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I once bought a few balanced cables that were a mixture of silver and copper strands, twisted together. I have never actually used them, as I decided to get some others that were occ coper (and variants of that copper type). However, I asked the company who made the cables if the mixture of metals could in fact result in a smearing of the audio as the signal would in theory (to my uneducated mind) travel along the two metals at a minutely different speed. They said that in theory I was correct!
I'm still not sure I was and I was hoping they would correct my poor understanding of electricity and conductivity and resistance etc etc, but in stead they kind if admitted a design floor, which they were actually marketing as the reason to but the cables! Lol
Btw, I have PS Audio balanced cables if both silver and OCC copper and both are great!
simply speaking, different material has different impedance, thus different frequency response.
Different materials do have slightly different frequency response do the the impedance not being constant across all frequencies. IIRC the difference between copper and silver is about .00025Ω (I estimated looking at the size of the grid) at 10000 Hz and lower frequencies have a lower impedance and a smaller difference between them. I have a graph if you are interested. The part about the signal travelling at different speeds is NOT true.
While it is a fact that it changes the impedance, there is no empirical evidence in sound improvements yielded by silver over OFC. Furthermore, headphones are designed and tested with the cables they ship with, not gold or silver wires. If anything, swapping to an ultra low or ultra high impedance cable can make sound worse before it makes it better.
Copper and Silver have different latices, different magnetic fields, different everything. Recommending a silver cable is akin to selling snake oil to cure cancer. Just because you noticed an improvement does not mean it is 1) an actual improvement and 2) the improvement will be appreciated by others.
To anyone reading this not already dead set on buying silver cables: Don't do it. Ignore the hype, and look for real measurements and A/B listening tests.
1. the impedance includes not only resistance, but also inductance and capacitance
2. to change the impedance is to change the frequency responses. The change does not necessarily imply improvement, it could be in either direction, it could be perceivable or negligible.
exactly, this is why recommending silver is not a service. It frustrates me that people blindly 1) recommend silver and 2) act like they can actually tell it is better. While it does for sure change response, the magnitude of change is not all that much and more often than not the change is arguably for the worse. Headphones need to be as close to the lab conditions used for design to get the engineered sound. User mods are fine if they don't like the sound headphones make, but at that point, changing the sound makes them not what they were.
I use my X1 headphones with their 'high impedance' stock cable. The amount of work that went into the design, and everything included in the package -- it is all intentional. While the sound with lower impedance may seem better to some, it isn't to me. I can't quantify it, but the sound simply is not as intentional with a 'better cable'. It is like throwing a high flow filter on a carburated motorcycle.. it breaks the balance of the entire engine, for worse. It changes everything. The difference is that you can tune the carbs to fit the filter, you can't change the driver/coil design to benefit from the lower impedance.