Price is for a matched pair.
Challenging our competitors’ best—competing in price with a nice bottle of whisk(e)y.
Just getting into hi-fi stereo? Maybe you have been into it since you were a kid. Regardless, if you are looking for a nice improvement in your system’s performance and don’t want to drop a bunch of cash on new loudspeakers or turntable you might want to give these Zu Option RCA cables a go. You have nothing to lose but a bit of trial time as we back ‘em up with the easiest trial and refund policy in audio—our no-hassle 60-days satisfaction guarantee. We hope you give them a try, in your home with your own gear and your music, free from the pressures of a salesman, so you can know for yourself just what a difference this cable can make.
Materials used in Zu Option RCA are similar to our competitor’s top offerings; the use of highly refined US drawn silver alloy conductors, virgin Teflon dielectric, beautiful nylon sheathing, and custom machined high copper brass RCA plugs. But these are just the materials supporting the magic, the art of design is not in the stuff, it’s in the electrodynamics working through the materials, that is just one area where Zu cables are different. Another is that we actually manufacture our cables, not just put connectors on them. After all, nobody cares as much about their creations as the creators.
OPTION RCA Mk.II Key Features & Benefits / E&M + Materials
Zu designed and manufactured coaxial cable specifically developed for coaxial RCA-type interconnection of analog audio instruments. Being we design and manufacture (cable and terminated assemblies) the cable completely in-house ensures quality, consistency and performance.
E&M design of Zu Option RCA yields a super wide bandwidth [DC – >1GHz] and flat, uniform impedance characteristics. This reduces standing waves and contributes to stable propagation of intelligence ensuring an effortlessly clear and open sound.
High conductance (low DCr) [0.05Ω/m on signal, 0.02Ω/m on ground] are key to giving you uncompressed dynamic realism and shove when done within the E&M design targets stated above.
Excellent parallel capacitance (Cp) measures [80pF/m] combine with the stated impedance dynamics, high conductance, and tight shielding to ensure even very long runs sound killer and maintain their ultra-wide bandwidth.
Uniformity in manufacturing with extremely high precision guarantees each 2-channel (L&R) stereo pair is matched and made contiguously from raw stock—continuing Zu’s reputation for unrivaled stereophonic playback performance.
High conductance silver alloy signal conductors for improved signal to noise ratios, conductance, and overall resolution.
Virgin white Teflon® insulation extruded directly over the silver alloy signal conductors. This thin layer of Teflon directly applied helps ensure the very wide bandwidth and tight group delay performance—bass through treble has perfect timing for a relaxed and resolving quality.
Dielectric space is a composite consisting primarily of air but also includes polyester and graphite. The dielectric space and materials were developed in conjunction with the impedance characteristics and together fine tuned around many hours of listening, finally arriving at the desired performance.
Custom Zu RCA connectors are precision machined from high copper brass with heavy gold plate for great looks and feel, along with exceptional toughness and a long term high fidelity connection.
Designed and made by Zu Audio in Ogden, Utah—USA.
Zu Option RCA cable requires a fair amount of use before they’re fully burned in, roughly 400 hours; mainly due to the Teflon. However, right out of the box they will sound very good and improvements should be quickly noticed. We do not recommend any burn-in devices or special recordings. We do recommend music you enjoy, preferably upbeat full spectrum recordings: rock, roots, full orchestra, big band.... If you would like us to burn this cable in for you there is a small non-refundable charge and a three week delay.
For the possible hows and whys about burn-in please see our FAQ section.
Zu Option RCA Interconnect Taste Test/Shoot-out
Device Under Test: Zu Option RCA-type interconnecting patch cable
Testing: Taylor Byrd (Zu employee)
Context: home studio playback mixing/post production
Competitors: Live Wire® RCA-type, and Mogami® Gold RCA-type.
Here’s my take on the new Zu Option RCA interconnect within the context of a pretty typical home studio rig; my expertise after all are centered in the pro audio world, studio work primary. For this cable taste test I’ve selected the KRK Rocket monitor speakers; good, cheap, and everywhere. Source material used was vinyl or native files. Music: Duke Ellington, Tony Bennett, Pink Floyd, Lady Gaga, Daft Punk. By the way, if you fancy* either Tony Bennett or Lady Gaga, check out Cheek To Cheek.
As you might expect I found the Zu Option RCA cables to be better than the other two in every way. Live Wire RCA cables, the least expensive of the three, had been in my basement rig for the last few months. In fact this particular rig had been stable without any gear or cable swapping for some time. For a base impression, I left the Live Wires in the rig and listen to the selected sheets of wax. I then replaced the Live Wire RCA with the Mogami Gold; the Mogami sounded more expressive of treble, with better clarity throughout. Tone was darker with the Live Wire, with less clarity everywhere. Zu Option? Seriously, I couldn't believe this cable made such a difference, as much as moving up from a entry level Focusrite Scarlett D/A [DAC] to Grace Designs 905. The difference was big. I was hearing resolution improvements throughout the bandwidth, and there was a better sense of instrument weight and human interplay. Bass was much more expressive, dug deeper and was more detailed. Vocals, guitar tones, toms… all more present and intelligible. Treble was likewise clearer, brass/synth/harmonics had more life with improved pop, sustain and decay. Yeah, Zu Option, yes please.
Also helping with the testing was my fiancé Payton. I felt I had to get a second set of ears on this, to confirm this really was my rigs needed magic sauce. I tested Zu Option vs Mogami several times back to back in the course of the weekend, sometimes Zu Option first, sometimes second. I brought in Payton—untrained ears are often helpful in keeping the golden ears honest—and asked her to sit down and give me her take. Skeptical, she sat down and listened to her favorites: The Weeknd, Rundfunk and Maroon 5. She was speechless,“What did you do to my music, I’ve never heard it like that before.” I smiled and thought to myself, “We’re going to sell a shit-ton of Option RCA patch cables!”
* [oh my god, Taylor is only twenty years old and he is insisting on fancy? –Sean]