I use the Extrema's with Dual Classe Audio CA-400's and I like the MIT cables myself. A great match with Sonus Faber
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I own the acoustic zen satori speaker wire and matrix interconnect. I had previously been using red dawn and in my system the zens have a very good match with sim, krell newform research gear....the zens, are robert lee's design after leaving harmonic tech....Cables are system dependent but I've found the sims comparable to siltech gen3 in my system...very musical, coherent, fullness of notes. the red dawns are not the best choice on newforms, IMO....the zens are great value for the buck...but of course, try before you buy...cheers, Bluenose
I have a number of Acoustic Zen interconnects (Reference Silver) and their Tsunami power cord. They outperformed all other brands I had tested, including some more than three times more expensive. They transmit the emotion of the performance better than any I have encountered. I enjoyed my Harmonic Tech cables, but found Robert Lee's new designs superior, ( more detail, more realism). The power cord was like giving my CD player steroids. Bluenose is correct, cables are system dependent, but I suspect some brands are more consistent system to system and I believe Acoustic Zen is one of those brands. Good luck.
I've been trying the AZ Satori for the past month and am quite impressed. If you're looking for a cable that doesn't do anything to the signal and simply passes on everything it's fed these are worth a serious look. If you're looking to use cables as some form of tone control look elsewhere. Best of luck.
I can share my experience with the Acoustic Zen cables with ARC gear and B&W Nautilus speakers, so hopefully, you can audition them in your system to help with your decision. I should mention that my comments are based on my attempts to keep my cables in a moderate price range, so I cannot comment on Acoustic Zen verses the more expensive cables (although others have in the A. Zen website). Prior to the A.Zen’s, I used and was very happy with Harmonic Tech cables: Pro Silway II and Magic interconnects, Pro9 speaker cables. Also, I was not looking to make a cable change,until I heard a borrowed set of A. Zen speaker cables in my system. The Harmonic Tech cables were very good in my system, however the AZ’s simply performed on a higher level.
I heard significant improvements with both the Shotgun Satori speaker cables and the Siver Reference interconnects. Several characteristics that convinced me to switch to Acoustic Zen: large improvement in ambience/air; dynamics (especially noticeable with the speaker cables); and an amazing improvement in soundstaging/3-D imaging. One additional note: the AZ cables have a detailed and silky/airy quality in the upper extension and I discovered that I could enjoy CD’s that were formerly a bit rough on mids and top-end.
Enjoy the hunt!
I have owned Harmonic Tech and Acoustic Zen. Mr. Lee was one of the founders of Harmonic Tech, and has moved on to form AZ. There are some sonic similarities but I opted for the Zen. Much better than the dark sounding Cardas. Another great cable is the Pure Note Epsilon. It is a very fast yet smooth sounding cable. You can only get Pure Note online, no dealers but you save many dollars. Right now I am trying to decide if I will return the Zen's or the Pure Note's. Both are great!
I have both the Acoustic Zen Matrix Reference and Silver Reference interconnects. They are both good cables. What they both share is a great deal of detail, immediacy and presence. When introduced into the system they do reveal a great deal of low level detail. They seem to do this without introducing excessive brightness into the system. The Matrix, in particular is quite dynamic. The bass is solid. They throw a superwide soundstage and imaging is very, very good. So what could be wrong? I find this high frequency detail to be overemphasized. In other words, I don't believe that it is in the recording, at least not to the degree that these cables demonstrate it. Even though I wouldn't call this detail "brightness", I believe that it is a coloration of some sort. The bass while solid, and perhaps overly solid, displays roll-off below the midbass. Likewise the extreme highs are also a little rolled off. The Silver Reference, is more difficult to characterize, Designed to be used between source and pre, it doesn't appear to display as many colorations. I have not as yet detected any rolled off bass or treble or overemphasis of the midbass or hiper-detailed treble. I am still testing it. I have been testing the Silver Ref with JPS Superconductor between pre and power. This seems to be a pretty good combo which I find quite natural-sounding, but the problem is that so far, I don't hear enough to cause me to stop using the Kimber PBJ from CD to Pre rather than the Silver Reference.
One thing that both the Matrix or the Silver and Matrix together seem to excel at far more than any cable combination I have tested: They appear to give you the listening sensation that there is nothing between you and the music in the sense of no "fog", no "veils" etc. Of course, there is always something between you and the music and despite the palpability, snap and presence of these cables, after a significant listening session, you will hear the flaws as well.
Oh yeah. In my system as well as my friend's we each separately found that the cables introduced a quality which he called excessive "sugar coating" and I called an "overly sweet quality which sounded better than real". I still think the original JPS Superconductor is the interconnect buy of the century if you value a neutral cable. I have tried many cables, including cables up to and over $2000/meter and haven't found anything which beats it overall. If it produced a broader soundstage, it would just be about perfect.
AZ is easy to like. I can't imagine going too far wrong with it, but it's not a cureall to a flawed system.
I am running a biwired set of Satori shotguns between a Bryston integrated and Soliloquy 5.0's. The Satori replaced a singled run of Tara MasterGenII and some crappy jumpers. The Satori is a small improvement, mostly because the jumpers are gone. As most people say, it's an open, neutral wire.
I also like Tara Labs cables a lot, so besting the MGII was not easy. FWIW, I have not been impressed by Analysis Plus or Cardas (although I haven't heard higher end Cardas), and I consistently find Kimber too zippy up top.
Rayhall is right on with the description that it gives you the sensation that there is nothing between you and the music. It also give me the illusion that you get more of a you are there feeling like you are in the same room as the performance, it seems to charge the air around you with energy. I have tried a lot of diffrent cables some very expensive, all the big names, and was always getting to much of a good thing in some areas and lacking in others. With the Zen wires I feel it just gets it right. I have done a lot of comparing of diffrent interconnects in particular, and the Silver Ref interconnect simply passes more information through than any other cable I have tried. The powercords are incredible, easily bettering my King Cobras. The digital is also fantastic. I now own all Acoustic Zen and haven't bought a cable in months.