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.
I got about 80 hrs on these puppies and they have actually improved a bit.
The bass is a tad tighter and the mids are a bit sweeter.
I can't tell you how pleased I am with these cables! (I just did)
I installed a set a couple of weeks ago between a PrimaLuna Evo 300 amp and Golden Ear Triton 2+ speakers. No issues on connecting even though the PL binding posts are quite close together. I concur with the exceptional performance of these, and did notice some break in effects—increase in lower bass, improved resolution in the midrange. Even 
Does anyone know the equivalent conductor size (AWG) of the Silversmith Fidelium speaker cables? There is no info on Silversmith's website.
Not surprised with the review at all. Same feeling I got. Waiting on the interconnects now. 
I've had the Fideliums coming out of my Hegel H590 driving Maggie 1.7i for about 48 hours now.

Totally maxes out the Hegel/Maggie potential. The star of any system. If somebody was building a 5k+ critical listened to system, I'd start them with Fideliums, no question. 

And in my minimalist set up, the Fideliums are beautiful works of art...the cables literally tie the room together visually...speaker cables as art, baby!

The coherence of imagining at dynamic peaks and volume is something to appreciate too.
Waiting on delivery of my pair today. These must be the most revelatory cables known to man at this point, haha.

It can only go down from here...just sporting a pair of audioquest rocket 44s, so pretty basic and tbh not much of an improvement past $10 cables.

Either this will be the actual music that my other cables have been hiding from me or we’re all under the ether.
So, I guess with every opinion there is another side.
I received the Fidelium’s quickly and I was quite impressed with the packaging. I installed them fairly easy on my speakers.

After listening to them for several days. In my opinion, these cables are more appropriate for music that is controlled. I’m thinking choral music or music that has very limited dynamics. It made singers sound natural and that was pleasant. But, the highs and lows were restricted and the power of the music was just not there. I was disappointed and returned them. I must say the designer of these cables seems to be a very responsive and I really wanted them to work for me.

BTW, my present speaker cables are the Cerious Technologies Matrix. 


How many hours were placed on the Fidelium's? Every testimony I have read said they more transparent/dynamic but it's  always best to try in your system...

Of course I respect your take.
We all have different set ups and hearing.
What works for some may not work for others.

What Amp. Pre Amp, Source Components are you using?
I was told that the cables do not need much time (a couple hours) to sound there best by the designer. But I did play them for about a week adding many hours before making a decision.

I am using tube amps, so that in itself could have limited the Fidelium’s performance.
So it is best to try first, or at least have a return policy.

Added these in last night. Very apparent when they’re included once I started listening to some of my favorite songs to test. Just another level of clarity and separation, instruments are more defined. Vocals are excellent, really can’t believe how a lot of this isn’t getting through with other cables. 

Had to get creative adding these to the spade port within the back of my Elac’s, but Jeff was right on it. Literally called me and left a message within 5 minutes of submitting the contact form on his site. He was very helpful and had a good chuckle when I asked him how the heck he made these as good as he did. I think they’re worth a try for anyone based on the price and 30 day trial period.
Right from the Git-Go, it will be obvious whether the sound is different (and better) to you. Break in yielded subtle, but not earth shattering differences.

I don't think that tube amps in general make any difference.
I use a tubed ModWright CD Player, a tubed ModWright Pre Amp and a ModWright Solid State Mosfet Amp.

What specific tube amp are you using?
Tube Pre Amp?
What speakers?

Please don't think that I doubt that it didn't work out for you and what you heard is not real. I'm not grilling you to try to disprove you in any way. I'm just super curious to find out why they didn't work out for you.
I am going direct (no preamp) from my Lumin X1 to Carver M350 tube mono blocks. The speakers are Focal Sopra 2.

I don't buy it! 
Silver (element) conducts by 5% better than Copper. It costs x130 times more! You can reach the 5% conductivity by improving the cross section by 5%. It is chipper and better to flush a $100 bill down the toilet. Less damage, same feeling.

The conductivity (or cable resistance) is set by the Amp's DF and it's length. Shall be calculated and implemented. 
Any thing thinner will degrade the sound. Anything thicker, will cost more, sound the same.
None is mentioned in your review.

I didn't mention resistance in my review because it is not relevant.
The Fidelium is equivalent to a 14-16 AWG Cable in cross sectional area.
It's not the resistance of this cable that is important, it's the alloy used and a design which emphasizes minimizing the skin effect.
Wow...I'm very happy about these cables!  Well balanced/dense/harmonically beautiful. 

I feel my Kimber's have more whet, I like up top..... .  However, the Fideliums are keepers. I enjoy tube rolling and now cable rolling! I was already rolling digital cables and enjoy very much.

I will be keeping an eye on what Jeff does later next year in regards to IC's and is next Speaker Cables he is working on.

Room Treats - M. Green & mine
Sony Transport
Snake River Audio Boomslang
Illuminati D-60
HFC Reveal 
Shunyata Z-Alpha Digital Power Cord/to DAC
Decware ZDSD DAC/Transformer output stage
Kimber Select KS1030
XLO Power Cord to ZMA
Decware Zen Mystery Amplifier (ZMA)/25th Anniversary Mods
Current tube roll: Ediswans/inputs-THE Telefunken's/inverters-Tung-Sol
quad/7027A power tubes
Kimber Select KS6063 Speaker Cables/8ft
Silversmith Audio Fidelium Speaker Cables/6ft
Acoustic Zen Adagio/Modified/Single Capped/ Mundorf MCap Supremes
Kimber PK-10 Palladian Power Cord from wall to PS Audio P3
DAC & ZMA run direct from HC outlet/P3
Transport regenerated only
Not surprised with those findings. I am waiting for ICs too. Hope he makes power cords and USB cables. I have read somewhere, he is planning on another cable which will be 33% better than fideliums. 
One problem for sure is the very small 1/4 inch post itmakesmuchmore sence 
to make just over 5/16s for many of the quality connectors out there 
much better then using an adaptor that would’ve an easy fix . 
romney/it will be interesting how he terminates the IC's.

audioman/yes I did run in to trouble at my Amp/1/4 inch would not fit. I needed to go to my banana plug collection and chose my Tara Labs set...nice fat coverage with these, an plug from the top of my posts of course. My Speaker connections were fine.
Ten days in with these and my first impressions stand. Love the top to bottom coherence. I still have not compared to my Kimber's/I have been enjoying these so much.....have not taken them out. I certainly will get to that ABA exercise. 

Furthermore, the no curing burn in was apparent too. After the initial three discs I played last Tuesday when they arrived/they settled right in.
A tweak that improved the sound:
The Enacom Noise Filter (speaker type).
Placed across the speaker terminals (across the tweeter terminals if you bi-wire), I heard an improvement in the critical Upper Midrange/ Lower Treble response. Sweeter, but with added clarity.

Note: Do not attach this device between the Fidelium and the speaker post. This defeats the purpose of the cable's novel direct interconnect topology.
With my Edison Price terminal posts, I was able to jam the two Enacom leads into it's open top, thus avoiding contacting the Fidelium itself.
If you don't have this capability, I would recommend not doing it.

The Enacoms are pretty cheap on EBAY and as such are worth a shot.
It was noted recently how the Fidelium Cables sounded great on piano music. My Hales Signature Twos were once described by Robert Harley as having the most accurate portrayal of piano he had ever heard.
Well these two coupled together with the two Reference Recordings of Minoru Nojima (Liszt and Ravel) was nothing short of scary.....

This virtuoso only has about a half dozen recorded examples of his work.
These RR CDs are readily available on EBAY.
Scoop them up!
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First it was atmasphere, now this innocent, enthusiastic customer. What's your problem?  
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