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Bow Technologies ZZ EIGHT
11 Reviews
rating  5 of 5
MSRP 
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Reviews 1 - 5 (11 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:3
Submitted by streiffzug a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: March 12, 2007

Bottom Line:   
this is a short comment on an older model, which was completely refurbished with the newest dac (24/196) and a new cdm pro at considerable cost.

The refurbishing was not easy, as a hum and later a complete stop, made a complaint necessary, which turned out to be a problem of the new dac, however, that should now be resolved, so nobody else (hopefully) encounters this problem. In fact, the hum mentioned in another review is virtually nonexistent in mine (if you go really really close..).

Sound is great, although I can only say it is the best I ever heard, does that tell you anything, as I have not heard dCS or Meitner, which is what it should stand up against, if you would buy it new, which I havent.

If you find it second hand, check it clearly, since repairs are costly, then just go for it as fast as you can...

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2005



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Volker Rothenpieler a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: January 28, 2007

Bottom Line:   
I bought the Bow ZZ-Eight in 2002 second hand. In December 2006 I ordered the upgrade to 24 Bit DAC.

Design & cabinet
It was not changed since the player entered the market 1996. A good decision. The design is puristical, elegant and really timeless. Announce the Bow to people not knowing the product history as a new release: they won’t doubt it. Perhaps the Bow one time will be one of the few Hifi products which will be in production over some decades with an unchanged cabinet. I hope so: the metal of the case is really fun to touch, the switches of the case and the remote are outstanding concerning build quality and ergonomics. The weight of 16 Kilogramm indicates that it is build for eternity, it also may be the reason for the special sonic qualities I describe below.

Technology
What technology do you get with the upgrade to 24 Bit DAC? I opened the cabinet and saw a beautifully designed SMD circuit board fully packed with quality components. The two PCM1704K 24Bit D/A converters I detected were no surprise. But I also registered two Analog Devices AD797 op amps in the output stage. The initial 20Bit DAC used two Analog Devices AD744. The AD744 cost around the half of the AD797, so it seemed to me that also the analogue output section was improved. In my opinion the analogue output stage is as important as the converter (in another component I replaced the OPA134 op amps by OPA627 with significant sonic improvements). All other components I detected kept the high quality level, e.g. Wima capacitors and Panasonic FC capacitors (which replace the Elna capacitors of the previous versions of the 24Bit DAC). My upgrade package also included a replacement of the Philips CDM12 Pro drive to the newer CD2 Pro. The drives look very similar. The functional advantages of the CD2 Pro drive I detected were a quicker spinning up time and a quicker skip between titles. Copy protected CD’s which the CDM12 didn’t play were no problem for the CD2 Pro. So far I have found no CD in my collection, where the Bow skipped because of CD bugs. The CD2 Pro is used in many of the top loader high end players (e.g. Burmester).

Sonic quality
The sonic quality let you forget the money you spend for the upgrade. The upgraded Bow has a level of resolution as well as a silky and smooth tone which the initial model did not have. The difference concerning these criteria are clear, not subtle. The resolution and tone is as good as the best high end players you can get. I prefer the sonic profile of the Bow to other high end players because of two more sonic attributes. The Bow sounds earthy, a character I often miss when hearing CD with other components. A character I usually don’t miss when playing vinyl. Secondly the Bow is unique building space: singers and musical instruments gets concrete, you think you can grab them. A feature also many audiophiles – and I – usually associate with high end analogue gear. I assume that the construction of the Philips drive embedded in a bulky cabinet causes this trait. But I have no proof for this assumption.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   1998



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by oppezzi a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: June 1, 2006

Bottom Line:   
I am a lucky owner of a ZZ-8 cd player since 2002. I agree with all enthusiastic reviews about 2002 standard edition. Now, since several days, my ZZ-8 returned from Bow's Factory upgraded with the new 24bit/196khz DAC board. The cost was no low (1600 eur plus freight) but sound's improvement is great. All soundstage's aspects are very enhanced and above all fluency, "fullness" and richness of each note. Now in my opinion is one of the top very-high-end cd pleyers in the world.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2002

Price Paid:    $7500.00

Purchased At:   Italy (genoa) dealer



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Sony6million a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: September 25, 2005

Bottom Line:   
I took a chance buying this product, it was 8 years old, expensive, and from a manufacturer I was unfamiliar with. But I'm glad I did take that chance...

The zz-Eight is fantastic! It does so many things well, and nothing wrong. It has had its bass tuned to be extended - at first I thought it was too much, but now, well, it just seems so natural.

It can pick out minute detail, but it always presents it to you as if you always knew it was there. It's very easy to listen to. The word organic is used too much to describe hi-fi, but thats just what this is, very organic and natural.

I found my foot taps a long to everything I play; this machine brings out the soul and emotion in everything. A point sorely missed in my last cdp - Meridian 588.

I can categorically say, this is an amazing machine. Not to mention it looks like Knight Rider / Sci-Fi creation. I am very proud to own it. It can be uprgaded to 24 bit, but to be honest, 20 bit is enough. I'm really happy. You should take a chance on this little known machine too.

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1997

Price Paid:    $1800.00

Purchased At:   eBay for £1800



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Roger Webster a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: November 12, 2004

Bottom Line:   
This review is of the Bow Wizard 2 CD as it has no separate listing, it is is similar to the ZZ-Eight. I have been completely won over by the musicality, dynamics, styling and build-quality of this machine. Previously used a Primare 30.2, and the Wizard 2 is far superior - have absolutely no regrets and see it as a major upgrade. Renders all kinds of music beautifully, and particularly good with modern jazz, classical baroque and vocals - no harshness or sheen - but perfectly balanced between detail and warmth, combined with 3D soundstage so that every instrument has its presence. Heard a great deal of detail missing previously. Also superb original design and build quality - and lovely remote ('The Wand'). I remain to be convinced that I'll find a better machine in or near this price range. Quite hard to get hold of - but well worth looking for. Bow Technologies have a good website with helpful reviews - and they are an intriguing small company.

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2004

Price Paid:    $3500.00

Purchased At:   Audio Salon, Glasgow




Reviews 1 - 5 (11 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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