Stager Silver Solid Interconnects
This is the first time I have ventured into the world of Interconnects that utilize a solid silver conductor. Mainly because most interconnects of this type command such a high price and I’m frugal!
A friend started me down this road with the thought of creating a pair of DIY silver interconnects, due to a sale on some bulk cable from a local supplier.
Before proceeding down the DIY road I decided to see what all the hub-bub was about by looking into some reviews of existing silver interconnects to see what improvements I might achieve. It was at this point that I came across several positive reviews of an interconnect produced by Marc Stager of Stager Sound Systems in New York. So off I trolled to his web site to see what Mr. Stager had to say about his product.
First, be aware these interconnects are NOT screened - so we all declare “he’s bonkers, who in their right mind would create an unscreened interconnect” – well, errr... Kimber cable interconnects are unscreened also, and I don’t see anyone declaring them bonkers.
And so, I flip-flopped for a couple of days, debating the merits of screened vs. unscreened and also whether the Canare RCA plugs Marc uses were worthy of a silver cable, since I am a big fan of Furutech high copper content RCA connectors.
So to pair down this review to something that does not make the reader roll their eyes – here it is...
I purchased one pair of Silver Solid interconnects. Marc was extremely quick (same day) to acknowledge via email that they were out the door and into the mail system, which took 6 days to arrive. I connected them between my Cambridge Audio phono stage and my Naim Nait 5i integrated amp and listened – the next day I purchased the second set for my DAC! – and I don’t do that sort of thing unless it’s really good!
Not only are these interconnects great performers, they are great value, at $150 for a 1 meter pair!
Now I’m not going to use the old cliché’s like “a veil had been lifted” or “the fog has finally cleared”, I’m gonna tell ya what I experience in real world terms.
First, I listened to a track from a Tacet Recording - Das Mikrofon – Toccata Terza in A. First a quick note about Tacet- their sound engineers are among the most brilliant on the planet and completely anal about microphones and all things analogue, which is why their recordings and vinyl pressings are immaculate!
The first thing I noticed was that the volume level of the pipe organ had been reduced, but then I noticed that the organ had dropped further back in the soundstage, so it made perfect sense. The depth of image that these interconnects had brought to the music was very noticeable. Next, the very detailed upper registers of the pipe organ had been placed with extreme precision across the sound stage. But my favourite part , a huge bass chord, was yet to come: and there it was – except, it had gone way past huge to enormous and very very deep. Plus, it contained a very detailed texture – like a rumbly growl.
And so it went on, album after album. Everything had so much more presence over my previous interconnects. The sound stage has become huge, the space more voluminous, the instruments more vibrant, the bass lines more textured, the dynamics are so much quicker and the overall listening experience so much more believable. But more than anything it always sounded very natural and just plain right!
I also own some older recordings (circa 1958) which I thought might sound a bit lean with these interconnects, but even these pressings were treated with the utmost respect and actually sounded smoother, fuller and so much more enjoyable. Even the mono albums sounded a little more spacious.
By the way… my initial “reservations” about the Canare RCA adapters used by Marc have been completely dispelled buy the stunning performance of these interconnects. Also, the fact these cables are not shielded did not make them any noisier than my existing cables in my setup, but you might want to keep them away from power cables (Please Note: all my 120v power cables are shielded)
I'm also not getting any younger, so for me to hear such noticeable improvements with these interconnects proves they must be doing something very right! (Oh to have my 18 year old ears back)
“Hey – to hear such a difference, you must have been using old table-lamp wire before”
Nope - for many years now, I’ve had Van Den Hul D102 MK III and more recently DH Labs BL-1, both reasonably priced, industry proven, silver-on-OFC copper interconnects with Furutech RCA connectors, so I had always thought they had great performance characteristics. Silver Solid is my new reference!
Also – my audio system is what I consider to be “modestly priced” (remember – I’m frugal), but I do believe that these Interconnects would be equally at home in systems utilizing much higher spec’d components.
Other reviewers stated these interconnects seemed bright, or lack bass, but most believed they they have a good middle – now just maybe it’s not the Silver Solid’s, but their other components contributing to these anomalies?
One thing for certain, they do change the sound – for the better!
Since purchasing these interconnects, I have exchanged several emails with Marc regarding their design, development and effectiveness and he takes a no nonsense approach, using the best materials where it matters (i.e. the solid silver wire) with industry proven components (i.e. Canare RCA Connectors) that effectively supports his design goals – a high performance, high quality product at a very reasonable price. Also, Marc will make them any length you want!
Jazz, rock, folk, orchestral, strings, woodwind, choral, electronic - pretty much any damn thing I threw at them sounded - so much nicer!
So, If you don’t have silver interconnects, do yourself a favour. Try one pair of Silver Solid Interconnects by Marc Stager - I’ll bet, like me, you'll buy at least one more pair.