To Doug Schneider,

Love your articles. I recently read your review of the Siltech Classic Anniversary 330L speaker cables and something you said in that article really stuck because I could not agree more: "a cable that has its own sound is nothing more than a tone control." That statement I could not agree more with and it’s the exact thing that has always scared me about my Synergistic Research Element Tungsten speaker cables and its Tuning Bullets. I know they get great reviews but it always worried me that I may have nothing more than expensive tone controls. I just upgraded my speakers and a huge part of me is wondering if I should trade in my Synergistic cables for some Siltechs, either the 330L or 550L. Any thoughts you have on this would be really helpful!

Thanks in advance,
Lou V.

That’s not an exact quote from the review, but it does convey the gist of what I said. Basically, some people use cables as tone controls, sometimes to tune the sound of their system to their liking, but other times to compensate for other problems with their system, such as poor-sounding electronics or speakers. To me, if you want tone controls you should just get a preamp with some, and if you have to make amends for poor-sounding electronics or speakers, you should really replace those components instead of trying to cover up the flaws with cables.

I’ve never used Synergistic cables, so I don’t know if they act like tone controls or not. Fellow-reviewer Howard Kneller swears by their wires, but that’s all I know of them. Siltech Classic Anniversary 330L cables I do obviously know from reviewing them and now owning them. I liked them when I reviewed them and subsequently bought them because they’re the cleanest-sounding cables I’ve heard near their price, and they don’t alter the tonal balance, which makes them an ideal reviewer’s tool. So I can easily recommend them, which is also why they made it into our Recommended Reference Components listing.

My suggestion is to search for a Siltech dealer and see if you can try out a set of the cables in your system so you can compare them to your Synergistic wires. From that you can figure out which you like better, as well as determine if your Synergistic wires with their Tuning Bullets are acting more or less like tone controls. . . . Doug Schneider