We don’t have formal and stringent criteria for granting our annual best Audiophile award. Indeed, I had rarely visit too many of you. My feedbacks primarily come from PT, Master Wai and even people that you guys won’t even know. I have poured in parameters such as time/space constraints, willingness to share knowledge, and the overall ethics of that very person. Obviously, this is subjective but it is also true that I can’t be too wrong. It is exactly because there is no formal standard to judge what constitutes the best that I have to throw in my own parameters. To me, it is the spirit that counts the most.
This year, the award goes to Mr. Zanden. Given his limited time amidst a hectic daily business schedule that drives him to work until mid night (Mon to Fri), his remaining energy are divided by audio and his family. With his relentless passion, he has successfully conquered the enormous Cessaro Beta 0.5 system in a room that is not as ideal as his old place. Inspired by the neutrality of the Tidal Sunray-T1 system, alongside the recent addition of the Stuff by Tripoint to the Zanden 3000 line-stage, he has achieved an uncharted balance in his system through his listening skills that mightily impressed PT. I regard Mr. Zanden as the doyen of modern Audiophile.
His subsequent advices and assistance to PT to tame the Cessaro Beta system allows us to understand his listening philosophy at close range. It is always easy to criticize but not many can really get down to the feet and lend a real helping hand. He is such a person. The set of his reference CD recordings that accompanied him for at least a decade long tested in numerous systems worldwide is a very helpful tool to check various system parameters such as imaging, dynamics, tonality, sound-staging and most importantly the ultimate musical atmosphere.
Those old wise guys said, “There are many different routes to reach Rome .” We respect his way of reaching the utopia. Again, it is the spirit that counts. It is not about how big is the listening room and how expensive is the equipment. But AE knows there are many hardworking audiophiles out there trying to challenge the status quo. Others say they are crazy but we treasure this spirit very much. As in all Mr. Zanden’s work, such balanced harmony has ensured longevity of style of his time.
Once again, congratulation to Mr. Zanden! We shall grant you the latest Silver Signature ground wire by Tripoint to you shortly.