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Silver Cartridge Coils

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Posted on January 11, 2017 at 19:20:41
AudioSoul
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Posts: 4414
Location: north central AZ
Joined: July 9, 2005

Why would silver wire in a cartridge be better than copper. I am baffled...

 

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RE: Silver Cartridge Coils, posted on January 11, 2017 at 19:33:48
bare
Audiophile

Posts: 472
Joined: April 14, 2009
Quality silver has 4% more conductivity than Copper.
That said, a mediocre connection wipes out the advantage instantly.

Short answer: Bling Sells.

 

well...., posted on January 11, 2017 at 19:54:24
Penguin
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it is 6.25% 1.6, vs 1.7 but silver is heavier than copper by about 17% (10490 vs 8930). So a coil of the same dc resistance will weigh less in copper. There are other metallurgical differences that may favor silver, but i cannot really point to any in this application since both have to be insulated.

dee
;-D

True terror is to wake up one morning and discover that your high school class is running the country.

quote by Kurt Vonnegut

 

RE: Silver Cartridge Coils, posted on January 11, 2017 at 20:16:43
John Elison
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Your point is well taken although I don't know how you came up with the number 4%. The three best conductors are silver, copper and gold in that order. Since silver is the best conductor of the three, if we let its conducting ability be equal to 100%, then copper falls in at 94.6% and gold equals 65.1%. I calculated these percentages from the table in the Wikipedia article in the link below.

Gold is often used in places where oxidation might be a problem such as switch contacts and connectors that are exposed to the atmosphere. Silver is the best conductor, but also the most expensive. Copper is much cheaper than silver and almost as good at conducting electricity. Therefore, copper is the most widely used electrical conductor.

Best regards,
John Elison

 

Also silver tarnish does not add resistance, Copper tarnish does nt, posted on January 11, 2017 at 23:07:17
3+4=5
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Posts: 86
Location: Midwest
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.

 

cumulative advantage, posted on January 11, 2017 at 23:55:08
hifitommy
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if perhaps one uses silver in every possible place in the system, the improvements add up.

but i am not going to assume that conductivity alone accounts for the difference in sound.
...regards...tr

 

In addition,, posted on January 12, 2017 at 03:41:58
MannyE
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What kind of silver are we talking about vs what kind of copper? You can't just say "silver" and "copper" right?

Are we assuming 100% pure examples of both? Is that what is used in silver and copper wiring?

Do alloys make a difference? So many factors.

 

RE: Silver Cartridge Coils, posted on January 12, 2017 at 07:33:09
Lew
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Posts: 8652
Location: Bethesda, Maryland
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I question your question. What do you mean by "better"? If you refer to conductivity, then yes silver is slightly more conductive. If you refer to sound quality, then there are many different opinions on that subject. For example, the ZYX UNIverse cartridges are available with either copper or silver coils, and the overwhelming majority of reviewers and private users seem to agree that the copper-coiled version is to be preferred for sonics. Then too, we have the van den Hul line of cartridges which seem to be available with several different variants of coil wire (copper and gold, anyway; I am not certain about silver). This suggests that the differences are qualitative and one's preference is subjective.

 

RE: Silver Cartridge Coils, posted on January 12, 2017 at 11:27:44
AudioSoul
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The cartridge in question is a Ortofon Silver that comes with the
Pro-Ject The Classic turntable. I am sure it has to be a budget cart. Why would they use a budget cart. with silver coils. Just for hype?

 

Not Exactly..., posted on January 12, 2017 at 12:47:47
kyle
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Posts: 1412
Location: London Ontario
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...as silver oxidation and tarnish aren't necessarily the same thing. Silver oxide is a good conductor but silver tarnish caused by sulfur or chlorine compounds is a crap conductor.
Pure silver doesn't oxidize readily but when it does, the oxidized layer usually has a light grey appearance.
Silver does "tarnish" as a result of contact with sulfur and chlorine compounds which produce the typical dark grey to black seen on silverware, jewelry and inside old silver contact type switches. It's one reason you don't put silverware in the dishwasher unless you like polishing it. These compounds are also present in homes as a result of oil or gas furnaces, gas water heaters, fireplaces and swimming pools or hot tubs. In the case of the former it's usually hydrogen sulfide and in the latter it's chlorine compounds. You can often see the yellow sulfur deposits around chimneys and vents and you can usually smell a swimming pool from a distance.
Even your tap water may have one or the other if you have chlorinated city water or well water with high sulfur content.
Cigarette/cigar smoke does it as well, but who smokes in 2017? :-)

 

thanks, good to know. nt, posted on January 12, 2017 at 12:57:22
3+4=5
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Location: Midwest
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.

 

RE: Silver Cartridge Coils, posted on January 12, 2017 at 13:37:05
flood2
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*sniff* *sniff* What's that smell? It's Marketing BS!! They are targeting the budget end of the audiophile market but trying to add a prestige factor in. "Ooooh SILVER coils ...shiny"!

It's basically a 2M red (therefore bonded elliptical). Any theoretical advantage in the silver conductivity properties is wasted by the limited tracking ability of the bonded tip which makes for a higher tip mass. In other words, the only advantage is that in theory your distortion is more "faithfully" transmitted to the amplifier! lol
Total waste of money IMO. A cartridge is not required to transfer significant current, which is just as well because the DC resistance for MM is comparatively high and designed to match the mechanical system. So the only real parameter of interest is the linearity of the output voltage to the change in magnetic flux. The total power transfer is miniscule given the load and output voltage.

However, let's for one moment accept that the Silver DID make a difference. It's only in the cartridge. What about the tonearm cable...the inline components...PCB tracks....internal speaker wire (Guess what? Even if you use really exotic speaker cable, the internal wiring especially in the value end of the market is very often just plain vanilla hookup wire).


Regards Anthony

"Beauty is Truth, Truth Beauty.." Keats

 

RE: Silver Cartridge Coils, posted on January 12, 2017 at 19:20:49
jk
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Posts: 322
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Maybe you can help me remember, does silver maintain its superior conductivity with ac signals?

I seem to recall an article that found copper to be superior under something conditionspecial.

 

RE: Silver Cartridge Coils, posted on January 12, 2017 at 19:45:27
jk
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Posts: 322
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I did a search and can not find anything supporting this. Could have sworn I read an article, maybe from a cable manufacturer, explaining conditions where Cu is a better conductor.

 

you would use insulated wire for coils, posted on January 12, 2017 at 20:12:12
Penguin
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most likely enamel insulated, oxidation is not an issue. One might be able to make longer single crystal conductors out of silver, but given the typical length of the wire used for an MC coil it is not a concern, both metal can be made into a single crystal to cover it. So really it is a wash. Some of us would swear that silver and copper does sound different. in this application it is impossible to prove that.

dee
;-D

True terror is to wake up one morning and discover that your high school class is running the country.

quote by Kurt Vonnegut

 

I have an Empire MC-1000 VHD silver, posted on January 12, 2017 at 20:17:18
Penguin
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I use a lot of silver interconnects and speaker cables, but there is nothing in the sound of that cartridge that i can attribute to the silver coils. I have cartridges that have Cu coils that sound livelier.

dee
;-D

True terror is to wake up one morning and discover that your high school class is running the country.

quote by Kurt Vonnegut

 

there is nothing silver in that cartridge, posted on January 12, 2017 at 20:22:03
Penguin
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except the color of the plastic of the stylus holder. It is the same body as the other 2M family members. BTW the bronze does not use bronze wires either.


dee
;-D

True terror is to wake up one morning and discover that your high school class is running the country.

quote by Kurt Vonnegut

 

Can't say I know but..., posted on January 13, 2017 at 07:47:06
Curious
Dealer

Posts: 5849
Joined: April 28, 2010
I have a couple carts that use silver windings and they're excellent. In particular, I'm having a lot of fun with a Fidelity Research FR-1 MK IIIF. FR really liked the use of silver in this cart and made no bones about what they saw as a material advantage resulting in greater fidelity or at least a tonal voicing they preferred at the time of it's design. At any rate, it's a wonderful cart and mine is installed on the VPI 12" 3D Reference arm, which in turn is on the VPI Titan. I've been comparing it against the Ortofon Royal N, which uses copper windings and a gold plated aluminum cantilever, and a Bang & Olufsen MMC-2. The B&O is turning out to be a great rock and roll cartridge actually. The FR is even handed and transparent. The Royal N is, in my opinion the best kept secret in cartridges today.

I wouldn't dismiss the use of materials by established manufacturers. In some cases, the use and mixing of materials may have more to do with dampening than conductivity.

"Hope is a good thing. Maybe, the best of things. And no good thing ever dies."

 

RE: there is nothing silver in that cartridge, posted on January 13, 2017 at 08:46:50
AudioSoul
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Location: north central AZ
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The cartridge is speced. with silver coils, not just the color of the body.....

 

an Ortofon 2M?, posted on January 13, 2017 at 12:57:51
Penguin
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please provide a link to that...


dee
;-D

True terror is to wake up one morning and discover that your high school class is running the country.

quote by Kurt Vonnegut

 

RE: an Ortofon 2M?, posted on January 13, 2017 at 13:20:40
AudioSoul
Audiophile

Posts: 4414
Location: north central AZ
Joined: July 9, 2005

Look up the specifications for the Pro-Ject "The Classic Turntable"
the specs for the cartridge are with them...

 

RE: an Ortofon 2M?, posted on January 13, 2017 at 13:49:39
Tre'
Industry Professional

Posts: 11851
Location: So. Cal.
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2M Silver phono cartridge is an OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) model that takes all the characteristics of the 2M Red. 2M Silver's special feature is pure silver coils. By using silver coils in the generator system, the 2M Silver is capable of providing optimal signal generation - giving your records the best possible chance of sounding great.



.
Have Fun and Enjoy the Music
"Still Working the Problem"

 

ok crow is nicely brined and ready for roasting, posted on January 13, 2017 at 14:29:49
Penguin
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a budget cartridge with silver coils still makes little senee.


dee
;-D

True terror is to wake up one morning and discover that your high school class is running the country.

quote by Kurt Vonnegut

 

doesn't make a lot of sense, does it? (nt), posted on January 13, 2017 at 16:46:41
Tre'
Industry Professional

Posts: 11851
Location: So. Cal.
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.
Have Fun and Enjoy the Music
"Still Working the Problem"

 

given the fact that i have heard, posted on January 14, 2017 at 13:39:09
Penguin
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a few high end silver cartridges and i also own a high end empire with silver coils. I never could attribute the "sound" of the cartridge to having silver coils. Having the Empire re-tipped from boron with a VDH stylus to a Soundsmith ruby OLC made a difference in sound but i still cannot "hear" the silver in it. As a matter of fact the Empire is a somewhat "mellow" sounding MC even though it has all the creeds to be very extended on the top. The Win Research SMC-10 is a lot more "bright" or forward and has Cu coils and the same cantilever and stylus.


dee
;-D

True terror is to wake up one morning and discover that your high school class is running the country.

quote by Kurt Vonnegut

 

RE: given the fact that i have heard, posted on January 17, 2017 at 08:15:59
oilmanmojo
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Posts: 208
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I have owned several ZYX cartridges over the years and i have two Airy 3 of which one was silver coils and the other was Copper. I have heard many prefer the copper, but my ears could not tell the difference. I agree the contacts or solder points are more influential than the coil material. As i reworked my leads on my Maplenoll, i hardwired the leads directly to my Phono preamp thus eliminating several solder points. That had a far greater impact on sound than the copper vs silver coils.
oilmanmojo

 

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