ATOHM ZEF

TR19.11.2011

Speaker cables

Well, from a distance of 3 meters the ZEF looks like an ordinary white twin-wire. If you take a closer look it still keeps looking like the ordinary white twin-wire. There was simply nothing to indicate that the ZEFs would be such fantastic performers. In reality they outshone most of the competitors in our extensive speaker cables benchmarking  test.

100% reference

Funkce a forma

95%
Ergonomie
42%
Zvuk
83%
Zpracování

The Atohm ZEF features 3 OCC mono-crystallic copper wires that are surrounded by a bundle of 200 silver-plated copper filaments in Teflon dielectric. The outer shell of the ZEF is made from white PVC compound - the same material is employed for the bridge that keeps conductors in a predefined spacing.

There is nothing special in how the ZEF is designed apart from its snow-white jacket that is very easy to maintain and very easy to manipulate. The cable is excellently bendable (bend radius of only 20mm) and as such it can be used also in very problematic conditions - you can even hide it behind a skirting board. The ZEFs feature Atohm´s own WT-LMB bananas with the central pin that is quite loose in the banana´s shells so you have to
be careful not to lose it during manipulation.

Nízké frekvence

Váha
46
Výbušnost
50
Artikulace
48

This review is a part of The Low and Mid-tier Speaker Cables Megatest that includes 18 different speaker cables. The pilot article is available at SPECIAL EDITION REVIEWS section of Audiodrom.

Čistota rozlišení

Detail
39
Vzduch
43
Transparentnost
42

I got surprised right from the beginning of Pink Floyd's Young Lust. The MoFi remaster is heavy on bottom octaves which is addictive on the best audio systems and troublesome on the lesser ones. In many cases you can hear just kind of basso continuo without focus and inner resolution. The ZEFs were surprisingly good and managed to tame the bass excess in an elegant manner without trying to stun the listener with thundering, however unecessary, lows. The kick drum of Young Lust was warm, full and hefty yet delicately outlined and dynamic. The energy of INXS's Devil´s Party did not remain confined in my speakers and was thrown into my listening room with confidence and authority.

Tonální věrnost

Témbr
44
Dynamika
40
Časování
40

Listening to a more intimate music material revealed that the ZEF is tuned in favor of bottom and top octaves and that is how it manages to breathe new life into many ecordings - as if you crink an equalizer a bit. Thus the lows get more saturated and the highs get a pinch of spark.When I made a direct comparison to my reference, the Krautwire Fractal, it became clear that the Atohm favoured enjoyment over neutrality, however, at a 15 times lower price it is nothing that needs an apology. The good thing is that this type of tuning is not achieved through a suppression of the mids rather through the enlivening of frequency extremes and therefore I did not miss important information like piano harmonies and uncompressed mid-band dynamics in Streisand's In The Wee Small Hours of The Morning.

Prostorovost

Trojrozměrnost
78
Šířka scény
78
Hloubka scény
76

Soundstaging is the element where the ZEF is very good - especially the lateral plane extends well beyond the speakers and is perfectly laid. The depth is shallower than with the Fractal and does not contain so many fine layers like the reference cable, it is still excellent however. The effortless accent on a detail brings out textures of Johnny Cash's guitar and voice on Hurt - I have to mention the articulation of the voice that was presented without any stress on sibilants and 's', 'f' and 'sh' were perfectly delineated in the context of the music. I did not expect a lot from the Atohm ZEF and therefore I was very pleasantly surprised how good performer it was. Highly recommended.

Cena v době recenze:5 900,- Kč

Doporučení prodejci

Nisel SK, Bratislava, tel. +421 905 203 078

Připojené komponenty

  • Sources: Primare CD32, Luxman D-05 and Accuphase DP-510
  • Amplifiers: Primare I32, Luxman L-590AX and Accuphase E-560
  • Interconnects and speaker cables: Krautwire Fractal, Cardas Clear, Homegrown Audio DNA
  • Loudspeakers: Audio Physic Virgo V, Dynaudio Confidence C1 and Xavian Giulia, Chario Constellation, Xavian Preludio, Revel Ultima Studio2, B&W 805 Diamond and Atohm G 1.0
  • Power conditioning: Nordost Thor (modified), Snakeblock, Nordost Valhalla

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