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Moon Audio Silver Dragon Headphone Cable

02-04-2020 | By Sam Rosen | Issue 107

Moon Audio Silver Dragon Headphone Cable

Do cables make a difference? That is a question I get asked quite often, and it is a question that Audiophiles have debated since the beginning of time. I am not going to directly answer that question in this review because it does not matter to me. The way my headphone system is set up, I require a 15ft - 20ft cable for my headphones. This means I have to purchase an aftermarket cable. My goal is to simply purchase the best aftermarket cable I can find. For this review I will look at a 20ft Moon Audio Premium Silver Dragon cable that Drew from Moon Audio loaned me two months ago for this review.

The cable is terminated for my Hifiman Susvara with a quarter inch single ended jack on the amp end.

Having purchased cables from Drew at Moon Audio before, I can say he is a pleasure to work with and the buying experience is exactly what you would expect from a high cost aftermarket cable.

The cable itself is made from four 99.99998% UP-OCC Stranded Silver wire. My hope was that given the 20ft run,  the silver cable will perform better than my existing copper cable collection. I am happy to say that the Silver Dragon does not disappoint, but more on that later. First I want to talk about how nice this cable looks. It uses high-end Furutech Rhodium connectors, and when you hold the cable you feel like you are holding a premium product. The cable itself just feels good to hold, it feels good against skin (which is an important attribute when we talk headphone cables), it coils well, and it is resistant to being twisted the wrong way. The only thing I did not love was that the cable feels fragile between the Y split and the headphone terminations. I don’t think the cable is, and in my two months of use I never once had an issue; but I wish this part of the cable felt more substantial.

The Review System:

  • Roon Rock (FLAC, Qobuz, Tidal)
  • Pro-Ject Stream Box S2 Ultra
  • Chord MScaler
  • Chord Dave
  • Ampsandsound Bigger Ben
  • Hifiman Susvara
  • All interconnects are Wireworld Equinox series, USB is a FTA USB Cable

Assessing the Sonic Signature of the Moon Audio Premium Silver Dragon

When I received the cable, Drew from Moon Audio told me to let it run in for about 60 hours before doing any critical listening. I followed his instructions and let the cable run for about 80 hours before I began taking notes during my listening sessions.

Most people would say that silver cables tend to be brighter, while copper cables are more mid and bass centric. The Silver Dragon does not subscribe to stereotypes, while it is detailed, it has a smooth sound signature, smoother then several of the copper cables I have tried over the years. At times I even found the cable a little too smooth. As a result, I did not find the Silver Dragon to be the most detailed cable I have listened to. But this was only apparent to me after back to back comparisons with other cables, using high bit rate recordings. Instead what was very apparent was that all music sounded great on the Silver Dragon, and due to the smooth nature, I enjoyed rougher recordings instead of cringing at them.

Bass extension is excellent with this cable; the Susvara already has excellent bass, but I felt that the headphones presented slightly cleaner bass than I was used to. Again, I have heard some say that silver cables present cleaner bass because they produce less bass quantity, and once again the Silver Dragon does not conform to stereotypes. While I did not think the Silver Dragon emphasized the bass (which for me would have been a negative), it absolutely did not take anything away from the headphones natural abilities.  

The Silver Dragon produces a wide sound stage, but it is not overly tall. This is the one area where the Silver Dragon did not perform to my expectations. The resulting sound stage almost produced a letter box effect, similar to how black bars appear on top of and below widescreen movies on 16:9 TV in the dark. The effect is not extremely apparent, but it is noticeable if you look for it.

Concluding Thoughts

I sometimes find cable reviews quite challenging, but this one not so much. Moon Audio makes an excellent cable and you will be quite happy with the Silver Dragon. The main question for me to answer is: Do I feel like the cables cost matches its performance and aesthetics? For the Silver the Dragon, the answer is simply yes. I have had the privilege of listening to many different headphone cables over the past few years, at many different price points, and the Moon Audio Silver Dragon will become my default aftermarket headphone cable recommendation moving forward.

Moon Audio Silver Dragon

Retail: $315 (5 feet standard length)

Moon Audio