Acoustic Zen Adagio, How Good Are They?

Just read the glowing review in TAS. Has enyone heard these and if so is all the positive press justified?

Showing 11 responses by response34

For those in the Upstate NY area, you are more than welcome to come into Response Audio as well to audition the Adagio speakers.

I will not post my thoughts on these speakers. Being a dealer for them, I realize most will consider my opinion to be biased. I think those that have the chance to audition them personally, will be able to justify the reviews as well as other's comments within this thread.

My Adagios are currently being powered by tube amp ranging from 20 watts up. Soon enough I will have the Manley Labs MAHI mono blocs and Shrimp preamp running the,

I brought in the Adagio based on Jjurzec's comments as he is my Midwest affiliate and I trust his ears 100%. I can only say that I agree with everything he said.

No. The mid/bass drivers are custom made (not in China) and the tweeter is custom assembled by hand in CA by Robert Lee himself. Every speaker is assembled and tested in CA. Robert Lee actually listens to each individual pair in a system before they ship.
How many speaker companies will actually audition each pair or <$5k speaker, by the owner even, before headed to their new home!! These are not an assembly line product.
The subwoofer has been out for a while but not a lot of information has been released. I don't know if this post will past the moderators but if it does, you can see the sub and details at Robert really needs to get speaker products on his website but until they are posted, I hope this message makes it's way onto the board.
Sorry about the phase issue. I was startled to hear about this. The request for amplifiers at this year's show was short notice for us and I had only a few days to get things shipped out to ModWright. At least they were in excellent hands at the show and this was noticed easily with teh educated ears that were running the room.

Lgo51...."which, when corrected, snapped the sound in their room into some of the best at the show (IMHO)...."

Thank you for those words.
Hey Tboooe, I think your mention of the "hot tweeter" may have been due to the amps being used for your audition. One thing I have realized is that the Adagio's sound their best (to me anyway) with tubes. This might be a bit biased coming from a tube junkie such as myself but a lot of the feedback has confirmed the same. Robert wil have the Bella EXtreme 100 tube amps soon so if you get a chance, you may want to arrange another audition with the speakers driven by tubes.

Kmillette........ Thanks for the kind words about the show!

Kmillette.. I can imagine just how emotionally involving the Art Audio is with the Adagio speakers. I have run 8 watt 300Bs with these speakers and..........well, you already know.
Maybe a push-pull 2A3 or 300B will give you the control you need while maintaining that sound you now love. I have runn my 25 watt push-pull 300B mono blocs with them and it was enough to make you melt in your listening chair.
Right now I am running a pair of 60 watt push-pull 6C33 based mono blocs an I think I have found the magical combination. For my taste at least!
I have also mated the Adagio with lower power tubes. At the moment, I have them being driven by a pair of Manley Labs MAHI mono blocs runing in triode for approximately 17 watts per side.
My showroom is quite large at about 1300 sq. ft. but I have them only 8 feet apart and sitting 8 feet from the speakers. The speakers are a light enough load on the amps to allow for good dynamics and enough volume to fill the room. Soundstage is unbelievably wide but them again, there is about 15 feet to the side of each speaker.
I have also run them with 8 watt 300B SET mono blocs and the sound would make you melt in your listening chair. Obviously there are dynamic and headroom limitations with such low power but!
My personal preference so far has been 100 watt KT88 mono blocs with a tube pre, tube phono stage and/or tube CD player.
Yes, I'm a tube guy.

Hi Tomcy6,
I cannot comment on the comparison between the Adagios and Tylers but can comment a bit on the tweeter dispersion. The Adagio uses a unique, exclusive circular ribbon tweeter so it mantains exceptional horizontal and vertical dispersion just as a conventional dome tweeter.
I to have found many conventional ribbon tweeters to sacrifice vertical dispersion, not so with the Adagio!
Hi 2100,
The 6C33 amps I am currently running were a bit on the warmer side in their original form. They are discontinued ASL KMP60 Fox mono blocs but I am now having the chassis OEM'ed for my by Joseph Lou of ASL. They are now being built in-house here in New York and voiced for a bit more presence and air. I use the SoniCap Platinum Teflon in these along with a rebuilt power supply which also helps to tighten up the bass.

With the Adagio speaker, many have commented they sound like 60 watt 300B's. I am very happy with this combination and when matched with the proper preamp (very linear tube units), the presentation is very well balanced and refined.
2100, Am I to understand that you are also using the Almarro with another speaker? Say of a 93dB?

I too found that the Almarro changed in a good way when upgrading the caps. Even the little 205A showed a beneficial change (in my opinion) when changing to Teflon caps. I have been using the V-Caps in these amps for some time. More noticable in the 205A was also going with a slightly higher value. This was more dependant on the speakers being paired with the amp.

The Adagio speakers are, in my opinion, and exceptional performer. I do not have much experience with them being driven by solid state but with tube, you are emotionally connected with the music.
Hello 2100. I have used various lower power tube amps with teh Adagio speakers and like ant similar combination, start to see some compression if trying to push too hard.

The Adagio's are a very good load for tube amps and this is why many people are finding lower power units are working so well for them.

Most of my listening with these speakers right now is with 60 watt P-P 6C33 amps. There are 4 amplifiers used most to audition these speakers for customers, all four are tube. Power ratings are 17 watts EL84, 60 watt KT88, 60 watt 6C33 and 100 watt KT88. All provide a unique presentation but all are also very enjoyable.