I think I am going to write about this first: Van den Hul the Silver MKIII.
So forget about what I have written in the first page.
OK, this cable is very expensive. This is for sure. It comes in a nice wood box. But is it worthed its price? The answer is very simple and double: absolutely yes and absolutely not.
How can be this way? It is very easy.
Let's say you have a medium range hifi system with nice cable like for example the VDH The Integration. You change for the VDH the Silver and... you are not sure which is better. Yes the cheaper cables has some mutism on the higher frequency (not frequency wise but as far as timbric content) , or part of the medium high frequency but it is very musical and spatially well organized. The space between instruments is dense in its silence and this is something I appreciate. The Silver silence and space between the instruments cannot be more different... the notes decays are longer, the high and very high frequencies have a richness and density of tinbre that is extremely rare. This richness of timbre makes the cable going in the high frequencies without any trace of harshness. I say any trace. Of course if the other component connected are of the same level. So if it sound harsh it is not its fault for sure. It is a cable that is able of being of a gentle clearness and expecially of a enourmous dynamic capability.
Comparison with other top VDH: The Mountain shows a dynamic constipation and not the same timbric quality. The Cliff is dynamically similar but loses in the timbric department. The Integration has a kind of veil in the medium frequencies in comparison, and this is revelatory since the Integration in comparison to other cables reveals the same shortcomings and in the same frequency range. The First when it mates to perfection, since it can gives some strange results and hum in some combination: the timbre are on the same level and dynamically are very close. A little muted on the high frequency but it has its beauty.
It must be clear that these are foundings on an absolute personal scale. What does it means. For me it means that with a certain component, if correctly matched, you can reach an higher quality musical reproduction. So if a cable like the VDH Integration is used in a lesser system and with for example the Inspiration loudpeaker cable you would end up having a better result then if you use the better VDH Silver. For example the louspeaker VDH cable the Cloud works better with the Cliff interconnect then the Mountain, but with the more expensive Cumulus I guess, since I have never heard the combination,the Mountain could be a better match.
Comparing it to the Cardas Clear. The Clear has the same dynamically freedom if not a little more and it is dynamically more linear. It means that the different parts of the music maintain the same proportion even in the most complex passages. The VDH Silver in this aspect is not on the same level. When things get too complex the proportions and dimension of the instruments change slightly.
Timbrically the Cardas Clear is on very high level, but the VDH has something magic on its side that the Cardas miss. For example the nylon strings on a guitar with the VDH are real nylon and you can ear the strings tension. In the Cardas you ear it is nylon, but with more help of your brain. It is like the Cardas make you see 80% of the nylon while the VDH makes you ear 90% of the nylon.
This happens also with other instruments. With the piano the note attack is slightly better with the Cardas but the decay and the piano encloser resonance is more evidend with the VDH.
So at the end between the two it is a question of taste. I would suggest that with small ensemble the VDH is better but with big mass is the Clear is better.
Do't expect to ear this from a very good medium range equipment. You need high end material. You would end up haveing a wrong experience and start saying stupidity like the Cardas is flat and soulless and the VDH strange on the mid bass or something like that.
Two special things of the greatest interest at least for me: this cable shows the slightest changes in the set up. This allowed me to set up a cartridge in much less time I am used to need. This cable shows all the coloration of other cables when compared with. This could be incredible. One cable we always liked after hearing the Silver sounds grossly coloured! It is like listening to Pavarotti. Try if you have never heard him singing and try even if you don't like the kind and compare the same aria with another tenor. His singing shows what the other one is missing: if he is too forced when goes up in the highest notes, or not too clear in diction, or not so agile, or if there is a kind of veil in his voice or that he doesn't have the same natural flow.
This cable needs a certain time of burn in. I would say at least about 40 hours to loose some mechanical feeling.
After that for me it is a winner. This cable is a masterwork.
One of the most neutral cable around with one of the best timbric reproduction too.
I have bought the pair.
I would like to buy another pair but...it is so expensive... if Mr VDH will ever read this maybe could sell me one at factory price...