The best speaker cables you’ve had

Simply put, the best you’ve owned and/or heard.




About a year and a half ago, I auditioned the Silversmith Fidelium, Townshend  F1 Fractal and WyWires Diamond speaker cables in my system over a period of 45 days. At the time, I had been using the Cerious Technologies Graphene  Matrix speaker cables for the previous 3 years, so those were my baseline for comparison.

I found the Fidelium to offer a very airy, detailed sound with nice high   frequency extension and imaging. However, the midrange and bass lacked   tonal density and weight in my system. Instruments and voices sounded lighter than they should have.

The Townshend FI Fractal cables were almost the exact opposite of the Fideliums. The F1 Fractal had great bass weight and extension with a tonally   rich midrange. They had slightly better dynamic expression than the Fidelium  as well. But, where the Fidelium shined in the upper frequencies, the F1   Fractals were darker and more closed in on the top. While they imaged as well as the Fidelium, the darker top end didn’t afford them the same airiness in the soundstage.

I must mention that the first time I listened to the F1 Fractal after only 48 hours of break in, they were so dark and closed in, I thought there might be some sort of gross electrical mismatch with my amplifiers and/or speakers. It literally sounded like thick blankets were covering my speakers. It took about 350 hours of constant burn in on a second system to get them to their full performance. The difference was greater than any break in I have experienced in any other cables or piece of equipment. It was like two different cables. The Fidelium on the other hand required only 100 hours break in time to achieve full performance and even at that, I would estimate the difference as only 5-10 % compared to the F1 Fractal improvement of 30-40%.

At this point, I rated both the Fidelium and the F1 Fractal as a significant improvement over my Graphene Matrix cables, but it was a difficult choice between the two. It almost came down to preferring one cable over the other based on the style of music being played and perhaps even my mood. Both had their strengths, but also weaknesses in my system and to my ears.

The WyWires Diamond cables were the last to arrive and other than an initial listen when first received, had been burning in on the second system (I actually used nylon screws and nuts to serially connect all three sets of cables together to burn them in at once) while I evaluated the other two cables that had more time to season.

After 200 hours or so of burn in, the Diamond proved to be a very nice balance of the F1 Fractal’s and the Fidelium’s best attributes. The Diamond had all the bass weight and extension of the F1 Fractal as well as their rich, tonally dense midrange. The Diamond also possessed the high-end extension, detail and airiness of the Fidelium. The Diamond had a wider and deeper soundstage than either of the other two cables with image specificity better than the F1 Fractal and on par with the Fidelium. The Diamonds had the edge in dynamics as well. Because there were no shortcomings, I found I could relax and become more emotionally involved in the music with the Diamond than the other cables.

As you can tell, I kept the WyWires Diamond cables and returned the Townshend F1 Fractal and Silversmith Fidelium cables. As a result of this evaluation, it was very apparent that sufficient burn in (on some more than others) and long-term listening in your own system are necessary to determine the best fit. I should add, all three companies were very supportive and flexible in allowing me to evaluate their products and were a pleasure to deal with.