Silver and copper, the materials the conductors are made out of, are but a line item on a very long list of things that matter.
I have no idea what mains noise is, or if that even is what you are hearing. Also what you are calling "added resolution" let's just say, "I hope not." Resolution can never be added. It can be improved. But resolution is the ability to resolve or see fine detail. Fine detail can never be added, it can only be revealed. Anything added, detail or otherwise, is by definition distortion. Sad to say, part of the "detail" you're hearing may well be distortion in the form of ringing that because it is high in frequency is often times mistaken for detail.
That about covers it.
Mains noise perception???
Silver coated copper good resolution nice balance
Silver... you better have really good components and break it in for hundreds of hours. Can be very resolving but can sound thi.
High end companies do sophisticated things to make cables sound good. Lessor companies sound like the metal they use.
Hmmmm, I think your issue may be more of lack of shielding. Did you go from shielded cables to unshielded?
Silver has a superior conductivity over copper, just a scientific fact. This can have an effect on the end result, depending on how revealing the rest of the system is.
Added resolution is just the result of doing less harm to the original signal at the source.
thanks for all the comments. I don’t think it is related with shielding has I get the same issue with a WW Eclipse 8. And in this specific case I am using XLR cables
So we can have a better undresrand of the issue:
Basically I get a “Hiss” that comes out of the Tweeter that increases with the Silver based Cable and is audible at about 60cm from the tweeter. I think the Silver base cable is more transparent and is showing more of noise present in the mains.
The building where I live is very high and has Mobiles antenas on the top flor. I already have a power conditioner and a IFi AC Purifier but I might need more. Look forward to hear your suggestions.
I think what you mean is that you are hearing more noise from your electronics or in the recording itself with the silver wire in the chain the only thing that you can do is accept the imperfections due to the greater transparency or find more quiet electronics which can be quite expensive but the added noise from the recording is inevitable.
The "added resolution" is actually some added brightness that silver creates.
If the hiss is independent of the music playing or not, it's bad shielding.
WW does not shield their cables AFAIK, and it does matter, even with XLR.
Quote, from an Engineering Textbook:
"Silver and copper are the two most conductive metals known to mankind, with gold following behind in third place.
The conductivity of silver is 63 x 10^6 siemens/meter.
The conductivity of annealed copper is 59 x 10^6 siemens/meter."
So roughly 7% higher for silver vs. copper. It's a measurable difference, but a clear and direct audio difference?--doubtful.
IMO there are clear and essential audio differences between different cables, but if all other things are equal for silver vs. copper (which is not actually possible or desirable), they are essentially the same for audio applications. So then, it's probably design, purity, quality control, metal treatments, manufacturing and terminations that matter more than one metal vs. the other.
Diagnosis: Don't change your electronics to match your cables. Buy what sounds best to you with your equipment, knowing that a lot of work has been put into finding and offering the best.
Your experience is common. Know that proper assessment of cables demands they be compared in sets, at least initially, according to manufacturer recommendations. So, all the comments about assessment of particular cables' attributes when used in mixed sets are pretty much worthless.
It is common for silver OFC and silver conductors to show more brilliance and noise, as you hear. There are many variables involved, but silver does not always mean brighter. Case in point, the Iconoclast cables I just reviewed for Dagogo.com are better balanced in terms of frequency spectrum than most copper cables I have used. So, simple selection of conductor material alone is not a definitive answer. Imo, AWG is as important to obtaining a less strident sound as is conductor material.
If you hear more hiss, then you have an elevated/increased upper frequency range with that particular combo of cables. It typically is perceived as adding more information. You can hear this easily when you listen to music. Put the older cables in, and the hiss diminishes, and the brightness is not there.
I can tell how bright a cable will be to some degree based on such hiss; I know the cable has brought more upper end energy/emphasis before even hearing the first note. When a cable is less "hissy", then you will have more balance toward the bottom end of the frequency spectrum. I regularly tune systems with selection of the appropriate cable that confers the proper qualities, such as the degree of emphasis (or not) of the upper end of frequency spectrum.
Most audiophiles do not have a thorough understanding of these things, because they have never used and compared complete sets of cables. It is simply too challenging in terms of cost/time/effort for most. They mix them and have no baseline to gain more developed understanding of these things. The worst are those who think the conductor material does not matter. They spread misinformation, wretched system building advice, when it comes to using cables to elevate system performance.
I am not interested in arguing my observations and recommendations.
For what this is worth....
I was discussing the impact of all silver versus hybrid silver and copper with a rep from Kimber Kable. I was able to get 2 sets used from a friend and was trying understand what was the difference between the cables.
"They're explanation of the intended difference was all 'silver' would transmit the information better and the result would be excellent high frequency performance and clarity in details. The hybrid was intended to enable dynamic impact especially on lower frequencies because 'copper' tended to provide better bass performance."
They both were a noticeable upgrade from the Better Cables I was using and I couldn't differentiate between the all silver and hybrid silver copper (1 copper line used for the ground, 2 silver used for + and -).
Have you measured it? done any blind A B testing? Then it is all in your brain.
ashoka... blind listening tests over the course of a week.
I focused the auditioning on DAC to preamp then preamp to amp.
And I was hoping to be not hear a difference as my friend was planning to sell them on eBay.
And it could still be in my brain because when listening to music you can easily have your mind drift into memories of listening...
High end companies do sophisticated things to make cables sound good. Lessor companies sound like the metal they use
A big yes on that.
I use silver cables and found that a better made set exhibits none
of the usual attributes bandied about on audio forums.
That, and cable synergy can go a long way, but I, myself, don't use all the same make of cable but when it comes to bi wiring, heck yes. Just to be clear, I use Cabledyne silver speaker cables and Darwin silver ICs and TWL copper PCs.
I've gone through the trouble of trying this and that cable to complement the ones I use on the lows and nothing really worked. I have a set from the same make finally figured out how to use two bananas on a single input, bringing serendipity to my doorstep.
As for mains noise, I doubt you'd hear it the way you describe. Mains noise, for me, was an overall masking of detail, air and focus that I got rid of by getting a power conditioner. I didn't think I'd hear that much of an improvement, but I did, and the noise you're hearing, I wasn't.
That, and you say the noise was already there and is now more apparent, so it could be the cables or they're clearing things up enough to hear that problem from somewhere else.
All the best,Nonoise
Spoke with the guys that sold me the XLR’s and they are shielded. The cable is a 3 wire plus a shield layer.
Thinking about my rig and how it is setup, and the only cables that do not have a shield layer connected are the power cables. Probably the noise is getting in the system at this level - but not shore.
Probably the Silver XLR cables are only showing something that was already there.
I will have to check this situation before hand has I’ve had this cables for years and alway preformed well.
A combination of silver cables and Bruckner 9 with the Chicago Symphony orchestra conducted by Solti will set your teeth on edge !! Long before hi-fi reviewers started banging on about "coherent cable looms", I decided that cables from one manufacturer was the way to go. Having chased the "n"s used for copper and auditioned silver interconnects ( I still have them somewhere but could not bring myself to inflict them on anyone else), I settled on Linear Structured Carbon - as did Martin Colloms of Hi-fi Critic fame.
I had the opportunity a few weeks ago to hear both copper and silver speaker cables on multiple set ups. In every combination you could easily hear more detail on the silver speaker cables. The background music came alive and provided significant depth.
that's utter nonsense about Silver Sounding bright and thin :-) This comes from those who purchased inferior grade silver-plated stuff or are just spreading rumours based on other people opinion.
Albedo Silver Cables Their Mono-Crystal Version are anything but bright or forward sounding even thin. If the listener is not told he is listening to Silver he would not even know. Many other Silver Cables sounding nothing like what the rumors are saying.
some of the worlds most expensive cables all use Silver to high purity form. Silver has had bad reputation only because of the internet rumours based upon someone opinion with inferior grade stuff.
Real Silver, not Mixed stuff sounds anything but bright. I find resolution increased, The Emotional connection just gets closer.
The Albedo Silver i have are smooth as silk and even better then all the copper i ever had tried in my room.
OFC copper has a Conductivity of 100 (from AES=Audio Engineering Society) and is the Standard in Audio.
Technical silver has conductivity 106 (Gold btw. 90)
That means, Silver can carry 6% more information than anything else. This is fact.
But, it can be decreased by the kind of solder, the kind of plugs which are used (cable or Phono input), from the Phono input to the cable ...
Bob Graham - for example - did his homework and delivers his Arm with Silver cable inside, his own IC-70 is silver cable...
You can ask 50 audiophiles and you will get 50 recommendations, that is fine, but what you do when from these 50 only 5 made the right decision?
It is better to trust Physics, it can help sometimes :-)
If we don’t take in to account the cable geometry and construction, Silver and Cooper cables play different just because they are different materials. If one likes Silver over Copper or the other way around please open a different post.
This post is about what can one do to reduce noise flor on a system with Silver cables.
I have full silver cabling for speakers and interconnect from Argento Serenity signature and Acoustic Zen Absolute (old version full silver) . I agree with "ghdprentice" comment, you must have excellent elements in your gear to use silver cables otherwise you can face hardness but in high end chain the gain is important.
My silver plated QED Anniversary biwire cables sound good to me. Best of both worlds, copper and silver. This cable has won awards for many years, the reason is it sounds good.
In every situation i have been listening, i and my former hifi buddy did find silver to be hissed and anemic. I have had AQ Sky and Raven here (aswell as lesser known brands) and i sold all of them. Honestly, i will never again buy any silver cable. Copper all through. Nothing with silver strands or such will be in any of my devices either if i can avoid it. It’s my personal feel towards silver. I talked to a guy who updated Tidal speakers with some better components (yes, it was much silver involved, internal cables and components). He sold them afterwards. He told me the update was not to his liking. I have also been told, for years and years that silver is done bad if it sounds anemic or you hear a hiss. But in that case i find i have only ever experienced bad silver. I know Jorma cables also refuse using silver. So that would include Marten design speakers to i guess. Well, for those who like it, it’s ofcourse fine.
If you feel the mains is the source of your noise, you may want to try a good mains filter.
I use pure silver cables (no copper) all the way through and do not exhibit the noise you speak of. That said every component goes through a mains filter AND an isolation transformer. Each component has it's own isolation transformer.
My cables (IC and speaker) are also active - they have a 9v positive bias on the shield that is shunted to ground.
@Fil, did you alter your gain stages at all when you switched cables? If you turned down the output in your source device (and any other stages along the way), which meant you had to turn up the volume at your pre-amp in order to get the same amount of sound out of your speakers. By doing this, you are also turning up the noise throughout the system.
If you keep your source levels high, as well as any adjustments along the way, then at the last point--the pre-amp--the volume does not need to be adjusted high for the same volume. This means that the noise in the system (all systems have some amount of noise) is not boosted higher either.
If all of the gain stages before the final pre-amp one are set so high that you can barely turn up the pre-amp volume without blasting your speakers, then you'll need to find some balance by turning down the earlier gain stages. You want to find a sweet spot where none of the gain stages are so extreme it makes other gain stages set at unworkable levels.
Sorry, if this doesn't make a lot of sense. I come from a pro sound reinforcement background where we typically deal with a lot of gain stages before the sound comes out of the speakers. I'm trying to describe it in more layman's terms, instead of the lingo me an my work buddies would use.
Try using DeoxIT gold on your connections. Even on new cables the connections can be dirty. A small bottle is about $8.00 on Amazon. A ground loop can also cause hiss, maybe it was always there and the new cables are revealing it now. iFi makes a nice little product that eliminates the ground loop hiss.