Friday, September 18, 2009

KCI Silkworm+ Review

$1200 bucks! Are they made out of gold!? I heard that from my buddy Earl once or twice. You know, the guy with bolts in his neck, two teeth, and tin ear. The one you warn your friends about. Yeah, that guy.

Earl told me about his cables: they have fifty-nines pure solid core copper electro-cryo-servo-cooked on his time machine. Everyone says they’re the bee’s knees. Oh… you’ve heard that one before? So have I.

So what possibly could I have to say about these KCI Silkworm Plusses? Jeez! Ladies, be patient and let me take you on a bit of a journey! Close your eyes… OK, open them because if you don’t you can’t read my review. Your speakers are in the other room, people! Let’s be visual for a second and do some reading.

Let’s just say I have been around the block with cables. No really, I’ve probably had enough 1 meter interconnects and speaker cables to go all the way around the block. Twice.

Here are a few I’ve had in my system:

Cardas (golden reference ICs, golden cross speaker cables)

Transparent (super, ultra, reference mm2 in my system – through opus on other systems)

Tara Labs (The ONE),

Goertz (Boa MI-3, Tourmaline ICs)


Virtual Dynamics (Master, revelation, and Genesis),

Morrow Audio (MA3)

Speltz Anti-cables

Nordost (Valhalla)

KCI Silkworm+

The pile of green needed to pay for some of these cables is pretty mountainous. Some are more expensive than others obviously. All of them, however, are over priced. Don’t get me started about Transparent and their turtle cables.

So yes, all over priced. Except for one: The KCI Silkworm+. If I told you about the construction of any of the other cables you would understand what I mean, markup on some of those cables is ridiculous. Again, call me if you want to know more.


I am not easily impressed with cables. I’ve used a lot of them. Some do things better than others. Ultimately it’s which cable does more of what is better. My reference has been Tara labs because they were extended and neutral, I didn’t feel like I was listening to the cable. They have excellent bass control, a wide/deep soundstage that is clear, solid and easily intelligible. Details are present and natural without roll-off. They WERE basically what a cable should be, and they did what a cable should do: get out of the freakin way! The Tara Labs were $3500 cables. Let me be frank: The KCIs are my new benchmark for interconnect performance.

The KCIs are the most beautiful-sounding cables I have ever listened to. John calls them warm, but I generally correlate warm cables with rolled-off highs. Highs are present, natural and beautifully articulate. The cable is fast without being forward. The soundstage is huge and breathes with uncompressed freedom. They have ebb and flow that is both engaging, relaxing, hefty, and emotionally involving. I have never, with all of the cables that I have listened to, been so emotionally charged by listening to my system. A cable has never made me smile, cry, or laugh quite like this relatively trivial upgrade has made me do. They are extremely lively, and capture the richness and vast harmonic structure of music unlike any other component I’ve had the privilege of listening to. They are clearer than my Tara Labs, and have a sound that I can only describe as “real”.

The Tara Labs may have a slightly deeper soundstage. But what is amazing is that I don’t feel like I am missing anything with the KCIs. Just getting more music.

I should probably make a comment about build quality. While I’m sure some of you will prefer Earl’s cables for their amazingness. I made that word up. It was needed to describe Earl’s cables. Good word. Anyways… The Silkworm+ build quality is superb. They come vacuum packed and in a nice set of overkill packaging. The cables themselves use the glorious Xhadow connectors, which in and of themselves are a work of audio art. The cables are solid and well built, not flimsy like Morrow cables. I was recommended not to move them once plugged in, as the solid 24karat gold tends to be finicky and hyper sensitive in terms of being moved.

John Prator, the genius behind the KCI curtain -- or rather lackthereof -- is a great guy, truly a good human being. He impressed me greatly with his kind heart and excellent service. When I purchased these cables he shipped them out and I got them a day later. He’s passionate and is too nice for his own good. I was offered no deals for writing this review. I was merely enamored by their performance and felt obligated to write something for him.

Any questions feel free to shoot me an email or give me a call. I will gladly describe the other cables I’ve used and give you both a technical and audible comparison of anything I mentioned.

No comments:

Post a Comment