Advice on interconnect choice

Hi All. I would like to ask for your recommendations (and associated impressions) on interconnects. I need a just one pair, which will go from my Marantz SA7001KI (SA8001) player to my Woo Audio WA2 headphone amp / preamp. This will be used primarily with the Sennheiser HD800's.

I am looking for something relatively neutral, but would not mind a little additional warmth and body - a smooth and engaging midrange would be ideal, so long as it does not roll off highs or lack taut bass. I would not want anything cold or lean, nor tipped up at the top.

I currently have the following on the shortlist ($250-$350 used) and would appreciate any advice or experience with these:
- Analysis Plus Solo Crystal
- Acoustic Zen Matrix Reference II
- Nordost Heimdall

Also any suggestions for cables which may meet the criteria (price and sonic character) would be most welcome.

Thanks in advance
You asked this question on Audiogon as well. I still recommend Anti-Cables that I am using between my Ayre K1xe preamp, and Blockhead/Sennheiser 650 phones with great results. The cables are inexpensive and come with a money back guarantee.
I would suggest the used Virtual Dynamics Nite 3 pair on Audiogon//Great i/cs..A touch sweet/Great speed and bass attack..Great value for the pricerange...
Hey Stringreen,we are on Audiogon.Better fire up the coffee pot!!!!!
Thanks for the feedback. However, has anyone had specific experience with those 3 cables (Analysis Plus Solo Crystal, Acoustic Zen Matrix Reference II, Nordost Heimdall)? I currently have access to these - I live outside the US so not everything is readily available.

With regards
There is no realistic way to predict how ANY cable will match either your particular musical preferences or your particular choice of components. You MUST do this by trial, particularly when expensive cables are concerned. The means finding a dealer to try out cables or using one of the companies that has a huge line and offers in-home trial (e.g., check out

A lot of the better, and very expensive, cables are extremely fast and detailed sounding, and in my opinion, less suited for headphone listening than for speaker listening (experience based on Stax Omega II headphones). So, recommendations based on listening to speaker systems may be WAY off the mark.

As a general rule, most brands have a particular "house" sound, so I would start with trying different brands first before refining the search within a particular brand that suits your system/taste. However, there are some exceptions, such as NBS, which has different lines with distinctively different sound.

I think you should either work with a dealer with a broad line of interconnects or with one of those companies offering home trial.
Hi there and thanks for the reply - gave me food for thought, especially about the applicability of cables and their sound to dedicated headphone systems.

I have spoken to some Nordost owners who have said that the Heimdall is certainly warmer than other Nordost cables but still quite forward in the mids/highs. The likes of the AP and AZ seem like they would be a better fit. Right now, the AZ Matrix Ref. II's are the primary candidate.

Unfortunately trialing is not really an option. Living outside the US (in Africa) using someone like The Cable Company is not really viable; even if they would allow a trial here, shipping back and forth would be cost prohibitive. Also locally availability leaves much to be desired - there may be "official distributors" but they rarely hold any stock and only import upon order.

Just wanted to add: when I say "warmth" and "body", what I am really aiming for is a full-bodied, smooth sound especially with the likes of female vocals, which forms the majority of what I listen to.
HI, the analysis plus solo crystal should be your choice
great midrange, full body sound and very good base,
in it's price range can't be beaten,and believe me, I change I/C,s at least twice a year, made the solo crystal my absolute reference, have used I/C,s many times more $$$$$$$
MY 2cents:
If you dare to try something NOT audiophile approved, but near the equal of my $6500 MIT Oracle V1.2 IC's, then I may have a solution. Monster Cable Professional makes a microphone cable Cat# SP1000 which comes in 5ft lengths on up. It's cost is $49/IC or $99.98 for a pair! The sound is open, clear, full, extended and warm. Midrange is superbly musical while low bass has tremendous authority. Treble is delicate and brassy. A product like this makes one question the entire cable industry:O) is a pro gear outlet that may be able to hook you up.
Soundstring or Audio Metallurgy which is available on Audiogon auction. I have had great results with either off them.
I'll second the Audio Metallurgy. I just finished an audition with Synergistic Research Apex and Precision Reference ICs and the Audio Metallugry was better in every respect except the mid-bass articulation and even there it was close.

But tonality, clarity, bigger soundstage, holographic imaging, musicality, etc. the Audio Metallurgy won hands down. This is about $400 worth of ICs that handily bettered $6,000 worth of ICs in my system.

I can't recommend AM more highly. Forget bang for the buck, they are simply outstanding period.
Check out the new Zu Mission interconnects. I have had them in my system since June, and they are fantastic at their price. I was using the Zu Varial, which was more expensive, and a great cable in its own right. These project a smoother soundstage presentation with super detailed low level detail and an extremely focused center image.
@Fiddler - Which interconnects are you refering too the GA-0; GA-2 or GA-3's?
GA-0's with Next Gen RCAs.

Zu is going back to direct sales, so if you were considering any of their products, you can contact them for questions regarding sonic signature questions
@ Ton1313 - how are you running Mission cables a year ahead of schedule? My understanding was that they were just released today.
Right now Zu is offering the Mission series at half price through Friday Sept. 10. You can get a 1M pair of ICs for $149 or 1.5M for $164. I use the Wylde interconnects and have been really pleased with them. I also have a 1.5M Pivot (iPod style cable) which has a similar shared shielding scheme as the new Missions, and they are a revelation. When I used the Pivot to connect my iPod Touch to my stereo, even my wife commented that it almost sounded like an LP (more low level resolution and detail).

Now I use the Wylde between my phono preamp and the integrated amp that serves as a line stage, and I use the Pivot out of the integrated's headphone jack to drive a VSP Labs power amp. I'm getting a very even handed tonality with the best lushness and resolution I've ever had.

I know of no interconnects that can touch these at these introductory prices. You also get a 60-day return period. Pretty risk-free. They are significantly better than the Kimber Heroes (of which I have several).

I've had almost all of their cable producs in my system over the last 9+ years (All but the Wylde and the Crux). Due to my familiarity with their cables, Zu reached out to me and gave me an opportunity to try some new prototype interconnect cables in my system and provide feedback. There was no info supplied on what they were or where they would fall in the line up, to maintain objectivity.

When they showed up, I was quite surprised, at their size, as they are quite thin compaired to the Varials that I was used to. I compaired them to the Varial and the Gede, in-between my source and preamp in my HT (Varial) and in-between my source and integrated amp in my 2 channel system (Gede).

In both tests, in our system, both my wife and I preferred the new prototypes for their detail over the Varial and Gede. The Varial's are super detailed, brutally honest (they can reviel minor details both positive and negative in the recording and in your system), and can present a great performance all around (recording dependent). The prototype lifted a layer of grunge and note smearing that I never noticed with the Varial before. It was just an over all cleaner and more enjoyable presentation.

After I reported back and then later found out where these prototype interconnects fell into the line up, I was quite surprized and have since replaced all the interconnects in both of my systems with the Mission.
not sure what happened to the other zu mission thread. has anyone compared zu mission to nordost or audience?
@ Ton1313 -- Thank you for your feedback and clarification.

@ Curious G -- I created a new thread on the Mission cable. Pls post anything you find relevant.
Great sounding Silver interconnects at amazing prices!

Contact Stewart! he will look after you!