I was asked a few days ago what I think about Zandèn new CD player and I replied that I do not think about it.
Truly, those companies produce new models each 18 month to initiate new rounds of cash extraction from clueless, deaf and blind audio victims, why do I need to follow what they do? This time Zandèn did a new 16 bit CD player – let see what the buzz is all about. Warn you, I never heard it; most likely never will and this article will be mostly (as uselsy) about my attitude regarding a stupid review instead of me commenting actually about the 2500S CD player. What attracted me to write about new Zandèn was the size of the Zandèn’s balls: they released a new $22K CD player at the times when people do not want to hear about 16 bit anymore. So, doing that, they might aim for “a proper CD reproduction” – something that was very rarely accomplished in hi-end audio and would be nice to have as there is very little good music out there at high-res formats. Interesting, why not? Even I am not a big fun of Zandèn Company, familiar with their digital and preamps, but I do not mind to extend to them the opportunity….
Again, there is nothing I can say about the 2500S player, it is not listed at Zandèn site and all that I learned about was from the Doug Schneider “review”:
With sadness I have no note that Mr. Schneider printed another primitive and very dire review.
Those guys, the “writers”, are in very difficult position. One week they ordered to write infomercials and to convince the Moron-readers that they need to buy only machine that can run at 64-bit with the processors running at sampling rates of radar detectors. Another day they need to convince the very same Moron-readers that s/he need to sell his/her DAC that able to microwave prime ribs and to buy a properly made 16-bit machine. That is tough job! A former friend of mine, a former prostitute, do feel a compassion toward the industry “writers”, and her favorite phase was the same as Doug Schneider’s favorite phase: “You are very unique and I never had anything like this”….
Anyhow, Doug employs in his writing the fashionable story about the Vintage Chip. The similar stories about Military Chips or NASSA Chips are out of reviewing fashion, the Vintage Chip is the new “Navy Sonar Chip”. The only mistake that Mr. Schneider did was that he did not inform that Zandèn bought out the world’s supply of those Vintage Chip. This twist probably ran out of fashion as well, as many times this statement was made it was always a stupid lie.
Zandèn does no oversampling or upsampling, that it good. Then Doug writes: “patented analog filter with superior phase characteristics” – the people who respect what they write shall not be doing it. Everyone knows that the post-processing filters are very critical and ether interview Zandèn about their take of the subject or shut up and do not mention it. If Zandèn filtering is patented then why do not mention the patent, then the empty phrases like “superior phase characteristics” would not be used. A filter cannot have “superior phase characteristics”, whatever is phase-superior in filters is known by everyone. If Zandèn came up with own composite or adaptive filter then if you mention then inform about it. Zandèn have been paying annually fees to hold own patent right with intention to let others to talk about their invention. My experience indicate that what if people behave like Schneider then it turn out that Zandèn hold an patent that they filed years before about a new ways to cool power resistors. So, Zandèn has some kind of irrelevant paten and produces CD - that give a right to Moron-reviewer to associate Zandèn with “patented” technology. It reminds me how Meitner had 5 patents on his IDAT DACs and they were not BS patents but the very existing patents. The fun is that not of the patents were responsible for how the DAC sound. Anyhow, here is the rule that I follow: “Any declaration of secrecy in the industry is a proven evidence of fraudulent activity and questionable result – nothing else.” If a company does have any worthy practical secrets in their know-how then they do not allow to empty-headed Morns to blab abut it to public.
Zandèn has tube output stage around 6922. I do not like it. I have nothing against 6922, I just do not like any CD players with tube out stages. At this point NO ONE EVER built any preamp or a simple no-gain buffer using a tube circuitry that would be absolutely transparent. A CD player SHALL to have SS output, be ONLY DC coupled, to have sub 50R output impedance and be able to drive a LOT of current. The tube out on the CD players is a stupid fantasy of the photographers who sell the audio advertisements. Saying it I do not insists that all CD players with tubes outs are bad. However I insist they that they would be better if they used proper SS output devises.
Then Doug Schneider writes about the sound. He insists that sound of the new Zandèn is unique and has a character of its own. Sorry, if it is true then Doug Schneider failed to delegate this feeing to me. What Doug wrote is absolutely the very same crap that he writes about each single component. He compares- one unit with another and has no ability to say evaluate which processor does proper sound. What does it mean that Zandèn has more or less bas or HF then a DAC that he reviews last month? When Mr. Schneider go to a doctor and gives blood to test what to test then he would like to get an absolute result of his blood work or he would like to know how his test relates to the test of a few patients before or after him?
Then Doug spills his alligator tears about Zandèn MF. It is very possible that Zandèn doer have good MF but… There is a VERY BIG “but” in it. A long time ago I have proposed that audio people understand shit in 16 bit DACs MF and when they talk about MF then in fact talk about the HF, thaw hay how it is done in DAC and how HF implemented in a given installation. A bit faster roll off in HF and the Morons feel that DAC sound… analog. Those people do not understand HF and they has been trained by the industry to listen sound extremely bright. They do not know where excessive HF starts and they have near zero own listening culture. They feel that unwarranted HF manifest “resolution” and they drive this plays with higher what they feel “resolution” possible. Doug Schneider with Magico speaker is unquestionable a victim of the audiophile stupid- resolution illness. Over the course of the years when I visit playbacks of other people I imidetaly go to restrooms, get toilet paper and wrap toilet paper around MF or HF drivers – I have no idea how people can here as bright shit as they do and the most disgusting that they do not recognize it. BTW, the last CES that I attended it was 9905 or 2006 – I do not remember already I was walking across the rooms with a roll of toilet paper asking permission to wrap it around the speaks before I listen. I guess it did not make good photographs in audio publications…
What I am trying to say. Well, an intelligent reviewer would do following: run a DAC with very high resolution, let say 48/per octave RTA above 10K and get a curve of HF decay. Do the same for multiple DACS and find two that have identical HF roll off. THEN the sound of the DACs might be compared. We compared the sound of DACS not the contributions of the different frequencies have over our listening experiences. Different DAC sight have different filters and different to topology of output stages but they might be compared only ONLY if the HF low pass filters have approximately the same roll off pattern.
Anyhow, many aspects of Schneiders’ commented suggest that the new Zandèn is a bit rolled off atop. This is good – most of the good 16 bit players do the same. The problem is that it is not the “rolled off” but in contrary – most of DACs are bright like hell. So, is it the “easy-to-listen-to character” and the “uniqueness of the 2500S’s sound” or a fine sheet of Charmin would do the very same with ANY DAC for the fine ears of the industry reviewer?
The conclusion of the Doug reviewer is a typical sleazy consumer-consumption crap that is so fashionable in hi-fi “reviews”. The “high-end-audio CD dream machine” as he call it? I do not know – it is possible but you, Mr. Schneiders absolutely failed to indicate it. The Mantides might be a good car and might appear to a person who is able to appreciate it. In your case you are blind driver with amputated legs. Even if you buy Mantides then probably your servant will be driving it for you. Perhaps you need to do the same with Zandèn 2500S – let somebody else to review it and you Mr. Schneiders’ return back to sell Pontiacs and Hong Kong -made Rolexes.Rgs, Romy the Cat