Real Deal ZU cable WAX, what's your take?

Just purchased a 10'pr, out of the drawstring bag they sounded pretty good, a little lean and cold in the midrange, but the bass is wonderfull. Highs sound about a db down and a little veiled, but it's only been 24hrs. If what i've been reading is true, I can expect alot of improvements over the next couple of weeks. Their being used in my second system: Magnum Dynalab MD208 receiver with completely rebuilt Dahlquist DQ20's (Upgraded Caps & Coils, new wire and rebuilt all the drivers). Looking for a new or used CD player for around $3,000. Does anyone have any comments for the best player to be had for this amount of money, would you buy new or used and why?
I haven't used the Wax speaker cables, but I have many of their interconnects. In my experience, their cables take 150-200 hours for full break-in. The guys at Zu Cable have a tremendous pedigree and make great products. No insults intended, but they aren't DIY upstarts in the cable business.

Buying new or used is really a matter of comfort level. Some manufacturers warrantees are transferable, but most are not. If you're worried about ease of repair and no cost warantee repairs, buy new. If you're not, buy used and save.

As for the CD player, you can definitely get something wonderful in that price range. The best $3040 I ever spent on digital was for the Chord DAC 64, but you'll have to use something else as a transport. DAC 64s occasionally show up used around here. If you have to have a one box player, The Linn Ikemi is very nice at $3595 new, and I like the Ayre CX-7 at around $2700 new. You could also get a used Sony SCD-1 for $3000 and get SACD playback as a bonus.
Never heard the Wax, but got the IBIS. Even out of the box, I noticed a huige soundstage and instrument focus within that soundstage.

My midraneg initally was weaker as well, but I would have called my experience dry or too laid back. It has gotten better over time, and every other strength has stayed or gotten better as well. From what I've read on Audio Asylum on the Wax, it's a great cable, too.

For my input on the CD: check out, Ric Shultz's EVS site. He did a mod on a sub-$200 Sony SACD/DVD/CD player for me, and the thing kicks butt. There are some other players he is/will be modding, so that may eb a good route. My Sony NS500V mods were $465, and the machine is better than any $1k player I've heard.

Another possibility is somethign Underwoodwally is advertising here on Audiogon: a new mod'd Shanling tubed unit for $2200. Search under that user, or see the "New Today" section (today being Sunday). Looks very interesting to me.

Good luck, whatever the case.
Having used the Zu WAX first, then upgrading to the Zu IBIS, I can't say enough about these cables. HUGE soundstage, airy, with plenty of midrance. BTW, I compared these with several other brands in my system, and both the WAX and the IBIS won hands-down!

Regarding the CD player, I have the Meridian 588 ($3500 new), and love it! Can't compare it with others mentioned, however.
It's been about 50 hrs and things are improving. The bass has become more detailed and tight. The midrange has filled out, superb detail, but lacks a little in 3D imaging, depth is excellent. The highs are just about right, maybe a touch laid back but this is also the nature of the DQ20's. I am pleased with this cable and look forward to each day. I have enjoyed your comments about CD players, but I want your experiences to tell me if I can get better sound buying used over new. Can 3 grand get me better sound buying new or used. How about Wadia, Meridian, ARC used?
Thanks for your comments, I appreciate your thoughts!
Very good question, it's a tough one. With new technology (new DAC's, multiple DAC's in parallel, SACD & DVD-Audio, etc) coming out more and more, buying new may get you more for the same price as used.

I suppose it really depends on the specific used model you get. Wadia's have a tendancy to sound great, no matter which model you get; but even then, there are clear improvements in the newer machines vs. the old.

My personal approach was to buy the cheap Sony NS500V SACD/DVD/CD player, and have Ric @ EVS mod it. I get sound quality better than most players up to, say, $1.5k, for 1/3 to 1/2 the price. Then, when the next big thing comes, I know I haven't spent too much now for very good, though not superb, sound.

Perhaps buying a quality used product would get you to the same point: a temp solution for not a lot of money right now.

And just to add some more to the confusion: see what kind of deals you can get on new or almost-new equipment right here on Audiogon ! Kind of the best of both worlds.....

Lot of luck,


PS - while I think they are all very good, I would not recommend Meridian CD players at this point, nor ARC. Maybe the Meridian DVD's, they are newer technology, and will most likely play DVD-Audio. But software is scarce, so that may be less improtant.
I appreciate all your responses, definitely got me rethinking my CD options! Well another 20 hrs on my cables, I'm thinking very close to 70 total hrs and things are really starting to cook. The imaging which has been missing is now showing it's stuff, amazing transformation over the last couple of days. The stage is wide, stable and deep, I'm having difficulty finding the words explaining the transformation. I must admit that I also added a granite component stand with ceramic cones and blocks to the MD 208, I'm sure this has helped the imaging, which makes me think it was always there, just needed a stable platform to show itself. Overall I couldn't be more pleased. I have been thinking and after listening to some SACD's at a friends, I'm not sure going with a plain red book player is the way I want to go? I'm going to take a liitle more time before I decide, time i have. I wonder how many of us after saving our pennies to buy that next component or upgrade would make the same decision if they stopped - and took a little more time to decide? Very interesting topic for a thread. Let's hear your thoughts on the subject.
I just picked up the Sony DVP-NS999ES, as I wanted a single player for DVD/CD/SACD. This unit has VERY good CD playback for a DVD player. I used to have a CAL Delta/Alpha combo, and I find this unit just as pleasing, but very more functional. FYI All of the associated cableing is from Zu. I am using the Firemine digital cable to transport DVD and CD to my processor (Integra Research RDC-7), I am using the Zu Varial for the SACD/CD connections and from my processor to my amps (Odyssey Stratos and Carver AV-505). Zu Ibis speaker cables to a pair of Zu Druid speakers.

What kind of interconnects are you using?
Hi everyone. I just got a set of 10' Zu Wax speaker cable and Zu Wax jumpers. Has anyone experienced any harshness in the treble when they first got the Zu Wax speaker cables? If so how much break in was required for it to go away? Would it be ok to use an Isotek system enhancer CD to break in the Zu Wax speaker cables?

So far for about an hour or so I've been listening music @ a moderate volume level with my Kef Q90s with the Zu Wax cables and have been getting listening fatigue. My amp is a rebuilt Threshold 400A. Source: Oppo BDP-83 as a transport to a McCormack DAC-1. My preamp is a McCormack TLC-1 Deluxe.

Thanks and advise when you can.
06-17-10: Jedinite24
Hi everyone. I just got a set of 10' Zu Wax speaker cable and Zu Wax jumpers. Has anyone experienced any harshness in the treble when they first got the Zu Wax speaker cables? If so how much break in was required for it to go away? Would it be ok to use an Isotek system enhancer CD to break in the Zu Wax speaker cables?
The Zu website is very forthcoming and specific about burn-in requirements of its cables. Specifically, because they use a lot of Teflon dielectric, Zu recommends a burn-in time of 300 hours. That's why they have a 60-day evaluation and return period--to give you plenty of time to burn in the cables and then listen to them. Furthermore, although they offer a factory burn-in service for a fee, they do NOT recommend any of the burn-in CDs to accelerate burn-in.

I just got a pair of Wylde interconnects and Libtec speaker cables. I hooked them to an FM tuner and played them at low levels 24/7, occasionally changing the interconnects to a CD changer or my turntable if I was listening to music during the day.

Once the Zu's break in, they are anything but fatiguing. I'm probably going to get a set of Ibis jumpers sometime, but in the meantime I'm using Kimber 4TC for jumpers. After break-in I found the Zu cables to be *extraordinarily* organic sounding, and anything but harsh or edgy. In fact, I am astounded at how lifelike and non-electronic the Libtecs have made my system sound. Their low noise floor and detail retrieval (without sounding hyper-detailed) is exemplary.

So don't worry about your current listener fatigue. You have 60 days. Take your time and keep playing and playing music through your system until you hit 300 hours. Keep signal going to the speakers at a low level throughout the nights and put on lots of dynamic music during the day to burn those cables in. You will be well rewarded.