August 14, 2009

Tale Of Three Heavenly Fairy Sisters. Siltech G7 Classic 25th Anniversary 330L, 550L & 770L.

The Siltech G7 Classic 25th Anniversary speaker cable.

Sin Lui, in the Chinese Cantonese dialect, so popularly spoken here in Kuala Lumpur, means Heavenly Fairy. How did all this came about in an high end audio speaker cable review?

I've been playing with the Siltech G7 Classic 25th Anniversary 330L speaker cable for a while now. My hifi buddy Wong, came over for a hang out one day, after playing a few songs, he asked, "did you do anything to your hifi?, the highs sounded like Sin Lui ha fan, Sin Lui san fa!(Heavenly Fairies summoned to toss flowers to the ground)" To understand the meaning, look at the image of Chinese traditional Heavenly Fairies below.
An image of Chinese traditional Heavenly Fairies, tossing flowers.

My reply, "it must be the Siltech speaker cable that just came in for review". News soon spread, more and more hifi buddies came knocking on my door, wanting to experience the said phenomenon for them selves.
The stainless steel collar indicating Classic Anniversary model.

Since we're on the subject of the Siltech speaker cable range, John, boss of CMY Audio Visual, very kindly allowed OdioSleuth and me to experience the whole G7 Classic 25th Anniversary series, starting with the 330L, 550L & the big heavenly fairy sister 770L. The Siltech G7 metallurgy combines silver and gold alloy in balanced pair twisted configurations. The build quality and construction detail of these cables are of very high standards. They are built to much more exacting standards than the older Siltech G5 Classic 20th Anniversary LS-88 that my friend allowed me to play with when he upgraded his cable to the latest G7 550L! The in house milled terminations are of much higher quality fit and finishing wise, compared to those WBT supplied ones used on the G5 Classic LS-88. The terminations are also more precise in finger feel as you tighten the grips on the amp and speaker terminal, reducing the probability of shorting as the cables do not drop off after tightening, something which I cannot say about the G5 Classic LS-88's WBT supplied terminations.
The cables are very flexibly manage able.

All the G7 cables looks like of the same gauge, but does grow heavier in weight as you climb the range ladder. The good part is that the cables are never stiff like some other's, always very easy to handle and manipulate plus looks very low key in the scheme of things. The only stand out feature is the stainless steel collars, with 25th Anniversary markings, wrapped around both ends of the cable. The 550L and 770L are serial numbered in matched pairs and are subjected to factory pre delivery burn in. The cheaper 330L makes do without the special treatment.
The 770L top, 550L middle and 330L bottom, looks like similar gauge size but note the twisting! More twist on the higher models.

Although there is also the entry level 220L in the range, I'll disregard that for now, as that is of Siltech G6 metallurgy technology. Why buy yesterday's technology new, unless buying used at much lower entry cost, than I believe it'll make sense.
Note the serial no. engraved, just at the bottom of the collar!

Here we start with the 330L,li'll Sin Lui sister.

Coming from the Siltech G5 Classic LS-88 and the 3 times cheaper Straightwire Maestro II, I was immediately impressed with the level of transparency, the much wider band width in frequency response extension on both extremes and the degree of quietness in the back ground, it's like as if there's no back ground!(at least until you start comparing with the cables higher up the range!)While the highs has a very similar familiarity to the G5 Classic LS-88's openness, the G7 improves upon with a more airy presentation, especially in the high mids, making vocals loose that throaty dryness so apparent on the older cable. The mids have a weightier presentation too, compared to the G5 cable. Bass is also more robust and notes are defined, though does not extend quite as low as the levels set by the JPS Super Conductor 3 which I had played with in June. The comparison will almost certain make the older G5 cable sound very lean indeed. The G7 cable is tonally very balanced with a tinged of lushness built in for good measure. Not only that, the G7 330L speaker cable is also extremely musical in flow. I always end up foot taping, sub consciously enjoying what ever music I am playing at the moment. Disc after disc, I could now listen the whole disc thru, never wanting to skip the unpleasant tracks on a CD which the audiophile in me used to do, that's a good musical sign. This is inherently one of the most musical cables I've come across so far. The overall staging and imaging presentation is very organically wide with good depth perception. I was playing Jennifer Warnes, The Well CD and track 6, And so it goes, with the opening piano bars, I could heard so many pressing of the foot pedals, where previously I only heard a faint pedal movement. The piano was full and had excellent woody reverb and decay qualities. I could also at times hear Jennifer Warnes, ever so gently breath in to the microphone, just in between verses. I am also rediscovering many of my old favorites too, like in Telarc's Round Up CD, on track 12,a medley of Western songs and at the Shanendoah part, the chorus choir boys all lined up behind the stage of the instruments which is further up front was breathtaking, I could count the number of mouths per left/right side of the stage! I also thought this cable is much better at presenting micro dynamics of a solo acoustic guitar, over the slightly curtailed macro dynamics of an orchestra at full crescendo. OdioSleuth mentioned that he thought the female vocals even sounded sweetly seductive(just like during your honeymoon?, He!He!) when he visited me briefly. It's that good!

Next up, the 550L, 2nd Sin Lui sister.

Moving up to the next in the G7 Classic range brought about even higher levels of transparency, wider bandwidth in frequency response and an further quietened back ground. Whilst tonally very similar to the 330L, the highs are somewhat further refined, till in comparison the 330L starts to sound a little fury around the edges. The mids are further flushed out and vocals are now chestier. Bass is now JPS Super Conductor 3 tight, but still just doesn't dive as low just yet. The staging and imaging aspect of this cable is again superior, with further defined images within the sound stage, making what I had experienced with the 330L sounded like mere hints of the event. Again, I take Jennifer Warnes, The Well CD, again track 6, the opening piano bars, the amount of foot pedal work involved is fully revealed, not only just that, I could even hear the foot pedal action which the hammer lined with a certain damper, softly striking the strings!!! I was gob smack by this level of truthful transparency! But there's a small catch. I did felt this cable is significantly better technically, it didn't quite move me as much on an emotional level compared to the 330L. The 550L ticked all the right audiophile boxes on the technical checklist, but yet some how, the music just felt a little mechanical. Again, this is only apparent if you compared, otherwise, I would believe it's an non issue.

Lastly, the 770L big Sin Lui sister.

The big sister is like having both the technical superiority 550L and the musical presentation of the 330L in one cable! In other words, the all conquering JPS Super Conductor 3(retailing at RM$13K+ for a 2.5m pair) is now finally being put in to it's place. I've being listening to it for the last few days, trying very hard to find fault with the cable, yet I always ended enjoying the music for a few hours irregardless, failing miserably in my fault finding quest! The highs are magically smooth, extended as high to near dog's hearing frequencies, and yet have just the right amount of texture to make high hats and cymbals sound real. The mids are full bodied, and vocals just about to "pop" out of the three dimensional sound stage palpably, set further back. The bass goes very low and is uber tight, with excellent transient response when portraying up right bass instruments, making musical note to note highly discern able. The result is realistically effortless refinement, combined with some of the best transient response. The micro/macro dynamics response are just equally as strong. In the end, I don't know if I am listening to the limits of the speaker cable, or the limits of my system? I personally feel this cable is capable of so much more than I can describe here, in the context of the "right" system. After all, this cable's pricing belongs to a much, more elite class of audio category as it's naturally respected partners. Certainly, this is the very best speaker cable I've ever came across so far till this date!
Another look at the smartly finished high quality cable.

Summary.

The 330L, li'll heavenly fairy sister is the most seductive, forgiving and musically gifted of the three. She may have with held a few truths here and there, yet needed just to be a little more polished, but she's so convincingly enjoyable in the company of music, who cares!

The 550L, 2nd heavenly fairy sister seems to suffer a bit of the middle child syndrome. She's very technically accomplished, yet remain ever so faithfully truthful but some how, at the end of the day, just manages to leave me searching for that li'll bit more soul in her beauty.

The 770l, big heavenly fairy sister is like the glamorous Hollywood starlet you've always dreamed about, yet never quite attainable. Highly sophisticated, poised, sexy and never puts a foot wrong. She always tells the truth so ever beautifully, it never seem to hurt a bit. However, she's only available for the pleasure of a select few "privileged souls" to enjoy her ever so technically perfect, yet musically satisfying company.

In short, the Siltech G7 Classic 330L is more for the musical lover, whilst the 550L is more for those whom seek the "absolute sound" and the 770L gives you the best of both worlds. It's amazingly flawless.

The retail prices of the Slitech G7 Classic 25th Anniversary speaker cables, 2.5m pair lengths are as follows:

330L = RM$ 9,320/pair
550L = RM$17,580/pair
770L = RM$30,520/pair
My very own beautiful and seductive,"Sin Lui san fa!"

One final question perhaps all of you reading could ask your self. What price would you pay to summon the heavenly fairies to accompany you on your musical journeys?

I bought the review sample of the Siltech G7 Classic 25th Anniversary 330L speaker cable.

Siltech cables are sold by CMY Audio & Visual, tel: 03-21439206

5 comments:

Puchong said...

Oen day,when a guy was listening to big E's hifi,he jumped up suddenly and said why your highs are so beautiful, so like fairies tossing flowers? Big E just coyly had a satisfied smile on his face, oh, it seem that the little fairy sister was doing magic there,

A few days later, another guy went to listen to big E's system, This time this guy listened for half an hour, totally speechless, Looking around, oh this time it was the fairy eldest sister tossing flower, This time big E also coyly had a satisfied smile and he thought to himself, let's see how you can escape the eldest fairy's seduction,

Later discussing with friends, a guy said it was worth investing in such great cables, Another non audiophile friend said how you can say it is worth it This time it was me who smiled coyly and sighed, hifi really can be a bottomless pit that sucks some people in.

David said...

I feel that i am reading fairy tale not hifi review.

Big E said...

David,

What's life without a little bit of fairy tale? Wouldn't you secretly wish for a fairy tale to happen to you?

No worries. Just trying to fairy things up a bit. That's all.

S8 said...

Whichever fairy you choose to accompany your audio quest, ask for factory build-in jumpers, its worth the long wait & extra cash. I home auditioned CMY-stock 550L & 770L (all w/o jumper) against LS88 SATT with build-in jumpers. 770L of course wins in all aspects. However, I found the LS88 SATT musically more engaging compared to 550L although G7 is spec'd to be 10,000 times more quiter. I kept the LS88 SATT.

ahmad shahrin ramli said...

First picture looks fake