Absolute Sound magazine categorized the 3100 tube preamp and the 8120 tube power amp (also for sale in a separate listing) as ultra-high end-bargains. The brand Zanden is not a name that rolls off the tongues of audiophiles readily but every audiophile who is in the “know” have deep reverence for it. Zanden breathes in the same atmoshere as brands like Audio Consulting, Audio Note, Nagra, Soulution, Stenheim etc. They are not in the same clique as Audio Research, McIntosh, Pass Labs and other more common brands…. Whether you plan to use the 3100 with other power amps or with its matching 8120 power amp, the 3100’s sonic beauty is its beguiling sound – smooth, airy, deep and wide soundstage and its ability to resolve musical notes with a magical touch. It does demand a reference standard source unit, amplifier and speakers to fully realize its immaculate sound. The tube complements on the 3100 are a pair of 5687WB tubes.
Built and finish on the 3100 is like any other Zanden components – downright gorgeous, almost art-like. With a “frosted” acrylic as the main chassis casing, the 3100 simply looks drop dead gorgeous. None of the black or silver finishes we see all so common with other hifi brands. At $5,500 now, this is a rare opportunity to own an ultra high end gear at mid-fi prices.
Cosmetically, the unit looks very good. Some minor scuff marks/ from use but nothing major. One previous owner from new! Unit will be securely packed for safe shipping.