October 20, 2009

Upgrade Your Interconnects? Siltech Zero Ohm Link Jade.

Sign, sealed and delivered! The packaging and the QC check list, sign by the technician whom checked it before leaving Sitech's factory.

I was intrigue by Siltech's Zero Ohm Link concept. It's like an extra grounding within the interconnect, promising less noise and better dynamics due to improved signal to noise ratio within the interconnect cable.

I asked John of CMY to loan a pair of Siltech Zero Ohm Link Jade to try, along with it came the Siltech ST-18 IQ interconnect reviewed a few days earlier. John said the Siltech Zero Ohm Link Jade will certainly improve the budget ST-18 IQ. John really knows his products by heart!

How does one use the Zero Ohm Link? Well, you plug both ends of the Link in to both sides of your connecting equipment, then you plug your existing cable in to both ends of the Zero Ohm Link. That's easy.

The Siltech Zero Ohm Link Jade is part of the Classic Anniversary Series.

I have written extensively about the wonderfully competent Siltech ST-18 IQ. So I'll write about how the Sitech ST-18 IQ plus Zero Ohm Link combo sounds like. First thing that hit me was that the combo was way, way quieter, like as if the noise floor went down by a few levels. Back grounds are now pitch black, making musical images stand out from the back ground in an almost relief manner. Vocals gained weight and density, to the point the singer almost standing in front of your listening room. Also improved were transient response and dynamics of an orchestra on full crescendo hits that much harder too.

The ST-18 IQ plus Zero Ohm Link combo brought the overall performance level by an extra 10% or so, if I could estimate a measure able figure to it. Hence when I say, the combo moves the ST-18 IQ's performance levels that much closer to the way more expensive AQ Sky, which has been my permanent reference since last year. However, I must stress that the differences described above are rather subtle, and only post direct A/B comparison will become apparent. One would certainly not note the improvements otherwise. So the Zero Ohm Links does work as advertised, especially partnered with Siltech cables.

The Siltech Zero Ohm Link Jade plus ST-18 G3. Note the quality craftsmanship.

Then I got a little adventurous, and went on to try the Zero Ohm Link with my AQ Sky! The result that was most immediately notice able was the focus of the vocalist mouth size in the imaging. The mouth went from orange size to re-focused no bigger than a Malaysian 50 sen coin! Unless one likes small mouthed singers, and I know some people DO like that! Musical instruments also seemed more focused with stronger outlined at the seams of the images. I felt overall, the AQ Sky plus Zero Ohm Link resulted in a harder, less organic musical presentation. Not quite the qualities that I want in my system. Hence I would caution again that try before you buy is certainly a must if you do not have a Siltech interconnect to start with, or plan to partner the Zero Ohm Link with cables of other brands.

The Siltech Zero Ohm Link Jade plus my Audioquest Sky, doing connection service between my CD player and pre amp.

Now here's the shocking part, the price of the Siltech Zero Ohm Link Jade is RM$4650.00 for the XLR terminated 1.5M pair review sample. I could already see many of you asking, "why not just buy a new cable then?, wouldn't if be more worth while?" Well yes, that would be quite sensible too, but here's what I can see. If you already have one of Siltech's budget range cable, and seemed happy with it's sonic strengths, but wanna push the performance envelope a little further, then the Zero Ohm Link may just fit the bill. That value call will surely best left to your own judgement, as I know, the Jade is the entry level of the Zero Ohm Links, meaning there are more expensive ones available too!

Siltech is sold by CMY Audio & Visual, contact John, tel: 03-21439206


Big E said...

Sorry readers,

I made a slip up, it should be Siltech ST-18 IQ interconnects used in the review, a newer version of the Siltech ST-18 G3.

Appologies to the fine folks at CMY Audio Visual too.

Big E said...

Article has been amended with thanks.