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Thread: ‘Review’ of three Zavfino arm cables

  1. #31
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Norwich

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    I'm Mike.

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    Thanks, Mark and Tom. Good reviews from both of you and not the easiest comparison to make; (beyond my expertise and inclination !) Seems the Mahone is the sweet spot financially and in length. Not sure about the (DIN/SME?) type plug; is it mandatory in the range or are there other options, I wonder, as I'm not in favour of split phono lead/cable tonearms?

  2. #32
    Join Date: Jan 2009

    Location: Norwich

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    I'm Hugo.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Reed View Post
    Thanks, Mark and Tom. Good reviews from both of you and not the easiest comparison to make; (beyond my expertise and inclination !) Seems the Mahone is the sweet spot financially and in length. Not sure about the (DIN/SME?) type plug; is it mandatory in the range or are there other options, I wonder, as I'm not in favour of split phono lead/cable tonearms?
    The MAHONE is also available with RCA plugs (and ground wires) at both ends, for the same £119 as the DIN versions. It’s very good used between a SUT and phono amp, as well as for use on turntables/tonearms that have just RCA sockets and a ground post.

    I think there’s more to gain from having a genuinely good quality removable tonearm cable, with the inevitable extra connection than the compromise of a tonearm with a potentially indifferent fixed cable run to the phono amp. Most cables with fixed external cabling have separate internal wires, so you have a join anyway, but it’s out of sight. My incoming Reed 3P has fixed external wiring, but I know that Reed use decent sounding cables, so that’s a good choice.

  3. #33
    Join Date: Jan 2008

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    Posts: 901
    I'm Mike.

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    Just looked at the options on your trade thread, Hugo which addresses my query. However, that's useful info. about the Reed; in principle I prefer one I/C twixt cart. and stage, having had a number of arms with both systems. My SME was a bit of a p.i.t.a. on the Orbe and my friend had no end of trouble freeing up his SME connector under his Phantom.

  4. #34
    Join Date: Jan 2009

    Location: Sheffield - UK

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    I'm Mark.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocky View Post
    I have recently bought one of the Mahone cables. Previous I have a Yannis Tome 2549 Mogami.

    There isn't that much in it, but there is something! The Mahone has a slightly more clarity/finer detail/top end, which I needed in my system, but it does sacrifice a little body to do this. If you have a big mid range powerful system, it wont matter.

    I have also had some expensive Chord Tuned Aray cables previously...I prefer the Mahone over both the Chord and the Mogami, but if you have a bright system, the Mogami would probably be better.
    I agree with all the above - well put in fact . I too have tried one of Chord’s top Tuned ARAY cables (retail is £2,000.00) and was very underwhelmed.

    100% Analogue

  5. #35
    Join Date: Sep 2014

    Location: brighton uk.

    Posts: 4,328
    I'm jamie.

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    yep mark has hit the nail on the head with his review,based on that i bought the mahone myself,first off the service from hugo was brilliant,very quick delivery after my order was placed.
    the first thing i noticed was how quiet it was,turned up to max volume it still remained silent,ive used mogami 2459 myself for a while and as already stated it has a similar sonic nature but with a touch more detail.
    i actually prefer the crocodile clip earth lead over the more conventional type.

    the price of this cable is truly a bargain and i normally make my own up but by the time you've factored in buying the din plug and rca's,heashrink and sleeving + your time,there really doesn't seem any point when you can buy this one ready to go.
    My System
    John Wood KT88 Amp.
    Paradise Phono Stage
    Sony TTS-8000 Turntable.
    PMAT-1010 MK6 Tonearm.
    Ortofon KB with vienna upgrade
    Sony X555ES Cd Player
    Yamaha NS1000m Speakers
    KARMA Interconnects & Tonearm Cable

  6. #36
    Join Date: Aug 2019

    Location: London

    Posts: 8
    I'm Rocky.

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    Quote Originally Posted by karma67 View Post
    yep mark has hit the nail on the head with his review,based on that i bought the mahone myself,first off the service from hugo was brilliant,very quick delivery after my order was placed.
    the first thing i noticed was how quiet it was,turned up to max volume it still remained silent,ive used mogami 2459 myself for a while and as already stated it has a similar sonic nature but with a touch more detail.
    i actually prefer the crocodile clip earth lead over the more conventional type.

    the price of this cable is truly a bargain and i normally make my own up but by the time you've factored in buying the din plug and rca's,heashrink and sleeving + your time,there really doesn't seem any point when you can buy this one ready to go.
    Its a well priced cable thats for sure. I think it means if you have a highly digital detailed system, then the Mogami may suit better, but if you need that little lift in detail, then the Mahone is the better option. And agree on the crocodile clip!

    How did you find the angel breath cartridge leads? I notice you purchased them also.

    I notice you and another cable maker on this forum was inquiring about the OCC cable from Zavfino as a bulk buy, is that what your cables are made from?

  7. #37
    Join Date: Dec 2016

    Location: East Sussex

    Posts: 16
    I'm Jamie.

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    Good reviews guys. As a newbie here and just to add my two cents, I bought a 'The Highlands' cable a few weeks ago. Apart from the slightly daft name and (IMHO) beautiful but slightly OTT packaging (sorry Hugo!), it seems to be living up to expectation. The following is in no way a proper review though:

    Coincidentally (with reference to Tom's situation), I too had been running an Audio Note AN-V silver cable in my system. By happy chance it had come with a standard SME IV I'd bought second hand and now it was running from my main arm, another SME IV but this one Kondo silver-wired, with an Ortofon Cadenza Blue cart. Jack (Non-Smoking Man) and I had compared it at some length with the original SME (VdH) arm cable and thought it very beneficial in my system (some might argue that's not hard). Now I was looking for a longer silver cable as I had re-sited my TT. I'd also installed the other arm and mono cart, with a separate phono stage sited nearer the deck, so the AN could run from it and remain in the system for the time being. The Zavfino fitted the bill and the length was perfect so a call was made to Hugo who sorted me out impeccably and very quickly too.

    It's a little early days yet as I doubt the cable is remotely run in, although on their website, Zavfino make quite a bit of their manufacturing process which they claim allows them (quote) "to get a unique “break-in effect” normally associated with cables that have had 30 to 40 hours of signal and/or current run through them." Their words, not mine, but this cable certainly did not sound 'wrong' in any way from the start. I'm not running my normal system at the moment and good as they are, my little desktop Dynaudios are not remotely as revealing as the Revel Studio 2s I usually use, so my normal references are a bit out-of-whack. All I can say so far is that I concur with the findings of both the OP and Tom. It certainly isn't embarrassed in any way in company with the AN cable, and that is high praise from me. Detail is very high and I'm not noticing any 'thinning' in texture if I've understood the observations above correctly. Whether that remains in the big system with a Class A as opposed to Class D power amp remains to be seen, but that system is not short of midrange richness so I doubt it will be a problem. If current performance is anything to go by I'd say (at least in comparison to the AN), it's a bit of a bargain. It is unquestionably well made and finished to a very high standard. I've seen more expensive cables than this that were poorer from a construction point of view and woeful cosmetically.

    In due course I will reverse the cables and make a comparison with the AN-V in the Kondo-wired arm, but for now there is little incentive to do so as it sounds so good.

    For info, I'm using the straight connector version (and a very classy connector it is too). My phono stage is a Sutherland 20/20 which being two identical mono units in one chassis has the left and right inputs spaced unusually far apart. The Zavfino cable has longer tails than usual and fitted the task perfectly, whereas I had to gently prise back the joined insulation on the AN with a scalpel for it to fit.
    Last edited by batteredhaggis; 27-08-2019 at 18:23. Reason: spelling

  8. #38
    Join Date: Jan 2009

    Location: Norwich

    Posts: 2,671
    I'm Hugo.

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    Thanks Jamie! Interestingly, I have further 'burnt in' (for 4 days on the cable burn in gadget) the Highlands cable that Mark reviewed and as a result its sound character seems to have deepened and become more 'organic'. So, with running in, the Highlands does seem to have all the positive attributes of the Mahone (particularly spatial definition) with extra resolution of fine detail. I do try to make sure that all the Zavfino 1877Phono cables that I sell spend enough time on the burn-in gadget which, to my ears, does seem worthwhile.

    As noted below, the Highlands has long 'tails' which means there is practically no restriction on the spacing pf RCA sockets on phono amps, which is a big 'plus'. The copper Majestic tonearm cable also has nice long tails and I will be adding that to my stock list when I next order from Zavfino.



    Quote Originally Posted by batteredhaggis View Post
    Good reviews guys. As a newbie here and just to add my two cents, I bought a 'The Highlands' cable a few weeks ago. Apart from the slightly daft name and (IMHO) beautiful but slightly OTT packaging (sorry Hugo!), it seems to be living up to expectation. The following is in no way a proper review though:

    Coincidentally (with reference to Tom's situation), I too had been running an Audio Note AN-V silver cable in my system. By happy chance it had come with a standard SME IV I'd bought second hand and now it was running from my main arm, another SME IV but this one Kondo silver-wired, with an Ortofon Cadenza Blue cart. Jack (Non-Smoking Man) and I had compared it at some length with the original SME (VdH) arm cable and thought it very beneficial in my system (some might argue that's not hard). Now I was looking for a longer silver cable as I had re-sited my TT. I'd also installed the other arm and mono cart, with a separate phono stage sited nearer the deck, so the AN could run from it and remain in the system for the time being. The Zavfino fitted the bill and the length was perfect so a call was made to Hugo who sorted me out impeccably and very quickly too.

    It's a little early days yet as I doubt the cable is remotely run in, although on their website, Zavfino make quite a bit of their manufacturing process which they claim allows them (quote) "to get a unique “break-in effect” normally associated with cables that have had 30 to 40 hours of signal and/or current run through them." Their words, not mine, but this cable certainly did not sound 'wrong' in any way from the start. I'm not running my normal system at the moment and good as they are, my little desktop Dynaudios are not remotely as revealing as the Revel Studio 2s I usually use, so my normal references are a bit out-of-whack. All I can say so far is that I concur with the findings of both the OP and Tom. It certainly isn't embarrassed in any way in company with the AN cable, and that is high praise from me. Detail is very high and I'm not noticing any 'thinning' in texture if I've understood the observations above correctly. Whether that remains in the big system with a Class A as opposed to Class D power amp remains to be seen, but that system is not short of midrange richness so I doubt it will be a problem. If current performance is anything to go by I'd say (at least in comparison to the AN), it's a bit of a bargain. It is unquestionably well made and finished to a very high standard. I've seen more expensive cables than this that were poorer from a construction point of view and woeful cosmetically.

    In due course I will reverse the cables and make a comparison with the AN-V in the Kondo-wired arm, but for now there is little incentive to do so as it sounds so good.

    For info, I'm using the straight connector version (and a very classy connector it is too). My phono stage is a Sutherland 20/20 which being two identical mono units in one chassis has the left and right inputs spaced unusually far apart. The Zavfino cable has longer tails than usual and fitted the task perfectly, whereas I had to gently prise back the joined insulation on the AN with a scalpel for it to fit.

  9. #39
    Join Date: Aug 2019

    Location: London

    Posts: 8
    I'm Rocky.

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    Where does the Majestic come in their line up with the Mahone etc Hugo?

  10. #40
    Join Date: Aug 2019

    Location: London

    Posts: 8
    I'm Rocky.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ammonite Acoustics View Post
    Thanks Jamie! Interestingly, I have further 'burnt in' (for 4 days on the cable burn in gadget) the Highlands cable that Mark reviewed and as a result its sound character seems to have deepened and become more 'organic'. So, with running in, the Highlands does seem to have all the positive attributes of the Mahone (particularly spatial definition) with extra resolution of fine detail. I do try to make sure that all the Zavfino 1877Phono cables that I sell spend enough time on the burn-in gadget which, to my ears, does seem worthwhile.

    As noted below, the Highlands has long 'tails' which means there is practically no restriction on the spacing pf RCA sockets on phono amps, which is a big 'plus'. The copper Majestic tonearm cable also has nice long tails and I will be adding that to my stock list when I next order from Zavfino.
    Where does the Majestic come in their line up with the Mahone etc Hugo?

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