6moons.com Reviews 2004

Model 2000

"...For this writer, SACD and DVD-A are like that rumored-to-be-excellent restaurant with the punishingly irregular and unpublished hours. Most the time, it's closed when I stop by. Even though promising on paper and by repute, I can no longer be bothered. Being hungry for music, I need three daily meals. That means RedBook. With Zanden's front-end, SACD and DVD-A have become obscurities in the mists of Avalon - legendary perhaps but not quite real and certainly not relevant to the times... Yamada-San's novel reclocking and I²S master link implementation deserves recognition for what it is: A resetting of the boundaries that have defined (and limited) what RedBook playback has been thus far..."

Srajan Ebaen, 6moons.com, December 2004

Model 2000

"With its team efforts by the L.A.S.T. Factory's Lindsay cables; Mark Hampton's Z-Cables and Z-Sleeves; and two of Chris Hoff's BPT BP-3.5 Signature balanced power isolators; the AUDIOPAX room at CES 2004 also collaborated with Kazutoshi Yamada of Japanese Zanden Audio fame by using his SOTA digital front end duo: The brand-new Model 2000 RedBook transport and his well-known valve-powered Model 5000 MkIV DAC. My recently published show report singled out this room as personal "Favorite of Show". As fortunes would have it, I was gifted with the world's first review opportunity for Yamada-San's new transport and offered to take the actual show sample home to test it with my own Zanden DAC. As of a few days ago, Zanden Audio's Japanese patent for the DAC's proprietary analog reconstruction filter has been granted its equivalent US patent.

Srajan Ebaen, 6moons.com, January 2004


6moons.com Reviews 2003

Model 5000

"Meditating which component to bestow this special recognition on if, like the Highlander, there could only be one proved easier than expected: Yamada-San's Zanden Audio Model 5000 Mk. IV DAC. This expensive jewel combines non-oversampling, non-upsampling D/A conversion by way of a Philips Double-Crown chip last made in 1985, a valved power supply/output stage and a patented analog reconstruction filter claimed to be far more phase-linear than conventionally employed variants. It's been my source component of choice ever since my original review.

Two veteran audiophiles whose hearing I trust have added further context, by comparing the Model 5000 with their latest Meitner and dCS components. They prefer listening to this rare discovery from Japan which combines seemingly outdated chip sets with cutting-edge analogue-domain inventiveness. And it appears that things are about to get better yet. Yamada-San has announced the imminent launch of his own transport and promises groundbreaking, patent-pending reclocking technology said to go beyond Esoteric's $15,000 luxury spinner. While priced to remain an exclusive product aimed at convincing vinyl lovers to embrace digital without reservation, this Zanden DAC is the most outstanding cost-no-object example of unconventional thinking, top performance and unassailable build quality I've encountered in 2003. Bravo to Yamada-San and the makers of all components listed in this, our first year-end roundtable poll culled from 6moons' growing stable of writers.

Srajan Ebaen, 6moons.com, December 2003

Model 5000

... Soundstage! awarded today's review subject not only a Reviewer's Choice but the 2002 year-end Aesthetics & Sound award. After laying eyes and ears on this DAC myself, I have to concur. On both counts. Amen, brother... Out of reach for most mere mortals but a final destination for the next sixty few willing to shoulder the expense and intent of owning one of the best DACs extant. Hence, a Blue Moon Award is in order, albeit not for value but strictly Himalayan performance and unassailable build quality."

Srajan Ebaen, 6moons.com, March 2003