I'm looking at investing into some new speaker cables for 2022 and ZenWave speaker cables intrigue me. My speakers are Cube Audio Nenuphar Minis, which are single drive with no crossover. Sensitivity is rated at 91db, but I feel like it is higher in real world listening due to the lack of crossover. I can easily run a 1.5wpc 45 tube amp and have plenty of output. I stream music from an Auralic streamer to a Berkeley Reference Dac to a Sachs tube preamp to tube amp.
Looking at the different models ZenWave offers I was initially looking at the SCR-14 copper ribbon cable. Then I noticed the high efficiency cables. Not sure how those would work with my speakers since they are only 91db, but again they are crossover-less and seem to perform better than their sensitivity rating implies. I understand the SCR-14 is 14 gauge copper ribbon. The SL 17G is 17gauge copper Litz, and the S3/S4 are 20 gauge copper/silver and gold/silver respectively. I'm curious what the real world differences are in these models and what would be the best fit for my system? I priced them all out based on a 3m length with the Furatech FT212 bananas. Thanks in advance for any input.
SL 17G $937
S3 20G $1617
S4 20G $2667
Sure, I do think the high efficiency speaker cables would work just fine for your system. The sensitivity is a bit on the low side but they don't take a lot of power. The shorter the better, but 3m should work out fine.
On SL-17 vs SCR-14 the SL litz cables are very clean and accurate, the ribbon cables are able to achieve a lower inductance though, so bass and dynamics are a little more immediate and forceful, sound is a touch warmer and fuller. While 14g is a little overkill, the cables would be suitable for almost any speaker so they'd offer a bit more flexibility.
S3 is a silver/copper hybrid so it's a bit warmer and less expensive vs pure silver at the expense of some clarity and resolution.
S4 is a silver/gold alloy, it's a bit warmer vs pure silver but the warmth is more natural sounding vs the S3 and it has less of an effect on clarity and resolution. You get a cable that's 99% the ultimate speed, clarity and resolution of pure UPOCC silver with more realistic sounding tone and timbre.