Hi! I am David Cahoon, the founder of ZenWave Audio. I have been into high-fidelity audio since I was a child and greatly enjoy the do-it-yourself (DIY) aspect of the hobby. I built my first cables about 25 years ago and have continuously been improving them since then. I have a Mechanical Engineering degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder, and before I got my degree I owned a welding and auto shop, so I have always been a hands-on guy who likes to do things myself. The cables ZenWave builds are neutral and accurate, with the goal of achieving the highest fidelity possible without introducing any artifacts such as harshness, glare or distortion that could cause listening fatigue. ZenWave’s highest end cables are reference level cables, meaning they are as clear, accurate and neutral as possible, so you can hear more of the music. It also means they are competitive with any other cable in the cost-no-object category, often providing better clarity, resolution and neutrality vs cables many times their price.
To achieve this I have designed a very special wire with Neotech, who is one of the few companies in the world to invest in Ohno Continuous Cast (OCC) technology, which produces a wire with no grain boundaries and significantly higher conductivity vs regular wire. My wire is an OCC silver and gold alloy wire, it is featured in my top end interconnect and speaker cable. The result is a wire that provides the positive attributes of silver without either of it’s downsides. First, it does not produce irritating and fatiguing artifacts that make most silver wire a poor choice, my wire does not add harshness, glare or accentuate leading edges. Second, it does not result in a unnatural sounding “thin” tone without the warmth and body that is present in live unamplified acoustic instruments and voices. It also does not produce a warm, bloated tone that smooths over fine detail, instead the silver/gold alloy wire has a very realistic tone and natural sounding timbre. All the resolution and detail in the world doesn’t matter if the music doesn’t sound natural and realistic! This wire does sound natural and realistic, and it does this better than any other wire in the world… this isn’t an exaggeration.
The downside of this amazing wire is price, this wire costs more than the wire that’s used in many high-$ uber-cables like the highest end Siltech and Wireworld, which use much less expensive Ohno continuous cast silver wire, also made for them by Neotech. The fact is, I offer a cable made using far superior wire that is manufactured by the same company. It’s wire I designed and have custom manufactured for me, while the others use off-the-shelf wire that a hundred other cable companies use. And they charge far more for their cables. I can offer the prices I do because I sell direct and have a very, very low advertising budget. With the others you are paying for dealer markup, large ad budgets, glossy brochures, over-the-top packaging, and a presence at audio shows where you have no idea what their contribution to the sound of the system really is. ZenWave offers better cables using better wire than much of it’s most expensive competition, even though the price is lower our cables are really a far more customized and exotic product while the competition has more of a commodity product that is very similar to dozens of other brand’s cables. I invested a lot of money to produce this wire, taking a huge risk that the results would be as I intended them to be. I did this because other wire wasn’t good enough, and I believe I have succeed in designing and manufacturing the best wire for audio use in the world today… there is nothing better at any price.
For ZenWave’s lower end cables, we choose to sacrifice resolution for warmth because this does not result in listening fatigue. However, this isn’t an overly warm and bloated sound, I use UPOCC copper litz wire in many of my cables as this wire is better balanced vs conventional round wire. It’s also more expensive vs regular UPOCC copper and much more labor to use as well. In addition, I have a proprietary, custom UPOCC copper litz wire produced for me in 14 gauge for use in power cables. In particular, my D1 interconnect cable at $140 gives you UPOCC copper from tip to tip with rhodium plated Furutech RCA plugs… this is an unheard of value. If you can’t afford ZenWave’s top of the line you will still find no better value out there than our less expensive cables.
I think you will find all of my cables to offer the best possible value for the money in the market today, this is our goal! This is the reason we have chosen to offer our products direct to the customer, eschewing fancy packaging, promotional materials and ads. ZenWave uses the best materials possible, a very refined design perfected over many years and the ability to customize as all cables are built to order. In addition, you get a lifetime warranty and a product that is made in the USA.
You’ll notice I have recently added cables made by other companies to my inventory. I do this because it fits in with ZenWave’s mission to offer the best value, and if someone can make something that fits this mission better than I can, my ego is not so big to admit it and I will seek to offer that product as well. The new Furutech power cables are amazing. The FP-S55N for being what’s probably the world’s best value in power cables right now and the DPS-4 for being the what’s probably the world’s best power cable period! The Harmonic Technologies speaker cables are made by Neotech, Harmonic Tech is one of their brands so it makes sense they can produce a cable with more economy than I can by hand. With the HT speaker cable you get very heavy gauge UPOCC copper in a design that is both excellent and economical. The economy is achieved by using PE dielectric instead of teflon (for speaker cables this is a very minor difference) and by avoiding huge amounts of labor by having the cable machine made.
On the subject of connectors you’ll notice I use mostly Furutech. This is because they are the highest quality manufacturer of audio connectors in the world. My cost on many of their parts exceeds the “street price” you can find on the competition’s parts. I know high retail prices tend to be impressive, but if you can find a certain product for 50% off all the time than how valid is that msrp? Also, there is a good reason why Furutech parts are the most copied and counterfeited in the world, with many much cheaper approximations of their famous stainless steel and carbon fiber connectors. Many cable companies use blatant copies or even counterfeit Furutech parts but I will guarantee you I buy my Furutech parts from the authorized US distributor. I do not use look-alike or inexpensive approximations either, they are all genuine Furutech parts. There are some exceptions like WBT 0102 Ag RCA plugs of course, I will use what’s best, it’s just that most of the time that’s Furutech.
I know cables are one of the least understood components as far as potential customers understanding exactly what they are buying and why ZenWave cables are an amazing value. I hope my description of ZenWave’s mission and the parts we choose to use have shed some light on the subject, we try to be as clear and upfront as possible about what goes into our cables and why. I have demo cables available to try out and I encourage you to test them vs the competition in your own system. If you have any questions or want a demo don’t hesitate to contact me today!
Please check out my Forum on Audiocircle, I have some posts at the top of the page about the importance of cables and AC power, as well as the proper way to run power to your audio system. Feel free to join AudioCircle and post a topic!
Returns / Exchanges:
The only way to know if a component will work in your system is to try it in your own home, and the same goes for cables. If you buy one of my cables and it doesn’t work out for you I offer a 30 day return/exchange policy as long as the cables are kept in new condition. I do not charge a restocking fee on returns, but the buyer is responsible for shipping charges. Custom cables are not returnable, but I can supply a demo cable for you to evaluate before committing to a custom cable. If you have any doubt about whether a cable is a good fit for your system feel free to send me a message!