Upgrading Speaker Cables: Wireworld Silver Eclipse or Transparent Audio Ultra?

More than 15 years ago, I bought a set of speaker cables to accompany my then brand new Revel Ultima Studios and Krell FPB amplifiers.  While I continue to adore the sound of my system, I know there have been a lot of advancements in cable technology this century.  Consequently, I believe that a [relatively] low cost upgrade would be a purchase of new speaker cables.  (I have no intent to replace either my speakers or my amplifiers at this time.)  I live in an area that is several hundred miles distant from any high end dealer, so doing a sonic audition of cables is infeasible; moreover, I could not duplicate my combination of other sources, amplifiers, interconnect cables, and power cords -- as well, of course, of my room environment.

All that being said, I have done tons of reading about speaker cables these past few months.  The result of my efforts has been to narrow down my two upgrade choices (both bi-wired) to Transparent Audio's Ultras and Wireworld Cable's Silver Eclipse.  Coincidentally, their respective MSRPs are between $50 of each other.

Ideally, I would love to read responses from other Audiogon members who have actually auditioned one cable against the other.  That is likely to be nigh unto impossible because I have been unable to identify a single dealer who carries both lines.  Consequently, I would be delighted to receive anyone's thoughts about the pluses and minuses of each individual cable.

Many thanks to all who provide their much appreciated insights!
27caf0f1 dec0 4b77 bbdf ca80e60a63f7jmeyers
Jmeyers , true there are some new good cables , but  old cables as just as good, usedcable.com will let you audition their cables ,there is a fee.
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Those Revel Ultima Studios have the previous generation aluminum alloy tweeter.  These can have a bright edge due to the breakup distortion of metal domes.

The Silver Eclipse has a very heavy silver content - heavily silver clad copper conductors and silver clad spade terminations.  This can over-emphasize that bright edge of the tweeters.

The Transparent Cable, on the other hand, typically uses  pure copper conductors and gold plated terminations.  I think the Transparent will be more forgiving on that bright tweeter and could potentially sound more natural than the Silver Eclipse in your particular system.
Just some facts:
Ref to the conducting characteristics of Silver it’s better than Copper only by 5%. So actually, by adding 5% to a copper wire’s cross section, you get the same conducting quality as silver.
The only problem is, that Silver is more expensive than copper by 104 times (14,000%) !
So think it over before you run to pay for a silver cable 140 times the price, to gain 5% of conductivity...
For me, it sounds as a bad investment. I would go a different way:

As all matters is the match of your speaker cable to the Amp’s output resistance (DF), pass me the data of your Amp’s DF and required length of the cable, and I return you a calculated figure, of how thick of a cable you need.

325 posts
07-27-2020 12:38am
Just some facts:

Here are some facts, 30 years ago even radio shack new better cable sounded better, maybe a good ear cleaning, and a little reading will give you a little in site.  You will have to be honest with yourself. CAN YOU HEAR, well? Different cables, can and do sound different.

BTW, YOU don't have to be the only one hearing, or not hearing the same thing... DF and cable length, that's it? If that is all you want to address, then that is all your going to do. It's a way, but not the BEST, way. Your spouting really OLD STUFF.. and it's just not so...or is it?
After all, the earth is flat, right? ;-)

b4icu started another thread and has been pushing very hard in different threads that big gauge speaker wire beats everything else.  I would take all this with a grain of salt.  Generally, if you have a speaker cable that is somewhere in the 9-12awg range, you should be good if the cable is high quality.
This sounds like a case where borrowing a few pairs from the Cable Co. would be the way to go.
I've got a pair of Transparent Gen5 Super speaker cables. 10'. I know the Ultras are a step up from the Supers but the price I'm offering might make it worth it for you. Will list here at A'gon if interested. 
@auxinput  You've posted here enough to realize what a canard the old silver is bright line is eh?

@b4icu  Of course, size is not all that matters with cables.  Purity of conductors, nature of dielectric, cable geometry, connector quality all matter. 

What we do with our systems is all about the system.  Finding that synergy of components and cables and footers and equipment stands also the nature of our listening space, all and more make up our system.  Working toward that audiophile utopian experience is what our quest as audiophiles is all about.  How much like the real thing can I experience from my system?
Agree with others here that borrowing a few pairs of cables from a place like the Cable Company might help you find the speaker cables that bring the music closer to you in your system.  Happy hunting! 
M.  oldhvymec
Earth is not flat and my cable are not coming from radio shack.
Your preaching post doesn't ref. to the facts I presented about
Silver vs. Copper price and conductivity. thats facts.
For your say: " Different cables, can and do sound different."
YES, they do.
But why?
Well I figure it out. Did you?
I will give you a hint:
It's not the snake oil that some tend to claim for the sound improvement. It is physical, calculated and proven.
So regardless of you bright and long post, there is no say. 
It's just about you "Big" vs. others "Small".

Mr.  hifiman5
"Purity of conductors, nature of dielectric, cable geometry, connector quality all matter."
Purity: Did you know, that the copper wire industry STD. for copper purity for electric use, is 99.98%. That's the worst!
All purity you may add (none was proven beyond the claim it is!) can improve that by 0.02%.
There is no way that would make any sonic difference.

Nature of electric apply to all circuits and wires to do with electric circuitry. None but Audio cable have that property.
NASA, Military, Biomedical, Measuring Instruments, cell phones, computers, cars industry or any you may bring, way more important than audio, work without that Geometry, snake oil or "nature of dielectric" that no engineering institute from MIT to local college ever teach.
Save it from me, serve it to the ignorants. I have a degree in Electronics.

328 posts07-28-2020 1:21am

Let’s start with what I wrote, I said Radio Shack, new better cables "sounded" better, not you own radio shack cables. That being said, you use to be able to buy a lot of good thing at Radio Shack.

So a degree in electronics makes you what?

Not able to learn NOW? Your all filled up. Can’t put another smart thing in that head... LOL

You’ve learned it all, now you know the difference, between a mechanic and an you, "The engineer".
Mechanics never stop learning, they just die.

The first thing engineers use to learn on a job site, was, LISTEN to the ol mechanic. He’s got the hands and the EARS, to hear the problem.
I’ve never met, ONE that could.. I had to teach every, young engineer, old engineer, and "The engineer", what to listen for. I have worked with some GREAT, sound, civil, and mechanical, engineers. All the electrical engineers became electricians, so they could get paid, when they worked. LOL

Engineers make things, mechanics fix things, engineers make!

So we’re clear, many thing I use to fix, an engineer, put their hands on. Though they new what they were talking about, just like you... It ALWAYS took a mechanic or just a GRUNT to finish the whole thing.. Look at NASA, same gig.. mechanics not engineers put the WHOLE thing together. Same UNION.. IAM.

What a person can and can’t hear, can’t always be measured.
Some can hear it, some can’t.
Some THINK they can hear it, when there is no difference.
Others, won’t hear it, if there is a difference. THEY know, what I hear...Sure they do.. DF and la-te-da..

I wish you well, on your quest, to inform the world about cables,
BUT the earth IS FLAT.. and everyone know that.

and I have no STDs, last check anyways... You know your STDs and my STDs might be different.
Last DF measurement, that is..

@b4icu "Purity: Did you know, that the copper wire industry STD. for copper purity for electric use, is 99.98%. That’s the worst!
All purity you may add (none was proven beyond the claim it is!) can improve that by 0.02%.
There is no way that would make any sonic difference."

Would you be able to hear a difference if there was one? Would you be able to realize the natural decay of a brushed cymbal into the soundspace? Would you hear the wood versus the plastic tipped drumstick? How about the natural layering of sound from a live symphony orchestra recording?

Where do those musically relevant nuances live? Cable-wise they are revealed or obscured in the "Purity of conductors, nature of dielectric, cable geometry, connector quality"

Can you hear those nuances that bring listeners closer to the performance? Probably not as you are likely a prisoner of your education which locks you in an empirical box, a mathematical prison.
Most of us here at AG have long realized that there are things we do as tweaks with our systems that have a sonic impact far surpassing what our educations would deem possible. So what has become of us? We have, over years of dedicated listening, enabled our ear brain system to "hear" those nuances that inform our appreciation for the details in which the true musical experience lives.
Can you break out of your prison? Do you want to be free?
I believe The Cable Company has the Wireworld in their lending library.
For that  money, I feel well worth the shipping back and forth to audition several.
Thanks! Ken
@auxinput  You've posted here enough to realize what a canard the old silver is bright line is eh?

sorry, but I have done extensive listening and testing with silver components.  Silver interconnects, silver fuses, silver digital cable.  It is largely system dependent, but they all add a level of brightness and sterileness.  If you have very warm sounding equipment, then silver might add some speed, but with the combination of Revel Studio and Krell FPB, the likelyhood of creating a bright edge is high.
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@auxinput  "It is largely system dependent, but they all add a level of brightness and sterileness."  Might the more appropriate adjectives be detail and openness?
An example of this is my SACD player's owner's manual.  The manual that accompanies the Marantz SA-KI Ruby discusses the two output filters that the user may choose between using the substantial metal remote.  The default Filter 1 is described as "Very precise soundstage and smooth tonal balance."  Agreed.  Filter 2 is described as "Neutral tonal balance - slightly brighter than “Filter1"  No! Not Really.
Since the filters can be flipped on the fly you can readily analyze the differences between them.  Filter 2 is NOT "brighter" than Filter 1, it is more "detailed and dynamic".  I say that because the revealed detail is realized across the frequency spectrum, most especially the bass.  More detailed pluck of the string on an acoustic guitar, more air and breath to a flute etc. The dynamic ebb and flow of music is more natural and satisfying with Filter 2. The music pulses and at times surprises with its jump. (in all fairness, a prime benefit of the "Ruby")

All of this is of course system dependent!  That is my objection to your characterization of silver as "bright".  In some systems, metal dome tweeters? perhaps.  I hear more detail and dynamics here.
Thanks for weighing in.
@dweller   Thanks.
Mr. hifiman5

You don't know me, but you already claim my hearing is impaired. 
Its a gall.
What about you? 
Did you check your hearing and tested good?
I doubt it.

I see you are good with poetry and rubbing snake oil over cables to make them sound better.

Never appeared to you, that those cables have some electrical properties (like resistance), related to the Amps. DF characteristics?
As so, a great deal of improvement can be achieved by methodically calculate and make such a cable, that will really fit the requirements, sound fantastic and cost less than most of the oil snake rubbed cables out there.

This topic has been discussed to death over the 12 years I have been here.  I suggest you guys re-read the old posts. 
@b4icu  You may have misinterpreted my intent.  I am not questioning your hearing acuity.  I am wondering if you would allow yourself to hear differences that do not align with your rather narrow construct based on your education.  Thanks for sharing your perspective!
 b4icu inductance in the voice coil is DF resistance is impedance i am just saying 
I can provide this one bit of information. When I started looking at Transparent cables for my system, my sales guy recommended the Ultra line. I decided that was too expensive, and went with one step down (Super, I think). I didn’t do a comparison. A year and a half later, I decided to listen to the Ultras in my system. I was quite surprised at the improvement. It took about fifteen seconds to realize the Ultras were really, really good. I bought them that day. My sales guy said they thought the Ultras were the sweet spot in the Transparent lineup. After that, there were still improvements to be had, but the prices got pretty steep.
Mike Meeks — thank you for your input.  May I ask what speakers and amp are the Ultras connected to?

Mr.  ditusa

If you would be kind to google Damping factor Wikipedia, you will find out that DF is a pure number (no values) of 8 ohms (resistive only) divided by the Amps Ro (internal resistance), also resistive only. I was not the one to invent that.

The way some electronic circuitry is analyzed, is by looking into the front end (inputs) or rear end (outputs and see what the source or the load seas.
As so, the speaker (load) is not a part of that analysis. If you look back, into an Amp's output stage, you see the Ro, or the DF. Now t is up to you to make a decision:
a). Would you look at the Amp's output directly, or via the speaker cables, or.
b). the same to words the speaker.
As I figured it out, the right way to go, is looking into the Amp's output, via the cables. As so, the cables are an extension of the Amp's Ro...
The Speaker (load) is not a part of that analysis. When looking into the Ro (pure resistance) so shall be the cables.
On top, if you followed my idea, the cables are thick. The resistance is very low. Anything (inductive or capacitive) connected to them in parallel is negligible. Thick cable come as singles, so no capacitance between the two, nor dielectric figures. Neither electromagnetism. 
It not only purify the audio path, and the "say" it also simplifies the calculus.
@b4icu inductance is DF greg timbers engineer at jbl said it not google your not a engineer if you were then you will know

First two lines:
"In an audio system, the damping factor gives the ratio of the rated impedance of the loudspeaker to the source impedance. Only the resistive part of the loudspeaker impedance is used. The amplifier output impedance is also assumed to be totally resistive."

You and other JBL and people who said...need to be updated.
It would be a shame if die without knowing the facts!
@b4icu inductance in the voice coil is df resistance is impedance jbl engineering department 
Mr. ditusa
How many times I'll need to buy the Bruckling bridge?
On my previous post to you, I stated clearly, that the speakers are not part in this analysis.
It's about what kind of Amp's output, does the speaker sees. 
And actually sees the Amp's Ro through the speaker cables.
So The speaker claim and JBL engineering are irrelevant.
Even the Wikipedia DF ling specify some facts of speaker cables resistance influence (ruing) the DF.
As so, with Tubes, The DF is so low, that it makes no difference.
But when DF increases above 150, it does. It becomes even worst when the cables get longer.
What about a guy, who just approached me on my thread:  How to select a good Speaker Cable
Who upgraded his PASS Labs 250 (DF=150) into a Devialet 120 (DF=8000).
You still think that your argument applies?
Read how a #0 awg, upgraded his sound experience, in 2018, with his PASS and a Magie III.
So please, give it a second look and try to follow.
You might very pleasantly surprised if you implement it.
b4icu your babbling good luck with your battery cables my speakers love 14awg helix wound cable 2’ long if your speaker cable is150’ long go 12awg but what is the awg of the speaker wire in the speakers?
Mr. ditusa
We use to say the world an aunt can see, is extremely narrow.
About calculating the speakers cross section, vs DF and length:
You are milles away.
If you follow my link and read the description of a guy who pioneered my idea, you will see it makes a difference.
He is not alone. there are many more...

2’ long speaker cables: What is it, a large headphones?

@b4icu if you do not know why i have 2' speakers cables on my speakers there is no point for me to talk to you. like i said your babbling

2,166 posts07-28-2020 6:49am
@auxinput You’ve posted here enough to realize what a canard the old silver is bright line is eh?

sorry, but I have done extensive listening and testing with silver components. Silver interconnects, silver fuses, silver digital cable. It is largely system dependent, but they all add a level of brightness and sterileness. If you have very warm sounding equipment, then silver might add some speed, but with the combination of Revel Studio and Krell FPB, the likelyhood of creating a bright edge is high.


Why on the bright side?

I picked up USAF surplus #12 pure silver medium strand count. It had a poly/teflon cover .60 thick. That wire took over 2000 hours to finally sound really, REALLY good. That was 25 or so years ago. I learned that silver cable/wire take a LONG time to sound anywhere close to the way it can.
I use to think VTL was very bright for a tube amp. It just takes 1000 plus hours for the silver SC wire to settle in. Then, like magic they just start sounding RIGHT..

A lot of Valve amps are voiced with copper just for that reason, they don’t sound GREAT for a long time, add teflon coupling caps, holly cow. Easy 1000 + hours... That’s 6 months at 40 hours a week, or 12 months at 20 hours a week... or 2 years at 10 hours a week, or 4 years at 5 hours a week. See what I’m saying.. A lot of people never hit 5 hours a week of listening. At 2.5 hours a week of listening, EIGHT years to break in a system with silver and teflon caps.

The truth of it is, a LOT of systems, never break in... NOT BURN IN!
I never heard the term in all the year I been doing this, until recent.
I hope I never BURN IN anything.. Break in yea...Burn in...LOL
I use a cable cooker, may I never BURN the cables, only break them in and give them a better, direction to be installed.

With silver cables and a cooker, 10 + day at 24/7 and 200 or so hooked up where they are in service and working.

Copper PC 5 day. Speaker ICs 3-5 days, and 20-75 hours to settle in on both.

Silver clad, MS oh my.. they are brighter than most. Many day on the ol cooker, RCA and XLR 10 days, speaker IC.. I don’t use it..15 days or so...I’d guess for # 12-14

I know, cable cooker don’t work either.
They only, don’t work, if you don’t have one, to work... :-)

The speakers I use with Transparent Ultra are Focal Kanta 2s, and the amp is a Levinson 585.
@mikemeeks. Great equipment.  Is there any way you could characterize an element or two of the Ultras vs. the Supers that really stood out?

@several posters.  Would you mind taking your off-topic dialogue to a new posting you start?  You might find that a pertinent  topic header might even attract more participants to your discussion.

@new readers.  Amy comments about the Wireworld Silver Eclpises would be especially welcome.
Mr.  mikemeeks
For your  Levinson 585
With a DF of >400, at a 10ft. length cable, I would recommend you a #0 awg cable.
Make one (DIY) for under $100 and you will be thrilled from the sound improvement. 
@jmeyers The two key differences for me was a deeper and better articulated bass and a smoother but also more detailed upper midrange and lower treble.  Overall, more relaxed and more musical.  On my system, the differences were pretty obvious - no ‘golden ears’ needed.
@ mikemeeks. First, thank you.  I don’t have a dealer closer than 300+ miles fro me, so trying a pair isn’t any easy option — particularly given mine wouldn’t be a case that if I like them I’d buy them. Your observations of the Ultras are similar to the only poster I’ve run across who has the Wireworld Silver Eclipses. Both are great, I suspect. Ultras are, however, the safer choice for me. I have had a good experience with them already, and Transparent at its higher price levels is known for offering cables that are very listenable.
@jmeyers Your welcome!  I agree with your observation about Transparent and Wireworld- I've also have heard nothing but good about both manufacturers.  In my case, my longtime dealer carries Transparent, and lets me take home most anything I want to try for a few days to hear it in my system.  So my choice of brand was pretty simple.  I almost balked the first time I bought Transparent - I had never purchased cables in that price range.  But after a little listening, I was finally convinced that cables can make a significant difference.
Post removed 
Wireworld Silver 7 power cords sound totally different with the upgraded connectors, night and day different. Tells you how much the connector ends impact the sound. Having said that which one you like would depend on your system and room acoustics. The arguments make no sense because so much goes into what you finally hear. Fix your room, get anything away from the speakers, that means in between or to the sides, no chairs or couches, or loveseats, buy some room panels to kills reflections and bass boom.

You don’t care for the room acoustics in my experience you have thrown away the money you spent on good audio gear. Yes, it takes some time and work but in the end it the best money you could have spent. My experience is power cords make the most impact in a system, want to change the sound of your system buy a new power cord or two instead of gear. I’ve owned Transparent Reference, MIT Oracle, and many others, each added something to the sound, like cooking it is what spices you like. I no longer own them. 

Sound advice, as always. I wonder if the OP bought those TA Ultra series cables?

Happy Listening!
you please sir. Pass Labs xa30.8. Speaker length 10’. Chapman T7 speakers (circa 1993).
thank you in advance