What makes a silver core cable “better” than a copper core cable? And when does it make sense to use one? We break everything down.
Silver core cables have been around a while but have recently grown more popular among producers, musicians, and audiophiles for their transparency, neutrality, and conductive properties.
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with copper conductor cables. In fact, most cables on the market have copper cores and components. They perform great and come at a good price for most musicians. But if you’re looking to get something more out of your setup – something cleaner, brighter, or perhaps, more articulate – silver core cables might have some intriguing advantages for you.
What are the Biggest Advantages of Silver Core Cables?
Advantage #1 – Fidelity
Silver has more conductive properties and interacts with impedance* differently. This makes it easier to accurately reproduce the source signal.
Most times when people compare a copper to silver conductor cable, their ears immediately pick up that the silver seems audibly brighter. For some people the sound could be too bright. That’s why some silver cables on the market use a thin layer of copper around the silver conductor, to add back some of the warmth and control the brighter peaks.
But a brighter, cleaner sound can improve overall clarity and transparency of a recording mix, which is ideal in music genres where things like note separation or soundstage matter more.
Check out an example of the sound quality in the video below. You’ll notice our Zaolla silver core cable produces clean, crisp and bright notes.
Advantage #2 – Studio Outboard Cabling
High end recording studios invest thousands of dollars on rare and boutique audio equipment, such as Neve preamps. Naturally they want to get the most out of their audio gear.
The conductive advantage of silver becomes much more important when you consider that any studio with outboard gear is likely using hundreds of feet of cable when you add them all together. The more they can preserve the integrity of their signal, the more they can get out of their equipment, the more meaningful that silver-to-copper difference becomes.
So, while a lone silver guitar cable will make a noticeable difference, chances are other cables with copper or aluminum conductors are also part of the chain. Using solid silver in shorter runs across lots of outboard equipment has a cumulative effect that makes the result worthwhile.
Why Aren’t All Cables Made with Silver?
We know that silver is 7% more conductive than copper, so it stands to reason that silver should be used in every cable instead of copper, right? Not quite. There are other factors at play.
The first reason silver isn’t as widely used is because it’s a much rarer material than copper, making it much more expensive.
The second reason is silver is more sensitive to oxidation. While you can go a long way with copper cables being exposed to many environmental changes, silver cables require more mindful consideration.
Conclusion – It’s All About Sound Quality
So, why choose silver cables in the first place if they are more prone to oxidize and more expensive? How you answer is all based on what matters most to you. If higher fidelity is important to your sound or how you record music, then silver cables should probably make their way into your setup.
And when you’re ready to hear the difference silver can bring to your sound, our Zaolla Silverline cables can help. Electronic DJ and music producer Bad Boy Bill said it best: “I started using Zaolla Silverline cables a few years ago when I really wanted to upgrade the sound quality in my studio. I use Zaolla Silverline for every single connection in my studio… In terms of sound quality, what I put in is exactly what I get out – the music sounds rich and full.”
To learn more about what our Zaolla Silverline cables are made from, visit the downloads page or FAQ section on the Zaolla website. You can purchase these unique and world-class cables through zaolla.com.
*Impedance is the effective resistance of an electric circuit or component to alternating current, arising from the combined effects of ohmic resistance and reactance. For a more detailed synopsis, Sound on Sound did an excellent writeup that can be found here.- Hosa