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Tuesday, June 16, 2015

KLEI™gZero20 ICs cable or only the fool have no doubts!

During my recent cable trials activities, I had the rare opportunity to listen to the KLEI gZero20 from Australia, a premium quality cable which was handled directly from the hands of KL Eichmann, during MOC 2015, in Munchen.

Something should have clicked  - and maybe it did… - as KL was REALLY pushing me hard – proudly  so – to listen and taste and enjoy his new top-quality cable and to give it the time to mature and blossom, as copper crystals should stabilize… etc. etc.

You know, the usual blah, blah of getting accustomed to a new cable in a new environment/audio system…

I’m experiencing these days a periodic, sort-of tiredness re. Audio, its lingo and drama and the related dynamics among WEB-zines, magazines, Blogs and friends and shop chattings.

Everyone owns the Truth and wish to – literally – indoctrinate and convince everyone about this or that, quite boring for yours truly, actually.

I’m full of doubts, not truth, folks, as only the fool knows it all and never have doubts, ever!  

What I’m writing here is something I truly experienced, humbly...  these are my first hand, unreported findings and feelings.

Honestly said.

KL was so proud and confident about the stellar quality of his cable I felt reassured and connected my – I guess – more sensitive – signal-wise – area – i.e. the phono LCR/MC transformer/line-stage.

Listened - when still playing only few days ago with Musto’s Wazari and Yuko silver cables - for about 10 hours… I usually hate voodoo also if I do care about cables layout and some burning-in, I felt it was just OK expressing my very personal  thumb-up or down about the sonic strengths or weakness of the KLEI’s.

I expressed my very first thoughts and listening impressions to KL during a short email conversation and he – always calm and positive - simply told me… listen to them more and more…

Don’t get me wrong:  the nice sonic qualities were audible, but… some weeks ago I wished for more…

The KLEI cable wasn’t flashy, only extremely natural...

I decided to follow my instinct and, most of all, the maker wise suggestion… I changed the position of the gZero's in my system from phono/analog rig to digital and simply forgot about the cable… I listened to it every day for the last month or so… 3-4 minimum hours a-day…

A rough-counting… I reached about 100+ hours listening, now…

The sound from my Meridian’s DAC and transport sounded, both suddenly and abruptly, natural, open, clear  and detailed.

The first two parameters were, SURE were, lesser in the brand new cable… the continuous playing made something and the sound became day after day different and improving.

Will try to better explain myself with the following, instead of using the usual audio hypes…

My system is sounding to me like a Rudy Van Gelder’s recording: despite he used tubes mikes, he seeked and obtained a clear, detailed sound, maybe enhanced by the wooden domed studio the Master Recordist used most of his life.

The balance of the Van Gelder’s recording are a very delicate mix of smoothness and details… and everything must be preserved to get this beauty intact.

If I insert a “blanket” or a "curtain" somewhere in the chain, the slowness is immediately apparent.

Horns, violins, voices must keep their crispness and overtones… romantic sound isn’t nothing BUT an excuse for average sound… please forgive me: that’s my opinion.

The best reproduced sound is luscious and detailed... music or mood can be romantic... instruments aren't romantic, yet a rolled-off and forgiving sound can be defined as romantic if you feel "romantic"... definitely not my cup of tea.

All recordings must sound different from the previous and the next…

The sound in my system with KLEI gZero20 cable is something to be heard to be believed… the correctness, overall beauty of my digital rig, the broad and deep soundstage, the palpable presence of musicians, the size of musicians, instruments and recording venues is greatly improved to the limits of my discerning abilities, as I still cannot imagine if the improving will go on and on or I’ll get it a stop!

I also re-checked the KLEI’s between MC transformer and LCR and the result didn’t change from previous great results in digital rig: Rudy Van Gelder’s sound was preserved, untamed, liquid, crispy and effortless!

Tried with Partridge 300B mono blocks and Luxman AT-3000 passive preamp and Cabasse and... WOW!

This cable, physically unassuming, correctly, honestly priced and sized is like the superb KLEI plugs already in my system: I cannot think of my system without this balance, anymore.

A cable is only a brick of the whole system, but you know a badly conceived corner brick can destroy also most perfect building stability.

KL Eichmann’s cables are a statement of cable making art… only, PLEASE, as per KL Eichmann's suggestion: do not play them for less than 50-60 hours as settling-time, because the KLEI cables always require settling-time and also a long burn-in, pals!

This is very important, as burn-in time is >400hrs and even >500hrs, while settling-time is >6hrs and preferably >48hrs (once plugged and replugged).

Settling-time is the time between plugging in (connecting) the ICs between two components, then unplugging (unconnecting) the ICs. Even moving the ICs around may require fresh period of settling-time.

KLEI literature states the KLEI™gZero20 ICs require 48 hours settling time to properly settle and 60+ hours if you want superb results.

... so - hopefully - I do expect for even better and better;-)

Time and settling/burning-in and everything will blossom like I very seldom experienced, period.

A true pleasure, indeed and another Gotorama’s brick-in-place.


Jonny Wotten said...

Stefano - I have just reviewed KL's zFLOW33 IC's and the zFLOW22 SC's and was wondering whether KL has contacted you WRT auditioning these cables?

It would be of great interest to me to hear your impressions of these cables on your exceptional system, which I am sure has far greater resolution capabilities than my own.

My system, by comparison is quite modest in it's pricing and resolution abilities, but since we both appear to have had similar experiences with the gZero20 and gZero6 cables, it would be interesting to hear what you experience with the zFLOW cables, since I believe that the zFLOW cables are capable of a more pronounced performance improvement, since on a system the improvements were less noticeable than with other gZero cable upgrades I had auditioned.

If you do get a chance to review them, please give them ample time to settle - it took around 6 days on my system for improvements to start reaching their peek, but that may vary from system to system.

The zFLOWS are exceptional cables and conveys the most realistic "live performances" I have heard on my system to date.

Regards... Steve

My review...

twogoodears said...

Hi Steve... glad to read you;-)... no, I didn't auditioned zFlow cables... had some busy months and only now I'm back to music & audio... I didn't heard KL in months;-))) will see in the next future. Best.