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Siltech Classic Legend cables

Like all good cables, the Siltech Cables Classic Legend takes a while to run in. It’s not that ‘snooty’ about running in (as in, if you want to use a burn-in disc or machine, that’s fine) and once run in, it stays run in. The good news is the cables don’t need that much of a run in, anyway (a few days of music playing should do it) and they don’t go through one of those audio-psychosis run-in periods where they seem to undergo good and bad mood swings as the cable gets into its groove. It’s good out of the box. It gets better. Nothing tonally changes, just detail gets more, er, detail-y.

Having not reviewed Siltech Cables in the magazine for ages, and having not personally reviewed any Siltech Cables… ever. I started this review with a more or less clean sheet. I had some private experience of Siltech that was a very positive experience, and I distinctly remember Siltech being one of dozens of brands I auditioned in a blind listening panel for a rival magazine. But both of these events were back in the 20th Century, and a lot has changed since then.

Within a few minutes of serious listening, my first note on the page was “Why haven’t I used Siltech Cables more often?” because all that ‘TL:DR’ introductory preamble tells you everything and nothing about Classic Legend. The ‘everything’ part is that all that science does net an extremely neutral and exceptionally detailed cable series. The ‘nothing’ part is just how good that sounds beyond that.

The science bit speaks of a cable that is profoundly neutral… for good reason. Classic Legend is an extremely neutral conductor, adding or subtracting next to nothing to the sound of the equipment. It’s also extremely consistent: swap digital converters and the Siltech cable that wasn’t in the way of the first one, isn’t in the way of the second. Switch from solid-state to valve amplification and the same applies. That’s an outstanding job for a cable.

Where this bangs up against the limits of our terminology is that can read remarkably like a dull, measured and bland performance; a technical exercise in component connection. Some part of your consciousness starts reciting the famous ‘Cuckoo Clock’ speech from The Third Man at this point. But this sort of neutrality is not bland or simply ‘technically adept’; it’s the deepest goal of audio and what the magazine is all about: high-fidelity. Far from being a kind of bland neutrality, The Classic Legend sparkles by letting everything through.

Whether it’s because our terminology is flawed or because we have become so used to preferring ‘zing’ to ‘absolute accuracy’ is unclear. But that’s probably the only thing that is ‘unclear’ about the Siltech Cables Classic Legend. It’s uncannily natural and musically-directed, leaving the field open for the sound of the source to meet the sound of the amplifier with the minimum of impact.

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Each component of the musical whole is attenuated more by the execution of the rest of the system than it is by the connections between components. That is, ultimately, how things should be, but it’s only when you hear something like Classic Legend do you realise how much that goal of hi-fi is more honoured in the breach than the observance. And yes, I know this phrase is often misunderstood in the way I just misunderstood it, and that doesn’t really sit well when discussing a cable that prides itself on absolute honesty and integrity, but the phrase’s modern idiom is easier to understand and doesn’t require a knowledge of Danish drinking customs of the 13th Century.

Classic Legend (in all three flavours) doesn’t do what you might expect to your system. If you are expecting expanding soundstages or magical vocal projection and articulation… you really need to look to improving your electronics and loudspeakers. Similarly, although Classic Legend (again in all three flavours, and from power or network switch to speaker terminal) is at once a dynamic sound and detailed cable, it’s more an open window on your system than having any properties of dynamic range or detail in itself. These are aspects of performance that once again, the Siltech designs try their level best not to alter or interfere. In fact, you could point to almost any reviewing terminology and say the same ‘get out of the way’ point.

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Tags: INTERCONNECT CABLES LOUDSPEAKER CABLES POWER CORDS SILTECH CLASSIC LEGEND USB CABLE

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