EQUIPMENT FORUMS >> ZP3 / ZMC1,2,3 >> ZP3 - interconnect recommendation

Message started by Geno on 03/06/21 at 14:48:27

Title: ZP3 - interconnect recommendation
Post by Geno on 03/06/21 at 14:48:27

Iím in the process of upgrading my power cables and interconnects. What experiences have you folks had with interconnects for the ZP3?

Iíve had a bit of trouble with hum when it comes to my phono set up, and I guess it is a given that interconnects must be shielded? What type and brand have you guys had luck with?

Title: Re: ZP3 - interconnect recommendation
Post by Lon on 03/06/21 at 16:43:44

I just did a shootout with interconnects when I discovered a box that had been missing for years that had Decware, My Audio Cable, TARA Labs and interconnects, and two pair of the top of the line Audioquest silver component video coaxial cables that I picked up cheap years ago. There were also two power cords, an Anaylsis Plus Oval One and a PS Audio Power Punch. I didn't play with the power cords, I know how they are and have much better power cords, so they'll go directly to the for sale pile.

I was using my audio-video system in the living room for the testing and then also my headphone only system upstairs in the "loft" bedroom area. In the living room system I was using a VooDoo Cable Stradivarius Cremona XLR out of the Oppo UDP-205 to the ZBIT, a pair of (fantastic sounding) silver Granite Audio interconnects from the ZBIT to the ZROCK2, a pair of VooDoo Cable Stradivarius (earliest version) from ZROCK2 to CSP2+ with mods, then a VooDoo Cable Ultralinear to the Taboo Mk IV with mods. I really liked the sound with these cables though they lacked a tiny bit of warmth I get with higher tier VooDoo Cables in my main system upstairs.

Due to unnegotiable terms from my lovely wife, I have to hide my PS Audio Power Plant Premier, Decware ZLC, CSP2+ and Taboo Mk IV BEHIND a "lovely" cadenza that my wife made me put in place instead of my Mapleshade Samson racks which are now upstairs. The ZBIT and ZROCK2 are underneath the cadenza. As there is a nest of power and signal cables back there behind the cadenza real careful placement is necessary for unshielded interconnects, and not always satisfactorily possible. Shielded cables are probably the best here.

In this system here is the ranking of the single-ended cables (didn't change out the balanced), which surprised me:

Audioquest YIQ-5 solid "perfect surface" silver conductor with really good copper and silver shielding. Now of course there is a third cable in each set which is unused, but these cables gave me nearly all the resolution of the VooDoo Cable interconnects, with just a touch of smoothness and warmth that is a nice addition. I have two pair, each 2 meter, and paid less than 175 for both, and these are a steal as they really are just right for this system.

Next were TARA Labs Reference interconnects, rectangular solid core copper, shielded. These had a bit more warmth and "body" but appeared a bit "slower." These were among the first "audiophile" cables I bought and they still deliver. On Redbook they are actually better than the Audioquest by a hair (Redbook is the format that sounds just a bit unsatisfactory to me on the Oppo, so I don't play many cds as a rule, it's mainly a video system with some SACD and Spectrum jazz channel listening). These old friends do deliver. interconnects are next, or a tie with the TARA Labs, hard to tell, more listening time would be needed and I just haven't had the time. Copper conductors, shielded, cryo treated. Very similar signature to the TARA Labs. . . warm and smooth being the major characteristic, perhaps just a bit too much for the best recorded material, but helpful with the rest.

My Audio Cables unshielded silver cables. These were the fastest and most detailed of the cables, just a bit on the bright side of neutral, and very open and clear sounding. With some placement there was noise/hum due to the environment behind the cadenza.

Decware interconnects, unshielded silver conductor with the standard connectors, very very similar to the My Audio Cables, really eerily so and also had the same placement requirements to avoid noise/hum.

So for this system I replaced the VooDoo cable RCA interconnects with the Audioquest and have really enjoyed the sound. A really good synergy among components and cabling.

In my headphone only system I have been using for my analog cabling PS Audio Resolution interconnects, shielded silver conductor RCA cables, from PS Audio NuWave DAC to ZBOX then to ZROCK2 and then from there to the PS Audio GCHA headphone amp. I really like this loom and didn't find any of the other cabling to top it though though mixing in the TARA Labs from the ZROCK to the amp was quite good, and a full loom of the cables (I have three of differing lengths) gave the PS Audio a run for their money, I could easily live with those in place. Again the Decware and My Audio Cable sounded nearly identical and sounded good (I have the three pair of the My Audio Cable and could do a full loom) and in comparison to the PS Audio the PS Audio was just a bit more relaxed and perhaps "musical sounding."

So all our rooms and systems are different but any of these I have used in my systems in the past and would recommend are worth trying. Only problem is. . . the Decware is the only one still easily available. And its quite possible that shielded interconnects would work best with the ZP3. When I had a ZP3 I used VooDoo Cable Stradivarius Amati interconnects; fantastic cables, highly recommendable, quite expensive!

Over time I have moved to shielded even in systems that are not "noise" challenged, not with any real intention, just following my ears, but there may be other "environmental" reasons why I have.

It was an interesting experiment and the Audioquest DID surprise me as the winner in the living room system. I sent my Decware cables off to my best friend in Texas (who has my trusty old RL-2 speakers in his system for 9 years now) and the others. . . are back in a box for now!

Title: Re: ZP3 - interconnect recommendation
Post by Archie on 03/06/21 at 17:15:46


I had Marc Stager ( make me some shielded solid silver interconnects. †I wanted silver but couldn't find them in a reasonably priced range. †He can make whatever you want if you contact him.

Marc seems like a really good guy and is easy to deal with.

FWIW, any issues I've had with IC noise and my TT had nothing to do with shielding but (as I recall -- it's been a while) all my issues with TT/ZP3 hum went away when I got my ICs away form any power outlets.

Title: Re: ZP3 - interconnect recommendation
Post by Geno on 03/06/21 at 19:39:24

Lon, thank you for the detailed response. That gives me some great options to think about!

Archie, itís cool that you recommend Stager. I actually got a set of his interconnects not long ago that Iím using out of my DAC/Streamer. I like it a lot so far. I did notice that Marc does not offer a shielded version. Itís good to know that he will make them on request. What does he use for his shielding?

Title: Re: ZP3 - interconnect recommendation
Post by Archie on 03/07/21 at 18:57:18

I'm not sure but I recall I emailed him and he said he'd make anything you want.  Great guy.

Title: Re: ZP3 - interconnect recommendation
Post by Doug on 03/11/21 at 01:20:12

The three pair of Stager Silver Solids in my system are just fantastic. †They replaced much more expensive cables. †The Stagers can best be described as clear, detailed, open, natural, clean, real. †It really eats at me that they are built with super cheap RCA plugs, but Iím telling you, these cables totally disappear in the component chain.

Title: Re: ZP3 - interconnect recommendation
Post by Puggy on 04/24/21 at 21:24:28

Does anyone have any phono cable recommendations? I know this is slightly more dependent on cartridge, but Iím curious what others are using.  I have a HO MI cartridge, so Iím going directly from the RCA out on my VPI to the ZP3 and my interconnects after the ZP3 are Belden 8402

Title: Re: ZP3 - interconnect recommendation
Post by HockessinKid on 04/25/21 at 00:41:00

Use the same as your tonearm wire which is likely either Discovery or Nordost. Check with VPI on the model. Steve Leung at VAS Audio ( can build you a nice pair of IC's. He does most of VPI's tonearm wiring.


Title: Re: ZP3 - interconnect recommendation
Post by Crazy Bill the Eel Killer on 04/25/21 at 03:25:32

Hello Geno,
I use two different interconnects w/ my ZP3.

When I go into my balanced Stax set-up, I use a Cardas balanced Clear with a RCA/XLR adaptor on the ZP3 end. Really good and quiet.

However, when I want to rock out and use my dynamic cans, I use my Decware Zp3 into my Slagle silver autoformer into my SE84B. All cabling is Goertz silver micropurl.

Utterly outstanding and noise free. In my experience, the micropurls are just as effective at rejecting noise as shielded cables.

Good luck.
Cheers, † Crazy Bill

Title: Re: ZP3 - interconnect recommendation
Post by Puggy on 04/26/21 at 16:11:30

Thanks so much. I came across that VAS site on eBay earlier and was wondering if these were worth checking out, didnít know he was associated with VPI. He makes a phono cable that replaces the junction box on the table and goes direct to the lemo connector. I believe my tonearm has the VPI pure copper wiring so I think his standard wire would be a good match.

HK do you use these with your table/phono?

Title: Re: ZP3 - interconnect recommendation
Post by HockessinKid on 04/26/21 at 16:39:44


I don't own a VPI turntable, but a Nottingham. Steve Leung retipped my Dynavector cartridge for me last year. Got to visit his workspace adjacent to VPI in NJ. Had a rack of VPI tonearm that he was wiring. Great guy who also builds outstanding cartridges.

FWIW my Rega 300 tonearm is wired with Cardas from the cartridge to RCA terminations that hook up to my ModWright PH 9.0X phono preamp. I like not having a junction box.

If you go this route, just make sure you have enough length to get to your phono preamp😉.


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