Siltech G5 Classic Cables
Siltech's website makes much of their "zero crossing recognition theory" and how their cables are engineered to implement it: "Signal conductance requires a minimum amount of energy expenditure. The distortion this expenditure causes is small but in fact occurs a few thousand times per second, deteriorating the authenticity of the musical signal. Siltech has succeeded in reducing this micro-level distortion by a ten-fold minimum." (footnote 1)
The Gen 3 cables were wonderful when I reviewed them several years ago for The Abso!ute Sound, though they took forever and a day to break in—they didn't stop changing for some 600 hours! Siltech's US distributor, Ethan Wood, assured me that the G5 Classics would not take anywhere near as long to settle in, and sent me LS-188 speaker cables ($4000/2m pair, $425 each additional 0.25m), SQ-110 interconnects ($2100/1m pair, $412.50 each additional 0.25m), and several SPX-30 power cords ($600/m, $112 each additional 0.25m). All of the Siltech cables are beautifully made and finished and, hallelujah, are flexible, slim, and easy to dress.
I began my experiments using the SPX-30 power cords with several different amplifiers. I immediately observed that backgrounds seemed quieter than with my previous reference cords (though later, the twice-as-expensive Shunyata Anaconda Alpha and vX bettered them very slightly). The Siltechs had a polished, easy sound that was a wonderful match with the and Halcro dm58 power amps.
Ethan Wood was correct—the Siltechs sounded excellent right out of their ultracool film-can packages, though they opened up on top over a few weeks' listening. It was not at all difficult to get a handle on the sound of the G5 Classic wires—they were open, extended, and smooth. Despite popular opinion that says silver cables are bright and somewhat edgy, the Siltechs were anything but. The midrange was voluptuous and rounded, with superior detail retrieval. The Siltechs' top end was beautifully extended (after some break-in), and they had a particularly engaging holographic quality. The G5 Classics didn't sound "fast," but they tackled the steepest transients with ease, never sounding aggressive or grainy. Bass was excellent—well-controlled, deep, and precise. The Classics' background silence was deep, and low-level detail rose naturally into the whole presentation.
Siltech's signature sound is sumptuous and luxurious, but there was none of the loss of low-level detail that usually comes with a richer sound. The G5 Classics are, in fact, shoulder to shoulder with the Nordost Valhalla in this respect, though the two cables sound surprisingly different. The Siltechs' slightly more laid-back presentation and mellower overall character will make them ideal partners for components that are a bit forward or speakers that have exceptionally extended treble. These truly excellent cables make me wonder just how Siltech's more expensive Signature series might sound.—Paul Bolin
US Distributor: Siltech America Inc., 76 Green Street, Boston, MA 02130-2271. Tel: (617) 522-7740. Fax: (617) 522-7684. Web: www.siltechcables.com.
Footnote 1: It is fair to point out that if this effect exists, the distortion it introduces in conventional cables is below the resolution of my test equipment to measure.—John Atkinson