Zanden CD "Potion"

Mister. Zanden
edited September 2020
I have been actively playing and tweaking my analog rig in last 2 weeks as by a stroke of luck, I finally eradicated the hum problem which has plagued my vinyl playback for years and I am now able to fully enjoy my treasured LP collection again. I experimented with different types of record cleaning agents too recently and was surprised of the results. Any record, brand new or used, will sound better after a correct wash with proper cleaning fluid, this obviously applies to CDs too.
Last Saturday, I visited Marvel again as he informed me earlier he has Zanden's latest product - a bottle of optical disc cleaner. Actually, I have Zanden's prototype CD cleaner for several years and have been using it with excellent results. Every time Marvel and Roman visited me with their polycarbonate discs (CDs), I asked them to listen to them before and after their CDs have been wiped by Zanden CD cleaner and they could easily discern the "improvement" in sound.
As I have been pretty involved in my LP playing recently and naturally gave my CD system "cold shoulders" because it's more fun (well not always) tweaking your turntable i.e. belt tension, tracking weight, vta and bias setting etc. After playing all my favourite vinyls, I suddenly remembered the Zanden CD cleaner two days ago, I then decided, for a change, do a shoot out between some of the cleaners I have been using all these years.
Because of my recent experience with different LP cleaning fluid which impact the sound of our records, I dug out several identical CDs and applied the different cleaning solution to them and see if I can discern any difference and ultimately, an improvement in sound.


  • Mister. Zanden
    edited September 2020
    Part 2

    CD shoot out with some of my cleaning agents 

    Then later listening to my different collections 

    Well, it didn't take long to prove to my ears the Zanden cleaning fluid that I have been using is the clear winner. I then proceeded with applying the latest Zanden fluid to my Aron Neville CD. I was not expecting a huge sonic difference as I thought this is the final product. I could not be too far wrong. immediate difference was improvement in the bass which went down by an octave or two, then I could hear better sound separation, slight extension in harmonic decay and ultimately, I could hear "MORE" info on the disc which was previously not noticeable . In a nutshell, I could follow the singer and other musicians better. In the end, the improvement was so obvious, I just simply cleaned my existing CDs one at a time and immediately, I could hear the improvement as described above.
    If you think I am exaggerating, I can well understand that ! To those who know me know I know (pun intended) something about hi-fi. I can hear sonic differences many do not discern ............. Let me make some qualifications to this statement. When Yamada-san first visited me some 15+ years ago, he said the phase of the right speaker is incorrect and after correcting it, he commented my huge system driven by big and powerful French power amps sound slow ! Then he said some of the CDs I played was in incorrect polarity..... Several years later, he went as far as declaring the direction of one of my cables is incorrect, then speaker spades deteriorated sounds.
    I was unable to discern all those sonic anomalies at the time but after Yamada-san rectified them, one at a time, the sound improved and I eventually could discern these subtle differences too. My listening has become more critical and this has led to a gradual improvement in sound of my entire system over the years. I know the tonality of my favourite LPs well.  Last week I visited Marvel, when he spun some of my records, I immediately discerned an anomaly and informed him his turntable speed was a tad slow, he had reservations on my statement until we got Master Chik to check this out with the LP stroboscope which showed it was running slow. After adjusting the turntable at the proper speed, we could all hear the sound improvement. He told me he changed a new belt since my last visit and the belt has more slack than the previous one.
    If you follow what I have said above, my impression of this latest Zanden potion is highly favorable. I could not believe how a cleaning solvent can make such a HUGE improvement in sound (to my critical ears). The improvement is FAR greater than the difference between a 1st CD pressing as compared to a 05 or 07 copy. CDs after cleaning with this potion sound more like LPs, the very slight harshness one associates with some CD recording is also gone.
    So although I think I know something about CDs, this latest experience is a pleasant surprise as I never thought my CDs can sound this good, no kidding here. I am so thrilled that I will be  busy feeling good by playing my CDs in the next two weeks for sure.
    I don't know the price of this latest Zanden CD potion, even if it were US$ 150 per bottle, I will buy a few as I have a not-so-small CD collection and it represents the BIGGEST bang to the buck to my ears. In addition, cleaning CD is FAR EASIER and quicker than cleaning vinyl records. From now on, I am confident my CD system can rub shoulders with die-hard vinyl audiophile  as they would be surprised to hear a well recorded CD can sound so close to analog disc.
    Happy listening and disc cleaning

    P.S. PT,  I shall need quite a few bottles as this is just part of my collection

  • Mister. Zanden
    edited September 2020

    Part 3    It's only roll n roll - and I like it !
    I have continued to tweak my room acoustics so that I can create a listening environment which sounds natural and can at certain times, play very loud for a short momeny, just to give me a fleeting moment of excitement.
    Below is not for the faint-hearted and is in no way a suggestion or challenge to anyone to mimic what I have done.
    After re-cleaning my favourite CDs using the new Zanden CD potion and then listened to them with greater enjoyment, I dug out some old ones which I remembered could swing a bit. I picked up the Rolling Stones'  greatest hits and played several tracks very loudly (even my tolerant other half walked out from the room and asked why I played so loud). I played one of my favourite track's "Its only rock and roll" - I saw Mike Jagger perform this song on UK's Top of the Pops when I first lived in London at the time....
     I could not believe the wide (and wild) dynamics a CD recording can produce. I looked at the sound pressure level on my phone which had "JUMPED" to 115 dB at the beginning of the song, I listened to the whole song but have to give my ears a rest afterwards. 

  • Food for thought, I have always dismissed claims made by CD manufacturers that these polycarbonate discs have a greater dynamic range than LPs until today. I have to find this Stones' record to compare in the furure. 

    The Zanden potion as I said earlier, make CD recordings sound closer to LPs and therefore one can play your CDs a tad louder than before because it takes away the occasional harshness in the recording. Anyway, I thought I would share on this forum my latest experience. I am a crazy audiophile, just like you.

    Happy listening.

    Mister Z

  • Mr Zanden

    We also compared the Zanden potion with another Japanese brand yesterday.  Zanden potion gives a much clearer manifestation of everything in the recording. 

  • Mr Zanden, but PT has no damn stocks! I ordered 20 bottles once and for all.  He said 200 hundred bottles ordered. But Yamada is too busy finishing up quite a few 1200s phono to deliver and is finalising the mother of all CD player - Seikoh. 
  • I have to say I am quite shocked by the improvement for such small price. I got 6 bottles in one go to save time. 
  • Eagerly awaiting Chung to deliver half a dozen to my office 
  • I verified what Mr Zanden had shared with his experiences on the Zanden optical disc cleaner are true.  The moment I wanted to order a few more for spare. Chung told me first 100 bottles were sold in 40 hours. 
  • Mr Zanden,

    Thanks for your recommendation! They work magic!

  • Sound becomes transparent 👍
  • Not only necessary while playing CD, for everyone ripping CD. it is a must item 
  • hello, is this product available in Europe?
  • A little hint on using Zanden CD potion to clean your CDs

    Although I am very pleased to hear many users are hearing obvious improvement in sound after using this cleaning fluid, I have noticed some users simply spray your polycarbonate discs and quickly wipe it off with a tissue paper or soft cloth, however, I strongly recommend you apply the liquid in the following manner in order to give both sides of the silver (or gold) disc a 'thorough' clean up. 

    First, you spray the liquid once on the left hand side of disc opposite the label, then the righ side. Then you use your finger (I use my pinky, you can use whatever finger you want as long as you have not picked your nose !) to wipe the liquid in continuous left and right movement in order to ensure the liquid has cleaned all the surface area of the disc, afterwards, you dry the side with a dry tissue paper or a soft cloth. 

    See the pictures below : 

    Then proceed to the opposite side by squirting the liquid once and then rub it over the entire disc in any direction because it won't scatch this non-playing side, the purpose is to elimnate static on the label side as well. 

    That's all is to it to make your beloved CDs sound much better than before. My precious gold disc sounded closer to the 180g vinyl afterwards.

    Happy listening !

    Mr Z

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