Publisher Profile

Wireworld Cable Technology Silver Eclipse Cables Review

By: |

Taking what may be the two most significant variables in cable design, David has tweaked the shape and the substance of the Silver Eclipse 5 Squared group. The physical changes need not be earth shattering; the precise difference between the Equinox and Eclipse series lies in a thin layer of silver and a conductor upgrade from 12 Ga. to 10 Ga. That doesn’t sound like much, but it does yield much improvement – that is, much higher quality to the sound!

I recall a commercial from ancient television for Reeses Peanut Butter Cups. An “accident” would occur involving a jar of peanut butter and a chocolate bar; if I recall correctly it involved Frankenstein and Count Dracula, and the two would merge. The great discovery was that they were better together, the tagline being, “Two great tastes that taste great together!” Consider that when two critical aspects of a cable design are varied, gauge and conductor material, you have the makings for the emergence of a great “new taste” in audiophile wiring.

Indeed, just as cabling collectively has an impact greater than any one cable, so also design changes in cables are more effective when multiplied. However, if one goes too far, then the winning scheme is lost to an unfamiliar, unproven one. Upon analysis, the dual adjustment made to the Silver Eclipse is likely at the limits of what could be changed without impairing David’s design.

Running a silver coated copper conductor might not be enough on its own, but doing so with increased total gauge can produce an efficacious change. Upping the total gauge is one of the easiest ways to enhance cabling’s sonic properties. While arguments abound on both sides of the “Gauge Fence”, some demanding more, some less, I have settled on the perspective that more is indeed more. I typically hear more heft in the bottom-end, more fullness from cables with high total gauge conductors, meaning the cumulative gauge, not the size of individual conductors.

The Silver Eclipse 5 Squared is no exception. I have tried the single, thin, open air dielectric cables, etc. and have not yet been bowled over by them. They are nice but I have yet to hear them sound nasty! The higher the level of box components used, the more I am settled in this trend. I am open to having this perspective reversed through my own cable comparisons (not through argumentation), but at this time I am on the large gauge side of the “cable fence”.

An extremely fine test presented itself in this review, as the Helix speaker system being an externally crossed speaker requires three sets of speaker cables. David and I discussed the power ratings of the Jeff Rowland MC-606 Multi-Channel Amp and the driver configuration of the Helix. Our agreement was that the Silver Eclipse (silver coated copper) should be used on the mids and treble driver sets, and the Eclipse (pure copper) would be fine for the bass drivers. In short, it wasn’t. Regardless of having complete frequency control over the bass drivers with the Helix’s processor, there was a perceptible disconnect in resolution and “rightness” of the bass. In comparing cables, I typically swap them on bi-wirable and tri-wirable speakers to hear what precisely is happening with them. It can be most enlightening.

I saw the light when I bumped up the Eclipse from the bass drivers to the mids. The light, airy, robust midrange disappeared and in its place was portentous, enormous bass. All the extra delicacy and finesse of the Silver Eclipse had been transferred to the bass. I knew instantly that the use of one set of the standard Eclipse cables had been a mistake! The Ayon CD-3, Rowland amplification and Legacy Helix speakers as a set have such marvelous revelatory power that they dictated that the cable selection was inappropriate – we should have used three identical sets.
I was on the phone to David within the hour. A few short days later the additional set of Silver Eclipse were breaking in; immediately they passed the law of efficacy. It took no effort whatsoever to hear the tonality, intensity and clarity of the drivers mesh properly, spreading evenly across the face of the speaker. This is an important finding for those who are trying to get by with multiple brands of cables in their rig. The higher up one reaches in terms of performance of the components, the less one can get away with a mismatch of cables, even of the same brand!

When using $20-30K rigs for my own listening pleasure, I used to toy with mismatched cables. Now, following the experience I have had with the Super-review, I will no longer sit still for bi-wired and tri-wired speakers being mismatched, even if they are of the same brand. The potential for disruption to the coherence of the speaker is too great. The experiment demonstrated to me that in the $25K and up category such commingling of cables should be verboten.

The Eclipse speaker cable, which was rejected in that particular mode, was only one model step away from the Silver Eclipse! The variance in one step between cables was so easily heard as to be readily noticeable. The “take away” lesson here is that synergy between components does not trump symmetry between cables. Note this well: If you ignore similarity in cabling you are likely limiting your system’s performance, or, more positively stated, not allowing for optimum performance.

“Silver does not have a particular sound of its own, it merely lets you hear more of whatever is going on,” remarks David Salz. That is an interesting observation, and I will be thinking that over as the months roll on. I’m not sure how a conductor can have no sound of its own in comparison to a different material, but still allow the listener a clearer window to the music. I would think that the increased resolution, information retrieval, etc. would be part of that conductor’s sound.

Regardless of the sonic changes brought about by the use of silver or the geometry of the cables, one thing was clear – the music. I could pull any disc from my collection, or hear any track from the Sonos Digital Music System, and the result was increased focus. I have several discs which are used to assess top-end energy, specifically if it is too great. One is Tom Cochrane’s The Symphony Sessions, a live recording which will nearly grate on the nerves if a system is too pronounced in the highs. When Tom’s guitar riffs reach their peak, the highest notes can be a needle probing the brain cavity.

All is not lost in such situations. A system-wide use of Silver Eclipse cabling was too forward, too “pushy” for my ears through the Helix. The solution was not difficult at all; I merely inserted one Electra power cable on the system’s processor! I wonder how many people ignore the processor when it comes to upgrading power cords. They should not, as it makes as much a difference as other components. When I changed only that one power cord from the Silver Eclipse to the entirely copper Electra, the stress and sheen were eliminated. I was able to let Tom’s electric guitar wail away at higher levels with no discomfort. This gives some clue as to the refined level of tuning I was engaged in. On many rigs these nuances would not be discerned, much less worthy of addressing. However, on ultra high-end systems, such seemingly mundane changes are like additional layers of lacquer on a piece of artwork, transforming it from striking to stunning.

In looking for the “value added” aspect of Wireworld Cables, I have surmised that it may lie in the unusual aspect of the silver clad lugs used on all its power cords. Imagine how much we fanatics froth about silver in interconnects and speaker cables, but don’t think about the spades of the power cables touching the outlet! I asked Dave how he felt it improves the performance of his cables. He was quite informative, “Despite the fact that Wireworld was the first company to offer solid silver RCA plugs and spade plugs in 1992, I was still shocked by the dramatic improvement I heard when I tested the first silver-clad power plugs…” He also pointed out that silver has a lower contact resistance than any other metal, which means improved current flow and reduced noise. In Wireworld power cords, a thick layer of silver is placed over the base metal, as opposed to a thin silver layer over nickel used by many other manufacturers.

I was surprised recently when I exchanged the power cords being used on the Legacy Helix Speaker’s subwoofers. I had been using Xindak PF Gold cords on them, but opted to place the introductory level Stratus 5 Squared power cord, right at the $100 mark – you betcha it’s got the same plug as the higher end models – on them. It was déjà vu as the humble power cord lifted the performance of the entire speaker simply by cleaning up and extending the subwoofer’s performance. I had seen Wireworld Cables perform similarly small miracles in the past.

“Seen it. Done it. Been There. Déjà vu,” intones the voice on Mars Lasar’s track by the same title of his 11:02 disc. Play the song over and over – you get the same thing. Change the cables from Equinox to Silver Eclipse and you haven’t seen it, haven’t done it, haven’t been there, and you definitely are not experiencing déjà vu! Every electronic run becomes more extended in the black background of space. His choral backed vocals are more ghostly, with an echo-like reverberation in the expanse of a galaxy.

I very much enjoy electronic music, and a pleasant discovery was the more recently released Alan Parsons’ A Valid Path. The opening track is “Return to Tunguska”, which likely is a reference to the Tunguska Event of 1908, a supposedly meteor or comet strike. I knew this disc was going to be unusual as it incorporates cameos by John Cleese and Orson Wells!

I like listening to this disc lately as it is a good indicator of a system’s ability to parse dense electronic media. In one sense, I perfectly understand when symphonic, chamber music or solo acoustic pieces are used in assessment of components. However, I find that if one is intimately familiar with synthesized music, it also can be a fine indicator of a system’s capabilities. Case in point, on “Return to Tunguska” the meandering, slurred, modulated “voice” sounding vaguely like Eastern chant seemed purely electronically generated when the Equinox wiring was in the system. However, when the more precise Silver Electra cables were inserted, I reassessed. I no longer could easily rule out that it was highly processed human voice. It was certainly much more beguiling, a Parsons ploy to play with the mind of the listener. Was the voice representative of humanity or some other fictionalized entity?

Continuing with the piece, there arrives the “blast” of bass (possibly symbolizing the Tunguska Event?), which echoes twice with each delivery. While listening to this segment with the Equinox, the bass was taut and elemental, like that of a fine bass guitar. However, with the Eclipse cabling the same bass line went from elemental to extraterrestrial: There was a “buzz” in the bass note, a metallic ring which represented something unearthly. These nuances reshaped the piece from mystery about a region of Russia to the tantalizing question, “Just what happened out there in the vastness of rural Russia in 1908?” This is what I find so compelling with the Silver Eclipse series, as it draws me another level deeper into the mystery of the music.
One Step Further

I was extremely pleased by the performance of the Silver Eclipse series in conjunction with the members of the Super-review. I had mentioned David’s cables to Bill Dudleston of Legacy Audio when the particular set of Helix speakers I am reviewing was being built. David supplied Legacy Audio with internal wiring, and it surely was a hit in my listening sessions. The Helix speakers seemed to synch with the cabling, and once the final set of Silver Eclipse speaker cables were placed, I had little desire to put any other speakers into the system.

The VAC Renaissance Signature Preamplifier MkII was superlative with the Silver Eclipse series cables. The VAC is ultra-refined and clear; one might think that a cable so precise as the Silver Eclipse, and power cables such as the Silver Electra, would be over the top in terms of detail. Not in my experience. As mentioned earlier, a single power cord moderated the treble tension, leaving the nearly immaculate detail intact without stress. A pervasive sense of truthful reproduction was the result. The use of the VAC and Eclipse cables blew the doors off the old perception that tube equipment isn’t as precise sounding as solid-state; it was both warm and precise!

In a similar vein, the Ayon CD-3 is an expansive, truthful sounding player. I have chronicled its virtues in its own Super-review article. The CD-3 sent prodigious amounts of data through the system. The Helix never reached its best without the Ayon player in place. Suffice it for now to say that the Wireworld cables performed on a level worthy of this two-chassis tube player.

I have now heard two entire suites of Wireworld cables, and have worked with four levels of their product. My initial conclusions remain intact: Each offering is premier in its category at revealing the music with elegance. The more David puts into his higher-end products, the more audiophiles win. Since my initial report on the Equinox cables, I have had opportunity to extend listening experiences with Wireworld products on several systems, and my impressions have deepened.

The Jeff Rowland MC-606 is a gargantuan performer, my model outfitted for 1,000wpc on four channels and 500wpc on two for treble. Having previously used the Wireworld on the 501 mono blocks, I knew it would mate well with the MC-606. I give a large part of the credit for the “breakthrough” experience in Class D amps, explained in the MC-606 review, to the Silver series cabling.

The Silver Eclipse series has made a profoundly positive impact on the listening experience. If you have a preference for high performance cabling and exquisite sound, they are not to be ignored. The capacity of Wireworld cables is so great that I can recommend audition of one or two power cords, interconnects, or a set of speaker cables.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Popups Powered By :