2019 HIFI KNIGHTS CROWN PRINCE
Dawid Grzyb has reviewed Siltech's Crown Prince cables for HIFI KNIGHTS online magazine. Here's the original review (in Polish) and below is an English translation.
Past the adventure with the Dutch princess, the time has come to witness what its brother meant for loudspeakers – Siltech Crown Prince – has to offer. It surely deserves a separate story. Enjoy.
As the next step into the Siltech assignment, this material was unavoidable, however my attitude towards its item changed a bit in time. This company’s Crown Prince model was meant to be introduced in a standalone story since the very beginning, yet it also became a part of a far bigger tale, which I believe helped me to understand it better. In the context of what happened later on, the Crown Princess review now can be safely labeled as a rather innocent beginning. This item showcased clearly that the Siltech crew are no newbies, whereas their Triple Crown power cable upped the ante significantly enough to change my cable worldview literally upside down. Due to this item’s price I suspected that it had something special going on, though efficacy it brought to the table caught me off guard. Individuals very deep in the cable know aside, now I strongly think that everyone else out there isn’t ready for what this product in particular can pull off. I know I wasn’t, prior to its arrival I viewed such goods as mild meta shifters not capable of introducing changes similar to those associated with major hardware swaps. With the Triple Crown specimen that’s exactly what happened.
Truth told, I doubt that many people will find my Triple Crown story any believable. Reading something of the sort I know I wouldn’t, which is how exactly it should be. Such items aren’t a matter of belief, one has to listen, judge for him/herself and there’s no other viable way how to approach this subject. To arouse a reader’s interest in this product was my role and hopefully I did well, whereas to pursue it or not is on potential customers’ shoulders, not mine. The important bit is that the Triple Crown showed me something brand new I wasn’t aware of any earlier, and forced me to ask one specific question associated with today’s hero. The latter’s sister is anything but affordable, yet still within reach of many high caliber aficionados willing to pursue sound flavour it represents, on the contrary to the Triple Crown case. This one is reserved for those equipped with truly deep pockets and relentless in chasing the rabbit regardless of its elusiveness or cost, however…
The difference between Triple Crown and Crown Princess models I’ve found adequate to staggering price gap between them, but I couldn’t wrap my head around Crown Prince’s cost a hair above the former. That’s where it’s at. The anniversary prince worth several princesses gives a valid reason to ask about its potency; whether it’s somewhere in the ballpark of similarly priced Siltech’s TOTL power cord or not. Yes, both operate at different junctions of a setup to address its different needs, hence in theory no brotherly backstabbing is on at the Dutch camp. However, practice and common sense imply min-maxing regardless of one’s financial reach. Simply put, Siltech Triple Crown raised the bar tremendously and that’s why my attitude towards this report’s item involved a fair bit of reserve along the usual curiosity.
Siltech Crown Prince arrived dressed in the same book-alike carboard box as the Crown Princess model. Nicely cut foam forms, one informational leaflet and strategically placed velour linen all found inside netted view normal and free from excess rather than luxurious.
Siltech was shy about technical background behind Crown Princess and today’s hero continues this tradition. This one also sits in-between the Classic Anniversary and Crown ranges, was built to celebrate Siltech’s 35 years in the audio game and is based on monocrystalline silver conductors. These are not pulled but cast accordingly to the in-house developed X-tal method, which i.e. involves Siltech’s own specialist furnaces, NASA’s COMSOL software platform and presumably an array of various additional tools.
Siltech Crown Prince visually fits the Dutch portfolio. Clearly twisted conductive sections which run from aluminium rollers (filled with glue and most likely with filters inside) up to spades are hid inside blue insulation, and the same colour is also visible underneath black sleeving seen in-between these bullets. Each of these sports Siltech’s logo and affiliation with the anniversary family on one side, whereas directional arrows on the other inform us about proper connection route. Gold-plated spades found on my loaner clearly have gone through a lot, which is hardly any surprise. Its job is to be on constant rotation and the more locations it visits, the better it is for Siltech’s local representative.
Nicely put together and exceptionally flexible, Siltech Crown Prince scores very high on ease of use. Its thickest mid section proved to be surprisingly soft when squeezed. Once shaken, the cable itself rattled sensibly, which was presumably due to intentionally loosely placed conductors underneath its main insulation. This gave a reason to think that the air-filled teflon dielectric material exploited in the Triple Crown range was used in today’s anniversary speaker item as well.
In order to review Siltech Crown Prince, my daily setup was used; fidata HFAS-S10U as a storage/streamer and LampizatOr Pacific (KR Audio T-100 + KR Audio 5U4G Ltd. Ed.) on the D/A job. From there the signal went to the Accuphase P-4500/C-2150 team and then to either my Boenicke W8 or DearWolf Roe Deer floorstanders. Today’s item was compared to LessLoss C-MARC speaker cables. Every major component was plugged into the GigaWatt PC-3 SE EVO+ power conditioner, married to the main inlet via the LC-3 EVO cable by the same manufacturer.
Siltech Crown Princess already proved me that Edwin Rijnveld and his team know how to avoid stereotypes associated with silver conductors, and so does this review’s item. It follows the same path and there’s nothing new to add on this count. The Crown Prince model not only closes the four-pieces long chapter, but also occupies a particular place among its kin sent my way. In my setup it didn’t reach as high as Siltech’s TOTL power cord, this I’m certain of, but at the same time it bested his anniversary sister with ease. However, today’s won’t be found ideally in-between Crown Princess and Triple Crown located at the opposite ends of the same scale, but much closer to the latter.
The Triple Crown specimen a fair bit beyond reach of today’s product wasn’t a surprise, for years power components at my place have been doing substantially more than most other accessories. That’s the reason why even the very costly Crown Prince introduced no expectations but mainly reserve. It’d be a major surprise if the result of its work would’ve been any different than it was. Who knows? perhaps Siltech’s Triple Crown speaker cable would be able to dethrone his power sibling? The former belongs to the the crazy upper five figures realm not known to me at the moment, hence I can’t say, but now let’s leave guesswork outside the door. Siltech Crown Prince bested my Lithuanian reference leash and did so rather explicitly, that’s the important bit and this chapter’s focus.
Numbers on intensity scale in case of both the Dutch and Lithuanian were quite similar. These products influenced my rig audibly, instantly and bluntly enough for me to quickly understand what happened. Early on I viewed the C-MARC as the one more capable in showcasing what my setup could do and several back and forths proved me that this was the case indeed. The LessLoss presented itself as the silent backseat operator of minimal input of its own. The Crown Prince followed a very similar path, though the longer it was on duty, the more clear its special trait became. This one was into showcasing the better version of what I already had; not different in one way or another, but more interesting and involving, on quality scale higher and surely even more refined. The Dutch addressed many important aspects to improve reception of well-known repertoire, though did so skillfully; without changing it to become something that it originally wasn’t. Daily auditioned tracklist served more artfully yet intact at its core I’ve found enjoyable, partially due to being accustomed to what the similar LessLoss has been doing for months already. Familiar goodness was the case then, but more of it with today’s product.
Siltech Crown Prince sang faster, tighter and more vigorously on the very bottom upon request, which Acid’s “Creeper” from the “Liminal” album expressed with no room for second guesses. Dynamic range and attack served the Dutch way were clearly better, and this extra verve introduced additional excitement during auditions of music based on fast guitars, cellos or artificially generated fast bold bass impulses. This description might give a way to view today’s hero as more contour, flashier and less conservative in comparison to its opponent, but this wasn’t the case. Calm songs by Mari Boine or Leonard Cohen sounded smoother, calmer, soother and subtler with the Crown Prince on duty. It extended its input in there too, however its beefier and at the same time sportier bass was the spicy twist. Speed and substance beyond its rival’s reach and delivered at the same time partially explain the prince’s ask. Usually it’s either one or the other, but this time around I had both.
The confession above rightfully might be seen as a major paradox. A cable fast and calm at the same time? How so? That’s the core of today’s item. At some point I started to view it as a chameleon capable of adjusting to musical challenges similarly to the C-MARC, yet overall far more potent. Far. The latter product provided the exact same service, but on a lesser scale; not as obviously and intensely. After several days of enjoyable cable exercises, the Dutch not only morphed into C-MARC’s very costly upgrade, but also specimen able to deliver quieter and cleaner musical backdrop for everything else. Prior to this assignment not even once it crossed my mind to label the LessLoss as grainy, yet in direct comparison to the Crown Prince it wasn’t as smooth and a bit brighter and shoutier. The difference in these regards was very small yet noticeable and it arrived as one of the biggest surprises Edwin’s product had for me.
Inherent transparency as the C-MARCs strongest card turn it into a product, which will never be mediocre or not fitting if associated with quality companions. Simply put, it acts on a level according to nearby hardware, whereas Siltech Crown Prince boosts its potential with no audible price to pay. That’s the key disparity between both compared products. The Lithuanian factually had its dynamic range compressed and bottom less powerful, however its opponent more potent on these counts also had the edge elsewhere; calmness on demand, greater momentum and smoothness, upped textural complexity and in general lively element injected more generously all did well in my setup. The Dutch made music more vivid in a way, to my ears also quite free from compromises and more spectacular, which I enjoyed a lot.
Once everything above and several previously published articles are taken into account, I have to admit that getting back to the C-MARC after the Crown Prince experience was nowhere near as painful as it was the case with power cords. LessLoss meant for speakers in my book still represents tremendous value and makes my journo life easier, that’s the bottom line. What’s left now is this simple question: is the truth alone (C-MARC) sufficient for you to be happy, or are you after its substantially better and several times costlier version (Crown Prince)? I’m good as is, I can’t possibly know the answer for you and two similar yet differently tiered routes now mapped end my role.
The initial agenda involved two Siltech’s anniversary items as a team in one publication. The idea of keeping this family together would surely have a lot of sense, yet the obvious price disparity between its two representatives begged for further investigation. Now I’m happy that I pursued this route as Siltech Crown Prince proved to be different in comparison to its sister; pricier and meant for a different kind of work indeed, but also audibly more potent and overall far better.
Although satisfying, Crown Prince’s box and visuals don’t suggest an item this costly. The general feel is more modest than luxurious. Yes, attention to details plus overall nice put-togetherness are seen clearly and generous flexibility of the product I’ve found very useful. However, we need to look for its price justification exclusively in the sonics department. On this count the word ‘modest’ doesn’t quite fit, on the contrary to ‘great’.
Siltech Crown Prince surely sings like a very costly cable. It’s impactful enough to label its input as significant and not subtle, yet also free from any major alterations with music itself. This product adapts to it, is profiled to be quick and detailed, but also saturated when needed and always exceptionally open and smooth. Simply put, it’s very clearly heard that not only it does a lot, but also in a way that any randomness doesn’t factor in. Yes, the Triple Crown specimen impressed me more than today’s item, and the choice between the two is obvious to me. Still, this doesn’t change the fact that the anniversary Dutch meant for loudspeakers also performed impressively, just as a snake this costly should. All that’s left now is to encourage interested individuals to at least have a listen to this product once an opportunity strikes. If not to buy one, perhaps just for the sake of witnessing how meaningful a speaker cable can be. It’ll be a valuable experience and nothing less. ‘Till next time!