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To Garrett Hongo,

I’m in the market for a new phono stage and I’m considering the Zanden Audio Systems Model 120, in part because of your excellent and very informative review from 2014. So thank you for that.

I would be really interested in your perspective on the Model 120 versus the Zanden Model 1200, since I’m making a long-term phono stage purchase and would consider the 1200 if it’s much better than the 120. And a quick answer would be much appreciated.

I’m also considering an Allnic but adjusting EQ curves with it is perhaps too cumbersome. With the Zanden it seems so easy. Do you often find yourself using its non-RIAA EQ curve selector to improve the reproduction of records, even now?

Vermont, United States

The Zanden 120 is my reference phono stage, and I agree that it’s very easy to use. The new Zanden Model 1200 Signature has just been released, and, though I am very interested in reviewing it, its retail price ($26,765, all prices in USD) is more than twice that of the 120 ($9800), unfortunately.

The 120, therefore, is quite a bargain, in my opinion.

And, yes, I do use the various EQ curves on the Zanden 120. I find the Decca and Teldec curves especially useful for, respectively, Decca/London and DGG (Deutsche Grammophon) LPs. Angel Records LPs also benefit greatly from the EMI curve. . . . Garrett Hongo