Mapleshade / SilClear contact enhancer
Mapleshade / SilClear contact enhancer: PRELIMINARY REPORT
One advantage of creeping into my middle years is that I still make the same mistakes over and over, but now I don't remember how often.
SilClear is a silver-based contact enhancing paste that claims to...well, according to Pierre @ MapleShade it does all things good and, along with all his other enhancement products, promotes world peace and, if we buy enough of the stuff, might even stamp out world hunger.
I've used SilClear for the past several years and liked that little bit of extra detail and openness it provided.
Last year when I changed out all my copper cables for RSDA silver Poiemas!! I wanted to hear how the cables sounded without any treatments, so I simply cleaned and installed them au natural. Since Lazy is my middle name, I never got around to adding any treatments...until last week.
Installation of a new home theater receiver forced me to pull out the rig, and while it was out I decided to clean and treat my Poiema!! cables with SilClear.
doc's First Misconception: I mentioned repeating mistakes, well, here is one of them. By cleaning connections that haven't been cleaned in a year, AND adding the SilClear, I changed two parameters at the same time. Definitely a NO-NO! I heard a big change alright, BUT. . .
doc's Second Misconception: I attributed the improvements to the SilClear and not the cleaning, after all, how big a difference could that make? (Yeah, right!)
Continued listening did, however, bring up a few negatives. Although there was a nice sense of openess and enhanced detail in the midrange and up, there was a noticeable lack of weight in the lower midrange, and more disturbing, the soundstage, which was once so precise now sounded too homogenized.
So, with my logic being as faulty as ever, I proceeded to. . .
doc's Third "Immaculate" Misconception, which was: "maybe I didn't use enough SilClear." So today I cleaned off the old stuff and proceeded to reapply to every connection on my 2-channel system. That only added to the problem and made it sound even worse!
Finally, my brain started to awaken, "maybe I should just clean the connections and NOT apply the SilClear." So I wiped off all the paste and cleaned all my connections with Caig G5. Voila! the warmth and separation returned (hip, hip, hurray!).
I still have the SilClear on my S/Cs and P/Cs. Just to prove that some old dogs can learn new tricks, I wanted to be able to evaluate those treatments independently. So, that task is left for another day.
My past successes in using SilClear were with copper cables (DH Labs & Audioquest). For this application I found SilClear provided a distinct advantage without any serious drawbacks. The same treatment on specialized, high silver content cables like the Poiemas!! was a different story. Perhaps the silver particles in the SilClear are not as pure or are of a different composition than the silver in the RSDA cables? Whatever the problem, I would urge those with silver cables to try it on one or two critical cables in your system before going "hogwarts" and blasting your entire system.
Hopefully, in the not too distant future, I plan to do the comparison with my speaker cables, which are also Poiemas!!, and my power cables, which are NOT (I'm using various copper cables).
I suspect, but cannot testify, that the SilClear may enhance the power cables, but probably not the speaker cables.
I also would like to try a similar product from Walker, which is about twice the price. If and when I do, I intend to begin treating one cable at a time and listening in-between. (bow-wow!)
Stay tuned for updates.