Point. Counterpoint. This was a difficult review to kick off, not because these interconnect cables are hard to describe, but because any component review needs to place the item in some sort of context. This is especially true for interconnects, because more than any other component, the performance of interconnects seems to be very system dependent. So we’ll go back to the review of the Harmonic Technology Truthlinks that were reviewed on these pages about a year and a half ago, and compare the copper/silver Pro Silway mk. IIs to their all-copper siblings.
Let’s get the housekeeping out of the way first: extended break-in is mandatory to remove the common nastiness of glare and grain, and ill-defined bass. Hook these up to your tuner – you have a tuner, right? One of the best cable-burn-in devices made! Give these cables at least 250 hours of line-level use before making any judgments about their sound. Then you’ll find the Pro Silway mk. IIs are excellent cables.
There is a fine layer of coarseness with the copper Truthlinks that simply disappear when the Pro Silways take their place. The Truthlinks do their job very well, and this (oh no, here it comes) “dirty window” effect is not readily apparent. But replace them with the Pro Silways, and there is an immediate and significant change for the better. This is evident from the lower midrange and up through the highest treble one can hear. The difference is immediately noticeable, and at first sounds like a lowering of the overall volume level and a slight loss of dynamics. But after just a minute, it becomes very apparent that the sound has become more relaxed, with a marked increase in low-level resolution. Listen to a bell on these cables and you’ll hear a beautiful clarity and revel in the decay as the sound slowly disappears into infinite silence. Remarkable!
After switching to these cables, there is a feeling like a sigh, where a tension to the sound is removed and the listener can focus much more easily on the presentation. Instruments blossom more fully, losing a small but significant restriction to their full potential. There is an increase in the quietness of the background and a reduction in the annoyance of vinyl clicks and pops and other recording artifacts. The latter seem to be further disconnected from the musical content, making them easier to ignore.
Looking at the low end, these cables offer an over-all improvement over the Truthlink, but not one as unconditional or as important as the benefits heard in the midrange and treble. Bass resolution is increased slightly, while bass power and impact are reduced. The result is a decreased ability to hear the hall in which the music was recorded. I wouldn’t buy these cables for their bass performance, but if your system is over-ripe, they may be just what you need.
The Pro Silway mk. IIs are very good cables, and easily worth the asking price. Whether they are the best in class for your system is a question only you can answer. After enjoying the Pro Silways superior high frequency performance for several months, going back to the Truthlinks was not an easy task. This upgrade is one-way.
Overall Rating: 9 LPs