Acoustic Zen Adagios help.

OK, this was a surprise.  I picked up a pair of Acoustic Zen Adagios yesterday to replace my Klipsch RF-83's.  I thought the AZA's would blow the 83's away.  Not so much.

Let me begin with a disclaimer.  I spent a lot of time placing the 83's and getting the toed in just right.  Haven't done that with the AZA's yet, neither have I installed the outriggers.  Tonight I will spend time tweaking them.  So my initial reactions are based on the AZA's setting where the Klipsch sat.

Initial reaction: AZA's are pristine in the top end.  They truly sparkle.  The soundstage has deepened over my Klipsch. They definitely provide incredible detail.   The bass is fast and tight, but I find it lacking a bit.  Again, I will have to lay around with placement, but if I keep the AZA's I will likely add a sub or two.  

I think I prefer the AZA's, but I am surprised they didn't knock my socks off.  The 
Klipsch lack the finesse of the AZA's, but seem to fill the room better especially in the lower end. My room 17' x 21' and is treated with bass traps and some absorption.  I was using Cambridge Audio 840w 840e separates.

Tonight I will fiddle with placement toe in, etc.  Any advice from AZA owners about placement?  Will the outriggers make a substantial difference?  So far, only moderately impressed.

Thanks, Chip
Hey Chip,

It was a pleasure meeting you yesterday when you picked up your new speaker. Besides that I believe that when you attach the outriggers the total performance will improve and the bottom end might also fill in, let them settle in and just listen for at least a couple of days before you come to a judgement compared to the Klipsch's. I believe when you go back to the AZA the refinement, more accurate timbres, layering in the soundstage might win you over. Yes, the Klipsch's are dynamic as hell with great slam, maybe that's what your missing, but their very "rough around" the other edges that you might not notice until you go back to them after the AZA's. Have fun.
Take into consideration that AZAs have less common underhung woofers. Underhung drivers have lower distortions (better linearity) especially with large displacements. According to few opinions, I read, they are less dynamic but it might be only perception of clean lows (same way clean guitar is less dynamic than distorted guitar). Underhung motor is more expensive because of very big magnet. Enjoy.
My room is 14'x 25', and I have my Adagios placed along the long wall, 8' apart. In my room they needed a little bit of toe-in.

The bass will considerably open up in about three weeks.
Did the outriggers come with the speakers?
Just curious.
Bass reinforcement in a room can has been a real problem here. I've had problems for years, even with some speakers known for handling the lows with authority. Things must be right so that the current flow to the woofers will maximize cone movement. If not, you can get some confounding results. And the amp-speaker match is not always straightforward and sometimes calls for significant trial and error. A favorable match of the amp to the speakers rules. Quality of power can play a role too. There are a number of variables that can affect getting the bass you want. But I will echo others; give the speakers more time. You had to move your cables to put in new speakers, no? Give them a chance to re-settle. Consider too that the AZA's present a different load to your amp than did the Klipsch. Good luck. I have to have bass reinforcement to be satisified, and I always prefer it from the loudspeakers more than subs.
Hello Teajay,

It was great meeting you, too. When I got home and hooked up the Adagios they sounded good, but not a vast improvement over my Klipsch RF-83’s. I was a little frustrated because I heard the Adagios and thought they were awesome. Well… to make a long story short I called Acoustic Zen and talked to Mr. Lee (what a gentleman). He asked me how far apart my speakers were and I told him about 8 ½’. He said to move them closer. With a little playing and listening, they ended up just inside 7’ apart and 40” from the wall and a slight toe in. I also attached the outriggers. Now, all I can say is wow! Wow!

Teajay, you were spot on with the Klipsch. I definitely love them, but part of what I like about them is the “slam.” They sound great, and the sheer power is almost addictive. But the Adagios bring definition, clarity, soundstage, that I have never had in a speaker. They will definitely be staying for a while. I mentioned when I was there that I get concerned when reviewers use too much hyperbole. But I have to say, for the price I paid for the Adagios, hyperbole seelms spot on. The sound is “breathtaking.”

I have also decided when my piggy bank fills up again I am going on the hunt for a couple subs. I will let you know how that goes

If you ever get up Holland way, give me a shout.

Thanks all for the comments,
Congrats Chip!
Hi Bogeybuster,

I bought the Adagios used and Tom was kind enough to include them, in addition to giving me a great deal. They do make a difference.

I run two subs with my Adagios and the combo works really well in my setup. When I first got the Adagios I thought I was going to run them w/o subs (I already had the subs that I used with my BE-718's) but after a while was missing something-on electronic music in particular but overall as well. When I added the subs everything came together. Interesting for me is that while the system will play very loud, since I got the AZs I get much more out of the music without playing it so loud. Hope yours work out for you but if you bought them new be sure to give them time to break in. I got mine used but have read that they take a while before they are at their best.

Hello Bizango1,

Are there any other subs you would refer as musical and compatible with the Adagios? Here's my dilemma:

Spend $1600-1800 on one sub and live with it.

Buy once sub for $1200 and save up for a second.

Buy two reasonably expensive subs,re: Epik Empires.

Just curious, which route would you go?
I haven't heard many different subs but I can tell you that going from one sub to two was a worthwhile upgrade for me. I would get one for now and save for a second one. You might be very happy with the first one and leave it at that.