Lower end Silver plated IC's Vs. High 9N copper IC's in bright system

I have some custom made XLR IC’s from DSS to Preamp. They were only $300. They are lightly silver plated 4N copper, unshielded. The system is bright to begin with and needs to warm up some. All other cables are 9N copper. I just got $6,700 Copper cables. They are 9N in FEP air tubes, quad shielded. Before I open them and cannot return them I assume this is going to sound better? Thank you

Hi 2chan. to my ears i have always found silver plated copper to sound a bit on the bright side. I was using an AQ silver litz interconnects originally,( an old pair i had lying around). I switched to a pair of OCC copper XLR. (7N) . To me night and day, wonderfully organic in sound , detailed and dynamic and no brightness. Built and sold direct from the manufacturer with a 30 day trial period. For the price you are paying, is there no trial listening?

Okay I am going to open these now. No return. The silver is indeed too bright and that is the most critical connection. DSS to Preamp. Those are cheap cables anyways. Sure I saved to have a guy make them but doubt they can compete with these. These are made by Transparent. The Magnum Opus. So I am pretty sure I will like them. At least I hope so. Plus they have some sort of Vudu boxes attached to them. not sure what those do. The dealer has $40,000 IC’s but he said these are the ultimate ones. I really hope I like them. Must be better than $300 cables plus the silver is too bright. Thank you

Wow… That’s a lot of dough… Hope it works out for ya…

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I wouldn’t even consider those $6700 cables if they don’t even offer a return policy. If you don’t like them, you’re screwed and out $6700. The heck with that.

On that note, I only use all copper cabling in my system. No silver at all. Been there, done that, won’t ever do it again.

I have not opened it yet. Believe it or not I got a huge deal on demo’s. These things brand new are 40 Grand! That is multiple times the cost of the DSS and Preamp. Maybe I should return these before I open them. They are offering “as-is” on Demo’s. What if I do not like them. I know they have these “magic” boxes on them. However wouldn’t some $300 ones be good. I am going to regret this when it is time to pay credit card one way or the other. I just saw huge deal -was 40 Grand. That is insane now that I am thinking about it. From DAC to Preamp is surely the most important cables. Although I only have a $600 power cord on it! Can anyone tell me really good cables for less than a Grand? I do not want any silver though. I do not think so called air is better than Teflon? I think I made a big mistake here because new these are more than the entire system! Maybe if I had Half Million Dollar system. I am worried about opening them. Once I do that they are mine even if a sub Grand cable sounded just as good. Plus I read heavily shielded XLR cables sound even worse! Since XLR by itself negates all noise floor. On the fence about this now big time. I got one $17,000 Transparent cable for $395 before. It is my coax. I do not understand why these are so much other than the sake of being costly? I do not want DIY though. What about like some Audioquest? I was thinking of like the “Water” is “only” $600. Thanks

I would recommend the AQ Water. I hate a bright sound and these give me everything I like - detail, separation, good bass without the harshness. Having spent crazy money on top line silver ICs in the past I realised that I actually liked the sound of these more. IMO once you get past the $1K mark in cables you are wasting money that could be better spent on electronics (speaking through personal experience, I wish I had spent more of the money I put into cables on actual components). Still the only way you will know for sure is to test them in your system. See if a dealer can loan you some of the Water ICs.

I would recommend taking those cables back and getting something else or keeping what you have and upgrading your loudspeakers or buying more music or something. Just because they were $40k originally (which is highly ridiculous to begin with), doesn’t mean they are going to sound good or better than what you already have.

I’ve heard plenty of loudspeakers and systems that cost more than a good size new house, and they had no life, no excitement.

Plus it sounds like you already have buyer’s remorse before even opening the new cables up. That alone is proof enough that you should keep them sealed and return them.

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Silver works great in my system.
Wireworld Platinum 8 interconnects.

I do not want mine because they are silver. I think I will demo the Water. At least the store knows me and is not afraid to lend out “only” $600 cables. Plus probably get a discount or just buy the demo. I really regret what I did. Luckily I have not opened the package so I will drop it off at UPS. This was really stupid on my part.

I see that Signal cable makes ones like mine and 6 feet is only $119. They are supposed to be good but silver plated. They have great reviews though. My system is already too bright though. I have pretty good speakers. I have very limited room. These are very small. I think to get better they would be bigger but I am happy with these. They are Amphion Argon 3 not the ‘S’ I feel he ruined the sound of. At least they are less money for the new version. I am very happy with them.

Too close to wall with Waveguides is why it is bright but no Bass issues with sub. I have heard systems the price of a nice home too. 2-3 Million. Store currently has Two like that! Interestingly like you just said I like my little system better! I agree, past $1,000 on a cable is stupid. I lucked out and got a used Transparent Ref. XL Coax for about $400. It seems “used” or trade in’s are worth nothing.

Speaking of speakers anyone know the old Wharfedale Jade 3? store has a used pair dirt cheap. Well, they were only $1,400 to begin with years ago. They are 3 way so maybe better than what I have. I will have to listen to them. For the price if they are better that is a much bigger upgrade than ‘any’ cables IMO. I would love the Harbeth 40.2 but much too large and 18 Grand too. Can’t do that now. there is also Dynaudio but those are pretty pricey as well. Still a much bigger upgrade than cables AFAIK. Physically too large, once again anyhow. I think speaker wise I did the best I could in such a compact package.

I have a tiny old Richard Lord REL sub that is fantastic. The prices of the new made in China ones are crazy. They are by no means bad just darn expensive. There would be no reason to replace the smallest one. Mine goes flat in room to 18HZ. The new tiny one is 33HZ. I do have the REL Blue cable I also got used for $90. It seems used is the way to buy!

Thanks Folks!

From my time in the audiophile (or audiophool) game I’ve come to realise that speakers have brought me the biggest system upgrades. I know it goes against years of audiophile preaching the old idea of spending most on your source but I’ve found that diminishing returns kick in a lot sooner on source electronics. Obviously if you are super rich it doesn’t matter, just buy the best there is, price doesn’t matter.

For the rest of us though we can’t just buy the most expensive items (especially when we start out as teenagers or students). I would check those speakers out and see if you like the sound but make sure they are in keeping with your system.

Obviously if you have a $5K DAC and $5k amps then 1.4K speakers are probably not going to make a huge difference and will likely not be allowing you to make the best of your sources. It all depends on the speakers you have now - if you are using $500 speakers now, then those new ones could make a big improvement.

If your current speakers are about the same price level then you may get a difference but not an improvement. In that case you might be better off saving money for a while and getting some more expensive speakers - maybe even those $18K speakers if you can stretch that far. I think you would be surprised how good really expensive speakers can sound even with modest electronics.

Last year I went from speakers that cost £6K (~$7.8K) to £20K (~$26K) and it was the most massive upgrade I made. As an experiment I hooked them up to a variety of electronics I had owned over the years and was surprised by how great almost everything I attached sounded. It also made it easy to hear the differences between them, something which was much harder with the previous speakers (and almost imperceptible with the $1.5K speakers I had a couple of years ago).

I have reached the conclusion that in almost every previous system I have owned the main limiting factor has not been the electronics or the cables but the speakers.

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I wouldn’t waste my money on $6700 cables. Especially with electronics on the cable. Use that $6700 to buy better equipment. Solid silver is accurate, and, not usually bright. Silver plated copper seems to always be bright. I’m running Wireworld Platinum eclipse 7 and Acoustic Zen Absolute silver XLR ICs with horns and compression drivers. The difference between silver plated and solid silver is dramatic.

Never heard anyone say, build your system around electronics. Start with the best speakers you can afford.

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Might be a UK thing. When I was starting out as a teenager every dealer I went to told me to spend the most on my source and amp. Occasionally someone would say go for better speakers. Thankfully nowadays I hear people saying get good speakers first.

I agree but I don’t think the difference between solid silver and solid copper is worth it though. The price differential tends to be so great that you would be better off spending that money on equipment (e.g. better speakers). That said I have come across some solid core silver cables that were quite bright like a top end AQ silver IC I had about 10 years ago. I think it was several thousand pounds when new and it just sounded overly bright compared to the previous one I had (which was also silver but sounded much more balanced).

The wireworld eclipse 7 or 8 is an amazing copper IC for a very reasonable price. Highly recommended.I would go as far to say, Wireworld eclipse is as good as ANY copper IC, period.

Good electronics will improve the sound of good speakers. They will improve sound of cheap speakers, to a lesser extent in my experience.

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I agree. Speakers make the biggest difference. I have $6,000 speakers. I have a issue with very limited space though. More expensive than that everything I am finding is bigger. I am currently in the market for speakers though but have found nothing. Either they are more than 7.5" wide or they lose their soundstage against the wall on acoustic foam. 3-8" from foam depending on depth of speaker. Although the table is only 19" long. Plus height cannot be more than 15". Not in a cabinet but on a table with electronics in the middle. I know it is far from ideal but what I have to work with. I brought the cables to UPS unopened. It is probably not my cables anyways but rather speakers too close to the wall. With sub at least no bass issues.

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I think everything can matter. I find that the speaker/amplifier mating needs careful attention, and then finding the most synergistic source matchings is straightforward. After that electrical and isolation attention and cabling.

This can be a fascinating and very involving hobby. I for one am. . .immersed.

To this day the best sounding ic’s I’ve ever heard were the Transparent Ultra’s XLR’s. They seemed like a match made in heaven when mated between my DSD Sr and BHK 250. I have no doubt the Magnum Opus are even better yet.