New ZenWave Interconnect Cable: The D5

DaveC

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Nov 16, 2014
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Introducing the ZenWave Audio D5 RCA Interconnect Cable

The D5 RCA interconnect cable is designed to be slightly richer and more harmonically dense vs the D4 and will match best with many low-distortion solid-state systems as well as those simply looking for a richer sound. By using my exclusive OCC silver/gold wire the resolution and clarity of pure UPOCC silver is retained, making this cable unique. Usually, to get a richer, warmer sound resolution is compromised, but not with the D5.

The D4 is intended to be perfectly neutral, a reference, and the D5 is just slightly to the warm side of neutral in comparison, with my tastes and system. However, the experience of neutral with respect to tone or timbre does depend on the system and the listener, so in some systems the D5 may be considered the most neutral choice in terms of what provides the most realistic sounding timbre.

How is this accomplished? I use 33% more signal conductor vs the D4, bringing the aggregate wire gauge to approximately 20g using four separate runs of OCC silver/gold wire. The ground/return leg is changed from 6 runs of UPOCC silver in the D4 to OCC silver/gold alloy in the D5, a total of approximately 18g.

The D5 continues to use the excellent WBT 0102 Ag RCA plugs with ZenWave's custom damping treatment.

The D3 through D5 have a new jacket design with only pure, unbleached cotton and teflon used underneath the elegant techflex-mesh outer jacket. The new design improves mechanical damping quite a bit while also improving aesthetics and durability.

The D5 is available in RCA/single ended only. Price is $1595 for a 1-meter pair or $1195 for 1/2 meter.



 

RogerD

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Very nice Dave...
 

Folsom

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Nice. Loving the upgraded combo of cotton on it too. You are way too generous with prices!
 

awsmone

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Shhhhhh.......

Don't tell everyone he's a gentleman, and his ic's are a steal....or the prices will go up!
 

Tecknik1

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May 29, 2017
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Hi Dave, why the D5 not available in XLR ? have been checking your cables out for some time now and hope to order a pair soon and would be very interested is a USB cable using the silver gold wiring from you.
 

DaveC

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Hi Dave, why the D5 not available in XLR ? have been checking your cables out for some time now and hope to order a pair soon and would be very interested is a USB cable using the silver gold wiring from you.

The D4 XLR already uses my OCC silver/gold alloy wire for both signal legs, while the D4 RCA uses it for signal but not the return/ground leg, this is UPOCC silver as is the pin1 connection on the D4 XLR. So the D4 XLR is really very close to the D5 as-is, and price is fairly close to the D5 RCA as well.

I have not got into USB cables... maybe one day but my effort is going into speakers right now. :)
 

Tecknik1

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May 29, 2017
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Fair enough on the USB, Exactly what effort is going into speakers" hook up wire, crossovers or speaker manufacturing. I well be in touch with those D4 cables after I get a few things taken care of Im sure they are fantastic cables I love the sound of Silver Gold wire.
 
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db audio labs

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Eric Hider from dB Audio Labs here -

I spent over 6 weeks auditioning the D5 Cable and comparing it to over half a dozen other cables. I can easily say that Dave has created quite a wonder with this latest D5 design! Quite frankly, I have yet to hear any cable other than this D5 completely illuminate the harmonics with amazing lushness and almost tube - like characterization. If I were to describe the effect the D5 convey, it would be like taking a magnifying glass to the delicate harmonic overtones. It actually reminds me of a similar effect that occurs when you put a very transparent, state of art tube pre-amp in place of a solid state pre-amp. What really is shocking about this cable (in a good way) is that unlike many "beautiful sounding" tube products comparably, the cable just illuminates the harmonics without any smearing or massive deviation in tonality. In actuality, I think this cable could allow users to experience the effect of adding a very high priced tube pre-amp without the expense and without the potential colored sound that is so typical of tube gear regardless of price. Could this be the "go to" interconnect for those wishing for more harmonic tone structure that is seemingly elusive from any other component upgrades? That has always been something my customers want more of from their digital, for sure!

As a side-note, I have no commercial affiliations with Dave or Zenwave. When I saw the quality of materials he was using in his interconnect line, it intrigued me and he offered to send me samples for my evaluation. I am certainly glad I had an opportunity to find a newfound cable with some interesting sonic merits witch other so called "state of the art" designs can't actually convey, comparably (at least when it comes to highlighting the delicate, rich overtones).
 
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KeithR

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This maybe an unpopular opinion, but if you need to warm up the sound I would look elsewhere in the system and stick with the neutral D4 cables.
 

DaveC

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This maybe an unpopular opinion, but if you need to warm up the sound I would look elsewhere in the system and stick with the neutral D4 cables.

I agree with that in general, it's been many years I haven't offered the D5 but could have... my views are changing to be a little more accommodating though, both in sound and looks.

Part of it is the subjectivity of timbre, how lifelike does the instrument or voice sound? People are willing to sacrifice resolution in order to achieve what they feel is lifelike timbre. In a sense accurate timbre is also more neutral, and it's a top priority in my cables, along with resolution and lack of fatigue. In cables this added harmonic richness almost always comes from copper wire. Folks who own modern low-distortion systems, most often with SS electronics and hard-coned drivers in the speaker, often prefer cables that are objectively less resolving in order to get that coloration that produces more lifelike timbre. Well, here is a better option vs a high end copper cable from companies like Jorma, Kubala Sosna, Audience Au24SX... These are all great cables but the harmonic richness added by these cables still sounds like copper, which is a bit on the slow and warm side... and vs my D4 they lack resolution. The D5 is likely to be preferable over these cables as the harmonic richness added by the OCC silver/gold alloy wire sounds better. The gold makes for a more realistic timbre vs copper, and it reduces resolution less than copper. It's clearer vs Siltech's silver/gold cables because the wire is made using the OCC process and has no grain boundaries.

Anyways, it's always good to have options. :)

Edit: If you are happy with your systems portrayal of timbre and harmonics the D4 is probably a better choice... if you have a tube preamp and/or amp the D4 is probably a better choice as well. If you prefer higher end copper cables... the D5 might be for you!
 
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DaveyF

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Aug 1, 2010
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Dave, I have noticed on several of your cables that you are adding some kind of attachment to your WBT0102 plugs. The cables I am currently using also use these plugs, which I think are excellent, and am wondering if you could explain what these mods are doing? Also, do you sell the mods as a separate item?
 

DaveC

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Nov 16, 2014
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Dave, I have noticed on several of your cables that you are adding some kind of attachment to your WBT0102 plugs. The cables I am currently using also use these plugs, which I think are excellent, and am wondering if you could explain what these mods are doing? Also, do you sell the mods as a separate item?

Yes, they are mechanical dampers made of carefully chosen viscoelastic material. I also put teflon tape around the threads to add a little gentle resistance to turning the locking barrel, which makes for a nice feel and otherwise they tend to fall off the end of the plug.

If you want to give them a try PM me and I can send you some.
 

DaveyF

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Yes, they are mechanical dampers made of carefully chosen viscoelastic material. I also put teflon tape around the threads to add a little gentle resistance to turning the locking barrel, which makes for a nice feel and otherwise they tend to fall off the end of the plug.

If you want to give them a try PM me and I can send you some.

Thanks Dave.
I also noticed that the darn locking barrel falls off easily and like to disappear into the unknown space of my carpet or other gear....causing one to swear out loud and begin to sweat a little. It does result in the nice looking solder joints being exposed and ready for immediate damage,LOL. Great idea about the teflon tape!

I'll PM you about the rest.

Thanks,
DaveyF
 

DaveC

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Nov 16, 2014
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Thanks Dave.
I also noticed that the darn locking barrel falls off easily and like to disappear into the unknown space of my carpet or other gear....causing one to swear out loud and begin to sweat a little. It does result in the nice looking solder joints being exposed and ready for immediate damage,LOL. Great idea about the teflon tape!

I'll PM you about the rest.

Thanks,
DaveyF

Sounds good. The locking barrels on the WBTs are good and bad... it's good to be able to quickly and easily get to the termination so it can be cleaned and treated with Progold or similar if required. An annual squirt of Caig G5 is probably a good idea for all connections, including inside chassis. It's also nice not to have a captured barrel or body on the cable, but having them fall off is not ideal either. :) Teflon tape works well for this, I use 4-5" or so folded in half and applied to the threads on the body. It makes the plugs much nicer to use.
 

DaveC

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An update on the D5s and XLRs... I ended up making a slight adjustment to the D4 XLR, in two directions... one a little less gold and the other a little more, the one with more gold will be the D5. This aligns the cables with the RCA versions a little better, and I think those who want maximum clarity will be happier with the new D4 and those who need a little more warmth will be happier with the D5.

I'm working on a new website where this will all be updated, in the meantime please contact me for more info or a demo. Also, here's a link to a brand new D4 XLR review (you may need google translate):

http://www.audiophile-magazine.com/bancs-d-essais/zenwave-audio-d4/
 

GSOphile

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Sep 4, 2017
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I've just concluded an audition of about a half dozen XLR ICs (both copper and silver) with an order for a pair of D5s from ZenWave. Sonically this cable is pretty much as described by Eric Hider above and in the AudioBacon review linked by Dave. One of the compares was with ZenWave's much praised D4, which I preferred over the others until I heard the D5. For my solid state audio chain, the D5 has a wonderful tone, richer and smoother ('tube-like' may be an apt descriptor) than the D4, without giving up too much in the way of resolution. It gets dynamics, strings, and piano right. In my system, this cable delivers.
 
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