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Wireworld’s coaxiality.
The most common S/PDIF format is coax. My cable of choice for the past few years has been the ca. €165/m Aqvox. Against the Supernova 7 ‘twas matter of taste. Depending on dynamic jump factor or overall coherence, you’d favour one or the other. But Wireworld obviously has its own coax contenders. Six altogether if I counted right. German distributor Grämkow listens to the second from the top, the Gold Starlight 7. At €499 he finds it brilliant. My care package also included the ‘silver’ €249/m Starlight 7. Silvery and golden star light share geometry. Wireworld’s crafty word smiths dubbed it DNA Helix Design to describe stacked Composilex 2 isolated flat conductors which are twisted at a predetermined rotation like a DNA strand. Which begs the question what Composite 2 is. Both models also get a dielectric which minimizes tribo-electrical effects over conventional materials. Wow. So what distinguishes the Silver and Gold models? Gold runs on silver, silver on copper. Seriously. The four inner and twenty outer conductors of the Gold Starlight 7 are pure silver, the Silver Starlight 7 gets silver-plated copper.


I reached for the Gold after I’d first recalibrated my ears to the Aqvox, finally spinning Regina Spektor’s "Poor Little Rich Boy" from her Soviet Kitsch album. Not only does the songstress play the piano, she slaps and tickles her piano bench for some percussive accompaniment. It’s a noise that seems to root into the recorded flooring at LF and also makes for a terrific transient check, i.e. a good test for all loudspeakers. "That can’t be right!" I cursed under my breath once the Gold Starlight took over transport duties between Squeezebox Touch and Luxman player/DAC. This percussive noise felt far more real, immediate and shocking to be – well, a bit shocking. Why did I have to curse about it? Simply because I consider €160 for a digital wire no chicken feed.

I think that improvements beyond it ought to occur in homeopathic doses to prevent lusting after thrice-priced leashes. Thankfully Grämkow didn’t include the big dog Platinum which wants €1’499 the meter. Back to Gold. Not only was the attack more in the pocket, the decay too seemed better by trawling deeper into the stage and over a longer span. In short, the soundstage illusion was grander and more impressive than over the Aqvox. On Smashing Pumpkins’ "To Sheila" [Adore], its stage began a bit forward to seem a tad more direct but as such also smaller, more compact and not as lit up in the farther reaches. The Wireworld also painted vocals with more detail and inflection.


I followed up with Mop Mop’s "Jua Kiss" opener to their Isle of Magic album. It’s basically just a brief scene setting of a jungle atmosphere with bird cries and chirps, a rainmaker and half a dozen other percussive noises broadly distributed across the stereo panorama. This too played to the Wireworld’s strengths. These noises felt more real and cleanly separated to make for the better sorted stage. "Freer of fogginess, less diffusive" say my notes. If you’re into fast transients and ultimately clear staging, Wireworld’s Gold Starlight 7 is a solid recommendation. And the Silver? Fundamentally very similar but a bit more sonorous in the midband. Sadly with a bit less body and plasticity than the costlier Gold. Sadly with a bit less stage depth. Sadly with a bit less transparency. Sadly not quite as defogged. In the direct A/B it lacked the final degree of audiophile extra which distinguishes the Gold. But the Silver remains a good cable and has the better price/performance ratio. But twice the coin still does buy audible advances.