Associated Equipment:
Digital Front End
Amplification
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Moon Audio Silver Dragon Cables

Affordably Delightful!

Key Kim

December 2003

Specifications

Silver Dragon Interconnects
8 wire braided geometry solid 99.99% silver
26 AWG Teflon insulated wire.
Price: $220.00/per meter RCA.XLR Sliver Dragon $250
Add $40.00 for Eichmann RCA

 Silver Dragon Speaker Cables
8 wire braid geometry solid 99.99% silver 22 AWG
Price: $440.00/per 10 ft.

Address:
1008 Antler court
Apex, North Carolina 27502
Phone: (919) 649-5018
Email: drubrew@bellsouth.net
Website: http://www.moon-audio.com



Drew Baird, Moon Audio’s resident chief designer, is a man of modest beginnings. His handmade cable designs were born more out of necessity — needing long runs for his DJ gigs during college — rather than some vain attempt at getting rich.

“I started in DIY Audio back in college about 14 years ago by building my own speakers. I was a DJ back then and needed a speaker that could crack floor joists and such. After college, I started getting more into high-end audio than the pro stuff. I wasn't satisfied with any of the equipment I could afford, so I started to tweak and modify everything I bought, from speakers to amps. Cables were the last thing I played with. I could not believe how much of a difference these things could make in a system. Unfortunately, I had a hard time giving in to paying thousands of dollars for the things, so I started researching and building my own. When I got tired of using other companies bulk DIY wire, I started putting together my own designs. After using all kinds of different materials I settled on silver wire as my personal favorite. I find the statement that "silver wire makes a system sound too bright" to be a small piece in the puzzle. If my system were too bright, I would look at the tweeter from the speaker first. I find metal dome tweeters to have more of a problem with brightness than silver wire, especially titanium dome tweeters. And yes, silver will irritate an already irritated, bright tweeter.

Finding all the pieces to the great sound puzzle is something that will go on and on. In some systems copper wire may be the best puzzle piece and in others silver might be the right piece. I feel the added detail and clarity that silver wire produces greatly out weighs the negatives and sounds much richer than a copper or silver-plated copper wire. But the beauty of this hobby is that we are all entitled to our own hearing opinions. What I like, the guy down the street may not. And that is his right. My design goal was to try and make an affordable set of silver cables that wouldn’t break the bank but will take your system to the next level. I sell them direct to try and eliminate the retail markup. The Silver Dragon is currently the top of the line cable. I now also have a scaled down version of the Silver Dragon called the Blue Dragon in both a silver and copper version. These cables are also the basis for my new Sennheiser Headphone Replacement cables. I'm working on an all silver digital cable as well as an all silver power cord.”

Baird’s time as a DIYer taught him some interesting things about cable design and all the myths surrounding them, particularly when using silver. “At first, I couldn’t believe how much of a difference cables made, but I also couldn’t justify spending thousands of dollars on them either! Yes my cables are silver but they don’t sound bright as many claim silver inherently will,” Baird declared. Price, for many of us, usually becomes the most disappointing aspect of our hobby. The price of admission for a lot of audiophile-grade components usually falls way beyond not only our means, but also our common sense. The Moon Audio Silver Dragon line of cables are an affordable alternative. This is the very reason I became attracted to their product and requested a review sample.

As the name Silver Dragon suggests, these cables feature an all silver solid core design. Like most other factory–direct products, they come with a 30-day money-back guarantee and are sold directly to the consumer. They are high quality, high value cables utilizing top–quality materials at reasonable prices.

My review samples arrived single-ended and made of non-magnetic, eutectic brass with rhodium silver topped with a gold plated brass cover. The speaker cables employ Cardas’ top-of-the-line spade terminations. Both cables were made up of eight strand braided conductors using pure five-nines silver. The cable jacket uses two layers of a Red Techflex braiding which protects the geometric integrity of the cable while at the same time gives it its good looks.

The overall sound of the Moon Audio Silver Dragon cables can be described as smooth and engaging. It never became harsh or fatiguing, even after extended listening. Moon Audio recommends a 100-hour break-in period as silver takes longer to set. I ran the Silver Dragons around the clock for about two weeks of burn-in before doing any serious listening. When the Silver Dragon cables were ready and put into the system I was rather excited by how good they sounded. As I Listened to a recording of Jacqueline du Pre performing the Edward Elgar Cello Concerto in E minor Op.85, with Sir John Barbirolli and the London Symphony Orchestra (JVCXRCD7243 8 26770 2 4), the Silver Dragons kept her Cello spotlit and well in the front of the orchestra. The orchestra itself remained back in a deep and wide soundstage, firmly set. However, the Silver Dragon’s superb inner detail made it easy to locate and track individual instruments. Considering this, my impression of the Silver Dragons was extremely positive, especially at their price level.

The Silver Dragons possess a kind of “presence factor”, or naturalness that I find alluring as well as musically engaging. The impression remained with every kind of music I listened to. I put these cables through their paces with jazz and vocal pieces as well. Vocals were very pleasing to the ear, possessing a three-dimensional quality. Listening to Georgia On My Mind, from Jacintha’s “Here’s To Ben” (FIM XRCD 020), I was impressed first, by the immediacy and solidity of the image, then by the complexity of Jacintha’s voice. Don’t get me wrong, the Silver Dragons will not perform like the Analysis Plus Golden Ovals that Clement Perry raved about (and I fully concur with as you’ll read in my upcoming follow-up) but costing less than 1/10 of the price, they are a remarkable accomplishment for Moon Audio. The more I listened to the Silver Dragons, the more impressed I was. These modestly priced interconnects and speaker cables performed magic in my Manhattan apartment. They easily compare with cables costing many times their asking price. Hey, Moon Audio’s Silver Reference may be modestly priced but there’s no question they offer high priced sound. The smooth, engaging sound of the Moon Audio Silver Dragons is remarkable for cables period and should be considered a steal at $200.00. It shows that you don’t necessarily have to break your bank account to get great sounding cables.

Lastly, what images does a Silver Dragon bring to mind? For me, it conjures up images of strength, fluidity, detail and purity. The Moon Audio Silver Dragon cables reflect all of these qualities. They are, in simplest terms, truly remarkable cables for their price.
 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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