Prototyped: Ansuz Darkz Zirconium, Sortz and Supreme

23.09.2021 // Dirk Sommer

Lars Kristensen, who apparently has a very special feel for materials and their sonic influence, of course did not leave it at Darkz made of zirconium. An inlay made of zirconium is also supposed to optimise the mechanical properties of cables, which then bear the epithet "Signature". To this point, there exist prototypes of the BNC, Ethernet and power cables in this precious variant. The Ansuz Digitalz Signature Ethernet cable connecting the ADOT media converter with the PowerSwitch really does provide an even more credible spatial illusion as well as more openness and richer tonal colours than the D-TC Supreme used up to now. Unfortunately, also here the corresponding financial surcharge can't be avoided. A two-metre Signature Ethernet will probably retail at around 10,000 euros. Besides zirconium, the Signature cables also use Ansuz's "Anti Arial Technology", which is supposed to prevent the cables from acting as antennas for high-frequency signals.

The prototype of the Ansuz Digitalz Signature Ethernet: The connection for the dither signals still looks quite improvised. Right behind the plugs, the cable shows up with a larger cross-section and is very stiff
The prototype of the Ansuz Digitalz Signature Ethernet: The connection for the dither signals still looks quite improvised. Right behind the plugs, the cable shows up with a larger cross-section and is very stiff

Anti Arial Technology and - you guessed it - zirconium as well are used in the new Ansuz product line, the Sortz. These are plugs designed to seal off one or more unused inputs and outputs in order to keep high-frequency interference and unwanted mechanical excitation away from the electronics. So the Sortz are not in the least comparable to the simple metal or plastic caps that are commonly offered to terminate unoccupied sockets. I was able to briefly listen for myself that the Sortz are also extremely effective. The objective is again to achieve more space, openness and blackness in music reproduction. How intensive this can get depends on the quality grade of the Sortz.

The Sortz, Sortz Supreme and Sortz Signature, shown here in the prototype stage
The Sortz, Sortz Supreme and Sortz Signature, shown here in the prototype stage

The entry-level model has to make do without a name affix and will retail at 680 euros. The Sortz Supreme represents the medium quality level and will be available for 1,000 euros. The Sortz Signature, the top-of-the-range model, will request an additional 400 euros. At least in my high-resolution system, the ever-increasing impact of the different Sortz models can be easily retraced. Upcoming questions, such as whether two simple Sortz produce more euphony than one Sortz Signature, will probably only be clarified when series models are available in sufficient numbers. The most striking distinction between the three models, by the way, lies in the different surface coatings applied in the Magnetron Sputtering Unit.

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