By D.H. Labs
As a reviewer, it's always a pleasant surprise to come across products that perform at levels well beyond their price range. The name D.H. Labs has stood at the very periphery of my awareness for the last couple of years. I'd seen their modest ads in some other underground publications, and heard some rumblings that they were fine products for the money. Was I interested? No, not really. The aforementioned Cable Madness Survey had done its best to whip my enthusiasm for listening to wire. Still, only a fool ignores recommendations that come from trusted ears. In the case of D.H. Labs these recommendations came from two of my favorite speaker designers, Mike Dzurko of ACI/Dzurko Acoustics and Pat McGinty of Meadowlark Audio. As a breed, speaker designers are hard folks to impress when it comes to wire. They just hate wire that makes their speakers do funny things; hey, where'd that glare come from? What the hell happened to my imaging? Believe me when I tell you that these guys just hate it when a wire adds its own input to their beloved transducers. All of brings us to the D.H. Labs Silver Sonic, a thin wisp of a wire indeed (both in cost and girth). All of the audiophile-correct stuff is here; Teflon dielectrics, OFC copper, special stranding patterns, vibration damping spacers and one feature that may just generate a cringe from some old timers: Silver coated conductors. Usually, silver clad copper wires sound just like silver clad copper wires. In other words, they possess a glare, a harshness that on a quick listen is often heard as a little extra air and mid band detail. It pleases me to no end to report that the good folks at D.H. Labs have somehow banished these silver clad nasties.
The Silver Sonic is quick and clean and possessed with remarkably neutral tonal balance. From the mids to the top, it is very near the best you can get at any price and its soundstaging and imaging properties are simply astounding for the money. The only nit to pick concerns the bass, and not so much the quality of it but the sheer quantity. When used with speakers with truly extended low bass, the Silver Sonic can sound slightly (note, I say slightly) lean. A touch higher up in the mid bass and all is well. I must emphasize that this tendency was only noticed when the D.H. Labs cable was used with speakers that are, how shall I say, well endowed in the lower reaches. In these rare instances, this lean-effect can be completely eliminated through the use of a double run of cable. Of course, this will raise the per-foot cost to a still very reasonable $8.50 per foot.
This minor Achilles' Heel aside, this is nothing other than a superb cable. It could easily be used with confidence in the finest of systems. The Silver Sonic is well made and good looking, and the quality of termination appears to be superb. In a world of cable Goliaths, the Silver Sonic is a David with a well-aimed sling. Highly recommended.
-Paul A. Cervantes
Reprinted with permission from The Audio Observatory, Volume 3, Number 10.