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This review first appeared in the April 2011 issue of hi-end hifi magazine of Germany. You can also read this review of the Zendo Cable in its original German version. We publish its English translation in a mutual syndication arrangement with the publishers. As is customary for our own reviews, the writer's signature at review's end shows an e-mail address should you have questions or wish to send feedback. All images contained in this review are the property of fairaudio or Zendo - Ed.

Reviewer: Ralph Werner
Sources: Analog - Acoustic Solid MPX, VPI Scout II – tone arms - Phonotools Vivid-Two, SME M2 12-inch, VPI JMW-9; carts - Denon DL-103, Ortofon MC Rondo Bronce, Zu Audio DL-103; phono pre - SAC Gamma Sym; digital – SACD/CD - HIFIAkademie cdPlayer, Luxman D-05; computer & Co - Logitech Squeezebox 3, Readynas Duo NAS server, HP notebook; DAC - Benchmark DAC1 USB
Amplification: Pre- Octave HP300; power - Electrocompaniet AW180; integrated - Denon PMA-2010AE
Loudspeakers: Ascendo System F, Thiel SCS4
Various accessories, cables, racks
Review component retail:
starting at €331/349 RCA/XLR, review loaners €580 RCA, €640 XLR

Silver and gold: He who fails at everything else builds hifi cables. That smacks of disrespect. I’m not siding with those who find cables sonically irrelevant (I’m told they exist). At times I simply wonder whether it’s not every other male citizen who spends his evenings in the garage to solder up the next hifi revolution which fairaudio then is offered up for immediate discovery/review.

From the pile of new cable firm solicitations one stood out. While Zendo Cable by itself might not have done the trick, the suffix ‘by Mundorf’ did. "Okay, they’re allowed" was the gist of my reflex. Think about it. Was it not really inevitable? After a quarter century of issuing some of the most highly regarded crossover parts (coils, caps, resistors), why not cable? At least I find that connection persuasive. Today’s report thus covers Zendo Cable’s interconnects in RCA/XLR termination (they also offer speaker leads).

Questioning Mundorf on the impetus to go cable, one learns of enthusiasm for their Mcap Supreme silver/gold capacitor launched in 2004. That pioneered a then novel 99:1-ratio silver-gold alloy with profound sonic advantages. Mundorf reasoned that this promising stuff shouldn’t remain exclusive to capacitors but get applied to signal transmission.

Between idea and rolling out the Zendo Cable brand in 2009 the intervening years were spent on R&D though the core building block was never in question. In the materials surrounding the capacitor one reads that "gold alters the crystalline structure of silver to maximize its already excellent conductivity". The same of course applies to the Mundorf cables. [Publisher’s note: Siltech in twisted and Crystal Cable in coaxial cable geometries also champion this metallurgy with the same claims.] In auditions Mundorf spent a good year to nail down optimal conductor diameter and number of individual leads. The chosen solution finally became three half-mill conductors per leg, i.e. six per channel. Small arrows indicate directionality to assure that they’re matched between left and right channel.