Acoustic Zen Speaker Cables

Once again I call on Audiogoners for advice. Other equipment decisions were easy compared to this one. Been reading for months on speaker cables to determine the best fit for my system. Look to spend about $1,000 new/used. Need about 12'.
System: Merlin VSM-M with McIntosh SS amp & tube preamp. At the top of my current list are Acoustic Zen Satoris or Halogram IIs. Any comments? Not seen many reviews of AZ speaker cables with Merlins. Good match??? Thanks, Jim
Zen offers a 30 day trial. I suggest you take advantage of this and give them a go. You need to decide for yourself. Nobody can tell you how they work because your idea of sound may be entirely different than someone with the exact same equipment.
I have used the Satoris and the Hologram (I now use the Hologram), and can confirm that both are some of the finest speaker cables I have used. They are extremely revealing, with an expansive soundstage. I switched to the Hologram after switching from bi-wiring to single wiring. You cannot go wrong with either of them. I previously used the Synergistic Resolution Reference, and the AZ was a big improvement. Also, Robert Lee, the designer and owner of AZ, is a great guy.
I am currently using AZ Hologram Bi-wire with my Merlin VSM. Extremely happy with them. Since the VSM is a 2 way speaker, the Hologram would be a better fit then the Satoris.
The Acoustic Zen Holograms are great speaker cables, I also have a pair of Harmonic Tech. Pro-9's that are good cables for less money that are almost as good. The designer of the Zen's may have also had a hand in the design of the Harmonic Tech's, not sure about that though.

I like the AZ holograms, but preferred the Au24 and Purist Venustas in my system (they cost a bit more, but you may be able to get them used within your budget). Of course, results are system and ear dependent. I used the AZs between a spectron amp and VSA Vr 5 HSE's, listening mostly to rock, jazz and funk. I thought they were airy and had good range but I preferred the others, which, to my ears, seemed to have more clarity.

yes Mr Lee also designed the Harm Tech Pro 9's

i have a shotgunned pair of them

could you describe the differences between the two cables in a little more detail??


Well Tom, I think they are very close. I think my bass is a little more full with the Harmonic Tech's. The mids are more refined with the Zens and a touch more a biamp setup I like the Pro-9's on the bass and the Zen's on the mids. The Zen's are also much easyer to work with in tight space as the Pro-9's are to fat.

I do have a McIntosh C200 preamp, MC402 power amp and Shahinian Diapason speakers, not an easy load to drive. Fellow Audiogon member ljgj recommended that I tried still little-known LAT International's SS-1000 speaker cable, which I did. It's an astounding cable - deep, tight bass, excellent soundstaging, natural instruments and voices. ljgj told me before the cable was as good as many much more expensive ones. I found that to be true. Check out their website and the reviews for their cables on I support the enthusiastic reviews. Only thing is, burn-in takes a few weeks, but in the US you have a 30-day-trial period. This was, you'd even spend less than your busget.