DATE: APRIL 1998 - John De Souza
Thanks for asking, I've been meaning to email you my thoughts for months - the
unit was received just before Thanksgiving! I tested the Zen against my
Nakamichi 620 Power Amp (100W/Channel, 100KHz bandwidth, triple-zero IM &
THD). The specs mean nothing.
My wife has taken an interest in the stereo
for the first time! She said the sound "comes alive and fills the room".
Most striking is the vocals - there's no fading - the presence is constant,
even in complex passages in the music.
In A/B tests, everyone agrees the Zen
wins. Actually, EVERYTHING sounds better. Perhaps the bass is harder to
distinguish. I sent the 620 "packing" - in it's box in storage. The 620
sounds fuzzy by comparison. Thanks to a speaker sensitivity of 93dB SPL @ 1
watt & 1 meter, the Zen can get decently loud, even in triode mode. We MUST
use triode for our recordings to sound best. It was the funniest thing at
first, trying to justify the Zen to my wife. She said "You're not keeping
this in the living room, and it needs a cover, at least." "No, it's perfect
the way it is. Let's give it a listen." She sat with me for hours listening
to her CDs. I mean REALLY listening, not just having the music in the
background. This is unprecedented. She then said, "This amp is staying right
where it is."
Listening to the stereo has become a whole new experience!