Straightly speaking Mr Zanden cannot be regarded as an activist in the AE Forum but every piece that he wrote, it carries with weight and substance. Whenever there were major changes in the AE Showroom such as change in source, speaker, amps, Mr. Zanden is always among the first few to be invited to listen and stamp his endorsement before it goes public ‘hearing’. His seriousness in getting things right and critical listening always make me sweat at my back!!
Last Sat, I had the privilege to visit Mr Zanden’s own system together with my comrade friend Romanovym. It is a full blown Cessaro Beta system driven by a full suite of Zanden electronics among which a legendary pair of power amp specifically tailored made by Yamada San: Model Wilson to recognize Mr Zanden’s support and appreciation of the brand.
The entire system is housed in a not so large listening space which to the majority of audiophile intuitive thinking: Speaker is too large and too close to the listening position. Just 9 feet, Mr Zanden said. I took the advice from Mr Zanden to close my eyes on listening and forget about the physical distance of the speaker.
I was stunned and sweat started getting out from my forehead when the first orchestral music was played. I was put on the 5th row of the concert hearing the entire orchestra playing in front of me. Contrasting the home audition of PT’s Trinity system, Mr Zanden has created a bigger virtual space for the music to breathe. I must admit the acoustics treatment in Mr Zanden’s place is meticulously established like a scientific laboratory. Mr Zanden said, if we remove all the acoustics treatment, there is no way to attain such level of listening experience which I truly agree!! How much have we lost due to acoustics deficiency? I really feel shameful for the tiny effort I have put in this domain.
We listened to a wide variety of music and all were played back flawlessly with stress free dynamics and tuneful colors. Different types of musical instruments have their own rhythms and dynamic headrooms. I know readers of this report would find me crazy or exaggerated, the pair of speaker with 1 meter wide mid bass horn really disappeared even when I listened with eyes opened. One won’t feel there is a point source coming out from the where the drivers are physically located. The soundstage is continuous and filled up without any gaps. One has to listen to believe.
According to Mr Zanden, he is going to host more ‘open day’ to fellow audiophiles to get himself more understood of how he implements such a mega system with mega performance.
My salute to Mr Zanden!! It is really a listening experience that uniquely represents one’s endeavor and attention not just on gears, but on the acoustical integration!
Calling Romanovym to chip in more comments as he preferred to stay longer not wanting to leave on that day!!