Silver Apex Interconnects

apex

The new Silver Apex is our top silver cable.  It has our most advanced geometry with a hollow oval cable inside a hollow oval cable inside a hollow oval cable for a double shielded design for a noise floor so low you can hear your amp breath.  Constructed of pure silver over a stabilizing strand of oxygen-free copper, woven into our patented hollow oval geometry.  These interconnects maintain the high frequency components of your source.

Available single ended with Locking RCA connectors or balanced with Neutrik XLR connectors.

**Note prices shown are for a pair**

$766.00$2,466.00

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Description

Silver APEX interconnect showing 3D geometry of hollow oval conductor inside a hollow oval conductor inside a hollow oval conductor

**Note prices shown are for a pair**

Length
(meter)
Connector Type
Non-Locking RCA
Abbatron XLR
0.5
$766.00
$766.00
1.0
$1,106.00
$1,106.00
1.5
$1,446.00
$1,446.00
2.0
$1,786.00
$1,786.50
Add $680.00 per additional meter

 


Details

Written by Roger Kanno
Category: Full-Length Equipment Reviews
Created: 15 July 2018

“The sound of the new Silver Apexes was bracing and powerful right from the start, while remaining relaxed and highly refined. There were noticeable improvements in nearly every aspect of my system’s performance…

In A-ha’s MTV Unplugged: Summer Solstice (BD, 24-bit/96kHz Stereo LPCM, Universal), lead singer Morten Harket’s falsetto in “Take On Me” isn’t as pronounced as it had been 32 years earlier, in the version of this song on the band’s first album, Hunting High and Low (1985) — but the intimate acoustic arrangement and Harket’s mature, measured singing are still dazzling in their purity in this performance, recorded in concert in 2017 at a small club in Giske, Norway. The gently plucked guitar appears almost entirely at the right side of the soundstage, but every note sounded crystal clear. The piano sound is slightly more dispersed but sounded very natural, and gave me an uncanny sense of the hall’s dimensions as its sounds wove in around the other instruments and provided a neutral backing to frame the sometimes soaring vocals. Harket’s singing may not be as lithe as it once was, but his affecting delivery of the words, with just a slight sorrowful quaver in his voice, hung delicately in the space between my speakers and stayed with me long after the song was over. If you haven’t heard this amazingly good acoustic version of this guilty pleasure from the 1980s, seek it out. The 16-bit/44.1kHz audio-only version sounds almost as good as the high-resolution audio track on the BD…

The Silver Apexes did a spectacular job of reproducing every minute detail in this stripped-down version of “Take On Me,” but they were equally impressive with the more complex arrangement of “The Sun Always Shines on TV.” The sparkling sound of Magne Furuholmen’s piano in his introduction was spread widely across the stage, with long sustains that segued perfectly into the smooth, robust singing of guest Ingrid Helene Håvik. It was a perfect balance of male and female voices at the forefront, surrounded by guitars, piano, and strings, each precisely delineated yet flawlessly integrated into the whole by the AP cables…

The title track of Neko Case’s Hell-On (24/48 FLAC, Anti-/Tidal), another and the latest praiseworthy album from this Grammy nominee, is an audiophile showcase that opens with lively percussion bouncing back and forth across the soundstage. There was a striking clarity to the sounds of the bells, and the proximate quality of the voices, recorded with little sense of space. The sound immediately involved me. “Halls of Sarah” has a more reverberant sound, with a gently strummed guitar exuding a warm, welcoming quality. The vocals here were just as present as in “Hell-On,” but now with a sultry, breathy quality that put me in a total state of bliss as I let the music wash over me, marveling at the coherence and liquidity of the sound…

With the new AP cables, I was able to better enjoy such intricacies of Hell-On (2018), and easily differentiate it from the more constrained sound of Case’s Fox Confessor Brings the Flood, from 2006 (16/44.1 FLAC, Anti-/Epitaph), in which instruments are more closely grouped toward the center of the soundstage, and the vocals sound flatter and more like cutouts. But even with Fox Confessor, the Silver Apexes’ immaculately clean sound clearly separated voices from instruments, which in turn were quite distinct from one another. The ultraquiet, transparent sound of the Silver Apex cables let me hear nuances in both of these recordings…

No one will ever accuse my reference MartinLogan Masterpiece Classic ESL 9s of being gentle or forgiving speakers: Their incisive sound is extremely revealing of other components in the signal chain. With the Silver Apex cables, the pizzicato of the Balkan cello duo 2Cellos (Luka Šulić and Stjepan Hauser) at the beginning of Mark Vincent’s cover of Magnetic Fields’ “The Book of Love,” from Vincent’s The Quartet Sessions (16/44.1 FLAC, Sony/Tidal), filled the front of my room with the simple but beautiful melody. Each pluck was distinguished from the sound of the cellist’s fingers moving over the strings, the rustling of the player’s clothes, and the instrument’s clean, well-defined harmonics. Vincent’s warm tenor voice was placed palpably at the front of the soundstage, supersmooth and intoxicating. When he reached the height of the final crescendo, it was amazingly loud and invigorating, with no hint of harshness. The incredible power of which the human voice is capable was clearly evident, but the sound remained clear, without deterioration, as Vincent held his notes with authority…

 

Value is subjective, but I can say that the Silver Apexes worked worthwhile improvements in the sound of my system. The overall greater feeling of ease and incredible refinement of sound with the Silver Apexes let music flow freely from my system, regardless of what I played. Whether it was their ability to extract every last detail at low listening levels, or to keep things totally clean and poised at very high levels, my system has never sounded better.

Some may find it difficult to justify the prices of these cables. While they are indeed premium prices for cables, there’s no doubt in my mind that these are cables of premium sound quality. You could spend even more on cables from some other manufacturers, but in my system, Analysis Plus’s Silver Apexes provided absolutely stellar sound.”


Hi Mark….

As promised here is my Sliver Apex evaluation…

When I first sit down to do a component evaluation , I always make some initial notes of my first impression of the component I am listening to..

Then I will put down the notepad and simply listen to the music and gauge my overall musical involvement…

Here are my notes after my initial 10 minute listen..

” It sounds and feels like I have just plugged into the mixing board of the performance”

” I feel like I am sitting at the mixing board”

Mark.. I can count on one hand the times I have written that statement down in my 45 years of listening to systems..

The Silver Apex cables capture more information AND , most importantly, present it in a spectacular FULL BANDWIDTH dynamic envelope  better than any cable I have had in my system..Qualities:

Low noise……      One of the lowest noise cables I have heard..Very black background.. but not that “dead” black that some cables give you that also consumes detail..

Some cables make the “blackness” sound Anechoic.. Not the Silver Apex… they are noise free but not “dead”

Distortion….        MY GOODNESS… These cables have the least feeling of “grain” of almost any cable I have heard …

They are so pure and grain free and remain that way even during complex/congested musical performances.

Dynamics….        This is THE most important area in a system.. If it don’t “swing” I lose interest in the music and it is out of my system…

Dynamic expression is one of the main ways an artist conveys his interpretation of the music he/she is playing..It is his/her signature on the music..

This is where The Silver Apex move ahead of the Gold Cables… The Silver Apex cables display  effortless dynamic swings that give one the sense of connection to the performance..

The Gold tonal balance is wonderful but , as you know, I felt they lagged just a touch in Dynamics and Speed. The the Silver Apex cables  “speak”  music..

One other point, their dynamic expression is balanced throughout the full frequency range..Many cables I hear have excellent dynamics IN A PARTICULAR AREA ..

This draws attention to that area ( spotlighting) and eventually gets tiresome to listen to.. The Silver Apex are dynamically balanced top to bottom…

Tonal Balance..  This is always a bit subjective but what I want is something that is neutral and LINEAR.. NO spotlighting of frequencies…

My comment about “plugging into the mixing board” tells me that I feel like the cables are “out of the way” with nothing that draws attention to itself..

Bass and Upper Bass…     WOW.. This area (45hz to about 150hz)  in the Silver Apex cables is VERY good… the definition of the note is clearly revealed..many cables get “lost” in this area.. they slow down or get “thick” and you loose the definition/speed of the note… Not the Silver Apex…They start and stop on a dime in this area.. It is so nice to hear the bass players notes driving the music..

Break-in……      Damn good right out of the box… and a bit of settling in during the first 24 hours..beyond that … no real change..

No need for 200 hours of break-in with this cable!!

Overall conclusion…       Mark,  These are the least colored, most dynamic , lowest noise cables I have had in my system..and…..Without question these are the best cables I have experienced in my system.

If you are after “musical truth” and a connection to the performance ( who isn’t ) , I have not heard better..

Full Loom…..      I first replaced the interconnects and was impressed but not 100% blown away.. There was still something in the mix that was not quite linear and had some grain.

Finally, I added the speaker cables and the entire system “locked in”.. Many clients are prone to try interconnects because they are easy and cheaper than speaker cables, but in this case, the full loom is essential to getting the total ” Silver Apex Experience”

Kudos to you and the Analysis Plus Development team…you have a real winner here..

I am looking forward to exposing these cables to a number of clients..

Thanks,
Ken Redmond / Simply Sound


Analysis Plus Silver Apex Cables

09-08-2018 | By John Hoffman | Issue 99

Analysis Plus is essentially an engineering firm that has chosen audio manufacturing as one of the areas to focus their resources. What I find interesting is that the fundamental concepts and design geometry that Mark Markel had identified years ago has remained essentially unchanged within their product line. In today’s popular culture, a large cross-section of people are drawn to new, improved, enhanced, or next generation, all of which basically boils down to the concept of different. Now, Analysis Plus has developed refinements to their products over the years, with advancements in conductor materials, terminations, and minor tweaks of the design implementation. However, the basic architecture of the design has remained unchanged, as the foundational engineering principals that AP cables are based on are as technically sound and relevant to audio reproduction today as it was 5,10, or 20 years ago. Yet, Mark Markel is a determined fellow, and one smart cookie to boot, and he has finally developed a revision to his cable design that results in measurable advancements in signal transfer over his original stacked oval recipe. The Silver Apex represents proven engineering solutions that Mark has developed over the years, and combines it with an innovative manufacturing process to create a statement product. So perhaps, in this case, we can say the Analysis cables are new and improved, well, because they really are.

The Silver Apex geometry is essentially a hollow oval cable inside another hollow oval cable, contained in a third hollow oval cable. At first glance this looks like a double shielded design, and it certainly is that. However, there is a bit more going on than what you would first assume. The inner hollow oval is the positive leg and wired to the center pin on the RCA connector. The second layer of wire is the neutral leg and is attached to the outer connector. The final layer of wire is the shield, which is tied to the outer connector also. In the Analysis Plus cables the shield wire is not floated, instead it is soldered to the RCA jacks at both ends. This arrangement is based on the research of Henry Ott, who worked at Bell Labs; and writes that superior shielding in the audio bandwidth occurs with this arrangement. In an XLR cable, the inner leg goes to Pin 1, while the neutral leg attaches to Pin 2, and the shield is terminated on Pin 3. In Mark’s design, the signal travels in the innermost run of wire, while the second leg stabilizes and contains the magnetic field created by the signal traveling through the energized strands. A layer of mylar tape is used to define the chamber between the two conductors and ensure an even spacing. The goal here is to create a uniform and stable magnetic field, which is determined by the interaction between these two runs of wire. Between the neutral conductor and the shield, a layer of Teflon dielectric is used to fine tune the impedance of the cable. In this design impedance is a function of both wire geometry and the interaction of the dielectric. PVC is used for the outer layer of the cable, as it is both flexible and durable, and does not influence signal transfer properties of the cable. As previously mentioned, the Silver Apex is a double shielded design, as this is a function of the second and third layer of wire. With the two sections working in conjunction noise rejection is not an additive process, but rather compounding in function and lowers the noise levels past the 50% threshold.

The wiring used in the Silver Apex contains a copper core for stabilization, which is then coated with high purity silver. The physical demands of the hollow core geometry require a threshold of strength to maintain shape, and this is the function of the copper core. Yet a reasonable degree of flexibility must be maintained for the wire to be easily routed and lay flat. In a home environment, this is often a concern that many audiophiles have, as aesthetics and domestic harmony suffer when cables cannot be unobtrusively located. The concentric architecture results in a smaller cross section and improved flexibility over the traditional Analysis Plus stacked oval design, and I find it to be significantly easier to dress in my system. The RCA ends are a custom design for Analysis Plus that maintain a firm grasp on RCA jacks. Mark has chosen to retire the previous locking RCA ends, as the new design can provide comparable grip, and are easier to install and remove. I believe the new ends are a worthwhile change, for in the past I found the locking ends tended to bind up, and getting them to release was a tedious process.

Historically speaking, Analysis Plus offerings have been considered a high-quality product with a reasonable selling price. The Silver Apex are their top tier offering, and the price tag is not cheap, yet the MSRP of $1106 for a meter pair is not unreasonable given the labor intensive process of manufacturing this cable. The Analysis Plus cables are manufactured in house as they have the tooling, jigs, and guides to assemble their products. Due to the complexity of the design, the longest run of Silver Apex Mark has achieved was under 100 feet without stopping for realignment of the machinery. In contrast, a 700-foot run of Crystal Oval or Silver Oval wire can occur in a single uninterrupted session. Manufacturing the Silver Apex wire has a demanding set of challenges, and this also factors into the final price of the interconnects, as does the high silver content of the raw wire, and the custom parts contained in the cable.

The Silver Apex were inserted in place of the VH Audio Spectrum CU interconnects that have been my reference cable for several years. Analysis Plus also shipped a pair of the cables with a DINN termination as it is an intriguing candidate for a tone arm cable. The other cables were terminated with RCA ends, although there is an option for XLR connectors. In my review system, amplification duties were handled by a First Watt F7 amplifier, and a Plinius Audio Tautoro preamp. Speakers were the superb JBL 4365 floor monitors. Digital source components were an Audio Magic Kukama DAC and Mac Mini/PS Audio LANRover combination. The turntable in service for this review was a Denon DP 75 in custom VPI plinth, with an Acos GST 801 arm and Ortofon MC 90 cartridge. Clean power was supplied by a PS Audio P10 AC Regenerator and PI Audio Group power cords. The final component was the Wireworld Eclipse 7 speaker wire.

When talking with Mark at Analysis Plus, the discussion eventually turned to parameters such as transient response, rise time, and noise floor. Now these are concepts that are normally associated with amplifier design, and they extend beyond the realm of what most people consider to be attributes of wire. Mark states that the areas of impedance, capacitance, and resistance (LCR) only go so far in explaining how a cable interacts with amplification and speaker loads. While LCR parameters are important, he also concentrates on getting leading edge transients of a signal correct. The aspects of cable design that are important to Mark are not this ambiguous collection of nebulous fluff that you read in many an advertising blurb, but rather measurements that are verifiable, repeatable, and have a correlation to established electrical theory. As a critical and experienced listener, I freely admit to not using scope traces to draw my conclusions, but I will say that the Silver Apex is one of the most neutral and refined interconnects I have ever encountered. In the Tri Cities, Washington, there is a large folk music festival called the Tumbleweed that comes around every Labor Day weekend. I have been fortunate to hear a band called The Cutters at this venue several times, and in every performance, they play “Fields of Gettysburg” [Front Row Seat; Three Rivers Folk Society]. I am usually within 20 feet of the stage for this song and I have it on a disc that was recorded from one of the shows I attended.  With the Silver Apex in the system, this was the finest reproduction of this piece I have experienced in my home.  One aspect I found intriguing is that the space and placement of the performers felt authentic, as there was not a great deal of depth to the recording, just like I have observed in their onstage performances. Once again, this is far more natural presentation to the songs I have heard The Cutters play, and I appreciate this raw and unvarnished reflection of the music.

I appreciate unplugged, or acoustic recordings from a wide variety of artists. Naked Songs by Rickie Lee Jones is a disc that I enjoy sitting down and listening to from beginning to end. I prefer the live versions of her songs over the studio ones, as they sound far more vivid and immediate. The combination of the First Watt F7 amplifier and Plinius Tautoro preamp excel at sifting through the fine details in music, yet with the Silver Apex installed this combo reached new heights regarding information retrieval. These are the subtle aspects of music that bring it alive, and this draws me into songs in a way that an overly warm and romantic sound cannot. In “We Belong Together” [Naked Songs; Reprise 9 45950-2] I can clearly hear the interaction between the crowd and RLJ, with the feeling of being part of the casual banter that goes on being between her and I, and not just other people in the crowd. This is because you can understand her snippets of conversation, like you are sitting in the first couple of rows of seats or tables, and not buried in the back of the venue where you can only hear the major components of the music. Of course, there is far more to this song than RLJ’s cryptic mumblings, and I found myself admiring her style at the piano. I could hear the hammers crash into the stings during powerful passages, while the cords resolved seamlessly into each other, and the melody meandered underneath the crests. Over the years I have heard this album many times, yet with the Silver Apex in the system, this music felt fresh and new, as it was presented with an authenticity that few cables have ever brought to my system.

Reference quality interconnects should stand out in the audio world with their overall performance, yet in doing so they should be unobtrusive in their function within our systems. What I mean by this is a high-performance cable needs to have an even octave to octave tonal balance, and never accentuate any portion of the audio band. This is a tall order, and I have had many a quality cable that could not meet this standard, yet they were still a good value given their relative cost. The Silver Apex is, without a doubt, a reference quality cable. When listening to “Mystery to Me” [Out of the Valley; High Street Records WHCD 10325] by John Gorka, I found this cable was able to bring a level of even handedness to the music that eluded the VH Audio interconnect I normally use. Those cables have been long term residents in my system, and I have always been content with them. Yet the Silver Apex has an improved tonal balance from top to bottom and exposes the areas that the Spectrum CU has noticeable enhancements in the upper midrange band. The bass guitar and drum kit also have greater weight with the Silver Apex, which contributes to a fuller sound without any embellishments that draw attention away from the music. What is interesting is that Goroka’s vocals are lighter, nimbler, yet have deeper extension in terms of overall range. While I still enjoy my previous reference cable, I must acknowledge that the Analysis Plus cable is a superior product.

With all this emphasis about characteristics like rise time and transient response, you would expect the Silver Apex interconnects to excel in the areas of pace and timing; or perhaps what you would call that boogie factor. If ain’t got that swing, and all that jazz, right? So, one evening I played “Deedle’s Blues” [Diane Schuur and the Count Basie Orchestra; GRP GR-1039] by Diane Schuur and the Count Basie Orchestra. I was very pleased with what I heard from the opening notes. The horns are sharp, metallic, and have excellent attack. The saxophones and trombones are smooth, with a warm texture, yet still convey a metric ton of energy. The bass line flows behind that huge horn section, yet is easy to follow and has that distinctive Basie bounce. Then there is Diane, one of the great voices in jazz, and the Silver Apex does justice to the tune she literally belts out. This song smokes from the beginning to the end, and these interconnects faithfully transfer the signal from DAC to preamp, and preamp to power amp, without compromising the timing and pace of the music in any way.

The Analysis Plus Silver Apex is a top-flight phono cable, and while I would not call it inexpensive; when compared to the upper tier cables on the market it is certainly attractively priced. Obviously, there is less expensive options, yet in the analog world it is possible to drop a hefty stack of Benjamin’s on a tone arm cable. The Acos GST 801 is a classic Japanese high-performance arm that is built with internal silver wire, so it makes sense to partner it with a silver tone arm cable. All the attributes that make the Silver Apex a great cable for component pairings are even more important in the millivolt region that low output moving coils reside in. This underscores the importance of the double shielding used in the Silver Apex, where that ultra-low noise floor becomes of even greater importance. I threw my favorite Big Bad Voodoo Daddy album onto the Denon DP75/Acos/Ortofon A90 turntable combination and sat back for a listen. What I found is that the superb tonal balance, the ability to highlight dynamic contrasts, and the organic mid band all came into play when used in an analog environment. On “Is You Is, Or Is You Ain’t My Baby” [Louie, Louie, Louie; Savoy Jazz SVY16134] I found the song to be supremely focused, with vocals that were natural in tone and texture, and the band had that classic jump vibe that makes it the premier modern swing band of our era. Everything that analog playback excels at was turned up a notch, with a large and deep soundstage that had instruments and singers fully formed against a pitch black back drop. The benefits of a low noise floor and quick rise time are clearly apparent, and these attributes make the Silver Apex an excellent choice for a phono cable.

Analysis Plus has earned a reputation of building well engineered cables that have a high level of value compared to the overall price structure in the marketplace. The stacked hollow oval geometry has been a mainstay in the Analysis Plus cables for years, with only refinements applied to the original design. The Silver Apex is a continuation of the oval hollow core geometry, yet it has a cache of advancements that raises the bar of what can be expected from this price point. The sheathing of three runs of wire within each other in a concentric pattern allows for a stable magnetic field between the positive and return legs of the cable. The two outer layers also function as a double layered shield, which results in an extremely low noise floor. Both attributes result in substantial reduction of frequency smearing, and this translates into an even octave to octave tonal balance with improved focus of performers. The lower noise floor improves the transparency of the cable and highlights the micro level of dynamic contrasts within the music. Some people may feel that silver as a conductor has a sonic signature that is cold and monochromatic, however that is not the case with this cable. The tonal balance sits as close to neutral as can be expected, with no overt indicators that are tied to the silver content of the wire. The Silver Apex cables are a statement piece from Mark Markel, and while the selling price is not stratospheric, make no mistake this is a reference level product. Mark has also released a 9-gauge speaker wire in the Silver Apex line, and perhaps we will be able to present a review of it in the coming months. For hobbyists who have assembled a high-performance audio system, I would put these Analysis Plus Silver Apex cables on a short list to audition. This cable is going to take up permanent residence in my reference system, as I value the neutrality and refinement they bring to the table.

Silver Apex Interconnects

Retail: $1106 for a meter pair

Analysis Plus

www.analysis-plus.com

Manufacturer’s Response

Our stacked hollow oval design has very low noise floor and the new hollow oval inside a hollow oval inside a hollow oval is more than double better at lowering the noise floor. The most important thing is the cable design geometry. Material are important but you could make a Yugo out of titanium and you would have a better Yugo but not a super car.

The electromagnetic fields are between the first and second conductor with the outer layer acting as an added shield for an incredible low noise floor and a very fast cable with hermetic protection against noise.

This cable gives you increased signal transfer characteristics with it fast rise time and like all Analysis Plus cables you don’t have to worry about frequency smearing.

The cable has the same gauge wires as the Solo Crystal Oval-In and Silver Oval-In but the hollow oval inside a hollow oval inside a hollow oval has a smaller cross section than two stacked hollow ovals inside a hollow oval.

We finally were able to do a production run of this cable which is very challenging to make. For example the last production run of 700 feet we had to start and stop production ten times and the longest run was only 94 ft. With the stacked hollow ovals we can do 700 feet in one take. The most important thing we feel is for the listener to use the most sophisticated signal processors that you posses—your ears—tell you if it is worth it.

Sincerely,

Mark Markel

Analysis Plus