Which speaker for Zanden system with 9600 MkII?

Birdwatcher

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May 29, 2018
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Hello,
i will complete my Zanden system with the 9600 MkII amplifier for the already existing 1200.3 and 3000.
Actually I have a Graham LS5/8 in the system, originally planned for my Exposure and Jeff Rowland second system.

I listen to several classical (solo, chamber, big orchestral, opera, a lot of barock and modern classica), acoustical, but even rock, pop, alternative, world music in even louder volume in a 6x9m living room. I like the wonderful colors especially of strings, woodwind instruments, acoustic guitar, but as well human voices. I am very much focused on emotions, sustain, direct and immediate presentation. They should sound clear, full scale, not much colored or distorted for acoustical music.

Which speaker can you recommend with the Zanden? Which speaker have you already heard in such a system as a fantastic match?
Please mention several recommendactions, as after all I still have to try them myself.

The speakers first came in my mind was Verity Audio, maybe Wilson, etc, but I am not fixed in any way.

Thanks a lot for any input,
Balazs
 
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LL21

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Congrats! A huge fan of Zanden myself. Your system appears to have magic! Personally, I have only ever heard the Zanden preamp and monos on horns. So I have very little directly relevant experience.

What I can say is that those who have heard it have been absolutely mesmerized by the Zanden mono amps. Specifically, I am aware of people who have heard them with SF Aida, the big Magico Q7. Personally, I would be very interested in hearing them with the big Wilson XLF or its newer XVX (if these newer generation Wilson X speakers can be driven by the Zanden monos)...I used to own the Wilson X1/Grand Slamms which were apparently quite a good load for something like the Zanden monos...95db, 7ohm, benign electrical load overall. I believe newer Wilsons may have lower impedance but given the power of the Zanden, I would imagine worth considering seriously.

I certainly continue to enjoy the Zanden digital with Wilson from a 'voicing perspective'. Look forward to reading more in this thread!
 
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LL21

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Great reading! I have heard excellent things about his system, and particularly have been intrigued by the way people describe how carefully he listens and his observations not only about his own system...but about the systems of others where he has helped them finetune.
 

Marcus

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Zanden amps do wonders with “smaller” Avalon speakers (Ascendant, Transcendant, Indra, Eidolon Diamond and perhaps even with Time). A friend of mine is also very enthusiastic about 9600 Mk2 and Vienna Acoustic The Music. Congratulations on your decision to buy these beautiful amps. They are also on my radar...
 

andromedaaudio

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MAGICO V3 second hand speaker low cost good sound .
With such amps there are many choices , one of the best amps in the world imo
 
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Birdwatcher

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May 29, 2018
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Thanks a lot for any advice. Maybe more opinions and recommendations?
Which smaller/middle Wilson Audio speakers have the easiest load for the amps. I will try to listen to different Sasha, Alexia and Maxx3/Alexx(V), unfortunately I don’t really know these speakers well enough.
The same with the many different Magico speakers, i didn’t have the opportunity to listen them, just one time with the A3 and A5.
 

LL21

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Interestingly, one of the best Wilson speakers for Zanden amps...at a price comparable to (or less than) the least costly ones you are mentioning above...might be the Wilson X1/Grand SLAMM. We used to own it, and many fellow/former fellow owners used mid-powered tubes to great effect.
- 95db efficient, 6-ohm nominal load and apparently measured to be quite friendly as a load overall.

And a stunningly good speaker.
 
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andromedaaudio

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Or an Alexandria X2
3.2 ohm minimum 94 db eff.
Big sound and i suppose good dynamics with the 90 watters.

And remember what atmasphere stated with tubes amps you wanna stay well out of the dangerzone .
The more easy they can drive the speakers the less distortion you have while you cranck up the volume
 

thastum

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Feb 14, 2013
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Hi
a year ago i got the Sigma Acoustic Maat Vector xdc which is a Big Big speaker with 100 db and almost flat 8 ohm impedance.
at the moment i use the Siltech SEPA monoblocks but since i have a complete ballanced system with the Dan DAgustimi Momentum HD preamp i am also thinking on the Zanden 9600 mk2.
Do any of you know If the 9600 go well with solid state preamps
Have you got your new speakers Birdwatcher?
regards
 

Birdwatcher

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May 29, 2018
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Hi,
no, I have no new speakers until now. Actually I think about a Kaiser Kawero Classic, after I missed a nice Wilson MAXX3… But first I have to hear both of them, at least on other amps then Zanden.

But I have used the 9600.2 without any problems and with very good results directly on a Wadia 27 DAC and even on a cheap ss preamp. Of course with the 3000 it is fine, but the electric parameter are not exotic, so you can match them with different sources or preamps.
 

thastum

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Feb 14, 2013
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Hi,
no, I have no new speakers until now. Actually I think about a Kaiser Kawero Classic, after I missed a nice Wilson MAXX3… But first I have to hear both of them, at least on other amps then Zanden.

But I have used the 9600.2 without any problems and with very good results directly on a Wadia 27 DAC and even on a cheap ss preamp. Of course with the 3000 it is fine, but the electric parameter are not exotic, so you can match them with different sources or preamps.
Thanks for the info, Birdwatcher and good luck finding the right speaker
 

RSFN

Member
Jun 14, 2021
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Heard once an all Zanden system with the 9600.2 driving kharmas and it was just beautifull! Great sound (and looks)!
 

Birdwatcher

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May 29, 2018
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Once again back to this thread and question, especially to Sonus Faber and Franco Serblin speakers.
Could the Zanden 9600 MkII drive the SF Amati Futura and Serblin Ktema really well and without shortcomings? Could it be sonically a good match?
The big SF Stradivari needs really too much power, as a read in several reviews, so this wouldn’t be my choice…
 

LL21

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Dec 26, 2010
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Once again back to this thread and question, especially to Sonus Faber and Franco Serblin speakers.
Could the Zanden 9600 MkII drive the SF Amati Futura and Serblin Ktema really well and without shortcomings? Could it be sonically a good match?
The big SF Stradivari needs really too much power, as a read in several reviews, so this wouldn’t be my choice…
Fantastic amps...congrats. A huge fan of Zanden and owner for many many years and continuing. I owned the SF Strads and ran them with Gryphon Antileons and found them to be a good amp to control the Strads. That said, Franco Serblin was (in a review where the reviewer visited the factory) had the Strads running with a Berning ZOTL mid-powered amp and it was apparently magic.

There is magic in the Strads that can be had with mid-powered tubes...I heard them with CJ MV60 (60 watts per channel) before moving to the Gryphon. I also imagine your 9600 MKII is actually quite a powerful beast. Personally, I would think more about the voicing of the 9600 II and the Strad more than the 9600's ability to fully grip the Strads (unless that grip is one of your sole and most critical criteria). Personally, I love grip but there are so many other criteria I think about between amp and speaker.

My gut says, as long as the voicing works, I think there could be magic. The question in my mind would be less about grip and more about whether the combined voicing might possibly be too much of a good thing.
 
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Birdwatcher

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May 29, 2018
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In my opinion the Zanden system is more on the neutral and clear side of the spectrum of tube amps, at least much more clear than my Shindo alternative that has much more bloom and color (and surely is colored, too). That’s why I can imagine that the SF could match it well. But do you think, it could be too warm and dark?
Lloyd, you are a fan of the Wilson speakers. Maybe they are more airy than the SF, maybe a little bit (just a little bit) more on the lean side, without being thin at all. Do you think, it could be a better match regarding voicing with the Zanden?
 

LL21

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Dec 26, 2010
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In my opinion the Zanden system is more on the neutral and clear side of the spectrum of tube amps, at least much more clear than my Shindo alternative that has much more bloom and color (and surely is colored, too). That’s why I can imagine that the SF could match it well. But do you think, it could be too warm and dark?
Lloyd, you are a fan of the Wilson speakers. Maybe they are more airy than the SF, maybe a little bit (just a little bit) more on the lean side, without being thin at all. Do you think, it could be a better match regarding voicing with the Zanden?
Having heard Shindo and Zanden...not a lot, but from my experience...I absolutely agree with you on your observations of their house sound.

As for SF and Zanden...i genuinely believe that could be magic...I point out the 'too much of a good thing' as a caveat but personally I do not expect it would be anything but magic.

Regarding Zanden and Wilson, I have spoken with a few people who have heard Zanden monos with the original X1s...very light 6ohm load and 95db and thought it was sensational. I nearly went that way myself.

I went from SF Strads to Wilson X1s and thought it was a spectacular move. The adjustability of the Wilsons in the right hands creates so much option to finetune to a room, to electronics (and yes, to taste).

I could easily see reference SF speakers or big Wilsons being a 'buy and be done' decision.
 

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