Can we be led to believe that these cables are made from silver, or some sort of silver alloy by the silver Z Plugs on their ends?
Who knows… in typical Tellurium Q fashion they won’t utter a word of information regarding their construction, so if you want to spend £500 per/m to disassemble some to scratch an itch carry on, but from my experience with the brand I couldn’t care less if they were made from ground Pelican beaks as long as they held up Tellurium Q’s long standing tradition of excellent performance.
Just like Tellurium Q’s other cables, they also have that Tellurium Q statement ribbon or band type design to them.
Holding the Ultra Silver next to the Ultra Black they seem similar apart from the mesh braid on the Ultra Silvers, the density and compound also has different solidity and flexibility to the central band which separates the cores. The Ultra Silvers feel stiffer but in no way detrimental to the designs routing abilities. Both cables can be flexed and bent around comparably.
So where do they sit in the range?
This was one of my first questions when talking with Geoff Merrigan at Tellurium Q.
My question was also backed with:
“…you don’t really give a lot of information technically about your products Geoff, which I can appreciate in one respect as there can be too much blurb sometimes which can put people off. So when it comes to the Tellurium Q cable range I simply assume that the higher the price the better the performance?”
While Geoff agreed that “of course there is a gain in performance to justify the cost, we are now establishing our cables into ranges and these ranges will have key, unmistakable qualities and characteristics to them.”
The coloured range, which currently consists of the Blue and Green, will also be looking to move forward to incorporate further designs. These coloured cables are know for a slight soft edge or relaxed nature to the sound, ideal for brighter sounding systems or simply to suit ones personal taste.
Then there’s the new Silver range, these are voiced differently again being extremely detail driven and cleaner, with increased top end air and extension and midrange transparency.
So that’s where they sit and why they have been specifically created, now onto the sound.
My first impressions of the cables were not influenced in any way shape or form by either Geoff or Colin Wonfor of TQ. Their normal “have a listen and tell us what you think” applied as always.
My first noticeable impression was the degree of extension in the upper frequencies, how exposed but without hardness the midrange felt and, from what I was used to with my current Audioquest K2 cables, that bass was a little lean.
So I played through some acoustic music such as Damien Rice and Seth Lakeman. Top end was clearly beyond what the K2 had to offer me and I was really trying to hear something which presented itself to me which would lead me to believe that it was a bit over the top, harsh and spitty but it just didn’t happen. A true increase in perceived bandwidth was shining through with strings giving small nuances of reverbs that I hadn’t heard so well articulated before.
Attributes of transparency, layering and focus in the midband were wonderful, not as full and rich as the AQ’s but more neutral and yet still with endearing clarity and speed.
After some very close listening to the reproduction of bass notes I feel that there is a leanness in upper bass frequencies which allows for great exposure of detail in this area and the midrange leading to arguably less muddiness to the sound.
What I didn’t expect to accompany this less emphasised take on bass rendition was how low and extended the Ultra Silvers can go.
Listening to faster paced music was great in terms of speed, pace and accuracy… the Ultra Silvers do incredibly well in this department. Symphonised harmonics, dynamic shifts and detailed bandwidth shone (no sparkled) some more and if your not a bass monster this “Nordost-with-substance” type sound (that is clean and detailed without a thin or forward nature) will have you dancing before too long.
As with all TQ cables, fat or thin, big or small, Black or Blue, key attributes of timing, soundstage placement and a grip on the focus of all portions of the soundstage is bang on the money, no matter whether I listened to a busy ballad, a soft or octave rich vocal, a funky or flowing instrumental, or some strong dance, the TQ’s ability to give equal portions to all of those sat at the dinner table was the mark of a true host.
Having the range of Tellurium Q cables banded into sections, retaining definite core characteristics, yet mixed with just that little bit of flavour here and there, proves to me in a real world situation that they have knowledge that; 1, people do use cables for tone controls and 2, that people do actually enjoy different sounds regardless of system integration.
Yes in an ideal world, cables wouldn’t make a difference and yes in an ideal world they wouldn’t need to, but they do and the Ultra Silvers can be seen as missing link in an already established line up of fantastic cabling. Some like it smooth, some like it natural and some like it very detailed and my god the Ultra Silver does detail in spades, but not once over the period of weeks that I had them constantly playing in my system did their clean nature ever pin me to the ceiling or have me recoiling and squinting, which has happened on more than one occasion in my cable dabbling experiences.
Build Quality – 8/10
Sound Quality – 8/10
Value For Money – 8/10
Highly Recommended – For their pin point precision, excellent timing, huge bandwidth, ability to remain clean and still stay true without hardness.
Price at time of review
Speaker Cables – £500 per/m terminated mono length.
Jumpers – £336 per 12″ set