Acoustic Zen or Harmonic Tech cabling is quite similar as they both utilize the so-called single crystal technology with a mix of copper and silver and especially since both mfg's cables come from Robert Lee, chief designer at Harmonic Tech before starting Acoustic Zen.
Zen's may (or may not be) a tad better but the HT will save you a few more bucks if you're on a budget.
I've compared the HT Pro 9's to AZ's Satori shotguns and I sold the Satori's to purchase the Pro 9's. And saved $400 in the process. (both sets were purchased used).
I just purchased a 15 ft run of Acoustic Zen Silver reference between my SFL2 pre amp and VAC renaissance 70 MK III feeding the Verity audio parsifal encores. They are simply amazing. I understand that the matrix is superb but not as transparent or resolving as the silver. I also owned the 330's. The matrix will make the MIT's sound sick. For less money, I recommend the JPS FX ($750 retail for 15 ft).
You might want to go with a balanced cable. I've tried both rca and xlr with my arc amp and found the xlr was noticably better. ARC recommends this as well. I use a vt100m2 and a bat vk-5i. I've also used/owned the arc ref1 and the ls5mkII with this amp.
I tried the az silver ref ic and thought it was one of the better ic's I've heard. Great harmonic content, no silver harshness, very good transparency and easy to listen to. I did however feel that it was overpriced for it's level of performance.
I didn't hear them a/b, but I did compare both to the same reference cables, and I felt the az and the ht pro silway II were about the same distance off. I would personally just buy an ht pro silway II. If you can find one cheap, you might also try some ARC linklitz cable. Those lose out a little on the transparency, but they are very warm and have a great midrange with arc electronics.
The satori speaker cables are excellent and imho the audio buy of the century. Unless you want to pay for a 3000+ retail speaker cable, I would go no further. I found them to be very close to the best speaker cables out there.
So, buy some ht prosilway II, and some satori's !
Hi John .... I was considering Balanced but my other ic are RCA to RCA and I was told that may not be too good.....
The idea behind that advice is that running balanced end to end will lower the noise floor overall. This is probably true with all components that are designed as balanced circuits from end to end.
Most of the time I really don't hear that much of an improvment of balanced verses single ended. I usually try both when I have a choice. Balanced verses single ended really is component dependent. Sometimes I hear an improvement, but most times the difference is too small to be concerned with.
I've used a variety of preamps and cables with the vt100m2, and I do hear a marked improvmement running a balanced cable from pre to amp. A long ic is also better served with a balanced cable because of it's noise cancelling characteristics.
I think the Silver Ref is better than the Matrix, but it should be at half the price, more open better detail etc.. I think the Silver Ref is at a much higher level than Pro Silway 2, Matrix is even much better than Pro Silway 2 in my system. I have owned them all at the same time and compared them directly. Just because Zen's designer used to work for HT and the cables both utilize zero crystal design doesn't mean they sound the same. In my opinion the Zen cables are the best I have tried at any price including very expensive stuff.
Whoever tells you the Acoustic Zen and the Harmonic Tech sounds the same, should get there ears cleaned out.The two cables are quite different.I have compared a New Silver(when I say new I mean the one shipping from AZ the last few weeks, Robert lee has been changing the Silver drastically), to the Nordost Valhalla.The Zen steeped all over the nordost.The Harmonic is not even in the same league.The topology of the cable is completely different.AS for the Satori Ejlif is 100% accurate in his statements.As for the connector type, theoretically the XLR would be the best choice, however if you asks around the audio industry , everyone will tell you Rca is the better sounding connector.
You win the '02 Fife award for devastating insults.
I'm just trying to contribute based on what I have tried and what I have heard. I've own a very similar system to rwd and I've gone through over a dozen cables with it.
I owned both of these cables for a few weeks and listened to each in a very similar system. They're both in the 'a little dull on top with decent harmonics and above average transparency' club. They both have a very small touch of silver harshness. The az has better harmonics, and is a little less harsh. I agree that the az silver ref is a little better, but not for the price difference on a 15 foot run. Ever notice how people buy and sell $500 az silver refs ? I was the third owner of mine and the guy I sold it to sold it in a week. Another friend bought one and kept it a couple weeks. He concurs with my opinion on it relative to the ht pro-silway and quattro-fil. Cables are easy to squabble about since they are based on a gazillion factors, including personal preferences.
XLR sounds better with my arc amp. No doubt about it. I would guess much better with a 15 foot cable. I think that is reasonable and correct advice.
AS for Elif, he never mentioned the Satori.
If only all our belts could be so high.....
It is really system dependent I have owed both AZ and HT to my ear it is really not that much different for me I liked the HT better. Beside the point what kind of company keep changing the design cable every other month and if you want the new stuff you have to pay for it to me that is not a very good designer. I have used AZ and HT with BAT, ML, and Cary equipment and B&W speaker. Just my opinion, save your money and buy better source.
Goone, you are wrong.A good designer is one that is always striving to make the best possible products.Not one that stay's idle.Let's face it audio will never be a live performance, but at least Robert is trying to bring it closer.John 1, who said I was referring to you?There are other people in this discussion forum besides yourself.I actually agree with your comments about the Satori, just not on the ic's.
That is just my opinion, curious do you work for acoustic zen company and also why does he keeps channging or tweaking the performance of his design, if he done it right the first time then he does not have to keep tweeking it and beside does the new designer make it any better or worst only consumer have to find out but they have to pay for that price, is there a guaranteed for that? Also he is the first one I believed out of the cable company that keep tweaking for his product none of the other company had done that before.
Goone, I was going to resort to calling Billp some not so nice names, but you said it so much more eloquently.
Hmmm, well why do building methods and materials keep changing if they build the Parthenon right in the first place?