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?
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.

The bass limitation I heard was not due to the room or ancillary equipment , it is by design: The 116 is spec'd to 32hz (no tolerance cited). This is certainly extended bass, but not subterranean. What's there is very good indeed, but for full range reproduction, MBL wants $40K+ for their model 101. In between, the MBL 111 splits the difference at app $30K.

By way of comparison, I'm also looking at the Vandy Quatro which offers full range bass at $7500 to $10K (Quatro Wood). The difference in bass impact was clearly evident on a couple of the tracks I've been using for demo purposes.

Despite all of the above, and the fact that the Acoustic Zen Adagio seemed awfully close in performance, I completely understand why a price insensitive buyer would choose the MBL. It is a very seductive product (visually and aurally) and if your choice of material doesn't contain truly deep bass, you may find that the 116 is perfect for you.

I liked it a lot, but, given its limitations and my reluctance to pony up for the 111 or 101, I'll probably go a different way.
For those of you asking me questions about the power requirements of the Adagios, let me first apologize for not posting a reply sooner. I spend very little time on the forums and in fact only realized there where questions pending because Bill at Response Audio let me know.

I have run the Adagios using the Grommes PH-26 integrated amp. It uses EL-84's and runs at 1.8 watts triode/6 watts tetrode. The Adagio's work at 1.8 and 6 watts, if you have a really small room and don't want to go very loud you'll be fine, especially at 6 watts. Just don't go into high levels with material that has wide swings in ranges such as symphonies or if your going too, keep the normal listening volume at a lower range. If you don't the amp will clip.
In my 16' L x 14' W x 8' H room the 6 watt setting plays at reasonable levels as well but with deep bass or again, major swings you may notice some issues with clipping if you push the volume limit.
My guess is that if you can control your levels and live with a volume that a spouse can still talk to you when your listening in a smaller room, and 8 watt SET amp would be fine. If you want to have more headroom to work with I think 15-20 watts would be a better starting point. The transformers on a tube amp will also play a role in what your SET can deliver in your environment.
I currently demo them in two configurations, 1)with a pair of Grommes 360's using KT-66's which output around 35-40 outstanding watts and 2) with the Red Dragon Audio Leviathans at 500 watts. I pair them with either the H-Cat preamp or the Heron VTSP-2.
FWIW and if you want to follow up with me on this off-line as I won't talk about the following on-line in a forum, I am one of the few dealers that have dealt with the Daedalus and SP Tech speakers. I've also had the chance to hear the Sason's so if you have questions feel free to follow up with a email or you can call me on our business number ( for info).
I'll try to make it a point to check out the forum a little more often in case any of you have more questions for me.

I felt compelled to write this post, potentially my last. Why, because these speakers are so good IMHO, that I am finally and offically off of the hi merry go round. These are most musically satifing speakers I have ever heard, are they perfect no, are they a TREMENDOUS value for the money YES!! These speakers are fast, musical, have good bass and the most wonderful highs I have ever heard. All these years I thought I had to live with a certain amount of grain in the music, but no more. I have always blamed it on my ic's or some other component up stream... not so. I could make a very long list of other speakers I have owned and heard, but as we all know its personal preference when choosing speakers, so I don't see the need. My advice is you should listen to these speakers before buying anything, if you don't you are doing yourself a huge diservice. My system if a Cary Sli-80 F1 and a Cary 303/300 cdp with Oritex ic's.
I've had the A.Z. Adagio's for 3 months now and JUST LOVE THEM!!! I drive them with a Canary Audio CA301mk.2 tube amp. 22 watts per side, 300B, Class A, Triode, Push Pull. Preamps are a severely modified E.A.R 864 tube unit and a stock GaMut C-2R S/S unit. My room is 35'3"L x 17'3"W x 8'H. My system/speakers is close to one of the short walls. I can play Rock or Classical at VERY LOUD LEVELS WITH NO PROBLEM!!!!! They sound great! They replaced Von Sch. VR4Gen3HSE and I'm not looking back!!!