Silver Plated Copper Balanced Cables

I'm looking for a pair of 1 meter long balanced interconnects that will go between a Lector Tube DAC and Audio Mirror SET Tube amps. Research I've done suggests that a cable with silver plated copper conductors may be the best match. Any suggestions? I'd like to keep the price below about $400 new or used.


- Stew
I would look at a pair of AQ Cheetah. Go all the way and get pure silver. This cable is smooth and coherent but still detailed. AQ silver is great stuff.
I totally agree with Rello. I would also add that Alpha Core TQ-2 interconnects are excellent at $189.00 per 1 meter pair (pure silver.)
I have to be honest though, I have never liked silver plated copper. It has a sound that I don't get into. (Don't confuse this with companies like Kimber who use a silver conductor wire and maybe a copper ground.)
The Cheetah is some of the most neutral wire I have ever used (and I've used a bunch.)If you want a tone control or are trying to match a certain sound, look elsewhere. The Cheetah passes the signal along in whatever form for better or worse.
If you want silver over copper, I'd go for a solid copper cable first.
Thanks folks; it's interesting you mentioned pure silver since I was just looking at that possibility. The only thing that concerns me about pure silver is excessive sibilance which I'm very sensitive to. Acoustic Zen makes an all silver cable called the Silver Reference II, which seems to get some good reviews; have you by any change tried them? I'll take a look at the Cheetah.

I hadn't thought about Alpha Core's interconnects, although I am using their Goertz MI 2 Veracity speaker cables.
The Kimber line includes the Silver Streak, which is the only interconnect that has a silver and copper mix of conductors. ( The KCAG is silver and silver, very transparent, dynamic and in your price range. They also sport switchcraft silver pinned XLRs. ( They don't add or remove anything from the signal. If there's sibilance on S's and T's in your reproduction, it won't be the interconnect's fault. Should you purchase them used: You'll have the added benefit of their popularity. They would be very easy to re-sell for what you have in them. I suppose there's a reason for that?
Audio Art IC-3 or IC-3 SE's are excellent sounding cables for affordable cables that compete well above their cost.
Take a look at Kool Cables Inc (KCI) Soundbolt cables. Cables are hand made, in your price range and come with a 30 day money back guarantee. Also, take a look at the other cables that are sold there. Plenty of additional info in the cable forum.
I did use the AZ Silver Reference. It's a good cable and better than the AZ copper cable which I didn't care for. I don't think it is as transparent as the AQ cable and did seem to add a touch of silvery glow to things the AQ didn't have. With the wrong electronics, it could add a touch of sibilance to things (especially digital playback.)
Honestly, I've found sibilance to be more of an issue with the electronics than the cable itself. For example, I had Kimber KCAG with a Bryston B-60 integrated amp and it had sibilance. I blamed it on the cable but as it turned out, the Bryston's sibilance was just being enhanced by the Kimber. It was really there the whole time.
Silver over copper will tend to sound brighter than either pure silver or pure copper.

Really good silver conductors don't sound bright or siblant. The problem is that there have been bad silver cables, many of which used silver plated copper, that created the bad reputation for silver.
PS Audio Transcendent Silver and DH Labs Revelation are among the best I've heard. More weight and body.
Another vote for Kool Cables all silver FireFly with silver eichmann RCA connectors - a most amazing cable regardless of price!

Jim Ricketts/tmh audio
I wouldn't worry so much about cable materials as much as how the cables sound within the context of your system and tastes. There are copper cables that sound like silver and vice versa -- it all depends on the implementation.

That said, it sounds like you're looking for the detail and speed of silver but don't want the brightness that comes with some silver designs. I found the VooDoo Ultralinear interconnects to be very good in this regard as they provided a nice combination of tone, speed, and detail without going too far so as to cause excessive brightness or harsh sibilants. I found them to be more tame than the AZ Silver Ref. II in this regard.

The good news is it's pretty easy to try a bunch of interconnects in your system, and given the variability of how interconnects can sound in different systems you should try as many as possible to really find what works best for you. Hope this helps, and best of luck in your search.
Thanks for all the suggestions folks! I must admit I've never heard of some of these cable manufacturers; there are certainly a lot of them!

As I research these, any other suggestions would be welcome.

Thanks much.
04-23-08: Davemitchell
Silver over copper will tend to sound brighter than either pure silver or pure copper.

I agree with Davemitchell here. Though if you are interested Audio Horizons Transparency is a decent, inexpensive silver clad copper wire.

I would look for a pair of used Ridge Street Audio Designs Poiema!!!, as I prefer the sound of ribbon silver to solid core silver. Silversmith is good too, but will cost more than $400.

I second the PS Audio Transcendent cables.

Now that they are heavily discounted, it brings them easily into your price range.
Try Virtual Dynamics XLR cables.
I decided to try the PS Audio Transcendent cables. PS Audio had one set left in stock at a very good price (B-Stock). I was told that they will no longer be making these cables; they are supposedly working on a new line that will be available sometime in the future.

Thanks much for all the help!
Hi Smeyers,

I hope it works out for you. Post back your impressions once you've burned them in. My system is fully wired with Transcendent and I have no compulsion to try something else.
I have always liked PS Audio cables. I had several sets of the PS Audio xStream Statements that I had cryo-treated by Lee at Cryo-Freeze. They were good cables before the treatment. They were absolutely amazing cables afterwards.

On my latest system, I purchased Purist Musaeus XLR cables (which, I believe, utilize silver-plated copper wire). I'm really enjoying my Purist, but wish I had an opportunity to directly compare with the cryo'ed PS Audios.