Review: Zu-cable, z cable, stealth and focus cables
Zu-Julian speaker cables. , Oxyfuel and varial interconnects
Purchased from e-bay auction from Adam decaria of Zu cable Julian for 220 dollars. This includes payment of 20 dollars per feet as I needed few more additional feet than offered in the auction.
Prompt shipping, good communication, received well packed, looks well built, and stiff. Difficult to snake them in bends as both need wider radius.
Purchased their Oxyfuel interconnects for 87 dollars. They are stiff, needed additional half meter to use them for the intended purpose-to connect between the audio out of the cable box and pre amplifier. If you need an additional length, one may need to pay high MSRP than the auction price.
In some rack systems one may need to order additional half meter to compensate for the stiffness. The RCA plugs are very tight. The tightness of the RCA plugs may prevent working themselves loose due to the cable stiffness. They are connected to the rear speaker out put from the passive decoder to the power amplifier.
Mine is a music oriented home theater set up with 2 AVA omega amplifiers 3 & 2 channels OmegaStar EC pre amplifier and DAC... Surround sound processing is done through EFE pro one passive decoder .All five speakers are full range speakers.
Followed the manufacturers recommended break in procedure of 200 hours, No test records or break in cds used. It is a home theater system usually ON about 7-8 hours a day. These Zu cables change with time much more than stealth cables needing longest, painful break in period...
During break in period: sound changes like a chameleon, first few hours good dynamic range, bass with brightness in midrange and treble.
Later drop in the sound output at the speakers became dull with tubby human voice and strings persisted causing listener fatigue.
SLOWLY THE DYNAMIC RANGE AND WIDER SOUND STAGE RETURNED. The chestiness in voices, brightness in treble persisted even after 200 hours.
The oxyfuels connected to the rear channel amplifier. The character of the Julian speaker cable is better than the Oxyfuel interconnects- good for a Home theater system as they have great dynamic range, bass, quick.and wider Sound stage.
After a month of use. In my system their best place seems -to connect to the rear channel amplifier to the five channel passive decoder. I think they are not good enough for music as they misrepresent voice, bright and a disaster for a music only system.
In my systems and for my taste the Oxyfuels are not good enough for 2 channel Stereo music as they are bright, forward and lack coherence.
The Julian speaker cables are connected to the front speakers. They are better than the oxyfuels in the sense they are more listen able, with good sound stage. Better bass but even after using for 200 hours they are bright.
At present the rear speakers are connected with 30 feet star quad speaker cable which is not expensive.
I also purchased their Varial inter connects. Manufacturer recommends 250 hrs of break in period. By mistake I reversed the directions for an hour it sounded smooth and attenuated like an old British Murphy radio of 50s with mullard valves. I corrected my error and it sounded bright...
I have not seen many cable manufacturers using the word faithful in describing their cables with Ability to transmit musical signal with out any additions subtractions or modifications to the musical spectrum. But I do not know any widely accepted gold standard reference cable which acts- transmit like a copy machine.
The B3 geometry or the silver alloy metallurgyof Zu cables is irrevalent to me. Does it produce musical signal to my liking in my system-- that is important.
They sound similar to 185 dollar stealth M7 cables purchased in audiogon auction, with good bass, fast great dynamic range and marginally bright. I do not see any specific advantage with varials compared to the stealth M7 inter connects so far.
The other cables I have are z cable live version 3 costs 247 dollars(50% discounted). It does sound marginally better than the M7 stealth cable which costs185 dollars on ebay auction. In these days of stock market downfall, pension funds loosing money, economical down turn and lack of job security, cost benefit ratio or purchasing at the point where the returns for the dollar spent begin to decline rapidly is important for me. I hope high priced manufacturer’s price their goods reasonably till the economy recovers.
Looking cost and return in performance
The oxyfuels at 80-90$ dollars per meter aren’t good enough in my system due to their brightness and are not listenable.I prefer the 125$ stealth CWS cables or M7 but at a higher cost... I cannot say the same about z cable live version 3 which perform similarly in my system with stealth M7 cables costing about 185$).
The varial interconnects are much better with great dynamic range and breadth in sound stage. They are also bright with CD player and need a painfully long break in period.My most recent purchase from Modern audio design focus cable is my most cost effective purchase at 100 dollars it sounds silar with good dynamic range, sound stage, detail and no brightnes.
I do not like brightness, forward sounding or any cable which alters vocals is not acceptable.
It seems to me that "what you pay what you get+ is not right all the time.