Acoustic Zen vs Homegrown or Mapleshade

Has anyone have any comments about the Acoustic Zen IC's vs Mapleshade Double Helix or Homegrown Silver Lace. I am going to shoot it out over these but would be interested in hearing comments from other good ears out there. Thanks for all the feedback. Its great to confer with others in the Audiogon world.
The AZ wire is excellent. I was using the Silver Reference between the CDP/preamp, the Matrix between the preamp/amp, Satori speaker wire, and two Tsunamis and a Krakatoa. I recently moved my rack from between my speakers to the other side of the room, which meant using a longer run of speaker wire than the 8ft. Satori. I ordered a 12ft. Run of the Mapleshade Double Helix to use as a temporary solution, because I'd heard it was quite good, and was relatively inexpensive compaired to many others. What I got, was the best sounding speaker wire I have ever tried, and I've tried quite a few costing far more.

The downside, is this stuff is Extremely stiff, and very difficult to work with. You really do need to keep it off the floor like MS suggests for the best sound, but it's very "springy", and this makes installing it correctly a challeage.

I am now trying the interconnect and one of thier AC cords, and am hearing much of the same stunning transparency and dynamics. The IC's and AC cords are particularly tweaky looking, but the RCA plugs are first rate quality. The IC's are as good or better than anything I've tried, but the AC cord isn't up to par with my Krakatoa. Keep in mind that my comments reflect only how the MS wires perform in my own system, but my guess is that they will work equally well in a wide range of systems.(if you can tolorate their ergonomics) I think MS has hit a home run with these. Now that I have them correctly set up, they are a a nice change from the thick, heavy, "garden hose" type wires that seem to be so popular.

Arcam FMJ CD23
Blue Circle BC3 Despina
Blue Circle BC22
Spendor SP 1/2
Gary, I using the Zen matrix between power and pre. I'm running the satori as speaker wire but I'm using thin mapleshade jumper ribbons on the newform ribbons and between the dual 8" peerless drivers.....when I put the mapleshade jumpers on, it was obvious I was hearing a whole new level from the speakers. Pierre, at Mapleshade, explained that this ribbon is similar to their $1600 omega wire.....I can only say that the line must be pretty serious, if this is any indication. I do like the acoustic zens however. I'm using an ixos ixotica on the cd....both the acoustic zen and the mapleshade get out of the way of the music in my set-up. They also appear to work well or compliment each other. This can be tricky as not all wires work well together....enjoy, Bluenose
Bluenose, I also have the paper thin ribbon jumpers. They sure don't look like much, but sound noticely better than the Analysis Plus Oval 12 jumpers with banana plugs that I had been using. Only the edge of the ribbon comes into contact with the binding post, which leads me to question all the hype I read about the importance of contact area. As for the speaker wire, it is not terminated, and only the bare end comes into contact with the binding post. Oxidation is not a concern, because the bare end is completely covered after the posts are screwed down, and I have them treated with Pro Gold. When you think about it, does having an extra gram or so of metal at the ends of your wire really help current delivery?
Garyl. I agree they don't look like much but mapleshade wants us to use bare wire. I didn't think that edge of foil would be a great connection either but it works. The jumpers on the newform ribbons are longer than need be and Pierre said just to snip the ends off to shorten them....well, I was thinking I could put a little notch in the end to slide the ribbon like a spade ending....I have plenty of length to do would appear that the quality of the connection, [in this case the bare ribbon], is as important as the total area of the connection. Any thoughts on this? I always thought the more mass of the connecting surfaces the better.....By the way the blue cicle is nice gear, you've got a very musical system.....cheers, Bluenose
will pierre sell the jumpers only w/o buying the cables?
Yes to Kitch29....Pierre sells the jumpers on the Mapleshade website....He will actually cut them to the size you request. Excellent chap to talk to...These are jumper ribbons seperate from his speaker wires but similar to the omega speaker wires he sells. A huge jump over the standard jumpers I had. is the website if you need it to look around...cheers, Bluenose
After reading some posts here about MapleShade jumpers I went ahead and ordered them. But after a few hundred hours of continuous burn--in, I wasn't totally happy replacing the metal plate jumpers on my Aerius i speakers with the Mapleshade's unterminated exposed thin/flat copper jumpers.

My main speaker cables are Analysis Plus Oval Nines - running to the woofer binding posts. The Mapleshades seemed to add some warmth but never really relaxed. I also felt I had lost some finer ambient detail that adds to that "live" feeling. But for $20 (and supposedly same material in their $1,000 cables) it was worth the try. For those seeking totally honest comparisons, I had also treated both the metal plate jumpers and the Mapleshade jumpers with Caig pro gold xl.

But the Mapleshade jumpers gave me an idea. I originally didn't want to buy Analysis Plus jumpers (12s or 9s) for two reasons: with their spade connection they just wouldn't fit doubled up with Oval 9 spades in place and I just didn't want to go the banana plug route. Since Mapleshades were bare wire & unterminated, I called Analysis Plus to see if they would sell me a foot of unterminated Oval 9 cable. They agreed to it. And they would also seperate the positive and negative cables and shrink-tube the exposed cable. So I received two one foot pieces of Oval Nine for under $30 including parts, labor and shipping. One cable was their traditional purple color and the other was black. I cut off two three inch pieces from each and made two sets of jumpers by stripping off about 1/2 inch covering from each end to expose bare wire. I then treated the ends with pro gold xl. Since I had a foot I tried a few approaches and lengths: notched and unnotched. After experimenting, I finally stayed with the shortest (2")possible piece and unnotched. (Some may find this unterminated bare wire end approach a little sloppy to work with. But I didn't care about how it looked).

Now to the sound of my unterminated Oval Nine jumpers. Simply spectacular. A noticeable improvement over the stock jumpers and Mapleshade even with no burn-in. I immediately noticed there was overall greater detail and refinement to the sound, more depth to the sound-stage and more articulate seperation of instruments. Complex passages with many different instruments were easier to follow. The sound was relaxed and natural. Overall, the sound was just simply more coherent (time-phased?). After 100+ hours of burn-in the sound has opened up some more and is extremely clean and detailed.

So if you have Aerius i's and/or Analysis Plus cables and need jumpers give this inexpensive approach a try. Don't forget to use Pro Gold XL.