Zephyr Interconnects and Taurus AC Cables
as reviewed by Pete Davey
Cables always intrigue me; I thought I knew it all until I started trying new cables in my system. There is a level of science here that only the few understand, but most can at least experience the difference from switching to different connectors, wire types, shielding, twisting techniques to at least appreciate the influence they have on the overall sound.
I went to CES this year, and saw many new cable designs. One in particular that stuck out was the plethora of cables being used in the Sutherland Engineering room: EnKlein cables. These weren't your usual super huge round cables that you see; rather these were almost flat. I found myself spending some quality time in this room, yes I'm sure some of it had to do with the interesting gear from Mr. Sutherland, however I know how much of a perfectionist he is so there had to be a reason why he chose these cables!
Fast-forward a few weeks, I received an email from the folks at EnKlein asking me if I'd be interested in trying a set of their cables. Initially I was going to decline because of how behind I've been lately with a few projects, but I kept rewinding my thoughts to being in that room and thinking, why not? I was sent their top of the line: the Zephyr Balanced interconnect (almost all of my system is balanced) and their Taurus power cable.
I opted to use the cables on my preamp (BAT VK-31se), which I believe has most of the influence on my system, and burned them in for a few weeks by way of some heavy listening. Initially, like any cable, I had to get used to, what was for me, a dramatic change! My previous cables are from XLO which have become my de-facto standard. At first I thought that the EnKlines were a bit brighter, possibly due to the silver being used? No, I think they just needed a little quality time in my system, and man was I right.
The problem with using new cables like these is that it shows one what they've been missing… in a sense it's like they've shot all of the clouds out of my room… I'm hearing detail that I didn't know existed on the source material; both digital and analog. I'm not saying one is better than the other, as that is purely subjective, however I really liked the changes!
I just picked up about 15 new LP's and have been reliving most of my collection with these cables. Such minute detail popping out of nowhere, as I sit here and listen to Lightin' Hopkins Blue Lightenin and how the sound stage is just impeccable. Great pace, rhythm, and timing… and yes again, amazing detail. But not hyped in any way. I'm really blown away here.
Now I'm blaring the latest reissue of The Wall on 180 gram on vinyl. The subtle nuances here and there, the minute detail coming at me from all over the room. I know! Why does this make any sense? It doesn't have to… the folks here at EnKlein really understand how to connect two devices together, and keep it shielded using their proprietary methods. I spoke at length with them about this technology and here is what I've extrapolated:
The Taurus power cable—easily one of most influential power cables I've used in my system yet, and there have been many. What I say above about the interconnects can be applied here as well. Because of the materials used, it wasn't very pliable, but it certainly stays in place once put. This is a very thick cord consisting of 37 strand silver-plated copper covered in PTFE. PTFE has been shown to be an amazing dielectric and dampens against mechanical vibration. He cords are terminated with beryllium copper and platinum.
So… Yes, these cables are made of mostly silver. I have heard lots of people tell me they don't prefer the sound of silver cables, and I have heard some examples that made me feel like I had ice picks in my ears. These are not like the others, folks. I can assure you, all the right ingredients went into these cables. These are the new grails. Give these cables a thought if you're in the market for the next best thing—I certainly wouldn't kick them out of bed. Pete Davey
Taurus Zephyr Interconnect
Taurus Power Cord