New Zu Mission cable

For some reason, the other thread on this subject was deleted. I wanted to hear from those who bought the new Mission cable during Zu's recent promotional period. I also would like to open up this thread to impressions of this cable once in your system.
I don't think they've started shipping yet. They're slammed. Tried to place an order last week, and was told they'd get back to me when they weren't getting crushed. Still get the discount- the Zu people are very, very easy to deal with. I'll let you know when I get them. Ordered Mission XLR IC's and the Mission LS cable. Sean Casey told me that Mission LS was warmer than Libtec with solid state gear, but that they hadn't found much of a difference between Libtec and Mission LS with tube amplifiers. Significant, if only because Mission costs about half as much as Libtec.
Got my 2 pairs yesterday. XLR pair and RCA pair. Very thin cables. They use a common center section, then split out on both ends. Need breaking in, but so far I notice more solid bass compared to Wylde.
THolt I owe you an e-mail and will send it soon. I thought I'd share some findings and will be careful with what I write. I contributed to the last thread and I don't know if something I wrote may have caused the deletion.

I've got Zu WAX loudspeaker cables and wanted to try the Zu Mission loudspeaker cables due to the proclamation that they are more tonally balanced. I love the detail of the Zu WAX speaker cables but man the treble and higher frequencies hurt my ears even after a good amount of break-in. I may have other issues with my system but am trying to do a process of elimination.

I have not put the Mission Speaker cables in as they are being broken in a separate system I set up in my basement. I'm going to give them 200+ hours of break-in time 24/7. Since the Zu WAX SCs are broken in I wanted to even the playing field as much as I could so an even comparison could be made. In about 10 days or so I'll compare the 2 sets of speaker cables.

I got lucky with my Mission Speaker cable order. I called it in on 9/9 and paid via credit card. The Mission cables were @ my door in NY on 9/13/2010.

Physically the Mission speaker cables are thinner and a lot less rigid than Zu Wax cables. I was told by another helpful A'gon member that don't be fooled by how much smaller they are. They provide a large return performance/cost wise. I guess Yoda had it right "Size matters not. Look at me. Judge me by my size, do you?"

Last thing I noticed physically was that Zu used different 1/4" spades on the Mission SCs vs the WAX SCs I have. I kind of like the 1/4" spades on WAX line of cables better. They look more solid. I'm going to contact Zu later to find out what's up.

Take care everyone.
Haven't tried the Mission LC just yet, but I did plug in the long run XLR to my subwoofer. Improvement was immediate. Biggest thing I noticed was complete elimination of ground noise from the sub on soft passages. Mission did the job very nicely.
Any ideas how these would compare with Audience Au24? Other than a large price gap, would Mission give Au24 a good contest?
Does anyone have any impressions of this cable at this point? Presumably if you bought during the promotional period and it has been burning in regularly, you have an opinion or two. This was touted as a big deal by Zu so I'm curious if it lives up to the hype in users' minds.
I've only had my Mission interconnects for about 2 weeks. I would say they are equal to, or slightly better, than the Wylde. They seem to have a little more bass authority. I could live with either the Mission or Wylde. Both are very nice sounding.
I replaced Zu Varial and Gedes with Mission from dac to pre to monos. The first thing that struck me was bass..... Lots, tight and deep, wonderful..... So much so that I had to turn the subs down. The soundstage was very small to start..... But is opening up now..... Still not the same as Varial yet tho. They were bright to start but are settling in now. I only have around 60-70 hrs on them so far. Overall I'm happy and my other cables are up for sale.

They are super thin in comparison to the others and a different set up i.e 1 cable with 2 ends instead of 2 cables as is normal! My mono amps are
close together which is lucky, if they were 1ft apart the RCAs wouldn't reach.
Used a long run Mission XLR to the subwoofer. Most noticeable is the reduction in slight ground hum I previously had. Dead quiet with Mission.

If you need to place amps further apart, you can specify with ZU and order the lead outs a little longer to accomodate.

I noticed a smoother presentation with the Mission over the Varials. Don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed them, however there was a little "grain" with them that I didn't notice until I put the mission in my system.
I too have really noticed an improvement with the Missions. I bought two long RCA runs to replace weaker cables in my system (you can visit some of my older threads where I deliberated about moving my rack back between my speakers and using shorter cable runs). I talked with Sean for a bit as I designed the placement of the rack. I also added Mission speaker cables.

I agree with the other posters: very very very silent, the bass is wonderful. Plus, they are remarkably thin. I'm very pleased.
My turn to chime in.

After about a 300 hour constant burn-in period in a seperate system I installed the Zu Mission SCs in my main system. They replaced a Zu WAX SCs that I had purchased earlier in the summer.

I've been listening for a bit and I have noticed a I'm not nearly as much listening fatigue as I was getting with the Zu WAX SCs. The Mission speaker cables definitely present a smoother mid-range and treble than the WAX SCs. The treble on the Zu WAX was really kind of thick.

The bass response from the Mission SCs is on par with the WAX SCs. I'm also still getting the details in the music I listen to from the Mission SCs that I also had with the WAX SCs previously. I hadn't noticed a significant difference with noise between the 2 sets of cables.
Jedinite24, have you added any Mission power cords into the mix?

In May/June when I put in Wylde interconnect and Libtec speaker cables, I also spent 300+ hours burning it in. The resolution was undeniably better but it still sounded a bit edgy to me. Then the BoK power cord arrived and I plugged it into the integrated amp. With no further burn-in it immediately brought the sound into a sort of synergistic focus.
Hi Johnnyb53

Thanks for sharing. I'm going to call Zu about the BoK power cords. They are on sale right now. I've never spent more than $50 on a power cord so I have to try to open my mind to bucking up for the Zu BoKs. Currently I'm using 10 AWG power cords from Atlona that I got from their closeout sale a year or so ago. I didn't think about the Mission PCs because I had the Atlona PCs on all my equipment and to replace all the Atlona PCs with Zu Mission PCs would have cost me more $ than what I had at the time.

Thanks again.
Jedi -- ask them too if they'll extend the promo price to you for Mission power cords, if interested. Since you bought during the initial promo period, they'll likely let you buy more Mission at the sale price.

The difference between Bok and Mission sale prices isn't that much.
I must say these are opening up really well. The bass is still awesome, feel and defined and the soundstage is growing in height and width. Mids are forward and overall my sound has improved over the Varial. 100 plus hrs Now I guess
Are these cable good on subs? Running IC from pre into Zu Presence speakers.
It seems, looking at their new website, that the Mission is the only cable line Zu are now making - as everything else (Libtech etc.) has vanished. Does anyone know anything about this?
11-19-10: Salmonsc
It seems, looking at their new website, that the Mission is the only cable line Zu are now making - as everything else (Libtech etc.) has vanished. Does anyone know anything about this?
Evidently Zu changed their business model. They still have Oxyfuel as their entry-level interconnect, but in most other cases the new Mission is priced about where mid-pack was in their previous lines, while outperforming even their former top line cables. Libtecs were about $1200/3M pair; Ibis was close to $2K/3M pair. Mission is only $399.

Likewise, the Mission interconnect at $299 is the equal or better of the previous top line Varial at around $500-600/1M pair.

They also stopped offering a few pair per week on eBay where you could get Varial, Libtec, Wylde, etc. for 20-40% (depending on the final auction price) of the prices on their online store.
Can any of you comment how Mission compare to Cardas, Audience, etc. given the lack of reviews or information on the net.
Wow, the only cable line they offer now is Mission, per their new website. Very interesting.... maybe Mission is the launch of a new cable line up? I wonder why they dropped the other lines outright.
On Facebook, Zu mentions two new cable lines - Event and Ride. My Mission are sitting in local customs waiting for me to pay import taxes.
CG - looked on their FB page but didn't see any mention of those cables. Where do you see them?
I've switched entirely from Libtec to Mission. Just as good, if not better.

Check out the new Zu site. Can't wait to see what's up with The Dominance, "starting" in the low 40K range. OUCH! Premiers at Las Vegas CES in January.
What gauge of wire is used in the Mission cable? What is its capacitance level in pF/ft?

Thanks in advance.

Here is some the info from the insert that came with the Mission SCs I purchased not too long ago. They do not mention the capacitance level in pF/ft. You may have to contact Zu directly for that measurement.

Tesla/Litz 6/1 Cable Geometry
Pure Copper Stranded Conductors
Low Susceptibility to Electromagnetic interference
Conductor Area for + and - 0.00392"2 approx AWG #13 (2.52 MM2)

What speakers or amps are you thinking about using the Mission cables for?

I say give the Mission SCs or ICs a chance. I'm happy with the Mission SCs I have.
Thanks Jedinite. I am thinking to get a 3M pair of ICs between my Dude preamp and Counterpoint NP100 amp. The Dude preamp has high output impedance and so cable capacitance is important.

I'll give it a try since they have a 60 day trial period.
Be sure to give ample time for break in. They took at least 200 hours before they really started to bloom IME; don't rush to conclusions. I replaced my entire system cabling at once, so it probably took longer in my case. But decent break-in time is required nonetheless.
For my Wylde ICs and Libtec speaker cables, break-in was more like 300 hours, and adding the BoK power cable to the preamp helped the tonal balance and ended the break-in period.
Why are all the comparisons in this thread only within the same brand? Have none of you ever tried any other brand? How does Mission compare to other brands of cables that many of us have tried?
Hi Art

I know for me the Zu Mission and WAX speaker cables I had were the most expensive cables I've ever had. Before them I had Monoprice speaker wire, Belden 5000UE and very old Cobalt speaker cable. I didn't think it was a fair/worthwile comparison since many members here have much more pricey cable than what I have and would like Zu Audio's stuff compared to the bigger more expensive brands.
When you will take a look at the countless answers to the questions "how does brand Abracadabra compares to brand ching-ching cable?", you will very likely do exactly the same thing as those who ask such questions: buy the cable brand proposed in the smartest answer.
Then, 2-3 days, or 2-3 months, or 2-3 years later, or just after burn-in time, you will wonder if the brand evenbettercable is worth it. ANd it will twitch so much, so much, so much! that I guarantee you will buy a new set of cables again, and again, and again.
Usually, the opinion of a Zu cable follower (try facebook), is -in short- Zu "sounds" better to me than anything else, with my gear in my room.
The other brands believers will have another answer.
And some others will tell you to go and get that orange extension cord you know where.
As for me, I hope tomorrow the idea of getting a better cable won't twitch too much because I would like to really like the Zu idea of best cable at any price. If it twitches, I will try to let my old super ZuZu burn-in a bit more, at least 2 or 3 more hours. Seems that these days Zu is on a great mission. An American Audiophile Revolution.
Wouldn't be more fun to swap speakers instead of cables? Or move the speakers a few inches? This will have a greater impact on sound - no money back garanteed.
I've seen several threads where all the commentators simply compare cables within the Zu line, rather than compare to other brands, which is necessary and interesting and NORMAL.

This is bizarre and has definitely scared me off of the Zu brand of cables for the moment. I'll just wait to see how this sorts out.
12-01-10: Artmaltman
Why are all the comparisons in this thread only within the same brand? Have none of you ever tried any other brand? How does Mission compare to other brands of cables that many of us have tried?
Since the thread was about Zu Mission, many of us were responding with our best frame of reference--other Zu cables. It's particularly significant to Zu customers because the new Mission line covers maybe three of their former lines, seems to be considered better than their previous top line while costing much less.

In response to your question, I have used so many different cables it's hard to recount. My past speaker cables includ MIT 750, PS Audio XStream Reference Biwire, lower level Audio Magic, Monster M1000, Tara Labs, Belkin OCC PureAV Silver series, Cobalt, and StraightWire Ribbon 8. ICs include Kimber PBJ, Timbre, and several pairs of Hero, AudioQuest Blue Racer and Black Mamba, and some Tara Labs and Monster and StraightWire's original The Conductor.

The PS Audio Xstream Biwire had a list price of $1500 for an 8' pair, is 2" in diameter, and weighs 2 lbs. per foot. Unwieldy doesn't begin to describe it, but it's neutral, clean, fast, and weighty. Easily the best speaker cable I'd ever had, including a double run of the MIT 750H. I would say the Zu Libtec I got this past May is easily the equal in all ways to the PS Audio, but is even faster, more dimensional, more coherent and focused, more extended, all while having about a 2" bend radius and barely 1/2" in diameter.

So why wouldn't I be going nuts about it? I'm not hyped up on Internet buzz. My enthusiasm started from personal experience and is based entirely on putting the cables into my system after over 20 years of trying many brands of cables in various configurations and with different components.

Google for Kimber Hero and it's been the longstanding darling of budget high end, even being either component of the year or budget component of the year at bot TAS and Stereophile. And after 5 years of using Hero in my home theater system and another year in my analog-based 2-channel system, the Zu Wylde ICs are as extended while being faster, cleaner, and even more coherent.

I find the Zu's to generally be fast, clear, coherent, and yet full-bodied and extended. I was seriously considering getting a little subwoover for my 2-channel system ... until I swapped out the cables for Zu Libtec speaker cable, Wylde interconnect, and BoK power cable. My enthusiasm reflects the value I perceive that I got out of their cables.
If people are skeptical, that's great -- I'm that way myself. Once you've been around awhile you see a lot of hype and products come and go and get replaced by the 'next greatest thing'.

I'm using various Zu products in my system currently, but it has come over time and went something like this:

Got a great deal on a Zu DL-103 phono cartridge. Tried it following years and years of searching for the 'right' cartridge which included other Denons, Grado, Dynavector, Shure, Audio-Technica, etc. Simply put it was the best cartridge I've had the pleasure of owning and it's strengths are really strong and it's weaknesses are fairly minimal. This made me curious to try a Zu cable since I felt these guys obviously know something about good sound.

Tried one pair of Zu Wylde ICs and they too were awesome. Bettered others I've tried by a significant margin including Cardas, Audioquest, VH Audio. Got another pair.

At this point you could say I was a happy customer. All came with 60 day guarantees, which I didn't need to use but for the skeptics like myself it helps.

Then I tried the Mission speaker cables. Wow. Great cable and I concur with the remarks Johnnyb53 made about the Libtec and Wyldes in his system. Fast, articulate and musical.

Now I have a new pair of Soul Superflys in my system. Only a few days here but I like them. A lot.

The point of my post isn't to review any of these products - obviously I'm not attempting to do that. But you can try one of their products risk free in your system and see if it works for you.
Thanks for the comparisons Johnny. And also I see that with Zu having completely upended their speaker cable line, a thread on this topic would tend to compare old vs new models.
I just received a B-stock Mission IC in the mail today and have it sitting between my Jasmine LP2.0SE phono pre and upgraded EE Minimax Preamp and out of the damn box they are impressive.

I bought a Zu Bok some years ago for a source and hated it, so I didn't know what to expect from their newer cables (own speakers and a Zu103 no other cable experience with their stuff) but I'm pleased off the bat.

A no brainer purchase during this stoopid cheap 75% off deal. I'll be eagerly awaiting the '200 hour' burn in marker.
I don't get that. Why after launching a new brand a few months ago with great fanfare do they now have B-stock at 75% off? Also the Event line, which seems to have been launched guerilla-style and is better than Mission, also has B-stock at 75% off? Weird marketing strategy.
Speaking with the guys at Zu, none of the B-stock cables are returns or anything, but if an RCA barel has a scratch or a small snag in tech flex or minutely shorter lead, etc. it will be considered B-stock. I have one pair of their ICs and, aside from the conspicuous "B" designation, it looks perfect to me.

As for the Events, the whole line isn't even out yet--just the PCs and LCs. I have no idea what they'll do to promote them when they rest of the cabling comes out next year, but it was mentioned to me that 2011 would be a dry year as far as promos.

My suspicion is that the marketing strategy is one geared towards mass exposure at loss leader pricing. Its probably not profitable now, but they're creating a lot of excitement and internet buzz (deservedly so) around their products and professional reviewers haven't even chimed in yet.

I'm interested to see how well the company does next year and how the market adjusts to them actually observing retail pricing. I for one am rooting for them.
With Zu's current deals on the Mission cable line I'm beginning to wonder if I got a deal at all. I participated in the early promotion back in September and yes I have been enjoying the Mission SCs I purchased. I really felt though that I got a good deal all around since I thought I got the cables @ 50% off. Now it seems that with the promotional pricing being around for longer than the initial period and this 75% B-stock deal I got great sounding speaker cables with really no money savings. I guess that is what I get for being naive and falling for the marketing hype. Oh well I was fooled this time around. I do love the sound of the Mission SCs in my system but will take Zu's pricing with a grain of salt going fwd.
12-20-10: Jedinite24
With Zu's current deals on the Mission cable line I'm beginning to wonder if I got a deal at all. I participated in the early promotion back in September and yes I have been enjoying the Mission SCs I purchased. I really felt though that I got a good deal all around since I thought I got the cables @ 50% off.
You can drive yourself crazy trying to get the best single-opportunity price on every purchase in your life, or enjoy some great-performing cables at a better price than the competition. I paid on the high end (about $50-70 higher than average) when I won my pair of Libtec SCs last May. Some people got 'em cheaper and then came the Missions.

But still, for under $300 I got some KILLER cables with an excellent warranty, they sound marvelous in my system, elevated the level of resolution significantly, and I'm not going to let $50 one way or another ruin the experience. In the overall scheme of things, the extra $50 doesn't matter a bit.
So now you've got your choice of prices: 50% off new Event, 65% off new Mission, or 75% B-stock on either. JOhnnyb53 has a point, but this bizarre fluctuation in prices and sales over the last few months is confusing to say the least. I can see Jedi's point of view -- with this type of pricing, who will ever buy at retail? What exactly is retail? This type of all over the map promotions, to me, seems to devalue their own cable.

I for one am not that happy, considering the first half-price promo back in September was supposedly 'limited time only', which apparently means 'until your 60 day trial is up and we decide to sell them for 65% off'. There was also no mention of the Event line, which I may have held out for, considering they are now 50% off. But perhaps come February those will be on sale for 65% off.

I think there is a legitimate resaon for us early adopters to gripe, and be wary.
Agree. Feeling a little peeved myself. I thought the 50% off intro offer was something special. That aside Mission is great cable and this might be a good opportunity to add more Mission to the system.
If its any consolation, the B-stock is clearly noted as such so their resale may not be as good as that of you guys who got in early on the A-stock promo.

I agree that the cable pricing is frustrating, although at 75% off I couldn't resit trying an IC.

FWIW a reliable source says get 'em now as 2011 will not have many if any promos.
Just thought that I would add my 2cents. Currently, I have a Rega Saturn as a source to my Rega Elicit feeding a pair of Zu Essence. I received some Mission interconnects along with Zu Libtec speaker cables when I bought the speakers. I also have some Monster M350i interconnects as well as some custom Zebra Cables interconnects and power cords, and some Zu Bok power cords, some Zu Mother power cords, and some Zu Gede interconnects.

As a baseline, the Monster M350i interconnects are an inexpensive cable that does a few things right but is not offensive. It mostly omits.

Zebra interconnects with Vampire 800 connectors offer more detail retrieval, a smoother presentation, better soundstaging. Zebras are a little rolled off on both ends of the frequency spectrum as compared to Monsters, Zu Gedes, and Zu Mission.

Zebra power cords do pretty well stacked up against the Zu Boks. Similar enhancements. More slam, better focus, better bass, better imaging and soundstage when either Boks or Zebra are in the system. Mother power cords are more of the same but better in every regard.

Now for the interesting part, Zebra bi-wire speaker cable connected to the Essence sound nearly as good as the Libtec by taming some of the treble but also lose a little bass slam. Can live with either, but on most recording slightly prefer the Zu Libtec cables. What is interesting is that I do not find the Mission interconnects to be superior to the Gedes in my system. Other may have a different opinion for reasons I will explain in the next paragraph.

When using the Mission or Gede ic's in my system with the Mother power cords and Libtec speaker cords, the sound "snaps" into perspective. The best way I can describe it is to compare the slightly fuzzy commercial digital projector programming at the movie theater to the brighter, better focused image of the movie when it comes on the screen. After significant back to back and days versus days of listening, the Gedes sound a little more real with my electronics and the speakers. There is slighter more intangible space around instruments and more emotion in female vocalists voices, a little more resolution. That said, there is definitely more tone and music portrayed through the Mission interconnects. It's kind of like a color
image that is a little too saturated-- like the cinematography in Moulin Rouge versus a normal movie with excellent cinematography. Also, the Gede is slightly less evenly balanced than the Mission.

Many persons I believe will like the Mission cables better. I love the density of tone on rock music and electronica. I just feel that the Gedes do better with classical, female vocalists, and jazz while doing the tone thing almost as well. Both Gede and Mission are superior to the other interconnects unless I want to listen to a really bright recording where the Zebra interconnects are the better choice in my system.

As always my opinion is for my ears, with my system, in my room. Your opinion may differ. I did not like the sound of the Mission interconnects during break-in. They were flatter and less involving than the Gede's or the Zebra's. Sounded more like the Monster ic's.

How do Mission compare to more traditional high end cables like Transparent, Wireworld, Cardas, Nordost, etc?
Just ordered the Mission ICs, speaker cable and power cord.
A no brainer at the prices and with the 60 day return policy.
Will report back.