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Silver vs. Copper interconnects


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4 replies to this topic

#1 of 5 Ryan_MF

Ryan_MF

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Posted July 03 2003 - 04:18 AM

Is there really a difference?

I'm going to be upgrading my amp to a Rotel RMB-1075 and DVD/DVD-A player to a Rotel RDV-1060. When I do, I'll have the opportunity to get a full trade-in on my MIT AVt 3-series copper interconnects if I upgrade to the MIT AVt 1-series silver interconnects. Will it be worth it? Does the silver-copper difference really matter?

#2 of 5 RobertR

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Posted July 03 2003 - 04:33 AM

The only difference between copper and silver in electrical terms is a slight difference in resistance. The difference is inaudible.

#3 of 5 Shane Martin

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Posted July 03 2003 - 04:39 AM

Ryan,
As you know interconnects and the like are a very big subjective subject that hasn't been solved yet and won't be ever IMHO. Best bet is if your dealer has a return policy that he could allow you to bring them both home to compare and make up your own mind. Atleast you know if there is a difference then as opposed to 10 of us or more arguing the same old subject for another 10-200 post extravaganza which usually solves nothing. I know people who swear by their silver interconnects.

Give it a try and let us know what you found.

#4 of 5 RobertR

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Posted July 03 2003 - 06:37 AM

Quote:
know people who swear by their silver interconnects.


And some people swear by copper bracelets, but that doesn't make them an effective cure for arthritis.

#5 of 5 Chu Gai

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Posted July 03 2003 - 08:14 AM

Of course it doesn't Robert. Coral Calcium as espoused on those infomercials is the cure for that!!

With regards to interconnects, you can get them shielded or twisted, or some permutation of those. It only matters in very unusual situations where you've got a particular problem with say RFI/EMI that's of sufficient strength to cause a problem.
In the vast majority of cases, your source component is of a substantially (10x or greater) lower impedance than your destination. In this case, the only electrical parameter that matters is the capacitance of the cable. It doesn't matter if it's silver or copper. It doesn't matter if it's 18 or 20 or 30 gauge wire. The resistance of the wire is irrelevent.

To elaborate on the cable capacitance, engineering wise, lower #'s are better than greater however unless you're runnning very very long lengths (say 50 feet or more) or happen to be using a passive preamp, it's pretty much a non-issue. What excess capacitance does is result in a very slight roll off in the very high frequency region but in the lengths you're probably looking at (a couple of meters) you'd need an extraordinarily high level of capacitance before issues became audible.

So what cables have respectable capacitance #'s? Radio Shacks are around 30 pF/foot. I'd consider setting myself an arbitrary budget. Let's say you need 6 but don't want to go over $100. Then consider what else might be important to you. Locking RCA's? Nice appearance? Whatever. Develop a short list. Ask for capacitance values (any reputable person making this stuff on the web ought to be able to provide you the values.) Then just pick one. BTW, you'll find that the RCA interconnects that are used in car stereo installations, like StreetWires work just perfectly. You might even find them at very attractive prices too.

If you want more background regarding interconnects ask, and I'll post some links. The engineering behind this has been known for several decades. Rocket science it ain't.