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ZenWave Cables and SurgeX ZenWave Edition Review Print E-mail
Friday, 15 January 2016
Article Index
ZenWave Cables and SurgeX ZenWave Edition Review
Set Up and Listening

On various albums by the terrific British band, Field Music, the superb interplay between the bass and drums, the smart electric guitar parts, and the arty arrangements were so easy to follow and groove along with, it was smile inducing. The track “Each Time Is A New Time”, from Field Music (Measure), was addicting. So were the arty lead off tracks from their fourth album, Plumb, “It’s About Time”, and “Start The Day Right”, complete with Beatlesque flourishes and a string section.

Vestiges & Claws, in 24/96 FLAC, showcases the mystical talents of Swedish singer songwriter Jose Gonzalez and his mix of Tim Buckley stream-of-consciousness with modern, alternative flourishes. There is an elegance to his productions that draw the listener in. Interestingly, this is how I began to feel about the ZenWave cables. They draw you into the music with sonic elegance. The track “Stories We Build, Stories We Tell” is a hypnotic chant over syncopated percussion, and it was mesmerizing via the ZenWave system as when I saw Gonzalez perform it live earlier this year. I rarely get that connection.

A recently discovered album, Into Forever, 24/88 FLAC, by Matthew Halsall & The Gondwana Orchestra, is treasure trove of exotic jazz pop, for lack of a better descriptor. The ZenWave loom was up to the task of unravelling the incredible mix of instruments, soaring melodies, and the unusual flourishes. The track, “Badder Weather”, featuring vocalist Josephine Oniyama, is just stunning, and played right into the strengths of the ZenWave cables. Namely, precision of tone, timbre, and the ability to recreate the space inherent in the recording. Piano, acoustic bass, drums, and harp all had their own location in the mix yet jelled as one coherent whole.

The SurgeX ZenWave Edition Installation & Use

I introduced the ZenWave SurgeX once I was sure I understood the performance level of the signal cables and power cords. I normally use power conditioners in both my systems so I was curious to see if I would notice any drop in performance, or additive/subtractive qualities. I used it in both systems and had all components plugged into it. The unit is very rugged, more compact than others I have used, and mechanically silent. The basic ZenWave SurgeX starts at $950, with upgrades available.

I asked Cahoon about the design parameters, and noted, “the SurgeX you received has 8 outlets, 6 of which are Furutech GTX(R), the others are Furutech FPX(Cu). I do this for a demo so the receptacles can be compared if desired. The SurgeX comes with it's own 20 amp power cord. It requires a 20 amp IEC inlet to conform to code as it is a 20 amp appliance. I also mod the SurgeX SEQ, which has 14 outlets as well as sequential startup and shutdown and a LCD display with wall voltage and protection status.

The SurgeX ties all the power grounds together at one point, so it's best to plug the entire system into it to reduce noise and improve grounding. My power and IC cables use heavy-gauge ground connections as well that help reduce SCIN (shield current induced noise). I have not run into a component or system whose performance is degraded by the SurgeX.


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