Tellurium Q Silver and Silver Diamond mains cables are both are new additions to the Queen’s Award For Enterprise winning company’s product range. The Silver is their entry-level Silver power cable and the Silver Diamond is the top level of their Silver range. They cost £1200  for 1.5m of the Silver and £2200 for the same length of Silver Diamond. Dan Worth takes a listen.

It’s always nice to have some TQ paraphernalia arrive here. It’s always so well presented in its sleek and stylish packaging. It makes me laugh sometimes when cables arrive in gold leaf CNC cut boxes as I think “Jesus, how much of my money is going towards packaging which is just being stored in a cupboard?”. On the flip side, some manufacturers make some wonderful cabling which comes in a plain brown box or Jiffy bag… if you’re lucky. Well Geoff Merrigan of TQ manages to hit a sweet spot here, with the solidly made, custom-made classy packaging that all TQ cables come in – yes, the higher priced items are reflected by a step up in quality of packaging but I still don’t look at it and feel I’ve wasted money in unnecessary areas.

Much like the packaging scenario, TQ has gained recognition throughout the years for allowing their products to speak for themselves – they don’t fill each product’s page with blurb or convincing marketing spill about how fantastic each product is, forcing the customer to believe “this is what you will hear”, and this approach I really respect. This ethos to business has gained TQ a worldwide reputation with enthusiasts knowing that they will be receiving a product that is built with great care and will perform with great potential. This commitment to business is why TQ were awarded recently with the “Queen’s Award For Industry”.

THE CABLES

The Silver is a fairly chunky and surprisingly flexible cables which has more stiffness at each end but still able to bend at quite sharp angles from the outlet of its gold Furutech plugs. Under its jacket it has a r relatively thick protective outer layer, no doubt chosen to compliment it inner dielectric layers and its weight promotes flexibility of the inner conductors whilst retaining their integrity.

The Silver Diamond is the Anaconda of power cables, a cable almost twice as thick as the silver, yet still flexible and bendable enough behind the Rhodium Furutech plugs to get into slightly tighter spaces, unlike many big thick cables. I’d imagine that there is a lot of tension in the cable, which is difficult to manage when maintaining flexibility as damage to the conductors will be a key issue for the team. I have some experience in cables and their construction and although the cable looks simplistic with its tube-like outer shape, what will be going on inside will be nothing short of an array of very critically laid out factors, which all determine the overall performance of the cable, even down to terminating pressures and conductor finishing. You will just have to take my word for this as TQ aren’t going to explain the fundamentals of their cables – they just want you to make an informed decision on their performance through trial and not give you any preconceived ideas of what you should hear, as previously mentioned.

SOUND

SILVER POWER CABLE 

Firstly I installed the Silver power cable. Run in time on cables is realistically going to be a couple of hundred hours, but I have a burn in machine which is a useful tool for me to speed up this process and not use up valuable time on my expensive preamp tubes. Even after burn-in on the machine, I always feel that cables take up to a further 48 hours to just settle into the system and perform consistently.

With the Silver feeding my Balanced Power Supply (which then feeds the entire system) I could gain a good impression of what the Silver is offering across the board.

A slight polish over my Reference cables is one factor to note, with a cleaner overall appeal. The top end is crisp, silky, finessed and detailed, with a small loss of inner detail over my reference, but not so much so that I felt I was missing a great deal of information that took me away from retaining an interest in the music. On the flip side I gained more prominence in leading edge detail in the upper bass. Midrange depth is a little more forward and vibrant, yet balances extremely well with the position of other frequencies. A little more vibrancy in vocals with a cleaner effect on vocal tonality was clearly observed. My system is well put together and I know it well and it is great in highlighting forward and bright details, it’s incredibly transparent and at the same time tonally rich and well tuned to my ears, so any changes are well conveyed and understood by me. So, although a fraction more forward than my reference point, the Silver is not an inherently forward sounding cable.

I like the tunefulness of bass notes and how quick transients are. The Silver is a fast cable which decays well also. It is tonally clean but still expressive and has good naturalness. Its ability to convey bass weight in this position between wall and power supply is very strong and I’m hearing a very deep rendition of bass and the cable doesn’t seem to restrict the broader lower spectrums. Soundstaging is nice and wide and although a touch more forward than my everyday cable in this position, it has great height and I still hear artefacts around me, which is a quality I must retain when making changes in my system as I like to feel more encapsulated in the music rather than have a huge wall of sound in front of me.  It’s a very accomplished cable that gives a great deal of performance for its price indeed.

SILVER DIAMOND POWER CABLE

Introducing the Silver Diamond to my system in the same position as the Silver instantly provided clarification of a family sound. Although the Silver and Silver Diamond are each a separate range, their commonality in tonal reproduction is similar. Much like going from Tellurium Q’s Black to Ultra Black, there is a general consensus that these family members live in the same house but their hierarchy is clear to determine.

My first impressions with the Silver Diamond was how much more space there was around instruments and how much more space each instrument had to playfully dance. Smaller decays faded from around each of the instruments into their own areas of darker acoustic space. This gave better overall pockets of depth and three-dimensionality to the overall soundstage. The encapsulating effect I love was larger and more complex and with the whole image being more vivid and vibrant.

Tonally it’s easy to hear that there is a bond with the two cables, with the Silver Diamond extracting more texture and instrument timbre from the recording. The Silver does an exceptional job of conveying music, the Silver Diamond does a better job of exploring music.

Top end is very concise, precise and controlled, with a silkier and more micro detail and micro-dynamic complexity to it. It keeps me in a position which I am more used too, hearing right into the music and all its delicacies but against my reference cable it gives a bit more vigour and vitality to my sound, without pushing anywhere close to a brightening of the sound, it’s simply cleaner and with more finesse.

I found more dexterity in the bass, compared with the other two cables and bass Information was fantastic and arguably a better match to the integration of my Rel S3i subwoofer, with its clean deep controlled bass lines.

Midrange, tonality and shape is a stand-out feature with the Silver Diamond, all that additional space and depth over the Silver was a pleasure and the Silver Diamond no doubt reflects a good system. The cleanliness of the upper-midrange got a touch closer to what I would like in ultimate cleanliness, but still relaxed and effortless. I only had one of each cable for review and maybe more would have changed my opinion slightly but if I was to liken the Silver Diamond to the cherry on the cake or the Flake in an ice cream, this is how I feel within the parameters of what I have to work with here, it’s a very special sounding cable and due to me spending so much time and effort on balancing my system my impression is that it enhanced the tonal vibrancy, added a little space and integrated my bass with the subwoofer a little more accurately.

CONCLUSION

Both the Silver and Silver Diamond Power cables have obvious benefits to recommend. They both have a distinctively clean and controlled sound, that has great extension and tonal qualities that bring the vibrancy out in the music whilst retaining musicality.

It’s not very often that I come across power cables that balance this act so well and a lot of their performance is so critically aligned with geometry, dielectric and cable tensioning, not just conductor choice. I can imagine that when creating these cables that there were times where the prototype was either dull and full, or bright and lean and finally combining all elements in a recipe that became as tasty these cables are must have taken many hours, if not days/weeks, of critical testing. I have my suspicions on certain parameters within the cable and these suspicions only make me appreciate them more.

Each cable I feel performs exceptionally well within its price bracket and promotes TQ’s abilities to offer a range of cables suitable for any system dependant on what the end user wishes to achieve tonally. Even if your budget can’t reach say a Silver Diamond or Black Diamond, you can still choose a cheaper cable from each of their respective family ranges. Similarly, dependant on each piece of equipment you have in your system and their own characteristics a TQ cable from the same horizontal range yet of a different family flavour will give you similar performance with more accurate tonal matching. For instance, a Silver with a valve amp and a Black on the CD Player, or a Black Diamond on the DAC or digital source and a Silver Diamond on the amp – the Black range of cables are warmer sounding and the Silver range cleaner.

I’d strongly recommend both of these power cables and suggest that if your system and wallet can entertain the Silver Diamond you will be nothing short of delighted. If the Silver is where your budget is, rest assured performance will strongly reflect the outlay.

AT A GLANCE

Build Quality: Solid, surprisingly flexible for their thickness and with great plugs.

Sound Quality: Clean, finessed, controlled, vibrant and playfully musical and with great detail.

Value For Money: Very reasonable and with a feeling of pride in ownership.

 

Pros: Bags of performance for their respective prices. Detail-rich, clean with great finesse and spacious sounding. Fantastic build quality utilising high-performance, quality hardware components.

Cons: The only against I can say is that tonally the Silver range may not perfectly match each component – but that’s where TQ can still accommodate with a suitably performing cable with a different tonal quality elsewhere in the family.

Price – Silver £1200 – 1.5m. Silver Diamond £2200 – 1.5m

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dan Worth

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