Tellurium Q is a brand that has gone from strength to strength over the past few years, they manufacture a superb range of cables and there is literally something for everyone as they cover such a wide variety of price points and products with speaker cables, analogue cables, digital cables, USB cables, power cables, jumper cables and a rather nifty system disc as well.
Tellurium Q’s primary focus with their cables is dealing with phase-distortion. The problem with this is a simple one; all of the materials (not just the actual wire) in the path of a signal will act as an electronic filter which results in timing shifts in the cable itself and poorer sound quality as a result. Tellurium Q have combatted this by designing a range of cables which are intended to be as transparent as possible. Huge attention has been to this aspect, listening at every stage of the R&D process and specifying unique raw materials for every application, even the chemicals to be included (or not included) in a plating bath!
They have produced three distinctly different ranges of cables – Blue, Black and Silver – in simple terms the Blue is relatively warm and rich sounding, the Black is fairly neutral and the Silver is more open and transparent. All 3 of the cable ranges possess wonderful tone and texture and they all remain natural and unforced in the way they present the music, but you simply get more as you go up the range.
The Black II loudspeaker cable has overwhelmingly been the most popular Tellurium product here at Audio Therapy, priced at £54.00 per metre it’s not eye-wateringly expensive yet it offers great performance across a wide variety of systems. It has replaced lots of NACA5 in Naim systems for example, it’s less lively and fatiguing than some other well known cable brands as well, it is fairly neutral in presentation terms and certainly not offensive on the ear, especially with long listening sessions. You get lots of weight, clarity and that all important boogie factor – musicality!
For many people the next logical step up the TQ ladder has been the Ultra Black II, to be fair it’s a big step up in performance in the right system and is a truly wonderful cable (£310 per metre). We keep the Ultra Black II demonstration and it always goes down really well. But, to be fair not everyone has the budget or a system that warrants a speaker cable at over £300 per metre……if you fit into that category then say hello to the long lost cousin of the Black II and Ultra Black II, the Silver II!
Silver is almost considered a bit of dirty word in hi-fi, you mention the word silver in almost any context and people automatically assume that whatever it is will sound forward, bright, lively or sparkly and be fatiguing to listen to over time (simply insert your own bright hifi cliche here!). In many ways this stigma has almost negatively affected the the Silver range of cables, when customers call or email and talk about Tellurium Q speaker cables it’s all about the Black range of cables, the Silver models rarely get discussed and when brought up it they often get looked upon with negativity without even being heard.
I must stress though the Silver II speaker cable is really superb and sits in a great sweet spot in their range. It is priced at just under £99 per metre, so it’s nearly twice the price of the Black II, but still sits well under Ultra Black II in terms of cost.
Doing a comparison between Black II and Silver II it doesn’t take long to hear the differences between them. As outlined above the Black II is fairly neutral, the Silver II offers far greater levels of resolution and is subsequently more insightful with the musical landscape it helps create. The Black II isn’t short of weight, but switching to Silver II the bass response is obviously deeper and tighter from the get-go. The presentation is still effortlessly natural and organic and the music is never sterile, forward or aggressive, instead much greater emphasis is placed on musicality and coherence with a much more expansive soundstage, there is no mistaking that the Silver II is pulling more information from the recording that simply isn’t quite there with the Black II.
Owners of the original Black and Black II who fancy an upgrade but don’t want to step up to Ultra Black II should give some serious consideration to the Silver II, it’s a great step forward over both the original and current version of the Black. Likewise, people who are using other cables in their system from the usual suspects of cable brands who are tempted to upgrade to TQ please get in touch.
As always mileage can vary from one system to another and the overall balance you prefer, as such we keep all the full range on demonstration (including Black Diamond and Silver Diamond) so if you would like to try some in the comfort of your system it’s not a problem at all.