Triode Wire Labs Spirit II XLRs and DH Labs Revelation XLRs: a comparison

Yes, the subtext here is copper vs. silver.  I've read so many threads where people argued about attributing certain sonic qualities to silver cables that I got to the point where I wanted to hear for myself.

So when two NIB pairs of DH Lab Revelation XLRs came up on the other site at half price (a small audio dealer shutting down and liquidating all stock) I jumped.

I listened to them inserted in the main system detailed in my profile.  I let them settle, "burn in" (if that's what they do) for a good while (i.e. a couple of weeks), then reinserted the TWL and took notes.  Rinse and repeat.  Let me add that I am currently very content with the overall sonic presentation of the system, so I wasn't looking to change anything, it was just an experiment born of curiosity.

At the end of the day, here's what I heard, or didn't hear.  The two pairs of ICs were much more alike than different.  If you twisted my arm, I'd say that perhaps the DH Labs were slightly more sparkly in the upper registers, but I certainly wouldn't be comfortable trying to distinguish between them blind.  If there was a difference, it certainly wasn't more than that which could exist between two different makes of copper ICs with different internal construction.

My take-away.  Silver doesn't necessarily sound different to copper.  I won't try to extrapolate any broader conclusion, but it certainly gives the lie to blanket statements like "all silver cables sound Y compared to copper cables that sound X".

Feel free to attribute the lack of any major heard difference to the lack of resolution of my system, to my failing hearing, or perhaps to the fact that well designed and constructed cables made of copper or silver can both perform very well.


I believe you. There is usually very little difference in SQ between ANY cables. Form factor is often more important.

Regardless of whether the cable is made of silver, copper or any other material, system synergy is everything, and is all that matters. Period.  Simply pick the one that sounds best in your system, and be done with it.  Also, don't let anyone tell you ("fuzztone") that "There is usually very little difference in SQ between any cables."  In high end audio, even small subtle differences in SQ caused by any cable, tweak, room treatment, etc., can make a world of difference to the more discriminating audiophile.  Of course there will always be those naysayers who will deny the effectiveness and importance of quality cabling, tweaks and so forth.  That's there prerogative, and there loss.  Happy listening.  

The silver cables I use (Darwincables) don't have any of the anecdotally negative qualities that've become conventional wisdom nowadays. Even the earlier ones I tried could be mistaken for copper cables. 

Silver is a slightly better conductor, so when care and foresight is taken into the making of a cable, you can get better results though to some, they are minor and of no real consequence. 

It's at that point where the acrimony seems to arise. One man's minor difference is another man's breaking point. Some just need to get over themselves and stop trying to impose their belief systems on others and call it a day.

All the best,

I have nothing but praise for the DH Labs Silver Sonic Air Matrix Cryo. Used primarily on my digital side, prefer OCC copper on the analog side.