You may never have come across the brand Zavfino before now, especially here in the UK, but that is all about to change as Audio Pinnacle, UK distributor of the excellent Audel loudspeakers, has added the brand to its portfolio of products. Pinnacle founder John Simm, told me that after a long search he had identified that the Canadian owned Zavfino cables offer outstanding sonic qualities at very realistic price points. He invited me to spend some time with their interconnects and loudspeaker cables, to see if I would share his enthusiasm. In due course I received two pairs of Fusion MkII interconnects, one terminated with RCA plugs and the other with XLRs, and a pair of Nova OCC loudspeaker cables.
Fusion MkII interconnect
As my late mother used to say first impressions count, and before I had even seen the interconnects I was impressed with the way that they are presented. They arrive in a solid, felt-lined box with a magnetic closure, with the cables contained in a woven black bag. The whole effect is one of class. Once extracted from the box, the cables do not disappoint. The braiding of the sleeve looks really good and the terminating hardware, both RCA and XLR, feels really solid and bears the Zavfino brand.
Internally, the Litz construction brings together the trademarked H-Wound Core and uses a mixture of solid pure silver multi-strand and Japanese PCOCC single crystal copper, in a tight pitch twisted pair construction. Before being stranded with the pure silver, the copper is put through a trademarked process called Ultra Sonic-7, which is designed to burn away dirt, oil and other impurities on the surface of the wire. The manufacturer claims that an added benefit of this process is that it removes the need for an extended ‘burn in’ of the cables. The whole thing is then cryo-treated. Similar attention to detail has been given to the cable’s sleeve, into which is incorporated a mylar foil shield, along with Teflon insulation. The outer sleeve is made of an anti-static PET/polyester weave. 5% silver solder is used to attach the plugs.
Why am I dwelling so long on the construction? Because I want to convey the thought and the immaculate execution behind this cable, and then I want you to consider the price. However, as with any audio product, none of the technobabble is worth much unless the product performs well. So how did the Fusion MkIIs fare once deployed? I attached the RCA pair to my Gold Note PH10 phono stage and the XLRs to my Yamaha CD-S300 SACD player. In both cases the receiving amplifier was the analogue input section of my Lyngdorf TDAI3400.
Regular readers will know that I have five or six albums which always form part of my core review and these were lined up as per usual. But I have recently been adding to my jazz library, and first up onto my LP12 was the recent reissue of Paul Chambers’ Bass On Top, originally recorded in 1957. The Blue Note Tone Poet edition (BST-81569) is an exemplar of how a reissue should be done, and has become a regular on my turntable. The music sprang forth from my Harbeth C7ESRXD loudspeakers with all the power and emotion which I have come to associate with it. Chamber’s bass is of course well up in the mix but this is ensemble playing of a very high order, and through the Fusion MkIIs absolutely nothing is added or taken away, transporting us back to Rudy Van Gelder’s studio as if it was yesterday.
From there I stayed with the classic jazz theme and played Oliver Nelson’s The Blues and the Abstract Truth, a 1961 recording on the Verve Impulse! label reissued this year by Analogue Productions (Stereo A-5). Paul Chambers also appears on this wonderful recording, along with several other jazz luminaries. Once again, the music absolutely shone through this carefully curated reissue.
After that, I returned to my usual diet of rock, blues and classical recordings for a most enjoyable extended listening session over several days, before switching to SACD and CD recordings to see if the XLR version of the Fusion MkII was as good as is its single pin sibling. I need not have worried. I had a most enjoyable few days working my way through an eclectic selection of SACDs and regular CDs, and reminded myself once again that although the silver disc has apparently fallen from grace in the eyes (and ears I suppose!) of the audiophile community, it is a medium that can still deliver very high levels of listening pleasure.
Just as with their interconnect siblings, the Nova-OCC cables made an immediate and very positive impression. They seem to be extremely well made, with Zavfino branded 24k gold-plated banana plugs fitted (other terminations are available) and a reassuringly solidity to the cable itself. As the name implies, the heart of the cable is OCC single crystal copper, with the central strand being silver plated. Like the interconnects the Nova-OCC goes through the ultra sonic cleaning process, and thus arrives essentially already burnt in. The overall sense of quality gives me confidence that these cables will give years of trouble free service.
Having spent a week listening to the Fusion MkII interconnects I then installed the Nova-OCC loudspeaker cable, and started back at the beginning of my review pile of records, SACDs and CDs. I was more than happy with the resulting sound. The expansive soundstage, the even-handed way that the whole frequency spectrum was delivered and the sheer musicality of the presentation was absolutely delightful and whatever I chose to play sounded right to me. As a reviewer it is my job to listen for imperfection, but there was absolutely nothing amiss through the Zavfinos.
I did not say at the outset of this piece that the cables which I removed to make way for the Zavfinos are among the best I have heard and come from a very well established global brand. They are also comparatively expensive, but to me at least they are a worthwhile investment because of the level of musical pleasure which I derive from them. The Zavfinos have therefore come as a huge surprise, because I think that they offer performance at least as good as my usual choice, but at a considerably lower price point. I can also say that after an extended review period I could detect no change in their sonic character, which suggest that the Ultra Sonic-7 process delivers on Zavfino’s claims for it. When I say that they are exceptionally good I am not adding the rider ‘for the money’. They are exceptionally good. If you are in the market for well made, sonically transparent yet very musical cables to go with your prized sources, amplification and loudspeakers, I can only recommend you to give these serious consideration. You will not be disappointed.