The most analog sounding CD player yet made or ever likely to be made!
The reviews say it all
The Zanden Model 2500S CD Player
Dec 17, 2008
"The first thing that will strike you about the sound of the Model
2500S is its composed, relaxed quality, so reminiscent of the utterly
unforced delivery I associate with the Audio Research Ref 3 line-stage.
And just like the ARC, that unflustered, unhurried control is based on
the complete confidence of the player – and the resulting confidence it
instills in the listener. The calm confidence with which the music is
delivered in turn allows you to relax, safe in the knowledge that the
player and system aren’t constantly teetering on the brink. It’s all
down to the 2500S’s sense of musical flow, its ability to encompass both
the dynamic and rhythmic demands of the signal. The result is a fluid,
almost sinuous presentation that invites the listener in and holds you
Listen longer (which is no hardship in this instance) and you start to
pick up on a smoothness that washes through proceedings, a subtle
rounding to leading edges that eases the transition between and into
notes, the passage through a phrase. Combine that with a rich and
complex harmonic balance that gives those notes their true colour and
length and you could be heading for the slow and syrupy end of the
musical spectrum. But the Zanden’s ability to switch tempo between fast
and slow, the jaunty quickstep of Eliza Gilkyson’s ‘Borderline’ and the
measured, almost hymnal solemnity of the next track, ‘Paradise Hotel’,
underlines the player’s effortless grasp of pace and just how wide the
gap between “unforced” and “slow” really is – and conversely, just how
musically destructive driven, clipped tempi are to musical expression.
Instead, the Model 2500S builds its complex and beautifully layered
harmonic structures on the superior temporal coherence common to
filterless players. Notes and phrases are perfectly placed and weighted,
bringing the performers and music both presence and substance, an
innate sense of pace and the confidence to breathe."
. . . Doug Schneider
The Zandèn 2500S is a highly specialized product intended
for those who value gorgeous styling and impeccable build quality, aren’t concerned
with bang-for-buck value, and want that unmistakable Zandèn sound -- that analog-like
sound -- from their CDs. Like the Stile Bertone Mantide, the Zandèn Audio Systems 2500S
is something only that small group can afford, and even within that group, it’s
something that only a certain number -- those who know and can hear what it does -- will
appreciate enough to actually buy. I could never afford this player, but I wish I could,
and I envy those who can. The 2500S is a high-end-audio CD dream machine.