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Thursday, July 4, 2013

Silver vs Copper


As mentioned in the previous post about the two DHT line stages, I built one with copper LL1660 output transformer and the other with the silver version. As promised a description of the sound differences.

Readers of my blog will have noticed that I am not much of a wire guy. I do use silver wire in many of my builds but haven't found it to make a huge difference. In transformers however the impact of silver is at least an order of magnitude more audible.

The more I use silver transformers the more I appreciate them. I already used silver MC step ups, line input transformers and silver LCR RIAA coils with success. In the recently built DHT phono stage the silver output transformer adds a remarkable degree of clarity and transparency to the sound, retaining all the qualities of the design. Not that the version with copper transformer sounds muddled in any way. The silver just lifts it up a level.

Silver often has the reputation to sound bright or even a bit harsh or just 'silvery'. This is not my experience at all. Transparent yes, but it retains all the tone colours of a design and in some cases even enhances them. Totally smooth and enjoyable sound.

This recent experience made me curious about the sound of a linestage which is in the works with the same silver line out transformer and a silver TVC. Stay tuned for reports on this.

Best regards



  1. That is beautiful.
    Since I can't afford silver I'll have to live in my delusional world where it doesn't make a difference ;-)

  2. Silver... It my be cleaner and more transparent, but it has a bright, artificial, bleached, anaemic, harmonically similar quality, you must get over that cleanliness and listen to the big picture. If your system is not showing you the truth, build one that does.

    1. Hi! This is a common prejudice against silver and it is simply false. The effects I have heard with silver wired transformers and everybody else who used amps I built with silver wire experienced the contrary. A warmer, richer sound, no artificialness. Yes my system and the systems of those using silver amps from me might not show what you heard. But who's system is at fault here?

      Anyways I always say, use what you like and let other people use what they like. if you don't like silver, don't use it.