Silver cables are somewhat stigmatized in my opinion. People hear “silver” and automatically they assume it has forward treble, a brighter sound or just adds sharpness. These people probably have never heard a high quality silver before. Because while the aforementioned characteristics might be true for some silver cables, a good one is far from harsh or just treble. Thankfully the Clone Silver is one of the good ones.
Clone Silver is best described by a few words. Transparency, resolution and control. These three are the key-strengths of DHC’s all silver Clone cable.
The Clone Silver is a wonderfully transparent sounding cable. This means, it doesn’t really boost any specific frequency range, but gives all of them a kind of see-through character. It adds good control to the low end, takes out a bit of boom and holds the lows a notch tighter. However, it manages to step up in resolution across all areas. Bass has nicer texture, higher accuracy and extension.
The midrange has a highly resolved sound, that oozes of information and precision. The Clone Fusion adds a certain level of effortlessness to the mids, that make them very enjoyable and realistic. The Clone Fusion infuses a controlled grip all over the scene. It darkens the background, gives instruments wonderful spotlight and enables a better imaging. On top of that, it creates a wider, deeper and taller sound stage.
Now treble. As mentioned in the intro of this segment, silver cables are touted to have forward highs. Clone Silver does not place treble more forward at all. No, it might aid higher pitched instruments to come through better, but it doesn’t boost them. Clone Silver adds some sparkle, but most of all it takes out the edges in the top-end. It smooths harshness and to some degree also sibilance. I have tried the Clone Silver with some bright monitors, including the Tia Fourté, and all of them showed the same result. A smoother treble.
The Clone Silver adds a sense of space to the scene, where it seems musicians get more space to breathe. With Clone Silver I was also able to perceive micro-details easier, as they seemed displayed in a more upfront manner.
Recommended pairings: 64 Audio Tia Fourté, 64 Audio A18t, Empire Ears Phantom, qdc Anole VX, JH Audio Layla, Noble Audio Katana, Audeze LCD-i4, AAW Canary, HiFiMAN Susvara, Meze Audio Empyrean, Abyss Diana Phi.
There are a good number of different cables out there that come at a similar price to Clone Silver. It seems many cable-makers are interested in this particular price range. In my inventory I can find 27 different IEM cables to this date. Let’s check out three of the Clone Silver’s main competitors.
DHC – Clone Fusion (549$)
The Clone Fusion of course shares the same DHC DNA. Both cables have impressive resolution, but the main difference between them is the way bass is handled. The Fusion adds punch and authority, while the Silver keeps it tight and adds texture. The Clone Silver is certainly the more uncoloured of the two.
Clone Silver comes with higher resolution, a wider and deeper stage and it manages to bring out details more effortless. The Clone Fusion adds a touch of warmth and richness, which the Silver lacks. The Silver does have nicer transparency and superior layering. It images sharper and has a softer, more pleasing top-end. Clone Fusion adds more sharpness to the treble, where Silver goes the other way and adds a layer of silk.
Effect Audio – Cleopatra (699$)
The Cleopatra is the latest all-silver cable by Singaporean Effect Audio. Just like Clone Silver it is an atypical silver cable. It is also quite different than the Clone Silver. Cleopatra has a more organic, smoother and slightly warmer sound overall. It adds some bass body and weight, while Clone Silver goes for resolution and texture. Clone Silver reaches a tiny bit deeper into lows as well.
The EA Cleopatra has a fuller tone throughout, where especially mids get some extra body and weight. With the Clone Silver midrange is less coloured and more accurate. The DHC gives higher resolution and spreads a wider and deeper sound stage. The background gets darker with Clone Silver in comparison to the Cleopatra cable.
Instruments and musicians get portrayed with more spotlight. They appear clearer and cleaner. Treble appears even softer and more laid-back on the Cleopatra than on Clone Silver. The DHC silver cable makes highs cleaner and more distinct. To me treble seems silkier with the DHC than with the EA.
Effect Audio – Leonidas II (888$)
The Leonidas II is a silver and Palladium-plated silver hybrid cable. It is Effect Audio’s current flagship cable of their Heritage line-up. Like Cleopatra, Leonidas II features EA’s smooth and organic house-sound.
Leonidas II puts more weight and body into each note than Clone Silver. The DHC again is less coloured and more transparent. These two cables are very close in many ways when it comes to technicalities. Both have superb imaging, resolution and background darkness. I really can’t put one ahead of the other here as they perform at very high levels.
Clone Silver does stretch a bit deeper into lows. It creates a slightly wider stage and layers just a touch better than Leonidas II. The DHC top-end again is more effortless and softer. When we look at the midrange, it’s Leonidas II that puts out a more organic sound, while Clone Silver has better control. It manages to keep complex structures better than Leonidas II, which also is absolutely no slouch in that area.
My third DHC review and I’m impressed for a third time. The products of Double Helix Cables has shown me that they are indeed one of the finest cable-makers out there. Not a single cable of theirs has not met my expectations thus far.
The Clone Silver is a great example of high quality silver wires. It doesn’t boost any specific range, but rather steps up the game of transparency, resolution, layering and sound stage dimensions. The blackness of the background enables for better imaging and separation of any monitor I tried it with.
For me, Clone Silver ticks all the right boxes. Great build quality, durable design and superb sound. There is nothing I could hold against this cable other than maybe the long lead-time and rudimentary packaging. In the end, you pay for quality, and quality is exactly what you get.
If you want to check out more of our Double Helix Cables reviews, you can do so here.