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Reviewer: Chris Redmond
Financial interests here
Source: AMR CD-77
Preamp/Integrated: Music First Passive Magnetic Silver, Border Patrol WE300B SET
Loudspeakers: Audio Note AN-E SEC Sig (upgraded from Silver SEC, no Sogon wiring)
Cables: Kimber Select KS-1030 silver, Kimber Select KS-3035 silver/copper
Power cords: Kimber High Current, JPS Kaptovator
Power delivery: PS Audio P600 mult-wave power regenerator, separate Kimber High Current-wired mains spur
Stands: Audio Note sand'filled 4-pillar stands for AN-Es, Target Audio wall-mounted shelves for external crossovers, SpiderRack for components, Townsend isolation platform
Room Size: 70 cubic meters
Review Component Retail: £139/pr for half meter

If I'd ever bought my girlfriend a silver necklace, she'd have smiled adoringly. She would have told me how beautiful it was before placing it around her slender neck. She'd have radiated the impression I'd given her the world on a platter and I'd of course have fallen for her deception completely. She'd really have thought me a skinflint for not buying something similar in 24-carat gold. In fact a close friend's girlfriend used to have similar reactions if she 'only' received 18-carat gold jewellery. She was promptly christened 24 carat Julie by another friend. The name endures to this day even though 24 carat Julie and my friend's relationship doesn't.

In the world of audio meanwhile, silver is the crème de la crème and whilst gold is widely used to plate connections and prevent oxidisation, silver is generally considered the finest conductor and as such used by many cable manufacturers to construct their higher-end products. The inclusion of silver wiring increases in many upscale components also as cost follows suit.   

My own reference cables are pure silver Kimber Select KS-1030 which I've had for many years. Those are used in conjunction with the Kimber KS-3035 speaker cables constructed of both silver and copper. Given a choice the all-silver KS-3038 would be in residence but I'd have been living in a cardboard box for a few months while finances recovered. 

In the old days, silver was often described as sounding thin, bright or brittle but this was probably due to the silver not being pure enough. For instance, sterling silver is just 92.5% pure. Even with modern silver cables of 99.999% purity, this could remain the impression as quite often copper cables mask such traits which are inherent in a system. Anyone considering upgrading from copper to the best silver cables should be prepared for the sound to change significantly. If your system is up to the examination, it will be a revelation while any component less than harmonious will be ruthlessly exposed.

In my experience silver provides a peerless combination of resolution and smoothness which equates to a more natural reproduction than copper is capable of.  All things being equal, silver can provide a more 'lifelike' presentation. There are of course excellent copper cables that will have their owners thinking cables couldn't get much better but I would urge everyone to at least audition a decent silver equivalent and put the assumption to the test.

Of course while silver is the premium conductor, it also comes at a premium price. Hence all my Kimber Select cables were procured either from eBay or AudiogoN. I couldn't afford over £1,000 for a single pair of the KS-1030 interconnects or over £5,000 for the KS-3035 speaker cables (of which I now have two pairs). Yet after hearing what they did for my system, I couldn't afford not to have them. 

Still, even at various used prices of less than 35% of full retail, two pairs of Kimber Select ICs and one pair of speaker cables was a major purchase only e possible after some pretty serious purse tightening elsewhere, hence I'm delighted to be the bearer of good tidings now. Artisan Silver Cables are manufacturers of what exactly do you think? Stationed on the Isle of Wight, they are a fairly new and still small company that deals directly with the public to cut out the middle men and keep prices low. We hear this all the time and prices usually aren't much lower but in this case it's true. In my possession for the last few months have been a pair of Artisan's Silver Dream interconnects which bear a passing resemblance to Kimber's own silver KCAG although the woven construction runs four 99.99% pure silver conductors as opposed to KCAG's three.