We don't envy any brand trying to take on Chord and QED in the circa £5/m speaker cable market.
Those two cable brands have dominated this sector over the last decade or so with various versions of their Carnival and Silver Anniversary products. The Copper-line Alpha Shield has it all to do.
Things start well. Considering this is Clearer Audio's entry-level shielded cable the Alpha Shield gives off a quality vibe. It uses high purity copper conductors combined with a polyethylene dielectric.
Strands of cotton are wrapped between the twisted construction to keep things in place and reduce any mechanical noise. Choose to have banana plugs pre-fitted – termination charge £35 – and you'll get some nice, shiny and solid-feeling connections.
A clean and clear sound
How does the Alpha Shield perform? Rather fittingly, considering the company name, this speaker cable delivers a clean and clear sound for the money.
The leading edge of each bass note in the intro of Kanye West's Love Lockdown is precisely defined and the sound stays composed, even when the tune gets complex.
Detail levels are good and refinement is up there with the best at this price. If you have a forward-sounding system this cable is well worth a listen.
However, up against the class best – take a bow Chord and QED – the Copper-line Alpha Shield lacks a little verve. It takes the edge off excitement, making listening a more academic exercise than it should be. That's why it loses that fifth star.
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