This is a rhetorical question, right? There is no winner, and no one can tell you which you will like better. No one can tell you what 'flavor' of cable you will like best anymore than anyone could tell you which flavor of ice cream you will like best.
That being said, I would say the PAD is warmer and more musical, while the AZ is more accurate with better definition. Which would suit your tastes and system best only you can decide.
the answer is about acoustic zen silver reference vs purist venustas
.Are you talking about the ICs, Digital cables, or power cords?
John provided you the answer as best as anyone could.
What did you think of those two cables when you auditioned them?
Then there's 'your' answer... not mine... maybe not John's either. Maybe not anyone else's too.... but it is your answer.... for your gear and in your room according to your ears!
That's how every "BEST OF" or "XYZ VS. ABC" solutionm is unearthed. By the user themselves... unless of course you don't mind listening with someone else's ears, system, Preferences, music, room, etc.
Only popularity can be somewhat decided by threads such as these 'what's best' or 'which is better...'
Do you want popular? Or do you want what works best in your rig and for your ears? John gave you the template... now just decide and check out the one which comes closest to your needs.
Between them John and Jim raise two important issues. One is where in the system are the cable(s). And second, your own musical tastes/preferences.
I'd like to introduce two more: One has to do with the "where in the system" question. I think the answer, for either of the candidates, should be "everywhere"; otherwise there's really no way to make a proper evaluation of either one (I'll get to "why".) My other point refers to John's second remark. I find my system-wide use of Venustas to be extremely accurate and quite neutral. Musical, but not particularly what I'd describe as "warm" (as in: Cardas!) Does that predict that if I used the AZ cables system-wide, the result (again in my system) would be so bright it would drive me from the room? I really don't know; but I will say I've never heard the two brands compared as John does. I have however, heard Venustas described (compared relatively to the newer and more expensive PAD products) as somewhat rolled-off in the highs (less definition?) but you would never get that impression listening to them in my system ;--)
I should add that (as I implied above) I've become a staunch advocate of using the same cable (make and even model) throughout a system. I know that notion flies in the face ot those who believe certain brands/models of cable work optimally for certain purposes, or in certain locations; something that may be true when isolated. But when you listen to an entire system with uniform cabling throughout, rather than a variety, I am rapidly becoming convinced the result will be more satisfying overall.
>>acoustic zen reference vs purist venustas, what is the winner?<<
Hope that helps.
Jmcgrogan2 is 100% right. There is no winner, just different 'flavor' and different tastes.
AZ is more lush or Venustas leaner if you prefer. AZ are not warm neither cold.
I agree this is a very subjective question. I have no experience with Acoustic Zen but comparing Purist to Nordost (which is the ultimate in detail and definition) to my ears its no contest. I would take a Purist cable any day over Nordost...if for no other reason than musicality and bass. You will never get more raw detail than with Nordost but, its how its presented that matters. To me their cables often sound analytical, forward, and thin in the bass. This is consistent through their line. I often hear people compare Purist to Cardas and while not always accurate, they share similar qualities. Cardas and Nordost are really on the opposite spectrum in approach, design, and sound. For me, I would recommend Cardas or Purist any day. None come cheap however.
There is a BIG difference in construction between Purist and Cardas products. Most Cardas products use their 'Golden Mean' system of windings, which at least in terms of construction, means MULTIPLE strands of wire -- making their cable HIGHLY CAPACITIVE. In some systems, and especially when used with electostatic speakers, this will kill detail, and can result in what some people complain is a soft/warm/round characteristic "Cardas sound". This may or may not be a problem in some systems -- especially those using high efficiency speakers and low output amplifiers. Purist products use a minimal number of conductors, with their solid core conductor models having the lowest impedance -- but all their products will bring out the detail in those systems where that's what the owner is after. I have A-B'd full Nordost (Valhalla) cabling vs. full Purist (Venustas) cabling in my (very articulate) system and found the Venustas to be the most balanced and natural sounding IN MY SYSTEM! Nordost product might help "liven up" a different system that was sounding perhaps a little "too dark" or lacking detail?
Once again, I want to restate my conclusion -- after a lifetime of listening to all kinds of systems + cabling -- that I now believe that whatever brand/model cable one gravitates toward, the optimum result (and best performance overall) will be had by using the SAME CABLE (both model and manufacturer) throughout the system. In other words, DON'T TRY AND PICK THE "BEST REVIEWED" CABLE FOR EACH FUNCTION IN THE SYSTEM. This (probably) works for the same reason that all the connective tissue in our body is made of the same flesh ;~))
I've owned AZ Ref, PAD Venustas and PAD Proteus Provectus. The AZ Ref was cleaner than the Venustas but the Venustas was plain more musical, although on the darker side of the spectrum. However the Proteus Provectus was the clear winner, made the Venustas sound veiled and truncated at both ends of the spectrum. Once heard I could not go back to the Venustas plain and simple.
Rsf507 -- you have obviously done some serious listening while comparing these cables. And I'm sure your conclusions are carefully considered.
The problem (for me anyway) is that your report provides no CONTEXT. So without an overview of your components, room characteristics, listening preferences, and so forth, it's really impossible for even a very experienced audiophile to imagine listening to your system and getting a feeling for how you wound up with the conclusions you did.
SC (solid core) cables have some very specific electrical characteristics which may or may not make them best suited to provide the "connective tissue" between a system's various components. That is one reason I'm so interested in knowing your components; at the same time, I'm equally interested in knowing whether you compared the Proteus v. Venustas by using each of them THROUGHOUT your system, which as I mentioned earlier is how I compared Venustas v. Valhalla. Or did you compare the Proteus v. Vensusts only in certain spots (like speaker cabling.)
Thanks very much.