Zen wave vs...Ching Cheng..a power cable shoot out

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daveyf

Zen wave vs...Ching Cheng..a power cable shoot out
« on: 21 Jan 2020, 05:44 am »
Yes, folks you read that right! Dave’s Zen Wave PL11 vs..A well known self appointed gurus cable...commonly referenced as:
Ching Cheng’s.
I had the ‘opportunity’ of comparing the superb Zen Wave PL11 pc’s against a fellow A’philes Ching Cheng cable...sourced from the guru himself.( friend is a former disciple...key word...former).
So, we listened first to Dave’s cable, then we switched in the Ching Cheng’s and gave those cables about two hours of warm up and listening time...
I’m going to cut to the chase here...
The Ching Cheng’s are total trash...plain and simple. ( luckily they don’t cost much). Nonetheless, if you really want to place a significant veil over your system and destroy the ability to portray timbre, knock back imaging precision, do away with any palpability and lastly homogenize your whole sound.. then these are your cables.
My friend and I didn’t expect much from the gurus cables, knowIng how his system is put together and what he prefers in his systems sound...but jeez...these really are poor sounding cables.
Compared to Dave’s superb PL11, well there really isn’t any comparison, except to say that both will plug into the wall and into your iec at the amp end, that’s where the similarities end though.
The Ching Cheng’s ended up in the trash can, where they belong....

Dave’s cables didn’t even break a sweat in this shoot out...
Easy win...Zen Wave.

Jon L

Re: Zen wave vs...Ching Cheng..a power cable shoot out
« Reply #1 on: 21 Jan 2020, 06:09 am »
What a strange post  :o

Are you talking about "Ching Cheng" branded generic power cords you can buy for like $4 vs Zen Wave that costs $1000+?

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Ching-Cheng-EL-302-EL-701-E88446-6FT-Black-/254170866633?_trksid=p2349526.m4383.l4275.c10#viTabs_0


DaveC113

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Re: Zen wave vs...Ching Cheng..a power cable shoot out
« Reply #2 on: 21 Jan 2020, 06:19 am »
Lol...  :lol:

Jon, there was/is a discussion on another forum about Ching Cheng PCs being used as a neutral reference. I argued they are not because they are not technically ideal in terms of design and materials, and are built to meet a price point and have different design considerations vs a cable intended for audio, such as the ability to withstand being kinked or abused without shorting. Furthermore, the actual cable changes, so like all of these hardware store giant killers before them like the White Lightening speaker cable, certain Volex cords, etc... you won't necessarily get the same Ching Cheng cable by ordering the same part, you have to get them from the dude who apparently bought 1000 of them and gives them to worthy disciples.  :green:

This was not taken very well by Ching Cheng enthusiasts, to put it mildly.  :icon_twisted:



 

daveyf

Re: Zen wave vs...Ching Cheng..a power cable shoot out
« Reply #3 on: 21 Jan 2020, 08:10 am »
The cables that were involved in the shoot out are the ones that were supplied by the guru from his 'stash' to my a'phile friend. They look exactly like the photo that is posted...and they sound about as bland.

The reason that I was curious about these Ching Cheng cables is that there are a lot of folks on this other forum who follow this pied piper and dwell on his every word. My friend used to be one of these folks. He finally saw the light after he had replaced all of his cables with the guru's recommendation along with his Nordost pc's with Ching Changes. I visited his system on several occasions while the transformation was ongoing...and kept on wondering why each visit left me questioning what i was hearing...and why he was so besotted with the changes.
Since I recently had the pleasure of acquiring the PL11 from Dave, I was curious to hear if there was anything to what so many folks on the other forum were now spouting. My friend finally had decided that the guru's sound philosophy wasn't working for him...and, at least IMO, rescued his system from the doldrums by removing all of the junk that the guru pushed. So, we agreed to this shoot out...and as expected the results were as stated above.

Mike B.

Re: Zen wave vs...Ching Cheng..a power cable shoot out
« Reply #4 on: 21 Jan 2020, 04:12 pm »
Bob Crump was a early builder of audio related power cords. One of the things that spurred that was the discovery that a power cord that came with Levinson gear sounded noticeably better than other stock type cords. The art has come a long way since then.
I have no experience with Ching Cheng but it sounds like a throwback to the time of the Levinson.

Jon L

Re: Zen wave vs...Ching Cheng..a power cable shoot out
« Reply #5 on: 21 Jan 2020, 06:18 pm »
Some folks around here may get a kick out of reading this 27 power cord shootout review:
https://audiobacon.net/2019/08/17/27-audiophile-power-cables-reviewed/

I asked the reviewer Jay in comments why certain "generic" power cords can sometimes sound more neutral and/or color the sound less.  I thought his answer was interesting:
"I believe part of the reason is that by using generic power cords, you’re straying less from the “norm.” Norm being that most of this music is created without fancy power cords to begin within. And since most of us don’t have the luxury to have a system for each genre of music – we want ours to be genre-independent. So as you’ve said, some of these cables completely remove “intent” and instead provide a different listening experience. Not all audiophiles want “the truth” but prefer to be taken away by these colorations (or lack of). And that’s completely fine."


DaveC113

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Re: Zen wave vs...Ching Cheng..a power cable shoot out
« Reply #6 on: 21 Jan 2020, 06:59 pm »
Some folks around here may get a kick out of reading this 27 power cord shootout review:
https://audiobacon.net/2019/08/17/27-audiophile-power-cables-reviewed/

I asked the reviewer Jay in comments why certain "generic" power cords can sometimes sound more neutral and/or color the sound less.  I thought his answer was interesting:
"I believe part of the reason is that by using generic power cords, you’re straying less from the “norm.” Norm being that most of this music is created without fancy power cords to begin within. And since most of us don’t have the luxury to have a system for each genre of music – we want ours to be genre-independent. So as you’ve said, some of these cables completely remove “intent” and instead provide a different listening experience. Not all audiophiles want “the truth” but prefer to be taken away by these colorations (or lack of). And that’s completely fine."


I love that review! ...my PSR-14 won the Best In Class award for higher priced cables.  :D

I see where Jay is coming from, but 2 things... Generic cables don't sound the same, in fact there can be big differences! The Ching Cheng cables are supposed to be a certain type that, of course, aren't the same cable anymore and the new ones supposedly don't sound like the old ones. Also, there are quite a few studios that don't only use generic cable, in fact I know of one off the top of my head that uses high end in-wall wire and cable.

I think people should use whatever floats their boat, in this case I just dispute the claim that CC is a neutral reference. The whole CC guy also has a lot of other tweaks that are mischaracterized as "de-tweaking"... I don't want to go down the rabbit hole! Imo it's a bit odd but otoh if the result is enjoyed then goal achieved, and congrats!  :)

 

daveyf

Re: Zen wave vs...Ching Cheng..a power cable shoot out
« Reply #7 on: 21 Jan 2020, 07:07 pm »
Anyone who believes that the Ching Cheng cables are neutral is crazy...plain and simple! Either that, or they have cotton wool in their ears...which is what i think the guru has....can we say major high frequency hearing loss!

Seriously, the Ching Cheng cables were massively veiled and lacking in overall resolution throughout the entire frequency spectrum. What i did not mention in my OP, was that we not only 'AB'ed Dave's cables against these, but also several far less capable ( and less costly) competitors. An entry level Cardas cable, a mid line Shunyata cable, a Black Cat cable ( which is amazing, but that is for another thread), a Harmonic Tech entry level cable and a Nordost Frey pc....all of these cables easily demonstrated that the Ching Chengs were trash. Even the veiled Cardas cable was superior across the board to the Ching Cheng's!
But let us ask what is neutral sound....as a ex-pro musician, I know what my definition is, I am curious as to what other members define that to be?

Mike B.

Re: Zen wave vs...Ching Cheng..a power cable shoot out
« Reply #8 on: 21 Jan 2020, 08:02 pm »
I am curious who is the guru. Can someone PM me the name if they don't feel it wise to post it here.

DaveC113

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Re: Zen wave vs...Ching Cheng..a power cable shoot out
« Reply #9 on: 21 Jan 2020, 08:28 pm »
PM'ed.

I'd like to ask folks NOT to say who it is or bring the argument here to AC! I don't mind discussing it but the last thing I want is people from the other forum coming here and stirring the pot! Thank you in advance!  :)

daveyf

Re: Zen wave vs...Ching Cheng..a power cable shoot out
« Reply #10 on: 22 Jan 2020, 07:47 am »
Dave, no problem. I agree 100% that we really don't want the pied piper's flock over here, LOL.  :roll: