Update 24/12/2016: If you are new to this issue, you may wish to first have a look at the 23/12/2016 update below.
Summary: The KLE Innovations Pure Harmony and Absolute Harmony RCAs are not pure silver RCAs as many believed. They are silver-plated copper. In response to this KLE Innovations have advised that they have not suggested that the pins in these RCAs are pure silver. Although the current page on the Harmony RCA pages on the KLEI website is now highly confusing (please see the link in the 23/12/2016 update) this was not always the case.
One of the original publicity / information pages for the RCA Harmony RCAs can be accessed via this link:
On this original page there are clearer statements about the use of pure silver. The following are direct quotes:
By no stretch of the imagination can these statements be taken to imply that "pure silver alloy" is the same as "silver-plated copper."
Update 23/12/2016: A response from KLE Innovations has now been received. Please see the highlighted passages below.
A customer has contacted me concerning the pure silver quality of the Pure Harmony and Absolute Harmony RCAs that have been used on a range of Aurealis Audio interconnects.
The customer advised that when cleaning the central pin of these Harmony RCAs he noticed small pink patches emerging among the silver. Further investigation showed that the contacts on these RCAs were not pure silver but silver-plated copper.
I subsequently undertook my own investigations on several Pure Harmony and Absolute Harmony RCAs and confirmed what the customer had found. The image below shows a Pure Harmony and an Absolute Harmony sanded and filed, compared to a brand new Absolute Harmony. I also undertook a flame test which involved heating the sanded grains until they ignited. They burnt with a green flame, which leaves no doubt that the RCAs tested are largely made of copper.
The only conclusion I can reach at this time is that at least some of the Pure Harmony and Absolute Harmony RCAs are not pure silver as advertised on the KLEI website. Specifically, the website advises that the Pure Harmony uses an ultra high purity silver plating to protect the pins, and that the signal/ground pins utilise KLEI™PureSilver with >106% IACS conductivity. Similarly, the Absolute Harmony pins have an ultra high purity silver plating and the signal/ground pins utilise Absolute KLEI™PureSilver.
The KLEI™PureSilver is described as a proprietary high conductivity silver alloy that is equivalent to 99.9999% pure silver. (ref: http://kleinnovations.com/kle-innovations-klei-products/klei-harmony-plug/)
I have contacted KLE Innovations about this matter, and a response was provided on 23 December 2016. The response was not a lengthy one and included the following statements which are direct quotes:
Obviously this is a very unsatisfactory outcome for the customers of Aurealis Audio. I can guarantee that all cables provided to customers do perform well with the RCAs provided – each cable is
tested before shipping – and that the high quality wire and other components in each cable is such that it is not wholly dependent on having the highest quality RCA to perform at a high level.
However, they are not the RCAs that customers paid for. That is, they are not pure silver, and this was not known at the time the interconnects were supplied. I still stand by these
statements, but have removed previous suggestions that the production company made an error. Irrespective of what KLEI may choose to name the silver alloy it uses, it is clear from the image
below that the Pure Harmony and Absolute Harmony RCAs are silver-plated copper. And by no stretch of the imagination can you call copper a silver alloy.
Please see below for a list of the interconnects that may be affected.
I am hoping to be able to take steps to rectify this, but won't be able to provide further advice until I hear from KLEI on what action they intend to take. In the meantime, I will not offering any interconnects with the existing stock of Pure Harmony RCAs and Absolute Harmony RCAs that I hold. At this stage I am not sure if there is anything further that can be done.
Should you have any questions, please get in contact with me: admin/at/aurealisaudio.com.au.
Cables that May be Affected
R2 AgS - uses Pure Harmony
R3 AgSh (S) - Pure Harmony
R3 AgSh (L) - Absolute Harmony
R1 Dragon - Pure Harmony