SilverSmith Audio Fidelium Speaker Cables
- HiFi+ (PDF Document)
- The Sound Advocate - "one of the most unique cables I’ve reviewed in a long time and one that punches so far above its weight it challenges everything I once thought possible in cable design and price to performance ratio"
- The Audio Analyst (YouTube Video)
We became familiar with Silversmith Audio at our beginnings with the Southern California Audio Society. Way back then, they were producing phenomenal ribbon speaker cables and interconnects out of silver and palladium. Unfortunately for us at the time the prices were quite astronomical and it was hard to justify in our value product lineup. Silversmith had some reasonable success back then, but quietly largely fell silent as its owner/designer was recalled back to active duty with the Navy for an additional 10 years of service.
I ran in to Jeff Smith of Silversmith years later at RMAF 2019 just by chance. After a warm greeting and some catching up, he says "I have a new product, it's better than my Palladium cables and the price is under a grand". I was immediately interested, ready to buy a set on the spot. "I'm not quite ready yet, Let's talk in January". So we talked, money was exchanged, and in about a week I had a pair of the Fidelium speaker cables in my studio.
I had been using some other speaker cables that were about 3 times the price, and was quite happy with their performance. In fact these were TAS award winning cables and had quite the reputation for naturalness, and excellent tonal balance with dynamic punch. It took all of two seconds of listening to the Fidelium to understand what Jeff was so excited about. These cables surpassed the cables that had been in my system for over a year, and costed three times as much! Not just competed on their level, but actually surpassed them in terms of soundstage width, depth, and overall tonality and resolution. The award winning cables sounded veiled and fuzzy in comparison. I was impressed.
The Fidelium speaker cable is a 2" ultra-thin alloy ribbon conductor that is sandwiched between 2 layers of an extremely thin, yet rugged, polyimide film in order to achieve a geometry with a primarily air dielectric. It is seamless from end to end and without traditional, sound-degrading soldered, welded, or crimped connectors. Instead, the cable itself has a clever notch taken out of it at each end that is used as the connection point to speaker and amp. The cable IS the connector!
The skin-effect characteristics of the FIDELIUM alloy are up to 33 times superior to those of copper or silver. The FIDELIUM speaker cable, already at less than a thousandth of an inch thick, performs as if it were 5.5 times thinner, thus experiencing less frequency dependent attenuation and phase distortion than even a .00018 inch thick copper or silver ribbon or 64 gauge wire. But don't think for a second that a cable that thin will have a lean or "thin" sound.
Less phase distortion is heard as more detail, more air, and more space as musical signals are produced with precise phase and time. Bass thunders and is tuneful, vocals have body, harmonies (instrumental or vocal) have layers, separation, and goosebump inducing naturalness.
The Silversmith Audio Web site states:
"Geometry and alloy advancements contribute to the new FIDELIUM cable’s 330% performance improvement over our previous top-of-the-line PALLADIUM, yet FIDELIUM is only 1/10 the price. It is also less than half the price of our original SILVER speaker cable line."
Our ears are in absolute agreement, the Fidelium alloy speaker cables do sound superior to the older Silversmith Silver and Palladium speaker cables. An amazing accomplishment as this price point.
There was no exaggeration or sugar coating of material with the Fidelium speaker cables. Although there did seem to be less listener fatigue and a great deal more engagement with the music. I continue to have moments when I am working in the studio where I have to just stop working and listen. Not exactly a productivity enhancer, but I would say they are a stress reducer to my ears. :)
The Silversmith Audio Fidelium speaker cables represent the Tweek Geek philosophy to a tee. Presenting state of the art levels of audio performance at a price point that indeed raises the bar for all other cable producers at every level.
A Word On Handling Fidelium Speaker Cables
While these cables are very well constructed and the polymide jacketing is durable, these are thin ribbons and as such prone to creasing if bent under stress. As such we cannot recommend them to customers who have to run their speaker cables around tight corners, or to customers who may have pets or children (or yourselves) step on the cables. They are delicate in that sense that they will not hold up visually over time in these conditions. Additionally if you are changing the gear that the cables connect (amps and speakers) frequently, please please please do so with great care if you want them to last or hold their value.
Likewise the termination needs to be handled with care as well so as not to deform the ribbon, and preserve the appearance. No binding post wrenches please.