Granted the willfully tin-eared will not hear a difference, but those who hear differences between amplifiers can hear similar grades of improvement brought about by the ZL-5000. It’s hard not to be impressed by their innate sense of rightness, making the sound of a good system really come to life, but without over-exaggerating anything.
I’m more disposed toward reviews of complete cable systems than individual cables, but Nicholas Ripley’s review of Allnic’s clever Zero Loss Technology in the ZL-3000 power cord piqued my interest, so it’s time to try out the flagship.
To recap, Allnic’s ‘Zero Loss Technology’ system was designed to minimise or eliminate signal losses by functionally by-passing three regions where active cable resistances might muster — connection, contact and wire. To overcome resistance issues in connection, many companies deploy a cold-welding system, but Allnic goes in the other direction; welding at 1000°C between terminations and conductor. That way, Allnic can eliminate solder joints or screw-in terminals, which is especially useful in power cord terminations. It also uses a Four Surface Contact IEC receptacle instead of the line contact clips commonly found inside IEC plugs. Both terminations feature beryllium copper, with rubber insulation between the wires for safety at high temperatures (useful in the unlikely event that the cable is in an unprotected open-short state).
In the cable itself, Allnic uses large gauge nickel-plated oxygen-free copper conductors set in a double-shield of aluminium and nickel-plated alloy and copper mesh rather than conventional screens and shields for the power cords. This was chosen because while copper or silver are fine electrical shields, they are still influenced by magnetic fields; this three-metal shield is less magnetically prone.
Allnic presents the ZL-5000 in the way all good cables should be packaged; kind of like a gift, but not in an overtly ostentatious way. The box is a hefty slip-case with a warranty card and the cable in its own black velvet bag. The cable itself is relatively thick, although by audio-anaconda standards, not so much, and there are no flattened carbon-fibre ducks, 1980s hard drives, or designer soda cans set into the cable. Perhaps this is why although the cable represents the top of Allnic Audio’s power cable range, and has all the trimmings of super-exotic wire, the price is not in the “you can get a new BMW for that much!” level, even if its performance certainly does reach the top tier.