Zanden 9600 MK2 Mono Amps: Review by Alan Sircom

LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
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#1
A nice review by Alan Sircom on the Zanden monos...

"The Zanden’s musical approach is so mesmerising (that word again) that you can’t help but respect the recording, and that imposes a limit on playing time....This mesmerising property of the Zanden is simply that it’s impossible to break past the music and into the audio aspects, because your mind is drawn back to the music...

...The result is – purely and simply – one of the best amplifiers I have ever heard. This is one of those career defining moments for me, like the brief time I had an Audio Note Ongaku at home when it was the most expensive thing on the planet. Or when I got to experience the Wilson WAMM Master Chronosonic in the late Dave Wilson’s own home. It’s both a humbling experience and a level resetting experience. You now know what good audio is capable of, and it’s not something you can come back from. On a very basic level, that audio reset button applies to valves specifically, because I have never heard a valve power amp sound this quiet and this capable before."

http://www.hifiplus.com/articles/za...st&utm_term=0_ff6dfd0295-491d82239e-161999989

Zanden_9600.jpg.648x460_q85.jpg
 
May 30, 2010
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#2
I do not know how you can resist - I would not mind owning a complete Zanden system with the XLF's!
 

LL21

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Dec 26, 2010
10,672
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#3
I do not know how you can resist - I would not mind owning a complete Zanden system with the XLF's!
That would be amazing to hear. Question: do you think/guess that the Zanden monos would be enough to really and effortlessly drive the XLFs? I have read that they are a more challenging load than the original X1/Grand Slamms.
 
May 30, 2010
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#4
That would be amazing to hear. Question: do you think/guess that the Zanden monos would be enough to really and effortlessly drive the XLFs? I have read that they are a more challenging load than the original X1/Grand Slamms.
I would have to try to answer you ... We do not have any complete measured data on the 9600's.

Unfortunately the pseudo-review is very poor, I could not get anything solid from it.
 

XV-1

Well-Known Member
May 24, 2010
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#5
Lloyd

Cancel the Mephisto order!! I know you love Zanden, time to step up ;)
 

LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
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#6
Lloyd

Cancel the Mephisto order!! I know you love Zanden, time to step up ;)
The thought fleetingly passed my mind...but I do crave ultimate power and there is an absolute grip, vibe groove and effortless solidity i really, really dig when the Gryphon is playing. Of course, I say that having never heard these 9600s on the Wilsons. ;)
 

LL21

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Dec 26, 2010
10,672
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#7
I would have to try to answer you ... We do not have any complete measured data on the 9600's.

Unfortunately the pseudo-review is very poor, I could not get anything solid from it.
Yes, I thought you might (as you often do) have (through your veritable encyclopedic knowledge of audio) some insight into these 9600s.
 
May 30, 2010
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#8
The thought fleetingly passed my mind...but I do crave ultimate power and there is an absolute grip, vibe groove and effortless solidity i really, really dig when the Gryphon is playing. Of course, I say that having never heard these 9600s on the Wilsons. ;)
IMHO the main obstacle will be the GAT2 - you would need also the 3000 mk2 preamplfier ...
 

LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
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#9
IMHO the main obstacle will be the GAT2 - you would need also the 3000 mk2 preamplfier ...
Yes, I could see that...and possibly for the first time ever, i could probably consider parting with the mighty CJ GAT 2. However, I also know that in creating an absolutely 'magic combination' with my X1s for "nearly all" if not "all" music...i also start to back myself into a corner regarding future speakers. Hence my question about XLFs (i strongly doubt whether 9600s would drive the Arrakis to its full potential). I might even find there is certain music or movies on the X1s where the absolute bedrock foundation of music shifts relative to the Gryphon.
 
Apr 15, 2017
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#10
Imho finemet is a game changer for valve amps. Made the switch 4 years ago and there is just no turning back. It is the only way valve amps can seriously rival good solid state in speed, resolution and bass.
 

Marcus

Member Sponsor
Oct 5, 2012
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#11
Yes, I could see that...and possibly for the first time ever, i could probably consider parting with the mighty CJ GAT 2.
You wouldn't miss the GAT2 if you buy 3000mk2 Lloyd. I did it a while ago and never looked back. After 3 months of use I still haven't find an important part of reproduction that would not be superior with it in the system. Will write more about the new 3000mk2 just be patient.
 
May 30, 2010
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#12
You wouldn't miss the GAT2 if you buy 3000mk2 Lloyd. I did it a while ago and never looked back. After 3 months of use I still haven't find an important part of reproduction that would not be superior with it in the system. Will write more about the new 3000mk2 just be patient.
I can not find the CD player and DAC at the Zanden Audio web page. Are they still being produced?

BTW, are you considering the 9600 mk2?
 

Marcus

Member Sponsor
Oct 5, 2012
221
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#13
I can not find the CD player and DAC at the Zanden Audio web page. Are they still being produced?

BTW, are you considering the 9600 mk2?
No. No more Zanden digital products. I've been told that there are not enough legendary Philips TDA1541A S1 Double Crown chips available any more.

No. As much as I would like to buy 9600mk2 power amps, they unfortunately have not enough power for my needs. They would probably drive my Avalon Time speakers but certainly not the Isis which are on my target as you know. So, I hope Yamada San will soon finish designing his long awaited 9150 monoblocks (four KT150 tubes/ch) that should develope at least 200W/ch (my guess).
 

Marcus

Member Sponsor
Oct 5, 2012
221
2
18
#14
Imho finemet is a game changer for valve amps. Made the switch 4 years ago and there is just no turning back. It is the only way valve amps can seriously rival good solid state in speed, resolution and bass.
Yes, finemet (for output transformers) is a game changer but I would also put cobalt (for input transformers) into this category.
 

Audiocrack

Active Member
Aug 10, 2012
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#15
I appreciate the various Zanden products so much that it is the only brand I would consider if I were not using the Kondo / Audio Note Japan products. Such a pity that all you guys are playing with loudspeakers that need so much power. Why not get rid of these transducers, acquire some high(er) sensitive loudspeakers and start playing with a full Zanden set up including the wonderful sounding 845 amps?
 
Apr 15, 2017
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#16
Yes, finemet (for output transformers) is a game changer but I would also put cobalt (for input transformers) into this category.
Sadly not enough experience with cobalt. At some stage had cobalt mc stepups from Tribute, which while very good were not quite comparable to the AN-S6 i also had at the time.
 

LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
10,672
38
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#17
You wouldn't miss the GAT2 if you buy 3000mk2 Lloyd. I did it a while ago and never looked back. After 3 months of use I still haven't find an important part of reproduction that would not be superior with it in the system. Will write more about the new 3000mk2 just be patient.
I have heard that from another person...and you have a remote! Certainly one to keep in mind, but given how great CJ GAT 2 is...i suppose there are other focuses (for now)...amp being one as you well know.
 

LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
10,672
38
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#18
I appreciate the various Zanden products so much that it is the only brand I would consider if I were not using the Kondo / Audio Note Japan products. Such a pity that all you guys are playing with loudspeakers that need so much power. Why not get rid of these transducers, acquire some high(er) sensitive loudspeakers and start playing with a full Zanden set up including the wonderful sounding 845 amps?
Long-term that makes a lot of sense...but big transducers are also the biggest cost (in many but not all systems), and so that switch can be particularly costly. That being said, I am currently sitting with one of the more all-out scale speakers that is relatively easy to drive. And yet the one 'above it' that I keep my eye on is far more difficult to drive! (The Arrakis)...it is simply a tremendous state-of-the-art speaker that also has a manageable footprint 2' x 3' and 6'9" in height. 60cm x 90cm x 2.1m
 

LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
10,672
38
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#19
No. No more Zanden digital products. I've been told that there are not enough legendary Philips TDA1541A S1 Double Crown chips available any more.

No. As much as I would like to buy 9600mk2 power amps, they unfortunately have not enough power for my needs. They would probably drive my Avalon Time speakers but certainly not the Isis which are on my target as you know. So, I hope Yamada San will soon finish designing his long awaited 9150 monoblocks (four KT150 tubes/ch) that should develope at least 200W/ch (my guess).
I was wondering about what happened to the Zanden digital. I have to say, after 10 years (an upgrade to their latest digital spec in 2012?)...i have never looked back. I know and appreciate how far digital has come...but if i turn on the system and just enjoy the music in all its musical (and audiophile) glory...that works for me.

as for amps...yes, i know where you are coming from. We have spoken offline about my own amp decisions...and for me, Class A SS has been a specific decision for many reasons, one of them being pure power and effortless drive. When do you do think Yamada San may be delivering the 9150s?
 
May 30, 2010
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#20
I appreciate the various Zanden products so much that it is the only brand I would consider if I were not using the Kondo / Audio Note Japan products. Such a pity that all you guys are playing with loudspeakers that need so much power. Why not get rid of these transducers, acquire some high(er) sensitive loudspeakers and start playing with a full Zanden set up including the wonderful sounding 845 amps?
Do you have direct experience with the 9600 mk2? BTW, Loyd has high impedance, high efficiency speakers ...
 

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