About a week ago the 100+ aluminium crate full of golden sILENzIO cables went back to ZenSati, and it’s the time to wrap up one yearly adventure with these unique cables from Denmark. It’s around the year when Mark Johansen has visited me with his wife and personally delivered the complete ZenSati sILENzIO cable loom. Time do fly quickly and a lot of things happened in between.
Most of the high-end audio cable manufacturers don’t want to disclose the specific technical features and materials as they are the key to the brand’s sound and as I’ve been told repeatedly they’re copied in no time.
Let us look closely what ignites the ZenSati owner and designer Mark Johansen creative endeavours and what makes ZenSati so different…
THE MAN – THE BRAND
Mark Johansen had audio as a hobby since he was only 9 years old. He grew up with music around him, learned to play piano, flute, and guitar.
Today, as a developer of audio cables, he has been working for over the decade on the development of his own unique super-fast and neutral cable product that bears no signature.
The name “ZenSati” consists of two 2 compound old Asian words. Zen means “strong knowledge”, while Sati means “truthfulness”.
From the ground up, ZenSati cables are considered to be the cables that do not make corrections, but transmit the audio signal with a view to purity.
All ZenSati cables are the result of a long study of materials and practical knowledge that brings out the “audio truth”.
Below is the encapsulated core of the ZenSati modus operandi, which perfectly summarises Johansen’s vision.
“Have you ever tried to grapple with a sports car in a thrilling ride on a perfectly level track on a beautiful, clear day with plenty of space and the best curves? Have you ever had the sheer unalloyed pleasure of driving your dream car? You shift into fifth gear. Everything is just right.
You shift into sixth gear for an exhilarating experience and to your amazement, there is also a smooth seventh gear just waiting to kick in. Shouldn’t listening to music be that kind of experience? Refreshing, exciting, enchanting with all the many facets that the world of music has to offer the ear wholly intact. You should be able to experience the tonality and relative placement of voices and instruments clearly and unequivocally.”
With over forty years of experience in audio and music Mark Johansen, has created and developed a range of world-class, groundbreaking audio cables to enhance your musical adventures. With fastidious attention to detail, the company explores every imaginable style of music in a wide range of the best high-end audio systems. A patient, the lengthy development process has resulted in cables with unrestrained signal transmission.
With scrupulous attention to detail, exhaustive listening sessions exploring every plausible musical style in a wide range of the finest home audio systems, ZenSati cables have evolved into a brand that offers highly desirable and potent high-end audio interlinks.
Prolonged and painstaking development methods have resulted in cables with faultless signal transmission and the utmost appreciation for the written and unwritten rules of the music world.
ZenSati cables are designed to offer no space for interpretations but deliver the spot-on tonality and real three-dimensionality as well as the believability factor that closely reflect the music event for what they truly are. A magnificent and eternal time capsules.
High-end audio is all about getting the most sensitive signal from different sources to the next component in the signal chain, and ZenSati sILENzIO cables are designed to avoid time delay, energy suppression, or distortion.
Johansen’s goals were clear… sILENzIO is about the pure transmission of the frail audio signal from one component to the next without sacrificing neutrality, speed, and musicality.
Another very important feature, which according to Johansen is exclusive to ZenSati cables, is the free-floating of electrons through the dialectrium of pure air.
sILENzIO does not use plastic (PVC) as insulation. This is one of the properties which consequently allows undisturbed signal transmission even over longer spans.
The core philosophy behind the sILENzIO cable line is to offer high-end audio interlinks that lose nothing in translation and let the music flow freely.
Such a performance is not only related to various technical advantages, but also to the chosen materials.
ZenSati applies the finest materials such as silver, gold, copper, rhodium, Teflon, silk, cotton, and many other precious materials, which are hand-selected and combined to achieve the best possible performance.
All of these features and materials involves providing both undisrupted audio performance and long-term reliability.
Mark Johansen’s world is built around music, and as I could see at the various shows and during his personal visit to me, he is not strictly bound to a certain genre of music. He enjoys all music very much, but he is also not reluctant to explore contemporary and electronic music in all its impact.
Over the course of a year, I had enough time to fully explore different types of music. The review is always limited to a few reference music pieces, but I have selected a few that touch on the special qualities of the exquisite qualities of the sILENzIO cables. Inspired by Johansen’s broad musical repertoire, I also include some reference pieces of contemporary music that both sound good and point out special sonic advantages
Prince and the Revolution, Prince Purple Rain Deluxe (Expanded Edition) “When Doves Cry” is certainly a completely etched pop song, but there is so much energy flowing that a full set up high-end system is required to let the energy flow easily and achieve the full mojo effect. With the ZenSati sILENzIO cable from ZenSati, there was no stopping the Mr. Sign energy expansion and the music.
“Another One Bites the Dust” Queen, Queen Greatest Hits (Remastered) is another masterpiece that immediately reveals any shortcomings in the system and the veins of the system. ZenSati sILENzIO has once again proven that they play in the league of taking no prisoners and with a dynamic frontal attack. With the “Another One Bites” there is no sacrifice in energy level. sILENzIO not only managed the dynamics above the usual standards but also introduced another level of holographic expansion and frequency bandwidth.
The sonic expanse was further nailed down with the Croatian band Jinx with the album title song “Na Zapadu”. One of my favorite Croatian bands blossomed with the full effect of ZenSati. Each instrument was clearly positioned, focused and although it is a studio album, the density was on a level that corresponds to some of my favorite live acoustical albums. Jojo’s vocals were by far the most credible, and the upbeat tempo has never lost its grip.
But ZenSati is not all only about a dynamic effect. They are as harmoniously subtle as it gets. Robin Kenyatta “We will Be So Happy” from the album Girl From Martinique is a perfect example of the sublime entanglement when everything in the system is set right. This beautifully chaotic composition only makes sense with the right balance in the high-end audio system. ZenSati sILENzIO was not hesitant to present “We will Be So Happy” in its entirety. The air that sILENzIO allowed is of a completely different level. Robin Kenyatta flute simply materializes and does not evaporate like with some high-end cables. The degree of immediacy that sILENzIO introduces is not even funny. But one thing that stands out particularly in my listening notes is the sheer drama that unfolds fully with every note introduced.
Les McCann “Sometimes I Cry” from the album Layers takes things into a more harmonious, note overlapping area. The majestic sonic range is nothing ordinary, and it demands the upper level of signal purity.
Here the ZenSati sILENzIO cables have proven their ability not only to evoke the emotional effect of following the tempo but perhaps most importantly, to offer a crystal clear view into the timeless appeal of “Sometimes I cry”.
But to really shake the foundation of your system, there is one way to do it all. Kaya Project’ “Soul Sanctuary”Pt. 2 is an amazing composition which, if all things are set up properly, should make you rethink the grounds of sheer dynamic effect. Dust Remixes If your spine is shivering with chills and your hair is not straight, then the system and the rest of the appliances do not fit together properly. sILENzIO cables have reproduced “Soul Sanctuary” without any softening or false sound sculpture. Pure and direct music intake!
All listening notes repeatedly pointed out the ability of ZenSati sILENzIO to handle speed, harmonic density, and the necessary clarity. With all these qualities taken together, sILENzIO really stood out on all fronts, without having to defend himself on the predator market, but rather showed the value of his solitary position.
Such an opportunity rarely comes along and it was exciting to have the complete ZenSati sILENzIO cable loom in my system for such a long time.
Even before the cables were delivered, Johansen highlighted that I should take my time for proper burn-in. Not something that all of the high-end audio manufacturers do! Some audiophiles and music lovers are agitated when it comes to this particular process, but despite all the equipment like cable burners, sine wave “torture” etc., there is no substitute for the music burn-in interval. This realization has been shared by a few hardcore high-end readers, friends with upper echelon systems, and Mono and Stereo readers.
The burn-in phenomenon has already been discussed at length, and it may ignite the heated discussion too quickly, but there is something that simply changes the way cables behave after prolonged exposure to music. The other methods do help to a certain extent, but there is no substitute for the music being played through the cables for the needed time, that surely depends on the structure of the cables, involved principles, geometry, etc.
Many of you are used to the fact that the burn time of a turntable cartridge can be up to 150 hours until the cartridge has stabilized. Some analog aficionados even play one side of the record before listening seriously to it to warm up-break in the cartridge.
In the case of cables, the phenomena somehow reflect the mechanical and electrical break-in time of the capacitors, which are known to take even more than 1000 hours to start behaving as desired and stabilize at a certain point.
So the question is… Is there a quick way to evaluate high-end audio cables in any system? A tricky question, but the answer lies in the question itself.
Unlike many of the high-end audio cable manufacturers, Johansen insisted on giving his proud creation the time it needed. And as a start, Johansen insisted on trying out the complete ZenSati sILENzIO cable loom.
For this, the one-year period proved to be the right choice. It took some time to bring everything up to speed and then enjoy the benefits of the ZenSati impact, but once the cables had settled in, the real magic of the complete sILENzIO wiring benefits became apparent. Not only was the music distribution throughout the entire system extremely synergistic; it allowed the signal to flow undistorted and at the upper plane quality.
Mark Johansen does not work in the usual beat and his creations follow his modus operandi of always striving for more refinement and getting closer to music.
ZenSati sILENzIO cables offer exceptional speed, where the attacks of the main tones are not smeared and the signal can flow undistorted. The basis for this is a selection of fine materials such as gold, silver, copper-rhodium, silk, cotton, etc.
From 2009 ZenSati also use its own conductors and connectors, which further differentiate the products from the competition and contribute to the performance shift.
ZenSati sILENzIO cables reflect the music as it is and without self-imposed traits that are sometimes easily noticeable even in competing or more expensive high-end audio cables.
Ultimately, it is about making music sound right without losing the inherited harmonic richness, flow and speed, and ZenSati sILENzIO serves music undisrupted and for what it is. The representation of emotional uplifting listening experience.
A decade in the high-end audio business is no small thing, and ZenSati proudly celebrated its 10th-anniversary last year. Something has to be done right to continuously flourish in our niche market, and Johansen seems to be doing something more than right with his company and its continuous release of the stand out cable products.
This year the company moved to new premises in the beautiful surroundings near the sea where it’s planned to focus even more on the R & D. Johansen is no longer a young man, but his passion and determination are contagious. His never-ending quest for sonic perfection vivifies him to continue to drive the brand forward in the future.
There are many plans for ZenSati, and ZensatiX is one of Johansen’s most ambitious products, introduced for the brand’s tenth anniversary and available only as special order and personal installation.
I have seen the prototypes, and they are flawlessly made. Of course, they are offered at a premium price, and only a few select customers would be able to afford the luxury of owning this flagship.
For all other mortals, ZenSati offers a wide range of cable lines. Although still not exactly affordable, the sILENzIO are far more accessible to a select, select audience that not only wants to enjoy the music in its core values, but also does not want to hide its exuberant cable offering.
As with organic fruits, you know when they taste just right. There is no speculation, no change in taste. The senses simply know when the fruit or vegetable tastes exactly right. It’s the same with music. With the right ingredients and the right design choices, the product can convey the original message without losing anything in translation. ZenSati sILENzIO is just such a perfectly ripened fruit.
All kinds of fruits can be bought on the Japanese domestic market, and prices can vary up to the crazy amount for a single, hand-picked, and carefully harvested fruit. The fruits are cared for in an almost fanatical way, turned towards the sun all day long and kept moistened down to the last drop.
Johansen follows a similar direction with his proud creations that live up to the company’s name. At ZenSati, everything revolves around ZEN! ZEN as an equilibrium of the pure music delivery without alteration of the original potency of the music.
It was a privilege that all the wires of my reference system were connected to one line of the upper level of ZenSati cabling. The effect still lasts, and the whole experience would not be easily forgotten.
It’s not easy to describe high-end audio cables as a thing of beauty, but ZenSati cables are certainly among the most esthetically pleasing audio interlinks and, when combined with their unexcelled performance, are a subject of greater pleasure for many of the audiophiles, music lovers and audio aficionados.
For what they represent music and performance-wise I’m happily granting the ZenSati sILENzIO Mono and Stereo 2020 Upper Echelon Product Award. ⧉