Looking for an interconnect upgrade? Something high end in design? Paul Rigby checks out Gekko’s Silver Cloud analogue RCA cables
It’s been a while since I looked at Gekko’s cable designs. So it was about time I revisited the company with the new Silver Cloud cables.
What I found was a pair of analogue interconnects. More specifically, a pair of directional, unshielded interconnect cables made of two twisted solid-core silver conductors, each is covered by thick unbleached cotton braid, acting as a dielectric.
The cotton also serves to reduce vibration. The two conductors are twisted together at 50 turns per metre and then covered with two more layers of unbleached cotton.
To begin the sound tests, I played ELO’s early recording of First Movement (Jumping Biz) because of the host of organic instruments roaming the mix from the lead acoustic guitar cellos, violins, percussion and more.
Whenever I hear any piece of hi-fi equipment for the first time, I tend to latch on one or two over-riding personality traits as part of the all-important first impression. Call it a sort of headline feature. One or two elements that hit you immediately, before you’ve even taken the rest of the performance into any sort of context.
What I heard here, what really stood out, was the Silver Cloud’s agility. This is a cable cored by silver and it sounds it. The signal was zippy and fast so strings were plucked with a particular degree of precision while percussive hits were sharp. They started and stopped with the immediacy of the cartoon Roadrunner at full pelt which meant that music had a perky, wide-eyed and jaunty manner.
This effect was particularly effective via the Spanish guitar and multi-stringed presentation. It’s all too easy for cables to muddy the plucking of so many strings in so short of time, blurring the whole thing into a muddy mess and releasing a series of tones rather than a collection of individual string plucks. The Silver was on the nail here which added a vast amount of rich detail to the soundstage, giving it a welcome complexity and a sense of layering that produced depth to the music as a whole.
Bass benefitted from this approach too. So the cello player’s attack, the stabbing of the bow on strings, produced a gritty, skidding crunch with each and every prod of the bow that gave the music a texture. Music emanating from these cellos almost sounded weaved, such was the textural complexity.
Again, this sense of intricacy was never fudged, every element of the music stood proud and correct.
A TOUCH OF TREBLE
Another factor here was the treble which, despite the immense amount of mid/bass work going on, stood its ground and radiated the many and frequent cymbal smashes across this track. That is, treble found its own space, refused to be veiled and provided the ear with a host of treble-based cymbal fragility that provided a welcome balance to the testosterone from the string section.
I then tried a slice of jazz on CD and the piano of Geoff Keezer and the album, Turn Up the Quiet and Stompin’ at the Savoy.
The piano is one of the most difficult instruments to grasp and deliver for any piece of hi-fi equipment because its a big box of uncontrollable resonances that offer a 101 different ways to go wrong. The Silver did well to rope in the piano’s more chaotic instincts here and allowed the instrument to offer a certain direction and mission throughout this track. This sense of control gave the piano and certain focus. Useful because Keezer’s fingers were all over it, in a decidedly acrobatic manner.
Similarly, the upright bass maintained that agility I mentioned above, giving this sprightly and joyful music a sense of direction and pace. Adding a strong foundational strength to the fripperies playing above it in the frequency spectrum.
And lets not forget the sax here which accompanied the piano to good effect. Both of the star instruments, the sax and piano, were given plenty of room to manoeuvre by the Silver because of the overall focus the cables gave to the soundstage. The resultant, slightly lean delivery prevented any bloat from reverb or any blooming from the bass. Here, there was lots of elbow room, meaning that the ear was easily able to pick up subtle and shy details in and around the mix.
My only caution when using the Silver cables is to make sure you get your hi-fi in order first. Reduce as much parasitic noise from the rest of your system because I’ll tell you this, the Gekko Silver cables are efficient and they don’t care what they transfer from A to B. They’ll transfer high-frequency noise just as efficiently as music so reduce your noise floor first and then buy these cables. It’s a practice you need to do anyway, to be honest but these cables will accentuate any issues you have with your hi-fi if you don’t prepare first.
Once sorted, the Gekko Silver Cloud will provide a presentation that is both focused and efficient. Music will never drag or slur with the Silver. There’s always plenty of detail on offer with these cables while their inherent sense of insight means that delicate and rather reticent detail will be exposed to the ear, adding to the richness from the soundstage as a whole.
A splendid design and one that will only add a sense of quality to any hi-fi system.
GEKKO SILVER CLOUD ANALOGUE INTERCONNECTS
Price: £750 for 1m pair
GOOD: midrange agility, bass precision, soundstage clarity, insight
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