Acousctic Zen Sil. Ref. II and Absolute, anyone?

I would like to know what your experience and comparisons with either of these I/Cs has been. Sil.Ref. II owners, what did you compare them to? The Sterephile review had them on one level with the Nordost Valhalla - is that so? Did anyone listen to the Absolute in comparison to the SR, and to other cables? Are they worth the considerable plus of money?
Thanks, Florian hassel
Florian, I have these in my system from my sources to the preamp. Before I purchased these, I auditioned a wide variety of ICs, including Synergistic Research, Transparent, Purist Audio, and Nordost (Red Dawns). To my ears, the AZ Silver Ref was better in terms of clarity and speed. I ended up purchasing them used here on Audiogon.

Please let me know if you have any further questions.
Florian, I have the SRII between my source and preamp. I compared them to Kimber KCAG, PAD Venustas, Cardas Neutral Ref, and an XLO (forget which one). Picked them because they had the best combination of clarity, speed, and soundstaging while retaining a musical presentation. I think, however, that what I found most interesting was the synergy aspect. I wanted to use PAD Venustas at this location and between my preamp and amp (which is what I use there). PADs in both locations were not nearly as good as AZ and PAD. Musical, but a touch too warm and smooth for me. The SRII worked for me, but YMMV.
I use AZ Silver Ref MkII between cd and pre. Matrix Ref MkII between pre and amp. Tried 2 Silver Refs and did not like it. Sounded artificial and too thin. However, a blend of Silver Ref II and Matrix Ref II is great. Even the combo of 2 Matrix Ref MkII ICs is a killer. But the SIlver/Matrix is just a tad bit more resolving and detailed without making any sacrifices.

Heard Absolute but not in my system. Can not offer much detail aside from the fact that the system sounded very good.
AZ cables, in my experience, offer the most without charging insane prices.

When you pull them from the box you know right away that they are really well constructed.
I've used matrix refII ($500), silver refII ($1,000), and Absolute($2,500) I.C.'s in all combinations. I think they are all excellent choices at their respective price point's. If you system seems "bright" to you use one or more matrix ref II's and save some money. If not then try what your budget allows. From an overall prospective I would say you gain about 10% performance with each step up in terms of clarity. This obviously comes with quite a price. I currently use all absolute IC's but I could see equal improvements by investing the extra money in something like listening room improvements. Also I buy cables at 50-60% of retail so this helped make the absolutes more reasonable. -Jim
Thanks for this thread, I have been wondering the same question. I use Silver reference1's and hologram and was contemplating the Absolutes, reluctantly, they are pretty expensive. It sounds from the last post, as though I can save my money, without too much risk. Much has been said about mixing Silver and Matrix reference, I prefer all Silver reference, but I suspect it is a matter of system synergy