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Silver Cable Overview: Part Two  Print E-mail
Home Theater Feature Articles Audio Related Articles
Written by Andre Marc   
Wednesday, 03 March 2010
Article Index
Silver Cable Overview: Part Two 
Steve Deckert Interview
Darren Hovsepian Interview
 

The last major component that impressed me was how big, articulate, and full the bass reproduction was.  For an example, the bass drum line that opens up the track “Alloway Grove” from Paolo Nutini’s debut These Streets was room shaking, but totally in control. The thumping bass line from Duffy’s “Rockferry”, from her album of the same name was monstrous.  

The Revelation struck me as a very focused, high resolution, yet musical cable. It’s a physically robust product and the custom locking RCA connectors are first class. I cannot imagine this cable being unable to work well sonically in most systems.  An unequivocal recommendation for silver enthusiasts.  Frankly, after hearing something like the Revelation, I would find it hard to go back to an all copper cable.


Q & A with Darren Hovsepian of DH Labs:

Q: As a cable manufacturer, is there anything you can think of that could justify a pair of Interconnects being priced at $10,000, $15,000, or even $32,000?

We have dissected many of these products, and the short answer is..........no.  But if the price of silver keeps climbing, that may change!
 
Q:
Your company got started in 1992 and you are still here, so you must be doing something right. Can you tell us how DH Labs got started and the secret to your longevity?

I started out custom making microphone cables by hand, for myself and others.  This gradually led to the development of an entire product line.  Today many of our cables use proprietary materials, such as our Air-Teflon Matrix dielectric and our HC copper alloy, used in some of our connectors.  Our customers really appreciate the fact that we put more money into our products and less into expensive advertising or fancy packaging.  We still make most of our cables in the USA, because we fell the quality U.S. cable manufacturing is unmatched.
 
Q:
What can you tell us about your custom machined high copper content connectors?

The copper alloy is made for us by a mill in the USA.  We then ship the rods to a factory in Taiwan that makes our connectors for us.  
 
Many cable manufacturers like to brag about the purity of their copper or silver in their cables, but they terminate those cables with brass connectors that are full of zinc, lead, tin, etc.  Our copper alloy is 99.3% copper and has an electrical conductivity of close to 95%, which is nearly 4 times higher than that of brass.

Q: Can you tell us about your reference system?

We like to keep both tube and solid state equipment around, so that we can test products under a variety of conditions.  I won't get to specific about makes and models, because we tend to rotate equipment in and out fairly regularly.
 
Q: Lastly, Vinyl or Digital?

Both.  But my personal favorite is still reel-to-reel tape.  So I guess that makes me an analog guy :)

Conclusion:

This overview of affordable silver interconnect cables has been very enlightening for me. It has reminded me that there are excellent high performance audio products that offer superb value from legitimate designers who neither have the time or inclination for fancy marketing, or questionable technical / scientific claims. Both Decware and DH Labs make superb cables that are based on solid engineering and are certainly made with care.  The Decware Silver Reference interconnects start at $129 per half meter, and are fitted with silver Xhadow RCA connectors.  The DH Labs Revelation are $399 per half meter, and feature a custom locking connector made of ultra pure copper. The Decware cables are available direct from the web and DH Labs through a local dealer.  Both cables are highly recommended.

 

Decware: www.decware.com

DH Labs: www.silversonic.com

 

Reviewers Associated Equipment System 1:

  • CD Player: Naim CD5x with Flatcap 2X
  • Preamp: Audio Research SP16
  • Amplifier: Audio Research VS55, Perreaux Eloquence 150i.
  • Speaker: Harbeth Compact 7ES3
  • Cables: Kimber/QED/Acoustic Zen (AC)/Transparent (AC)
  • Accessories: Symposium Rollerblocks, Shakti Stone, Sound Anchors stands.

 
Reviewers Associated Equipment 2:

  • CD Player: Marantz 5003
  • Music Server: Squeezebox 3
  • DAC:CIA VDA-2 with XPS
  • Preamp: Belles Soloist 3
  • Amplifier: Revox A722
  • Speaker: Spendor S5e, Spendor S5R
  • Cables: Kimber/QED/Transparant/Shunyata(AC)/PS Audio(AC), Pangea Audio
  • Accessories: Atacama Stands





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