Thursday, 5 April 2012

Siltech Classic Anniversary 330L Speaker Cable

24 hrs review of Siltech speaker cable.

Its been more than 24 hrs now since I hooked up the Siltech to the D18s. Truth be told, I didnt really have to burn in the speaker cables as I have asked CMY to pre burn it with the ProBurn machine for 48 hrs which is supposed to be equivalent to 200 hrs of running in. Heck, dont ask me about the physics behind the ProBurn. Its a free service I get from CMY so I took it. Previously I have purchased 2 QED interconnects, one pre burn and one brand new. There was actually a different in the sound produced in my set up.

So, let me talk about the plan first. Throughout the past 4 years since I resumed the upgrade path after 8 years of not doing so, I have changed cabling (here referring to IC, power cable and speaker cable) from Cambridge Audio to Ixos to QED and now to Siltech. My introduction to Siltech was not a planned one. Since I got the M6i amp, I have always wanted to hear how XLR sound from my M1 DAC. So at first I was loaned 2 models of VDH XLR, but the sound from them was rubbish. Which I was a bit dissapointed after hearing a lot good saying about using XLR. So then CMY loaned me a pair of Siltech XLR. Boy, I immediately fell in love with the sound. Since then, I wanted to see how and what if I have a complete Siltech signature for my cabling to match the complete MF set up I have.

The second came was the RCA interconnect to connect the CLiC to the amp. Then the CDT transport to the DAC, I needed an XLR digital interconnect as well. Then came in the power cable for the M6i. So, until now my cabling from 3 sources (CDT, CLiC and DAC) and the amp are all by Siltech. The synergy between Siltech and MF kit, to me is very very sweet, warm and lively. But then, I was still using QED as the speaker cable. So the full cycle have not been completed. But I had to wait for some more funds to come before parting money for the most expensive cable I have ever purchased - this Siltech Classic Anniversary 330L speaker cable.

Thats the history. Now the review. To avoid confusion, I have disconnected the new power amps and just let the Siltech run my D18 with a single wire configuration ie the M6i is running both the tweeters and woofers, just like before.

The speaker cable although looks thick, it is actually lighter than I thought it would be. I had a concern that in time, it would bend the speaker terminals due to the weight hanging from the cable when I have plugged into the terminals using banana plugs. The cable is flexible enough to easily handle it and plug into my amp. The banana plugs have a see through plastic covering over the metal plugs itself.

When you purchase this cable, it comes in a box and placed in foam. A certificate with 2 serial numbers is also supplied reflecting each of the cable serial number.

So my setlist for the review consists of:

1. Aaron Neville on CD. Playerd on CDT feeding the M1 DAC to the M6i amp.
2. Andrea Bocelli, Diana Krall and The Eagles on hi res music via CLiC
3. Gypsy Kings on 320 kbps MP3

The first thing I notice was some how the speaker cable have amplified the sound a bit. The usual volume level seems louder than before but it did not loose the subtlety. So first up was Aaron Neviile - Lousiana 1927. Hmmmmmm.... The vocals came out to be full of soundstaging. Its hard explain its as if you are watching a 3D movie but for audio. There were layers behind his voice that I could not experience before.

The best part was that it enhance the low end notes but without providing the excess boom. I was kind of worried the the bass will be to overwhelming for my room. But NO. Play Hotel California and the drums on that tracks just comes out sounding original and even more controlled than before. The wire brush on the snare on one of Diana's track sounded airy and spreaded across the room. I can actually visualize the drummer's hand spinning the wire brush around the snare. Again, its like 3D for audio.

Then comes out Andrea for the ultimate vocal test. Again, it feels like his voice was uplifted and airy. But its all balanced out by the low end produced by the woofers. No pinching experience from the enhanced tweeter sound. Being hi res source, I again was worried that it give too much enhancement on the tweeters but the cable just manage to adapt itself to maintain the warm sound I like but at the same enhance or elevate the music atmosphere up a notch.

The final test was to see how it copes with a fast paced and multi instrument music. the Gypsy Kings Bamboleo track was definitely giving the cable a run for what its worth. The dynamics produced by D18s was something that I have not heard off before. so I had to attribute these dynamics to the Siltech speaker cable.

Now, is there such thing as a speaker cable that chokes back the music? At one point when playing Diana Krall I've Got You Under My Skin, I could hear some sort of struggle for the tweeters to reproduce a few of the piano notes. Was not satisfied with tha, I loaded the normal CD version of this track instead of using the hi res file. Voila, I didnt hear that strain on the CD. It might be a bad upsampling of the track. Damn HD Tracks.

Now, this speaker cable as not on loan for testing. I was so confident of a Siltech product that this time around, I paid and purchased the item first rather than the usual 'Can I Test first kah?' even CMY was surprised as usually I will ask for a loan first before committing.

To summarize, I feel Siltech products provide a signature of dynamics, enhancement and uplifting which somehow creates a 3 dimensional experience. If not for all but at least for my MF set up.

Now.....thats the end of my cabling venture for a while. Maybe in another 8 years time, you will see this speaker cable on the For Sale thread. But for now, its a keeper and the last piece of jigsaw to my cabling quest.

Next....MF M1 PWR amp review.
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