darTZeel 20th/25th Anniversary Models

As teased on the dz FB page a couple of days ago (nothing on the website yet).

I wonder if these will be available as upgrades?

Contrasting handles? Hmmm… :thinking:

@all2ofme @glevethan

I think some up-dates will come, at least my 8550MK2 came from service and i could made an up-grade but it seems its more suitable to that ones that use Phono. I dont use.

Not a particular fan of the bi-color handles.

I believe these may simply be as stated, 20th and 25th anniversary edition models.

I would find it hard to believe any performance updates are included. It took Dartzeel +20 years before they released their first round of updates. These updated versions were only released about three years ago. I think you would have unhappy customers if informed they could send their units back to Switzerland for performance updates after only three years.

Yes, the changes could indeed be purely cosmetic, but in that case why the “More info soon”?

Separately and just curious: Do any darTZeel owners know what the name stands for?

In German, Das Ziel, means “the goal,” which would be known to the company’s Swiss founder, Herve…

Edited: I have found an interview on-line, which states it is an anagram of Herve’s last name. Question solved.



Yes, Hervé has a puckish sense of humor. The model designations all start NHB - Never Heard Before.


Somehow my first time seeing this article.
Great find!

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More info now available: https://dartzeel.com/anniversary/

There are lots of apparently small circuitry tweaks to these anniversary models so not just cosmetic. They will apparently (only?) be offered as a “limited edition” package of pre, power, interconnects and some new (afaik) speaker cables. Based on the list price of the current models that would point to a package price of somewhere north of €140k - unless of course there is some discount involved. This is apparently darTZeel’s way of showing their gratitude to their current customers. “You are the reason we are here today, we are grateful”.

No mention of an upgrade offer although it is hard to imagine that dz will leave that money on the table so might we speculate that something to be offered once the 108 “limited edition” sets have flown off the shelves?

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I saw their instagram post and have to admit that, initially, I was also under the impression these anniversary units have some performance tweaks.

On second reading I am not that sure. Unless someone places a call to their dealer we will just have to wait to see what these are all about.

I still detest the bi-color handles.

On a side note I currently have all silver speaker cables and an interconnect here to play with. The speaker cables are to test with my new pair of Stenheim Allumine 5SE. The interconnect is a silver XLR/XLR between the pre and Rossini. Myself,@all2ofme, and d@magicbus have decided we prefer following Herve’s design and feel the single ended RCA connection between Rossini and DarTZeel is preferable to balanced XLR. While dCS feels balanced XLR out is their preferred choice, at the end of the day one needs to choose who to follow - DarTZeel’s single ended design or dCS preferred balanced design.

Having spent 25 years with Naim I was insulated from playing around with different cables and metallurgy. Naim included cables in the box and one was always required to use their NACA 5 speaker cable.

Color me silly with Silver.
WOW - I am impressed. So much that I had the confidence to order some Siltech Classic legend 680 speaker cables and a RCA interconnect.

@magicbus had his silver cables (from a different manufacturer) arrive today. Color him equally impressed.

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Well, rated output power on the NHB-108 has taken a hike (now 250W) so something has definitely changed. The page linked above contains several mentions of “new” and “refined”:

Exactly what difference these differences make to SQ will no doubt become clear in the fullness of time. Unfortunately I very much doubt my local dealer will be offering demos, he only carries the LHC-208 and CTH-8550 in house. Even if a couple of units were to go “on tour” I doubt Sweden would be high on the list.

Great to hear you are enjoying your new cables. I am running all-silver (AQ Dragon) from DAC to speakers - very happy.

Well I did not see that.
I just had a look at their website - it does appear numerous improvements have been made.
Considering it took them 20 years to release the first update I have to admit to feeling a bit upset that only 3 years has past for this update. I purchase my set new in October. Hmmmmmmm

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Just got a heads up on the pricing of the Anniversary package. €239,839.29 thank you sir.

Er, I think it’s time to get my eyes tested… :nerd_face:



I think that Hervé should perhaps get his pricing/margin parameters tested!


And only 108 units available… which counts up to a nice $ 25.902.643,32.

Hervé’s debt restructuring and pension plan? :crazy_face:

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Haha, in fairness that’s the MRSP, Best case Hervé will maybe see a third of that…

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Well - I purchased my NHB108 mk2-NHB-18 NS new last October. I think I will pass…and will most likely pass on any factory upgrade possibility. Based on those retail prices I think any update pricing will easily be hitting 30.000 Euro or more.

Basically €100k up from the sum of the list prices of the Model 2 and the Mk II. So divvy that up as you wish between the value of the cables and the electronics upgrades. So much for the discount! This is unfortunately totally out of my league. But I’m happy that some people can (and do) pay these kind of prices so I can fish in the aftermarket.

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I wonder if the current models will continue to remain in production or if they are now replaced by these new, and significantly more expensive, models.

At a certain point, imho, brands will simply start to price themselves out of the market.

I do find the pricing strange as I heard sales of the similarly priced mono blocs only yield about 20 sets per year.

With 108 sets that would be a five-year supply

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Yes, maybe another example of the ongoing cost of listening crisis? The Audio Salon in Santa Monica, a reputable dealer by all accounts, has had a used NHB-18NS Mk II listed for $41k (ca 35% below list) since last September. In the latest re-listing on Audiogon they are explicitly soliciting offers. These things aren’t exactly flying off the shelves… Presumably a good number of the Anniversary sets will be headed for Asia where high-end demand seems to be largely immune to macroeconomic pressures?

As you say, in the context of current demand an edition of 108 sets may not actually be ‘limited’ at all and these could alternatively be regarded simply as new models. And I wonder how many prospective purchasers will actually ask for theirs to be supplied with matching handles??

But I just don’t get it. The text on the website “You are the reason we are here today. We are grateful” implies that there is some gesture here aimed at current customers, but I must be missing it. And I can’t help wondering how all this plays out for customers of Hervé’s flagship product, the NHB-468 monoblocks? Presumably there will be a route for them to access the pre-amp ‘refinements’ without having to buy a lower spec power amp and two sets of cables that they may not need? I’ll be keeping a close eye on developments in Mike Lavigne’s barn, especially as he is a major user of the phono stages where several of these ‘refinements’ apparently lie.

I can say this. Removing the internal Urika phono stage from my LP12 (Klimax level) and utilizing the internal phono stage of the DarTZeel pre amp was EYE OPENING…and that is with using the (obligatory) 20 year old Naim Aro tonearm cable (ie nothing particularly high end).

According to multiple reviews of the internal phono stage, many pro’s have stated it is the equivalent of a 10-15.000 gbp external stage. A nice bonus for pre amp owners