REVIEW: KLEI gZero20 Interconnect


I have just purchased these and can honestly say they leave me breathless.

How can a piece of wire be responsible for such remarkable improvements? Take a look at the review on the KLEI web site and there is a brief insight into the gZero Architecture.

Bottom line: the abilities of these interconnects are remarkable.

I've owned the gZero6's and tried the gZero10's, but the gZero20's are deservedly KLE Innovations pinnacle product.

Imaging, dynamics, clarity, hi-end and low end extension leave most other cables in their wake. You want PRAT, these IC's are about as good as you are going to experience.

Fist let me state that my system, albeit modestly priced, has some very high performance power cables that allow the components to excel in their performance. I also have the KLEI gZero6 speaker cables - which allows the amp to exert it's authority in controlling my very adept Gershman Acoustics Sonogram full range speakers.

So unless you have invested in the other cables in your system, you will not reap the full benefit these IC's have to offer

My casual listening is via streaming to my Schiit Bifrost DAC, which has it's own set of high performance power, USB and interconnects. With the gZero20's employed it was about as close to my analogue rig that I have ever come from a smoothness and warmth perspective, without compromising the crisp dynamic nature of this excellent little DAC.

Transferring these IC's to my analogue rig really demonstrated the extremely fine level of details these IC's are capable of conveying. But they also took the performance of the entire analogue side to a whole new level of - "belief".

The biggest improvements were in clarity, image and overall control. From and extremely well controlled and deeply extended bass performance, to the incredibly detailed, but smooth high-end vocal, strings and woodwind performances. But there was also a new warmth to the entire performance, that the gZero10 was a little short on.

What captured my attention from the get-go was the sense of "Space"...
- the extended space around performers
- the cavernous space of the venue and it's very detailed acoustics
- the placement of performers within the space

If you don't own any KLE Innovations IC's...
- the gZero3's are an excellent place to start
- the gZero6's are a considerable step up
- the gZero10's will have you going through your library
- but the gZero20's will make you forget all about time

It doesn't matter what level of resolution your components are capable of - these cables will have to thinking you've just completed a major component upgrade.

I do not hide the fact I am a huge fan of products from KLE Innovations - that is because...
- I've tried most of them
- not only do they ALL work extremely well
- they provide great value

They really are - that good!

Regards...
williewonka
At $2000 a pair, they should be everything you claim...just sayin'.
Williewonka, they are really that good :)
Mofi - that is Aussie Dollars (LOL)

But seriously - If I understand Keith Louie correctly...
- this is NOT a couple of plugs soldered onto a piece of stock bulk cable
- The neutral conductors are hand wound around the signal conductor in a very complex noise cancelling geometry, which protects and enhances signal flow
- the material and gauge of each conductor is selected to optimize signal transfer
- the RCA's employ proprietary high conductivity alloys and specially formulated high melting point polymers to assist in signal transmission.

This interconnect is definitely much more than it's understated appearance would suggest.

Yping - sounds like you have auditioned them.
- tell us more :-)

Regards...
Williewonka, actually I meant... are they really that good :)

Funny, once the post disappears (is submitted) you can't correct it and in some cases can't remember what you have written :)

Williewonka, I have have to see if I can get to listen to them :)
It sounds like the gZero20's are very wow (wonderful) :)

I suppose if the gZero3's were better than a $1200 silver XLR (which you mentioned), and the 6's and 10's are noticeably better than the 3's then it would make sense to be wowed by the 20's.

So the 20's are like massively upgrading your whole system components...

Maybe I should go from my 6s, which I like very much, to the 20's?

Are your DIY ICs any were near close to the performance of the 20's?

More food for thought...
Yping - as with anything in this obsessive hobby, gauging performance improvements is relative to the person and their various system components and cables.

I can only state with certainty that each successive model in the gZero line has yielded noticeable improvements and I believe that would be the case on most systems.

So the 20's are like massively upgrading your whole system components...

I have stated a few times on various posts - it is very important that all of your components and cables (power, speaker and IC's) are capable of performing to a very high level in order to get the very best out of any of the gZero line and that especially applies to the gZero20.

But on it's own, I would not say that the improvements would equate to a "massive upgrade" - why?
- the gZero20 can only perform up to the level of your weakest link.

As an example of that, my digital rig sounds very good with the gZero20's, but that sense of "reality", although very good, is not quite as apparent with the DAC I currently own.

However, the gZero20 on the analogue rig, which contains components and cables that achieve a higher resolution, really showcases exactly how good they really are.

Are they really that good?

Yes - they really are!

What they convey are extremely fine details that I found resulted in more reality...

e.g. if a string quartet is recorded in a small concert hall or a church, not only does the gzero20 allow the system to pinpoint each performer with extreme accuracy in a 3D image, but the extremely subtle reverberations surrounding those performers are very noticeable and not only envelopes the artists, but the listener also.

I have not experienced anything quite so realistic, or "holographic", on many of the other 2 channel systems I have listened to. But I have experienced some very nice surround sound recordings on my 5.1 channel system. However, by comparison, I still find they sounded a little contrived.

Are my DIY cables as good as the gZero20? - NO!

They do however, perform better than many other "boutique brands" and because of that I use them on my digital components, since I tend to use that for more "casual listening".

They provide extremely good "bang for the buck" if you are on a budget and depending on the components and wire a person selects, will range in price from approximately $100 (using the Copper Harmony RCA's), to $250 (using the Absolute Harmony RCA's) for a 1 meter pair.

But the analogue rig gets the gZero20 simply because they are capable of conveying those finer details that my phono cartridge and phono stage can provide.

Maybe I should go from my 6s, which I like very much, to the 20's?

That would be a call only you could make.

If money was no object, if there weren't other components you thought required upgrading etc. etc.. then the decision to upgrade to the gZero20 would be simple.

If you are like me - it is not that simple and you have to balance many other choices.

I have given you an account of the details I have observed and since every system responds a little differently to different cables, perhaps your system has already achieved this level of performance.

Since you already have the gZero6, perhaps you should ask yourself
- what is missing from your existing sound?

I have been very fortunate in that I have been able to audition each progressive model and observe the improvements I have mentioned, but those observations may be quite different on another system.

Listening to them first, especially in your system, would be a very wise decision.

Hope that helps
Would you say that the gZero20 IC was noticeably better than the gZero10 IC?
Yping - on my system - yes, it was noticeably better!

I qualify my response because I do not know how resolving your system is?
- if your system is not capable of resolving to the level of the gZero20's, then you would be wasting your money.
- if it is capable, then I believe the differences would be noticeable and result in a more enjoyable and realistic performance.

One thing for certain, if they don't perform up to your expectations I would first look at the component they are attached to, or the power cable attached to that component and finally, the assess the other components downstream from that component.

The gZero20 is extremely good and will perform to the highest level of resolution.

However, the other components in your system may not be up to the level of its abilities.

Hope that helps :-)
I have some demo custom made KLEI interconnects for sale that are much cheaper than $2000 a pair but have a lot of the above mentioned characteristics ($100 each). PM me if you are interested...
Sbrownnw, which KLEI gZero models do you have?
Sb - if these are the same cables you are promoting on other threads - what
you have is Mogami bulk cable with KLEI Copper Harmony RCA's soldered
onto the ends.

That is NOT really a KLEI Interconnect is it

Regards
"Listening to them first, especially in your system, would be a very wise decision."

Absolutely. Same for the resolution capabilities.

I did not see any information on the KLEI site (which, I presume, is where one gets them) regarding returns of the cables. Sorry if I missed it. Have not researched return shipping to Australia yet.
Max - are you referring to a return policy - such as "return within 30 days for a full refund" type of policy?

Email them - see what they say

You may find it is something similar to Schiit - 15 days only

I know it's always nice when you can do this type of in house assessment, but I can see why companies like Schiit and KLEI, that are sure of their products, do not want to encourage those people out there who have no intention of buying and who take advantage by placing an order for a $2000 cable just to try them out for a thrill and then return them

Yes - it may spoil it for the more genuine customer, but in todays world there are so many that think it's a right to be able to return products for a full refund.

That whole process just increases the cost of doing business, which is in turn, simply passed on to valid customers.

I'm all for charging a restocking fee - make you think twice before ordering - I think there needs to be some level of commitment from the customer

Put yourself in their shoes

Just an opinion :-)
Willie...with all due respect, I completely disagree with your above comments.

Cables are the most system dependant of any item, we, as audiophiles have to deal with. I've heard $2000 cables sound like poop, but $200 cables sound fantastic on the same system. Actually this happens way more than most people think.

Cables, for the most part, are very easy to manufacture. There are very few parts (inventory wise) that need to be stocked and a relatively short labor time.

They are very easy and inexpensive to ship.

They have one of the highest profit margins of any item (except for some cartridges, they are probably the most profitable). How do I know? I was in the high-end audio business for 25 years.

They really can't be scratched or dented like equipment, so there is minimal risk.

IMHO, I think every cable dealer and manufacturer should provide a minimum of 60 days for a trial period.

You really can't tell how any cable will sound in any system, until you hook it up.

Just my .02 worth.
Welcome! to the wild, crazy and wonderful world of Cables!
Excellent review -Willie. How did you discover this brand?
Which other cable/cord(s) Brands have you owned?
I look forward to reading more about your impressions...
Happy Listening!
Mofi - I agree with you 100% about trying before you buy

I simply cited Schiit as one company that has a short return period and
mentioned KLE might do the same.

BTW - I have no idea what KLEI's return policy is - they might just be very
reasonable - which would be a nice bonus :-)

FYI - all of the KLEI gZero cables are hand built (hand wound actually) - they
are not as easy to make as many other brands that use bulk cable from a reel.

Not defending them - just saying :-)

Regards...
Jafant - I've been playing around with cables for years with little real success until recently

I started with some well known brands and settled on Van den Hul D102 mkII with Furutech RCA's for many years and flirted with DH Labs bulk cable once

Then I tried the Stager Silver Solids and have never looked back. However, I replaced the Canare RCA's on the Stagers with Eichman Silver Bullets, what an improvement!

I post all of my tweaks on a blog and KL Eichman happened upon it and asked if I would like to try his KLE Copper Harmony

Since then I have reviewed most of his products and purchased many of them - I just bought another set of the KLEI Absolute Harmony yesterday :-)

During that time I have refined my own DIY cable design which uses the KLEI RCA's - since they offer the best performance I've come across.

Other than those mentioned above I haven't compared the KLE gZero to too many other brands.

However, I have had a chance to compare them on friends systems to...
- Kimber Silver XLR IC's
- Tara Labs (RCA) don't the model, but towards the lower end

In various local stores I've auditioned some very pricy cables (>$5000) on systems ranging in price from $70K-$180k from...
- Purist Audio
- Siltech

Now, I can't say how KLEI compared in this instance, since there was no direct in store A/B comparison, but having acclimated to the KLEI sound over months of listening - I found I was not really hearing a whole lot more (if anything) with the Purist Audio and Siltech IC's.

Having said that, I think we all come back from a salivating visit to such stores and on listening to our own systems think - hey, my system sounds pretty darn good :-)

As always in this game, when you get to this level of performance you are into diminishing returns - where it really depends on what people are prepared to spend - which I have no problem with BTW :-)

Moving on - yesterday I took the gZero6 speaker cables and the gZero10 IC's to a local hi-fi store (in Toronto) in the hope they would start importing them - just so others will be able to audition them.

The owner of the store was very impressed at the improvements they provided over his own "benchmark cables". Outcome: He will be contacting KLEI for more details - fingers crossed :-)

That's about it for my IC history - not as extensive as many other members on this forum, but I tend to research things at great length before changing anything.

The one thing that impressed me about these cables was their architecture and how the design combats many issues present in the more conventional cable architecture and RCA designs.

Regards...
I only need 1 pair of ICs so I am definitely considering going from my 6s, which I like very much, to the 20's :)
Yping - what components are in your system - please include cables

It would allow me to provide some better feedback on the suitability of such a purchase.

Thanks
audiolab 8200cd & arcam integrated :)
Yping - I don't think you would have any problem hearing the improvements the gZreo20 would provide.

The thing I like about the whole Harmony range of cables is that they allow systems like mine to "raise their game" and I never feel that they will ever become the "weak link" with any subsequent upgrades I might choose to make make

Regards...
I think that is what I might do. I will keep you informed :)
Williewonka, would you say that the gZero20 ICs are at least twice as good as the gZero6 ICs or even more. I guess it is subjective but it doesn't hurt to ask the question :)
Yping - how do you quantify "better"?

Yes, they are...
- a little more dynamic with crisper highs
- venue acoustics (reverberations etc...)are more realistic
- bass is deeper with better control and detailing
- high-end is more extended , but smoother and cleaner
- they offer more "body" - they sound more complete and warmer

Are they "twice as good"? I wouldn't even state that they are twice as good as the gZero2's - they are simply better!

It all depends on your desire to have the best performance you can achieve.

e.g.
- I have them on my analogue rig, because I believe it is deserving of such a cable - the details they convey are amazing and the other analogue components require that level of performance.

- I do not have a pair on my digital rig because it does not resolve to the same level of detail as the analogue components - just yet :-)

You appear to be apprehensive about proceeding, so I would recommend you hold off for the time being. It is a very big $JUMP to the 20's - there may be some other areas that you could focus your upgrade dollars on instead.

Take the time to become very familiar with the 6's - they are extremely good by comparison to other brands.

Perhaps you can achieve some performance improvements by reviewing other aspects of audio cabling...

e.g. I first addressed various power cabling related issues, like wall outlets, power connectors, power distribution and power cable architectures

Once I felt I had addressed those I then focussed on the SC's and finally on the IC's

But that's just one approach.

I only embark upon an upgrade when I hear something distinctly better e.g. auditioning components in an audio store - but even then I try to assess what is responsible for those improvements.

If you are into DIY, try my IC's - they will surprise you
- you can see construction photos on my "System" Link below.

I just completed one using only CAT6 for the signal conductor and Pure Harmony for the RCA's and it's performance was very good, but if you are looking to use silver for the signal conductor then opt for the Absolute Harmony RCA's - and give them at lease 250 hours burn-in.

Hope that helps
Nice post and the gZero6 ICs are very, very good... still thinking but nearly decided :)
williewonka, here is a review of the KLEI gZero20 ICs by Stefano Bertoncello (Two Good Ears) ... is it similar to your listening experience :)

Stefano Bertoncello (Two Good Ears)

Stefano Bertoncello’s System
williewonka, here is a another review of the KLEI gZero20 ICs by Steve Reeve ... is it similar to your listening experience :)

Steve Reeve (Fine Art Photography)
I thought the gZero20's were excellent - but I've just auditioned the zFLOW33 IC's and zFLOW22 Speaker Cables and again...

They are noticeably better !!!

See - http://forum.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/fr.pl?fcabl&1442175373&openusid&zzWilliewonka&4&&

How do they do it?

Regards...
Williewonka, just read your post of the KLEI zFLOW33 ICs and zFLOW22 SCs, wow! I have noticed these couple blogs/reviews about the KLEI gZero20 ICs :)
- Stefano Bertoncello... KLEI gZero20 ICs
- Stefano Bertoncello’s system ... very nice system :)

- Totally Wired... KLEI gZero20 ICs

- Steve Reeve... KLEI gZero6/10/20 ICs ... Steve Reeve seems to be very popular and seems to, very much, like the gZero cables :)

Actually, they all seem to like the KLEI gZero20 ICs, very much... me too :)
Yping - there does seem to be an agreement on the capabilities of these products from several people.

Stefano's system does look very nice ;-)

But at the prices charged - it does take a bit of a leap of faith for people to dip their toe in the "KLE Innovations pond" for that first purchase :-)

Hopefully, more established reviewers will audition them and from that, a reputation will be built.

Regards...
I have the KLEI gZero20 ICs now and I find them to sound pretty magical. The interesting thing is that I find the reviews to be very accurate, even though the systems are very different, which I find to be a nice surprise :)

I have relegated the KLEI gZero6 ICs to another component and interestingly even though the 6 performed better than any other IC that I have used, the 20s were dramatically better than the 6s. I loved the 6s but I really love the 20s...

Thanks for your posting of the 6s and the 20s because I now have a modestly priced system that performs as good as, and even better than, a couple of my mates systems which are dramatically more expensive :)
Yping - I think you'll find the 20's will continue to get better over a few months of playing

Mine have been in the system for just over 7 months and I still find subtle improvements about every week.

As for your system sounding better than more expensive systems - some people might think you are overstating the benefits of these cables and that it is not possible to attain such dramatic improvements from mere "wire" - but as you pointed out, the reviews all state similar benefits and cover systems of many price points - so can we all be "selling land in Florida" ?

Components today contain excellent "parts", but often certain price point decisions leads to poor design choices that degrade their actual capabilities. What the gZero and zFLOW product range does is provide some "relief" to the effects of those design choices, which in turn allows the component to operate with more precision - allowing for a much improved performance.

One such issue effects the neutral side of a components circuitry. Having any "noise" on the neutral side of the circuit degrades overall performance. The gZero and zFLOW range of products assist in minimizing that noise resulting in the improvements, especially clarity, observed by most owners.

But, they also provide similar benefits to the more expensive product lines, because they also assist in mitigating much more subtle issues, especially those that pertain to extremely fine micro details that those products are capable of resolving.

One question - have you tried your cables on your friends more expensive systems? If so, what were the results.

Regards...
Williewonka, interesting, they have not asked and, with the 20s connected, I have very much been enjoying my system which is sounding great, really great... like real music :)
In the future I might want to upgrade my current ICs Maybe I'll consider the KLEI ICs either the 3 or 6. Any IC beyond the 6 would probably be overkill for my modest system.
Mordante - what components and cables do you have?

The 6 IC is very good indeed - probably the best "bang for the buck" and the gZero2 SC is a perfect match for it.

I think the 10 is probably an IC KLEI could drop, because I think the 20 is a much better value and a perfect match for the 6 SC.

One thing I have come to appreciate with these cables - they have brought out the very best performance even from my more modest components...

e.g. my Schiit Bifrost + Uber Upgrade at around $550 exceeded my expectation by a considerable margin...
- it was extremely good with the gZero3's
- elevated to fantastic with the gZero6's
- but really excelled with the gZero20 and even the gFLOW - in both cases simply superb imaging and reproduction of live venue acoustics.

Just yesterday I was listening to a system in the $30+k range
- the CD player ($12k) was better fidelity wise - but the image was very confused
- the amp $3500) had an onboard DAC, but the Bifrost was much better across the board - which surprised me.
- the speakers were around $9k

The system as a whole also exhibited a very muddled and boomy bass and a confusing image, which was not the fault of the speakers, since I know their capabilities very well.

- I can only assume the "issues" had something to do with the cables.
- which were also very expansive at around $9k (power + speaker + IC's)

So as you can see - modest components can excel - with the right cables :-)

Hope this helps
My system is a mit of a mix and match system.

Speaker: Dynamic Solution Master One (Dutch speakers http://www.dynamic-solutions.nl/pdf/one.pdf)
Turntable: SAC Girati Grande
Tonearm: Dynavector 507mkII
Cartridge: Dynavector Te Kaitora Rua
Phone amp: RCM Sensor Prelude
CD Transpart: CEC TL51x
DAC: Wadia 12
Integrated amp: Symphonic Lina La Musica
ICs: Pink Faun 5th anniversary
Speaker cables: Audioquest Rocker 88 (2.7meters)
Power cables: Zu Rok, NBS Omgega 3, Shunyata Taipan Helix? Alpa, NBS dragon fly

Right now I am testing out an Ansuz power distributor and some Anzus power cables. Chances are I will buy the Mainz D8, and either and Ansuz Mainz P or Mainz A depending on what kind of deal I can make. Ansuz power cable wil be use from wall socket to distribution block.

I will be changing my digital source, right now I use a lap top to stream connected to the wadia DAC. When the Auralic Arie mini will be available I will chick it out. Replacing DAC, transport and laptop.
Mordante - I just spent some time looking up your components (very nice indeed) and I believe that they really warrant the zFLOW cables.

Now it's not that the gZero6's woudn't sound good on your system - it's just that the zFLOWs will provide a significantly better delivery of that reality captured in a live recording.

The venue acoustics on live performances and orchestral works are what the zFLOWs excel at reproducing - they simply melt the walls of the listening room away and present you with - the artists - in the venue - playing.

I have a few recordings where the venue is massive and give the illusion that it has enveloped the entire floor of my house - yes - they are that good :-)

Why did I stick with the gZero 6 SC's and gZero20 IC's?
- simply because the resolution of my current components do not really do justice to the zFLOW cables - but I believe your components will!

Anyhow - we all have to work within a budget - but keep me posted on your progress - I would appreciate knowing how the cables pan out - especially with those components.

Cheers
Williewonka,

Thank you for your comprehensive reply. I'll keep you posted. (if I remember). Before I upgrade my interlinks that are some other steps which I have to take first.

The acoustical properties of my living listing room really need to be improved. So someone in the coming months I will see what is available (GIK, RivaSono, Real Traps etc) and what my girlfriend will accept. I want to get the early reflections and the reverberation (RT60), under control. As well as same bass management.

A few weeks ago I heard a rather high end set in a horrible room. That woke me up. No matter how much money you spend on equipment. If the room is bad the set will never sound great.
Mordante, I found that the correct speaker placement solved many of what I thought was poor room acoustics and made a significant improvement to system performance.

Having said that, I did have a nasty echo that ran across the wall behind the speaker which I fixed with two 7ft x 15 inch screens/baffles placed almost in each corner behind the speakers.

To increase WAF (GAF or PAF whichever is applicable) I made Them to look like panel lighting, nice ambiance :-)))

Revards
Williewonka, yes, I have found found that speaker setup/placement is very important and that millimeters can make a difference.

I have found that some room treatment to treat 1st reflection from the speakers and a live end/dead end (speaker end) room approach has worked for me :)