Zavfino 1877Phono The Highlands Pure Silver Tonearm Cable
What Zavfino 1877Phono Say:
The Highlands is Zavfino 1877Phono’s signature series low capacitance tonearm cable, precision engineered for high-end analogue reproduction. Construction consists of 4 independent evenly matched cores of Solid Pure Silver at 99.998% purity utilizing our H-Wound technique of high pitch stranding. Each colour coded core is extruded in FEP/Tef and are spiral twisted followed by an aluminium mylar wrap combined with a silver plated multi-strand tight pitch braided shield for full coverage against stray signal interference. Over the shield are two layers of RoHS certified PVC followed by two Polyethylene terephthalate(PET) monofilament sleeves. RCAs are our newest low mass design, with pure gold plated OCC signal pin, insulated with PTFE/Tef. Finally, The Highlands uses our 5pin high purity, PTFE/Tef insulated DIN connector with gold plated pure OCC connectors, that internally uses our anti-stress pin construction ensuring against conductor fatigue and providing optimum performance for many years to come.
The Highlands was designed for the truly discriminating music lover. Its purist approach reproduces the original performance with clarity, focus and dynamic authority. Brilliantly energetic, its sonic performance is both clean and transparent with accurate imaging and depth while providing a wide yet three dimensional listening area. Superb at every level The Highlands is the perfect choice for the most demanding systems and setups.
What We Say:
Like the Mahone tonearm cable, the Highlands is a relatively unassuming lightweight and flexible design, impeccably built. It comes in a nice slim wooden box, with the cable itself inside a lovely zipped padded fabric pouch that could easily serve as a travel cover for a small laptop computer. What about how it sounds, and particularly against the cheaper Mahone? Well, this has been a pleasant surprise because the Highlands is not an expensive cable as such, yet it is very clearly in a sonic league above the (already very good) Mahone. What does that mean? In terms of initial impressions on soundstaging, dynamics and detail, the Zavfino 1877Phono ‘family’ character is there, and more – you get a fantastic sense of being more a part of the recorded space where individual details and instruments are even more precisely placed, and since I listen mostly to classical music, that means instruments in the correct places. It’s amazing how a cable can screw up soundstaging and localisation of recorded sounds, but that does happen. Moving on, some people automatically assume that a silver cable is going to sound brighter than copper, but the silver Highlands sounds really delicate and refined, compared to the exuberant Mahone. Delicate and refined does not mean boring – far from it since the Highlands is one of those audio components that draws you into the music and however much you try to listen to ‘HiFi’ stuff like bass, treble etc, you just sit back and listen, occasionally startled by the sound of a muted brass instrument that was not previously apparent. Then it’s time to get up and change the LP. The Highlands tonearm cable is truly wonderful – by far the best sounding and most musical cable that we’ve used, at any price, let alone the very modest £355 which this thing costs.
Conductor: Pure Solid Silver Litz Conductors, tight pitch construction low capacitance
Insulation: FEP/Tef dielectric, PTFE dielectric, fibreglass braided silicone coated breakouts, R-Flex 105C degree PVC jacket
Shield: Aluminium mylar with silver coated copper tight pitch braidShield: 50cm SPOFC ground wire with 24k gold plated ground clip
Connector Female (DIN): 1877 TAD-2 straight or TAD-3R right angle DIN, 24k gold plated high purity copper insulated in PTFE/Tef utilizing 1877 anti-stress pin construction.
Connector Male (RCA): 1877 ZXP-5 with OCC copper pin assembly in 24k gold,
Sleeve 1: Polyethylene terephthalate(PET) monofilament sleeve with anti-static fiber green
Sleeve 2: Polyethylene terephthalate(PET) monofilament sleeve PET/PET black
- Length 1.5m
Deep Cryo™ Treatment
All of the conductors used in our cables undergo Deep Cryo™ treatment before the insulation is extruded over the metals. Our research has proven that the conductor—and only the conductor— benefits from cryo-treatment. Materials such as polyvinyl chloride (PVC™), Teflon™, PE, and Silicon™ can all be adversely affected by cold-temperature annealing. Cryo-treating non-conductors and insulating materials can cause them to break down and become brittle. The purity, size, and molecular structure of each conductor determine the specific temperature within the -186ºC to – a 196ºC range that we cryo-treat it at. Zavfino’s research into cold temperature physics has proven that the absolute lowest temperature is not necessarily the best for cryo-treatment.
This is a two-stage process. In the first stage we draw the bare conductor through a ceramic die into an ultrasonic cleaning chamber that bombards the conductor with multiple ultrasonic frequencies. This emulsification process removes all debris from the surface of the wire down to the molecular level and leaves absolutely zero residues.
UltraSonic 7 High Voltage / Thermal Break-in
This is a two-stage process. In the first stage we draw the bare conductor through a ceramic die into an ultrasonic cleaning chamber that bombards the conductor with multiple ultrasonic frequencies. This emulsification process removes all debris from the surface of the wire down to the molecular level and leaves absolutely zero residues. After each individual wire is processed, we strand it into bundles and then subject the bundles to further treatment. During the second stage of the ultrasonic burn-in, we increase the voltage to a higher level that’s just below the threshold of the conductor. This adjustment in temperature allows us 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.
Zavfino’s H-Wound™ + Zero Strand Loss
Drawing on more than 18 years of manufacturing experience, Zavfino has developed a remarkable new technique for twisting stranded wire tightly around a central solid-core conductor. An electrical phenomenon commonly known as the “skin effect” occurs when electrons move through any solid core conductor. Higher frequencies travel along the outside (the skin) of the conductor faster than midrange and lower echelon frequencies. This results in smeared PRaT, muddled instrumental timbres, and an unnatural sound. Zavfino’s new H-Wound™ manufacturing technique negates the skin effect. Originally developed by OEMs Siemens and Klangfilm, Zavfino uses a customized transformer wire-stranding machine. We further modified the gears in this machinery to create windings at a slower RPM ratio with a much tighter pitch. This patented manufacturing process enables us to twist the wiring at the tightest pitch possible without overlapping the wire strands. Most wire-stranding machines can only fabricate windings up to a maximum of 300 twists per meter. Setting the bar far higher, Zavfino’s patented H-Wound™ cable winding machine creates a pitch rate of 14,000 to 16,000 twists per meter; which is unmatched by any other audiophile cable maker. Zavfino’s new Zero Strand Loss™ manufacturing technique protects the bundled conductors from being damaged during stripping and termination. By ensuring that each core has zero chipped, cut, or mangled strands, we can guarantee that each insulated core is 100% identical. For audiophiles, the sonic results of tighter windings and Zero Strand Loss™ conductors are cables with quieter backgrounds, remarkable timbral accuracy, lifelike PRaT, jaw dropping mid-range resolution, and superior low frequency extension. Our new H-Wound™ stranding technology allows us to protect the delicate electrical signal being transferred through our cables.