[b]Zanash Gold-Silver cables[/b]\n\nZanash’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. \r\n\r\nOriginally 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.\r\n\r\nThankfully 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.\r\n\r\nThe 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.