Zavfino 1877Phono The Highlands Pure Silver Tonearm Cable

£355.00

The Highlands pure silver and deep cryo-treated tonearm cable from Zavfino 1877Phono.  Truly amazing musical and sound performance at a very sensible price that really knocks spots off most of the more expensive alternatives.  Length is 1.5m.  Available with either straight or right-angle mini-DIN tonearm connectors.   Free UK Shipping

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Description

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.

Specifications:
  • 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.

Additional information

Mini-DIN Connector

Right Angle, Straight

1 review for Zavfino 1877Phono The Highlands Pure Silver Tonearm Cable

  1. Tom

    Here is an edited review of the Zavfino 1877Phono tonearm cables, courtesy of Tom and originally posted on the Art of Sound forum:

    “I’m on record as being something of a low level cable skeptic: at one point I had a full rig of expensive of Kondo interconnects, which I’d built up over years. Out of interest, I swapped them out for some of Paul Coupe’s RFC cables, decently made from proper stuff, but hardly in the same bracket price-wise, and frankly heard no loss of quality, indeed I heard precious little difference at all, whether in musicality or enjoyment, or in hifi qualities like timbre, detail or soundstage. After a few weeks of back and forth, I sold the lot and re-invested most of the not inconsiderable amount raised in some new components. I have zero regrets about this, fine audio jewellery that the other stuff was, it really wasn’t pulling its weight in terms of outlay.That’s not to say I believe in using bell wire or the stuff you used to get free in the box. Rather, it’s my view that for most practical purposes, once you reach a certain level of quality (and, inevitably, price) – decent quality copper or silver conductors with appropriately low resistance and capacitance, proper shielding, quality connections properly put together – cables for the most part become quite hard to distinguish between. I’m not saying that for line-level use, cables can’t make a difference – only that differences tend for the most part to be relatively small in the grand scheme of things, and are not necessarily predictable or repeatable from system to system due to differences in component behavior. My solution was simply to go for good quality/well made but not astronomically priced stuff, and forget about it.The one exception I’ve always maintained in this area is tonearm cables. When used with MC cartridges, these handle electrical signals with a tiny fraction of the voltage and current of line-level cables. As a result, they are for me the most critical cable in a system (followed by digital cables which are in a similarly critical position) so they more than merit special attention. This is where, for example, the lower resistance qualities of silver wire, top quality connectors, or well-executed shielding can and do make a significant, clearly audible difference, in ways that can be harder to discern at line level. So for the last 7-8 years since flogging the Kondo stuff, I have held on to my Audio Note solid silver tonearm cable.However, a recent system shuffle left my trusty Audio Note silver interconnect a bit too short for comfort – so I turned to Hugo at Ammonite Audio for some thoughts. He sent me three cables from a new line he’s carrying – Zavfino,  who are well known for supplying high quality connectors to DIY users and tio other audio companies for many years,  but they are relatively new to the UK. My main interest was in their top-end cable, the ‘Highlands’, listing at £355. This is a pure silver litz cable, albeit with fewer but thicker solid silver cores compared to the Audio Note’s very fine ones; the shield was ‘aluminium mylar’ (according to the Zavfino web site) with silver coated copper braid, made up with decent quality push-fit connectors of Zavfino’s own manufacture and a TAD arm plug, gold plated internally. Length was 1.2m and the cable itself was very flexible. The sound quality was comparable to my departing Audio Note silver – detailed, lovely timbre, nice space, balanced top to bottom – a real sense of rightness. My feeling was that both cables were doing exactly the same thing in the same way – with the kick being that the Zavfino is a third of the AN’s list price. For my personal tastes – renaissance, baroque and early classical music mainly, with a bit of jazz / jazz fusion and folk/acoustic stuff thrown in – this cable is frankly a bit of a bargain and worth a look in any high-resolution system.Anyway, to cut a long story short, I bought one, though with straight connector (the demo ones were with right angled connector which only just fits into the TD124). I have a suspicion this new cable will be a fixture for many years in the same way the Audio Note one was.I also tried out two other cables, which like the first cable, I made a point of not reading about until I had listened to them. First was their entry level cable, the ‘Cove’ which comes in a fetching copper-braided sleeve. Listening tests were kind of surprising as my expectations were fairly low, but in fact it did a very competent job, albeit without the more delicate spatial nuances of the silver cable. Surprising quality sound and feel for what I later found was a price of £69. Not many bargains left in audio but I would suggest this is proper one.Last but not least was the cable a notch up from this one, the ‘Mahone’. This actually was comparable in its quality feel and flexibility to the Highlands, only in grey stripes rather than green finish. It uses similar construction to the Cove, though with four cores of multi-strand OCC copper as opposed to the Cove’’s four cores of multi-strand OHFC. A small change it would appear, but the difference was palpable – this is a cable that has a big, bold sound to go along with its ability with detail, and indeed it wouldn’t surprise me if some preferred it over the silver cable, depending on musical genres and tastes. A further surprise was the price – I was expecting something closer to the price of the silver cable but in fact it sells for just £119 – well worth considering upgrading to this if there’s a prospect the system it’s going into would benefit from what it does.Anyway, my thanks to Hugo for letting me have a play with these on the TD124”

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