It came as some surprise to me that, when it comes to Siltech Cables, we hadn’t looked at a single cable in the range for the longest time. Our last reviews of Siltech products were all about the company’s high-end amplifiers; fine, and very impressive in their own right, but hardly representative of the company and practically all of its output. It’s a little like spending time discussing a brand like Mont Blanc and forgetting about its line of pens.
Siltech Cables makes several ranges of cables, each with a name that sounds like a brand of whisky that sponsors golf tournaments; Royal Signature, Triple Crown, Classic Anniversary and now the new Classic Legend series. So sit back and pour yourself a glass of Classic Legend (just a dash of water, please… no ice), while I tee off.
Classic Legend is three different classes of cables in one; 380, 680 and 880, each having its own interconnects, speaker and power cables. There are also digital, USB and even network cables, but even if they are in one of the three classes, these stand alone in the Classic Legend range.
Core to the Classic Legend is the company’s new G9 silver-gold conductors. Metallurgy is a big concern with Siltech Cables, and the company prides itself on its research-based development of cables using the latest metallurgical developments. Edwin Rynveld, CEO and Head of Engineering of Siltech Cables, is the kind of guy who would have a subscription to Ruthenium News if such a title existed, and keeps ahead of the curve when it comes to developments in everything pertaining to the improvement of audio in general and cables in particular, so it might come as no surprise that where most cable brands make no great distinction about the metallic make-up of their cables (“It’s gold an’ silver, innit”), this is the ninth generation of silver-gold alloy used in Siltech Cable’s line since the early 1980s.
As the name suggests, G9 is Siltech Cable’s ninth (and most current) silver-gold alloy generation developed by the company’s metallurgists. They spent over 12 years of research and testing to develop a material that offers a significant, audible, and measurable improvement of the company’s previous G7 generation solid silver-gold wire (S8 being a solid-core monocrystal silver cable of the highest purity used in the flagship Crown models). The result of the G9 project is silver-gold alloy with up to two-times larger conductors than previous generations with an extraordinarily reduced boundary distortion of 0.01%. This 9th generation of Siltech silver-gold alloy contains all the latest developments and improvements in the melting process, resulting in an even smoother sound and improved cable run-in times.
Going a little deeper (and perhaps highlighting the difference between actual metallurgy and someone who looks up the properties of wire in a cable catalogue) Siltech’s proprietary silver-gold alloy works to improves a natural silver wire by adding traces of gold to fill the microcracks that occur during the solidification process. This means silver conductors injected with gold, rather than simple gold-plating. This has been a core component of Siltech Cables and has been improved upon time and again since the company started the process back in 1997.
Siltech’s silver-gold alloy process is able to reach a purity of 9N by increasing the filling rate of the crystal structure gaps to the highest possible level. Launched in May this year, the Classic Legend Series is the first cable range using G9.
Alongside the new elements relevant to the latest Classic Legend, there are also standard Siltech Cable elements common to all designs in the range. Siltech holds that an ideal cable should have zero series resistance (R), zero capacitance (C) and zero inductance (L). That is, of course, notional because its functionally impossible to create such a conductor, but the lower each of these basic properties of wire can get, the more stable the sound of the system. The idea being you effectively remove the low-pass filter created by higher series impedance from high inductance, lower the capacitive load for any input, and reduce the general distortion additional series resistance introduces.
Another important concern held by Siltech Cables is that because there is no one system that Siltech Cables are used with, any form of filtration or alteration of the signal will change the performance of a system in unpredictable ways. While this sounds like stating the obvious (cables are not tone controls), this maxim becomes more important with cable length; a design needs to be stable enough to sound identical regardless of whether a cable is 1m or 8m long. Once again, this ties in with striving to produce as low as possible LCR figures in Siltech Cables.
The ‘TL:DR’ version of all this is “it’s nerd stuff, but good nerd stuff.”
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