Used in conjunction with the passion v5 interconnect and the ultra sleeves, the passion speaker cable enables components to convey the glory of well-recorded music. While not in the least bit harsh, this cabling does nothing to conceal the inadequacies of mediocre recordings. The commitment of Mark Hampton to the satisfaction of his customers attests to the quality of the products that he has designed.
I won't duplicate the superlatives heaped on these cables in other reviews. I can just say that they blew away my tri-wired Kimber 4VS.
ZCable makes wonderful products. I intially tried their Live v5 interconnects (see my review) and wound up replacing ALL of my interconnects and power cords with ZCable products. Oh, BTW, the ZSleeves are outstanding as well.
This is a truly great speaker cable. You may not yet have heard of ZCable, but remember, you read about it here first. The Passion v3 cable (8 ft. bi-wire) replaced what I thought was an incredible cable, the Ensemble Megaflux FSF. This cable has everything: low level detail, dynamics, excellent extension, a very big and deep soundstage. The character of the Passion is similar the other ZCable products (I also have their interconnects) -- it reveals details without being harsh or bright, and it really makes your speakers sing.
For me, these cables were the missing link between my stereo system and the systems I hear at my local high-end audio dealer. My system is very revealing and unforgiving. The preamplifier (Morrison ELAD) is extremely detailed and dry sounding and combined with my Thiel CS 2.2 speakers magnifies every flaw in a recording. I've had CD's that I couldn't stand to listen to because they just sounded flat or harsh, and changing the components only got me so far (within my budget). I tried an Aleph 5 amp (sweet sounding but no punch), a Threshold Stasis amp (overemphasized bass, lacking in subtlety), some B&W 803 speakers (too warm and fuzzy), an Arcam Alpha 9 CD player (minor differences). I tried Transparent audio cables, which sounded nice but rolled off in the highs. Then I went through power cords and an array of tweaks. To make a long story short, I finally reached audio burnout.
At this point, I was skeptical about spending more money on new cables, but I called ZCable up and talked to Mark Hampton, the owner. Mark's enthusiasm, belief in his products, and commitment to quality and service won me over, and I decided to give some new cables a shot. Well, it's been several months now and I am having a great time listening to my CD collection. Strings on classical music actually sound good on CD (Mendolssohn Symphony #3, 4 CSO, London Records), the breath of wind instruments emerges (Dvorak Symphony #9, Telarc), analog recording equipment noise is discernible on Fan Dance (Sam Phillips), which I hitherto thought was distortion, my old ELO's Greatest Hits has become a symphony of synthesized sounds and instruments, the acoustics of the recording room come through on Rythm of the Saints (Paul Simon). I can hear the breathing of the pianist on Chopin: Nocturnes (Livia Rev, Hyperion).
In summary: awesome!
I would like to start by saying how valuable I find this site and the opinions of my fellow audiophiles. I don’t consider myself one, just a regular guy who’s somewhere between audiophile and hobbyist. Although my friends think I’m over the edge, for they get the deer in the headlight look, when I answer how much this or that cost. I simply reply; yes, I know. But I’m in therapy now and it is going well.
The real deal. www.zcable.com The more I read, the more intrigued I became. This stuff sounds too good to be true. Who writes this? And what the heck is Optimization. So I came here to AudioReview to find out what consumers had to say about ZCable. Rave reviews. Not one thumb down, what’s up with that? I was beginning to think the same guy wrote all the reviews. There was a common thread, praise.
Let’s talk to the man behind the curtain, the Wizard, Mark. Through email, Mark enlightened me as to what would improve my system. He answer all my questions. I even managed to keep up with him on most of the techno lingo. 30-day free trial, yup, that lingo I understood.
I ordered the Thunder, Lighting, Jazz 4, Digital Duet and Passion Bi-Wire. When the ZCable arrived, first thing I noticed was how well made they were. Sure they look impressive, but so does a Porsche. It’s being behind the wheel that completes the experience. Let’s take these for a test drive. Buckle up - it’s like burning rubber in all four gears. They say wires sound better after burn in. Hold on, the turbo’s just about to kick in.
I believe every component is a link in a chain. Speaker wire, power cords and interconnects are no exceptions. They are components. Good ones make an improvement. To hear is to believe. So my quest lead me to A/B enough brands (Kimber, Monster, Synergistic, Straightwire just to name a few) that I too thought I should get a life. But when you find that magic, that makes you smile, then it’s all worth it. Zcable’s Optimization seems to work, and work very well.
If I were to say what the biggest improvement that ZCable did for my system, it would be the soundstage. HUGE! Finally, no more wish-full thinking. No more, let’s A/B again. Folks, all the things others have written about ZCable are spot-on. Huge soundstage, deeper bass, increased imaging, smoothness, impact, and that sought after, sounds like you are there, live sound. It’s as if the speakers j
This review is for the PASSION v3 cables. I've been participating as a reviewer for ZCable for the past 6 months and have witnessed the development of the LIVE v4 interconnects (see my review). I originally began reviewing them using the PASSION v2 speaker cables and was quite impressed with the PASSIONS. They offered so much more body to the sound than my previous cables. I was a pretty happy camper with them until Mark Hampton sent me a pair of the new PASSION v3s. What a huge difference over the v2s. The depth of resolution took a huge leap. Even the most delicate sounds were now clearly audible. Spatial cues are extremely accurate, voices and instruments are natural sounding, and there is no glare at all. Truly remarkable speaker cables particularly when paired with ZCable LIVE v4 interconnects.
Mark Levinson 390S CD processor
Antique Sound Lab KMP60-FOX DT amps
Aerial Acoustics 7B speakers
BMI Whale Elite MKII PC
I thought I'd take the time to explain why I have never stopped looking for more music to extend on my over 1000 CDs worth.
Firstly, over the years, like most of you, I have upgraded my hi fi system, one piece at a time. It's been a costly, but worthwhile adventure. I have been blessed visiting s ... Read More »
Saw [b]The Passion of the Christ[/b] yesterday . . .very, very sub-par movie, IMHO.
MG seems to have invested the whole movie on gore, not on the story it could have told. Almost nothing of the life and doings of Jesus is presented, relying mostly on the audience knowledge of the story to set thi ... Read More »
Should it be resrticted to cable/Sat in lite of the crackdown on decency enforcement?
I found these comments rather ironic and humorous...
[i]"Brent Bozell, the founde ... Read More »
I know this is going to be a hot movie,either for or against everyone will have an opinion on this movie.I personally cannot wait to see it.Just watched the Diane Sawer interview with Mel Gibson and I belive its one of the boldest moves in a long time.We shall see.Read More »
Paul Harvey Comments on "The Passion" by Mel Gibson
The majority of the media are complaining about this movie. Now Paul >Harvey tells "The rest of the story" and David Limbaugh praises Gibson.
Most people would wait and see a movie before giving the reviews that have been issued by the repo ... Read More »