I've never been one of those audiophile types who felt like I needed all my cables to be super expensive one gauge 2" thick cables that cost $35 a foot. But when I had the opportunity to try some of these pricey Zaolla cables I figured, "Why not?" The packaging that came with it extolled the virtues of Zaolla's solid silver in it's cabling. Apparently copper has only 29 electrons to silver's superior 47 electrons which means it's less resistant to current flow. Their 99.9997% pure silver cable is also resistant to corrosion on the planet Earth while copper isn't. Zaolla cable is only corroded by sulfur, which I'm pretty sure is only found on the planet Mercury, but then again I never did well in science classes. (Obviously. -LC) So, I figgered I'd just plug these things in and listen to 'em. Apparently the Zaolla science geeks are onto something here, because you can definitely and easily hear the difference between this cabling and ordinary cabling. I recorded a vocalist onto two different tracks, carefully making sure she stayed in the same position and sang the same way twice. I used an Audix SCX-25 into a Millennia Media mic pre straight to 2" tape on a freshly aligned deck. One track used the Zaolla mic cable while the other used a standard but good quality mic cable. It was easy to hear the more open top end on the Zaolla cable. It was as if it was a different microphone with much better transient response. The guitar cable we used also sounded better in a similar way, with better, more open top end. Besides guitar and mic cables, they also make various digital cables, word clock cables and such too. I could never afford to replace all my cabling with this stuff, but having one around for overdubs is great. It's not cheap, but it's far cheaper than a new mic pre or microphone. Just don't do any remote recording on Mercury with them. (various and custom lengths available - M-series $117 for 10' - G-series $72 for 10', www.zaolla.com, 1-800 643-6903)

Tape Op is a bi-monthly magazine devoted to the art of record making.

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