These will be brief impressions only. Nic asked me to take these SilverFi cables for a quick stint and share my findings, so I had to make room for them in my crowded schedule.
So first, the good. They sound great. Both of them.
The X possesses a soft, natural render, wrapped in wondrous warmth. I’ve never heard Noble Encore sound less sharp or edgy. It really took away every ounce of coldness or brightness and made them decidedly organic. It’s a clean and clear cable, thanks to smooth, far-reaching treble, with a great big soundstage.
The R1 is everything the X is, but far less “soft”. Vividness replaces soft, bringing the image forward with real pop. R1 is not as laid-back as X. Things are bigger and more energetic. The background is darker and the notes shine out against the contrast. There’s a superior sense of three-dimensionality. More holographic.
Now for the bad.
These are terribly uncomfortable, awkwardly built things. The X is a lot better than the R1, yet still unpleasant in every way. The sheathing material is rough and abrasive. The connectors and plug are thick and unwieldy. Everything is stiff. Microphonics travel freely up and down the wire. With the R1, even when using a shirt clip, vibrations are heard clearly. And the ergonomics of that 6-wire flat-braid is a true nightmare. The ear loops are a disaster, floating out in front of your ears, instead of tucking in behind them.
Based on how shoddy the construction of these prototypes are, I can only hope the final versions will manage some degree of refinement. But I have no evidence to back that up. As things are, I could never use either of these cables for any length of time, regardless of how good they sound.