The Great Copper Versus Silver Experiment (Well not really, but I tried and would appreciate your insight)

OK, I have a pair of HR Shearwaters and also a pair of original early Kestrals (non-HR). - and no - sorry, I will never sell either pair. Even though the Kestrels are sitting in boxes in a closet, I do drag them out now and then and I am amazed.

For speaker wires, I have a bi-wired set from Coincident Speaker Technology (CST 1.0) that I use for the Shearwaters. (Copper).

For the Kestrels I have DH Labs Silver sonic "Q-10 signature." (not bi-wire, silver-plated copper)

I also happen to have some (what I think of as nice) copper interconnects, Acoustic Zen "Oscar Link"- (it's one of their former cheapie interconnects but I like them and I don't like spending too much $ on interconnects).
- and I also have some Silver Sonic BL-2 interconnects (silver coated copper again).

So it occurred to me, why not, (in may spare time :) try a great copper versus silver (coated copper) experiment?! (Using the Shearwaters).

Last week I bought some DH Labs banana jumpers as I was interested in doing this experiment...

The problem with the experiment is that I have no "control" and I can't be blinded... My day gig is actually writing about science. I respect and understand objectivity, and p-values, etc., but there was no way to do that in this case. I mean, my girlfriend wouldn't have the patience to keep me blindfolded (for this situation) and swap out wires. And besides, I wouldn't trust her to hook everything up the right way. She just appreciates when things sound nice. The other option is that we have a wonderful son in his late 20's living nearby, but I'd probably have to pay him..

So I did my own subjective listening. Nothing against either wire set, especially because it was obviously biased from the start. Copper bi-wire won over single silver with jumpers. I noticed compressed dynamic range with the single-run silver w/jumpers, (but also some nice broad/extended frequency response). Bottom line, the copper bi-wire seemed more pleasing than the silver-coated wires with jumpers. but that's not their fault. A Bi-wire set might have won.

WHICH BRINGS UP THE QUESTION: Actually two questions. Please bear with me because I'm not an EE...

Would there be any benefit to using my CST Bi-wire and also hook up the jumpers I recently purchased on the speakers? (Or would this just defeat the purpose?) Sorry for my naivety and ignorance.

Final most important question:
What do y'all think about using the copper bi-wires to the woofer and the silver coated wires to the tweeter? It would look a bit messy in the room but I think I could convince my better-half of how important it is if that winds up sounding better.

Thanks for any thoughts,
J

BTW - I love my system the way it sounds today, but just enjoy doing minor inexpensive tweaks in my spare time for the fun (and frustration) of it.
 
The only way you can get conclusive results here is to apply Scientific method to this.eg. you identify all the variables, look at them and sift out the control variables then the independent and dependent ones. Then design your experiment to change just one independent and measure the appropriate dependent variable. Add to that that you are a human being and as such you will need to position yourself as close as possible to as close to being a non influence on the results.........then when you get your results you will need to conclude from them objectively and subject them to peer review....
 
Ha! Right you are.
Agree. The method and peer review is the only way.
-but I would only submit to, and accept being reviewed by top tier folks affiliated with journals with a high impact factor.
You know, like "Nature Audiophile."

Unfortunately this is a simple home experiment. I just wanna wear the blindfold, hear good tunes and report anecdotal data. It's a single case study, won't be statistically significant, and includes dependence on my own ears, which in themselves are a big variable depending on the time of day..
J

But seriously, I'm interested in people's thoughts on the bi-wiring topic. I have two sets of decent wires, and now jumpers, and don't know what best to do with them.
 
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JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
It’s just a stereo. Nobody gets hurt if you get it wrong, and the only thing you’re ever going to do with it is enjoy a subjective art form, music, where 90% of the equation - the performance and the recording, including an amount of purposefully added distortions in the recording chain, is out of your control. My advice? After years of obsessing the fun out music? Relax. If you make tweaks and one sounds better to you than another, even if you didn’t measure, then that’s the one that’s better for the only thing the stereo is for : enjoying music.

As for the actual question it’s speaker dependent. On my Harbeths, silver jumpers and single wire instead of biwire and no jumpers or copper jumpers and single wire, was best to my ears and my taste. It’s be different in a different context. No I didn’t measure nor did I care to.
 
Thank you PM, Gryphon and John. My original post may have been too long-winded. I was feeling kinda verbose at 4 in the morning. I wonder why. Yes, my ears are doing the judging and I always enjoy the music. I was just curious as to Meadowlark owners if there was a consensus on copper vs silver, but of course it's subjective, ear, room and system dependent. Personally, I notice a bigger difference rolling pre tubes than when swapping wires. After comparing what I have on hand over the past few days, for the Shearwaters, I prefer the bi-wired copper speaker cables and the silver plated ICs.
 

Wntrmute2

Not So Mediocre Member
I THINK that with a bit of listening either set-up will settle into your brain just fine. I'd probably run the Bi-wires to the woofers and the single wires to the tweeters. No jumpers - just let that be your new standard.

 

TubeHiFiNut

Administrator
Ha! Right you are.
Agree. The method and peer review is the only way.
-but I would only submit to, and accept being reviewed by top tier folks affiliated with journals with a high impact factor.
You know, like "Nature Audiophile."

Unfortunately this is a simple home experiment. I just wanna wear the blindfold, hear good tunes and report anecdotal data. It's a single case study, won't be statistically significant, and includes dependence on my own ears, which in themselves are a big variable depending on the time of day..
J

But seriously, I'm interested in people's thoughts on the bi-wiring topic. I have two sets of decent wires, and now jumpers, and don't know what best to do with them.
Pay no attention to folks who insist that you have to rigorously follow scientific method, do double blind testing and submit your results for peer review. Works for pharmaceuticals, but not so much in audio.

Try different configurations and select whichever one sounds best to you - that begs you to listen to more music.

Trust your ears and your audio preferences.

Just my opinion. :)
 
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