[Review] Zanash Gold-Silver cables

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi and General Audio' started by Nils, Mar 7, 2006.

  1. Nils

    Nils

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    Zanash Gold-Silver cables

    Zanash’s cable have always been very good for their price point. I’ve bought a few of his Solid Silver cables now, but was recently surprised by the talk of Gold and Silver twisted cables. So, when offered the chance to listen to them I jumped at it like Pete Docherty into controversy. Zanash’s silver cables have always performed excellently, but I’ve also had the sense that they work better with some types of music than others. So, I carried out a direct comparison of Zanash’s solid silver ICs (Type 1), the new Gold and Silver ICs (AuAg) and for reference a pair of VdH ‘the Bay’ (Silver plated stranded copper) ICs to bring out the characteristics of each cable.

    Originally I was only using the VdH cables. When I first swapped to Zanash’s Type 1 I realised just how warm and incoherent the VdH is. In contrast the Type 1 was far more articulate, cleaning up the music, giving better placement of instruments etc. Yet after listening for a while I realised this was perhaps at the expense of the overall enjoyment. The lack of body, especially in the midrange, slightly robbed simple acoustic songs of their groove and spirit. In these cases the VdH cable managed to flesh out the sound. As you can imagine this was perfectly suited to those same acoustic songs, adding tonal qualities to both the singer and guitar. However in larger scale music with more depth of instruments, you could hear the loose fuzzy bass starting to take over and the bloom, so welcoming with the solo instrument, leading to a congested midrange. For these full band situations Zanash’s type 1 really took control of the music, restraining the bass to make it more accurate, giving far greater detail on background sounds and taming the excessive sibilance (V noticeable with my CDP). At this point I was worried about having to swap cables for genre – this would surely lead me close to a nervous breakdown of patheticness.

    Thankfully this was when the benefits of the AuAg ICs really kicked in. They retained the clarity gained from the Type 1 cable yet also managed to keep the groove and musicality of the VdH. On the acoustic version of “Perfect Day” by Lou Reed, the slight echos from the recording were clear as day but not in a tiring manner (ala Type 1); this was entirely lacking with the VdH. Importantly, the guitar sounded so much more believable without smudging out Lou as was the tendency with the VdH. On “Walk on the Wild Side” the ‘coloured girls’ still sounded distinct while ‘Do’ing but had more breath to their character. There was also clear definition between the bass guitar and double bass. As great as all that is, the real icing on the cake for that song was the full bodied sax drifting in at the end; coupled with the rising distinct (but not etched) strings it was tugging at your soul when they faded out.

    The one negative aspect with the AuAg is that the extra resolution through the system seems to make singers breathing more apparent (!). Don’t ask me how this happens but its most clear at the beginning of Jeff Buckley’s “Hallelujah.” This can also lead to more noticeable hiss on certain recordings. Overall the AuAg is a fantastic cable, a fair bit more expensive than the Type 1, but easily outperforms cables in and well beyond its price range, as a recent comparison against Rare Earth Cryo Black Rhodium cables has shown (ask Zanash). As far as I’m concerned it’s a keeper.
     
    Nils, Mar 7, 2006
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  2. Nils

    zanash

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    Nils did submit his comment to me before he posted ......very fair and evenhanded, I made an observation as he understood the silver was gold plated, its not, the gold is in wire form. We are hearing similar things! this was the sister of the cable that went against the Rhodium cryo rare earth snake oil fairy snot etc. If people are intrested in the recipe pm me
     
    zanash, Mar 7, 2006
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  3. Nils

    HR100MCS

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    As a Russ Andrews / Kimber / E-bay victim I had spent a lot of money on cables going from PBJ cables at £45 per meter to KCAG at £416. The worry for me was even with a set of XLR KCAG and a set of RCA KCAG cables I was still looking for more. And then I came across Zero Gain :D

    Zanesh first offered to help me with a switching box for two XLR cables to feed into a single XLR socket on my amp, but as we got talking it became clear that I should listen to his cables. In early February the silver cable arrived with good quality XLR connectors. Despite all my efforts to persuade myself that the KCAG cable was better I had to conclude that the £35 silver cables from Zanesh were better in every way (£50 new price I think). So I decided to buy a further two cables for my system only for Zanesh to tell me that he had a gold/silver hybrid cable that was worth a listen.

    A month later (today) the AU/AG cable landed. To look at it is better looking than the silver, but having said hat I had become quite fond of my purple magician between my DAC and the Pre Amp:cool: . At 4pm I listned to three CD's using the silver and then the same three CD's with the hybrid. I was stunned, asounded and amazed at the difference. These were cables selling for three times the price of the silver cable which had trounced the £416 KCAG from Kimber, in other words could they match cables selling for £1200? I don't know because I simply could not pay £1200 for a cable:( . However, what I can say with confidence is that the AU/AG cable as £150 has left the silver cables standing, and they in turn embarassed the £416 KCAG from Kimber. Make your own conclusions - I have and Zanesh (I hope) will build me a further two AU/AG cables. They are a bargain.

    HR100 MCS - 15/4/06
     
    HR100MCS, Apr 16, 2006
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  4. Nils

    zanash

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    Thank you ......thats very good of you to say so !

    The original idea for the cable came from a strange dream i had.....believe it or not.

    I had most of the materials and took a punt at getting the gold, once built in RCA RCA format.....I sat on the idea for nearly six months as I thought I was hearing things....it was Nils who tried the cable for me and then would not let me have it back !

    This convinced me to experiment further..........
     
    zanash, Apr 16, 2006
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  5. Nils

    STELLABAGPUSS Happy Chappy

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    Well, I can only echo what other forum members have said in regards to Zanash I/C's . I made my Silver ones up myself,using cheap Gold Plated RCA's. What a great upgrade !
    Since then, Zanash loaned me his au/ag cable. It's a great cable, but I presonally prefered the Silver design, this I believe is purely down to what sound you enjoy. I found that the Silver had Slightly better speed,that displayed a "Warts & All" Sound, I found the the au/ag a slightly more weight in the low frequencies, and the High frequencies were slightly rolled off.

    IMO Both cables are simply superb, with the Silver cable being so easy to make up, even I can do it !

    I have now changed the Cheap Gold RCA's over to Eichmann Silver Bullets. This has since brought a further improvement, although it must be said the price on the silver bullets way are to much, so it does reduced the Value for Money Factor.

    11 Out of 10 Zanash !!
     
    STELLABAGPUSS, May 9, 2006
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  6. Nils

    zanash

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    Cheers...thanks!
     
    zanash, May 9, 2006
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