Silver or OFC cables ?

This old topic is closed. If you want to reopen this topic, contact a moderator using the "Report Post" button.
I need a few thoughts, suggestions or feedback if possible on cable selection ?

I did try and find other similar post but those closest related were ages old...

I want to make my own signal (RCA) unbalanced cables from the preamp to my old Rotel RB-985. Should I go for a teflon coated 0.5 mm2 silver cable at around $10 a feet or buy some good thick quality OFC for the same or probably less money. Which is the better or does anyone have other suggestions ?

Since silver has less resistance than copper one might go for that, but my guess is that the signal drop due to a low diameter 0.5mm2 (I am a cheapskate !) might be greater than when using 2 or 3mm2 copper OFC ? There's probably a way to calculate the signal loss and the distortion, but it's 4:30 AM and I should be heading for the soft spot :whacko:
I have found that silver wire, unless VERY carefully implemented, tends to accentuate high frequencies and add false detail. Others may disagree. If your system is already bright or "edgy" in any way, do not bother with silver, as it will only intensify any brightnes or "digital" artifacts. Silver wire will not turn your Rotel into an expensive amplifier, but it may turn it into junk.

You do not need large gauge wire for IC's. Resistance in reasonable lengths (under 10 feet) is not a factor at all. In fact, smaller wire will probably sound better, but it is more delicate. The largest wire I would consider is 18ga, and as small as 28ga is okay. Solid core wire is less flexible and more prone to cracking or breaking, but I think it sounds better than stranded wire, which is considerbaly more robust. If you're the type to hook things up and then leave them alone for long periods, solid core will be suitable. I recommend Neotech OCC copper with teflon insulation. If you are constantly moving or unplugging things, use stranded wire. In either case, the method you use to secure the cable in its connectors and provide strain relief will be as important as almost any other aspect of construction.

Connectors are just as important: use the best you can afford. I suggest high copper content instead of brass. Vampire makes quality stuff, but there are lots of others. Stay away from eBay and Radio Shack.

Tom E
You can calculate the signal loss by using the voltage divider equation with the interconnect resistance in the numerator and the sum of the interconnect resistance and the load impedance in the denominator (this neglects source impedance). Bottom line- the signal loss is so minuscule, it's beyond minuscule. :D

Order of magnitude, 0.001%.
In my view connectors are important. Cables are not. If you calculate the signal loss and distortion for any reasonable cable you will get 0% and 0%, respectively. This is what you are likely to hear, provided you don't know what the cable is made of.

PS I'm not trying to start an argument, just putting an alternative view. This issue has been argued over in many threads, some still current, so I am not starting a new one here. If you are sure you can hear the difference then I am not going to persuade you otherwise.
Thanks for your valuable inputs :)
I figure there has and still are quite a few discussions around on cables, connectors and how to connect a preamp the best way to your main amp stage.

The cables will be quite short say no more than 2 feet and I like to experiment, so I will try with different gauges and material, both silver and copper to see what sounds the best.

If the silver fails, I can always chunk it up and use it internally in the preamp for future implementations or improvements. In the end, it just has to fit together and be pleasant to the ears.

Cheers !
This old topic is closed. If you want to reopen this topic, contact a moderator using the "Report Post" button.