiring but without the need for two sets of cables. The adapters will offer an ever easier connection to your speakers.
Feel free to contact me directly if you have any questions.

Best Regards,

Jeffrey Smith
The Silversmith Audio Group
Does anyone have experience with the Fidelium and other ribbon speaker cables?

Would you say that ribbon cables present similar sonic qualities? 

I did a bit of research and found that Omega Mikro has a unique ribbon design as well.

@silversmith Have you experimented with interconnect designs?
@silversmith Jeff, nice to see you on this forum and thank you for your reply. I still utilize the SF GH’s and I would be pairing the cables with them and probably my Jeff Rowland model 8T, which has the option to bi-wire on the rear of the amp. I guess i would need adapters for all of the amp and speaker connections, so the timing of your release would seem to be perfect.

@c_avila1 I am currently using a bi-wire pair of Nordost Red Dawn 2 speaker cables ( these are ribbon cables) and I think they are excellent. Nonetheless, I do wonder if the Fidelium’s wouldn’t be a step up. The Nordost cables are everything that one expects from, articulate and extended at both ends of the frequency spectrum. I do wonder if the Fidelium’s could beat them in speed ( seems unlikely) and in bottom end reach ( very possible, as this is the only place that I suspect that the Nordost’s fall down a little). I am hoping to find out in the near future.
@silversmith Have you experimented with interconnect designs?
@c_avila1 Thanks for your question. XLR and RCA interconnect cables are in development and should be available next year. 

Best Regards,

Jeffrey Smith
The Silversmith Audio Group
@daveyf  Thanks for your note. Connecting the Fidelium to both your Jeff Rowland amp and your Sonus Faber speakers will be simple.  You will not need adapters for your amp.  My forthcoming bi-wire adapter will alleviate the need for two sets of cables.  As I mentioned above, it will provide the same sound quality as bi-wiring with two sets of cables and will also be easy to connect to your speakers.

There is some customer feedback on my site that is relevant to your post and you may find helpful.

Feel free to contact me directly if you have any questions.

Best Regards,

Jeffrey Smith
The Silversmith Audio Group

I am using the Fidelium with my SET/Horns and am very pleased with the SQ and VFM. I eagerly await his ICs.
@silversmith Thanks again, Jeff. I noted that my friend Winston has posted on your blog. The fact that Winston feels very highly about these cables says a great deal for them, IMO.
I am also amazed that another user gave up a pair of Nordost Valhalla 2 speaker cables in favor of the Fidelium’s!!--- WOW!!
I have just finished setting up fidelium speakers after using the the adapter to connect to my amp. First impression is "amazing". I am not a reviewer to explain all details, but the SQ for the price is beyond exceptional. Bass is fast and deep. Sound stage is both deep and wide. Highs are crisp and without harshness. Mids are sweet (could be little sweeter). So far nothing negative to report. But as I continue to listen every day, I might find some micro deficits (like any gears), but this is already a winner. So far, any gears that has made first impression like this, has stayed permanently with me. So this is a keeper. With thousands of options out there, not everybody can try everything, but anybody reading this thread, should give this cable a serious try and be amazed.
My previous and some current speaker cables: Acoustic Zen absolute, clarus aqua, AQ oak.
It’s often difficult to hear differences between cables.
The Fideliums made an immediate impression when I added them to my system.
More than pleased with the SQ of the Fideliums.
The price, while not cheap, is far from astronomical.
One of the BEST QPRs in the Universe.....