Bound for Sound Report

Silver Sonic T-14 Speaker Cable

By D.H. Labs

People are always clamoring for a cheaper speaker cable, so here it is. Any audiophile, even those on a strict budget, can with a little time save for what these cables cost. But best of all, they sound good, and on a wide range of electronics.

The cables sent to me were configured for bi-wiring, and I used them on the Merlin VSM's just to get a feel for how they would work in a system of exceptional transparency. When using a transistor amplifier like the RE Designs LNPA 150, I obtained about 95% of the positives experienced from the Sonoran Desert cables. Considering that the Sonorans are the best speaker cables known to me at any price for use with transistor amplifiers; doing 95% ain't too shabby! Closer in sound to the Silver Sonic with transistor amps were bi-wire samples from Cardas and Apex.

On tube equipment and hybrids such as the Counterpoint NPS mono amps and the Counterpoint NPS 100, the Silver Sonic competed with the best once again, a characteristic that I attribute to the competency of the design and the low capacitance. Remember, tube amps tend to puke-up when being force-fed high capacitance speaker cables. So, the controlled capacitance of the cable is a positive for tube amps.

Sonically, I found the VAC PA-160 to benefit from the T-14's, the combination being spacious and extended at both extremes. Impacts had some power to them and the stage was reasonably precise, though the performance level with the Silver Sonic was something short of that obtained with the more expensive Synergistic Research Signature No. 2 ($605/10ft. pair). Sonically, this cable comes at you with a very natural tonal balance from top to bottom, which surprised me considering the fact that the T-14's are not actually silver through-and-through. By that I mean that the Silver Sonic is actually silver plating over copper; a combination that I have had my doubts about in the past. It's also a combination that has been a part of many cables that I have sent back to manufacturers without review in BFS due to a perceived confusion in the upper mids. To say that this eminently affordable cable has been able to do what no other silver plated copper has would be a bit of an exaggeration. But what I can say is that to a great degree, and to a degree that is quite remarkable for the price, is that this cable has escaped the "silver plating blues" that plague the others. As already mentioned, the frequency extremes are just fine, and dynamics are explosive; nowhere is it bright and forward. Where this cable falls behind the Sonoran, and to some extent the Cardas, Apex and the above referenced Synergistic Research, is in dimensionality of image. And while images have a fair degree of depth and modeling, the feeling of something tangible in the room is somewhat lessened though not altogether lacking with the T-14 cable. The reason for this could be one of several things, including the type of dielectric used, the plating, wire configuration or termination - all things costing money to optimize to the Nth level. But this cable already delivers more at its price point than could be expected.

Should you buy the Silver Sonic? It's so much better than most things one can get at this price that I would consider it even if my budget would allow me to spend twice as much. If I didn't have at my disposal the Sonoran for transistors and the Synergistic Research for tubes (cables of much higher price), I could live happily with the Silver Sonic as my cable of choice.

Martin DeWulf