Among audiophiles of a certain era (me included), the mere mention of “silver” in the composition of wire conductors is enough to send us running for the exits. I certainly recollect earlier implementations of silver wire that produced upper octaves of fine, heightened detail and brilliance but that also balanced those elements on a knife’s icy edge. Like a multiway loudspeaker with poor interdriver coherence, cables with rising or phasey top octaves act like a hot tweeter—sounding piercing and discontinuous with the rest of the system. Thankfully advances in metallurgy have made these artifacts seem as if they belong to another age. Today, cables with pure silver conductors are vastly more refined. But often as not the silver is also overlaid onto copper. As implemented by Analysis Plus, the character of Silver Apex didn’t call attention to the upper octaves except to provide the focus and bloom that supports and actually seems to reinforce midrange and presence-range resolution.
A primary example is solo piano. During Glinka’s “The Lark,” a piece for solo piano, the impression was of effortless speed and of a soundboard constantly throwing off waves of resonance and harmonic sustain. There was no sense of a silvery tonal rise or any halo-like artifacts. The relationship between each series of notes and the acoustic of the venue could not have been more clearly balanced or expressed. Equally significant, before even the first piano note was struck the ambience of the venue could be heard around the concert grand—a sense of air thickening the atmosphere.
Throughout the evaluation period I was constantly reminded of Silver Apex fluency in reproducing cavernous acoustic spaces—when a cappella vocalist Laurel Massé sings her rendition of the old Quaker hymn “How Can I Keep From Singing,” there was an impression of being able to map the journey of her voice as each note gradually faded into the heights and recesses of New York’s Troy Savings Bank. It was a level of acoustic immersion that approached the segment-leading Tara Air Evolution (review in this issue) but went a step further than other cables I’ve auditioned in the specific way it mined micro-dynamics and low-level minutiae.
Silver Apex’s performance bore more than a passing resemblance to one of my longstanding references, Audience Au24SX. (I haven’t heard Audience’s recently announced flagship FrontRow series cables yet.) The voicing between these wires was similar in the way they expressed broader midrange texture and timbre. Common, too, was the open, artifact-free treble. Nonetheless, Silver Apex had the edge in lower frequency heft and dynamic energy. It was pretty much a dead heat as regards midrange dynamics and refinement. Overall the Audience skewed a bit mellower, a shade warmer, with Silver Apex gaining an advantage in speed and transparency. Both embody sonic values that are consonant with my own listening biases. And naturally, preferences being what they are, not everyone will agree with mine. That’s what makes a ball game.
Not inexpensive but still well within the bounds of high-end sanity, Silver Apex projected one of the most open and natural voices I’ve heard in a cable. It’s deliciously easy to listen to, as it just seems to step out of the signal’s path, clearing the way for a musical performance to commence. Yes, Silver Apex was a loudspeaker cable that made me want to shout, but for all the right reasons—a flagship-level cable that can stand its ground with the best of the best.
Specs & Pricing
Price: $3400/8 ft. spades or banana (add $400 with WBT0681 spade)
106 East Main Street
Flushing MI 48433 USA