Verity Audio / Zanden Audio / Grand Prix Audio

“I was surprised by the Verity Audio Sarastro IIS threeway WATT/Puppylike floor-stander with ribbon tweeter and 6″ midrange in the top cabinet, and an 11″ woofer in the ported enclosure beneath the mid/tweet. I’ve not always liked Verity loudspeakers at past shows, but this year I did. Driven by Zanden’s superb electronics (including its gorgeous, completely redesigned 60W 9600 monoblocks), the Sarastros were pretty friggin’ wonderful on every piece of music I heard, and simply outstanding on the Janaki Trio, which sounded—for once—both lovely and realistic.”

—The Absolute Sound, Jonathan Valin

The lovely sounding not to mention slicklooking with shiny chrome chassis new Zanden electronics debuts, the 9600mk2 monoblock 845 tube amplifier and 3000mk2 tube preamplifier, are celebrated designer Mr. Yamada’s latest creations, featuring upgraded board designs and new transformers. These updates resulted in a new and different sound that’s full, and full of detail, texture, and dimensionality. This system, which also included Verity Audio Sarastro IIS 3way speakers and a Grand Prix Audio Monaco 1.5 turntable, TriPlanar Ultimate tonearm and Air Tight PC1S cartridge, narrowly missed my top five.

—The Absolute Sound, Julie Mullins