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Silver Cable Overview: Part Two Print E-mail
Wednesday, 03 March 2010
Article Index
Silver Cable Overview: Part Two
Steve Deckert Interview
Darren Hovsepian Interview

Q&A with Steve Deckert of DECWARE:

Q: Is there anything in your mind can justify an interconnect cable costing as much as a compact car?

No, in fact I find it irritating. It's not unlike wealthy women paying five figures for a designer hand bag. My irritation is however with the manufacturers, not the audiophiles buying it. The only reason we manufacture a cable is to offer a sure solution to our customers who feel their current cables may be holding the amp back. When they go on the Internet to research new cables they become overwhelmed with enough buzzwords, trademarks and nonsense that they have no hope of distinguishing good from bad.
Q: How did you arrive at the unique design of the Silver References Interconnects, and specifically the use of a bees wax core?

It's all about resonance control. The bee’s wax dampens the conductor and turns resonance into heat. Eliminating resonance from wire improves clarity, just as it does for tubes and components. Ever heard recordings where the image became artificially featured by jumping forward in the sound stage and taking on a strained sound? This is caused when a sudden transient of signal excites the conductors electrically and sound in the room cause physical vibration on the cable at the same time.
Q: What do you like about silver as a conductor? What do you think the appeal of silver is to a good portion of the audiophiles out there?

Silver is simply a better conductor than copper. It offers greater transparency. Something that is mistaken for brightness by a large portion of audiophiles out there because it simply lets them hear deeper into their gear than they are comfortable with.
Q: Can you tell us what your reference system is made up of? I’ll assume is mostly or all Decware!

Yes, I use our entire line of tube gear and loudspeakers as a reference. That combo can put together 25 different systems and sometimes that's what it takes to really find out how good a cable really is. Getting a cable to sound wonderful on a single system is fairly meaningless in the real world if you plan on selling them.

That said, my reference is my pair of Acoustat Monitors (full range electrostatics) with modified servo-charged 5000 volt tube amplifiers direct coupled to the panels. My source is a Teres Table with Fidelity Research silver wired arm and MC202 cartridge. I also have other arm/cartridge combinations I like to rotate. For digital I built myself a reference grade battery operated NOS dac I also have a multitude a consumer grade DACs (including our own) we keep around for comparison.

Q: Lastly, Vinyl or Digital?

I'm partial to true analog.  Digital is making a lot of progress.  I listen to it more than my vinyl and it sounds damn good as long as I don't play an LP during the same listening session and ruin it.  ;)


DH Labs:

DH Labs has been around since 1992. They make just about every type of audio or video cable you can think of. They have built a stellar reputation over the last 18 years. They became known for solidly engineered and well built products offered at very reasonable prices. DH Labs has an international dealer network, and unlike the other cable manufacturers featured in Part 1 and Part 2, they do not sell direct; unless there is no local dealer or a special modification is required..

Under evaluation is the DH Labs Revelation. The Revelation is the most expensive cable featured in this two part feature, priced starting at $399 for a half meter. As a matter of fact, it is the most expensive interconnect in the DH Labs product line.  According to the DH Labs website, the Revelation features "six pure silver conductors in an interleaved helical array. Each conductor is individually insulated in an air-spaced, tape wrapped version of our exclusive Air Matrix dielectric." The cable is finished in an attractive aqua blue jacket and comes packaged in a wooden box; a nice touch.

One major distinction of the Revelation is that it is terminated with DH Labs custom machined RCA connectors.  They are made with their proprietary "High Copper Alloy", that DH Labs claims is 99% pure copper. DH Labs also claims these RCA plugs have more copper content than any other copper connector on the market. The closest competitor, WBT, has only 68% copper content (according to DH Labs). They say this is important, as pure copper is vastly more conductive than brass; a commonly used combination. The DH connectors are the locking type and are very robust. It would take a serious amount of abuse to put a dent in these, and if used properly, should never wear out. The cable itself is a bit on the stiff side; so sharp bends are a bit tricky.


The first thing I noticed about the Revelation is how BIG everything sounded. Instruments and voices were very lifelike and full bodied. Vocals sounded so human. I could detect little things like pursed lips, the gasp of a singer’s breath in between phrases, and even microphone pops. I could more easily delineate vocal lines where there were multiple singers, harmonies, or overdubs.  

Another thing that stood out was how quick and powerful transient sounds were, like the crack of snare drum or a syncopated brass line.  There was not a hint of edginess or so called “brightness”, nor a scintilla of fatigue factor. As a matter of fact, the Revelation pulls off an amazing trick, the ability to offer of a tidal wave of information, excellent sound staging, and superb transient response while sounding perfectly natural.


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