I didn't know that there was such a consensus.
I agree with Kal. There are a lot of great speakers under 30k. Many of which I think are better performers than the Crescendo. That being said, I heard the Sony SS-AR1s, and was so impressed, that I'm very seriously considering buying them. They are beautifully crafted, and sonically didn't really have any flaws that I could detect. I thought that they held their own against dynaudio temptations which cost 50% more.
I have heard the Acoustic Zen's at several shows, there is no consensus that I know of that puts these speakers as the product to beat under $30k, there are people who like the sound and the speaker does put out a lot of clean deep bass.
I had a pair of Adagios good speaker but not that great.
For $20-$30k you could get a Rahdio, a pair of the superb Usher BE 10 or 20, KEF 207, the Revel Salons, and any of these speakers are similarly priced to the Acoustic Zens and are far better speakers.
I haven't heard the Sony's I think they are a bit much for what you are getting for the money, but I am sure they are musical as hell, great driver compliment.
I am waiting to hear the new KEF Blade, which offers truly revolutionary technology, proprietary drivers, and an elegant footprint for $30k there were many people talking about this speaker, and it may be the one to beat at that price point.
No public consenus, but from the perceptions of the Audio press during the past two years such as Postive Feedback, Audioreview and others claiming the Crescendo's can stand up too performance level's of $50K speakers which I find hard to swallow. Robert Lee informed me the Crescendo's can easily handle 1000 watts rms with no sweat. Very power hungry. Sensitivity on the Sony's is 88db, which can handle gobs of power as well. Anyone out there using a pair of high powered mono blocks on the Crescendo's? Talked to a retail dealer in California and he heard the Sony's at the show in Newport, was blown away. Midrange is on the warm side and very rich and smooth. Dynamics are outsanding.
Here is one vote for the Crecendo's. I heard these at Axpona earlier this year with triode electronics of Japan components. I kept coming back to this room because every time I sat down I relaxed and just enjoyed the music. They were driven by the 20WPC tri 845se amp which should be given the award of "sounds like 200 but is only 20wpc". Bass response in the room was jaw dropping. I was so impressed with this setup that I bought the amp and have been seriously considering buying the speakers, but I think I am going to give the high sensitivity speaker choices a crack for now as I want to give the amp a shot at driving an easy load.
Thank you PTM consulting for stating what I and many others feel.
To Audio Feil, I don't sell Radiho, nor do I sell the Revels, so I have nothing to gain by recommending them the fact that I even mentioned them should shut you up about crowing about my products or that I am biased.
I have heard the both of speakers and I think they are very good speakers which produce superb sound quality with real engineering.
Speaking of hearing I have heard Magico, YG, Rockport, Focal, Wilson, Thiel, as well as Avalon. If you want to talk reference speakers bring em on.
I call em like I hear them, and unlike Audio Fail I have 25 years of experience coming form working at both SBS and Innovative Audio, I have heard and played with almost every brand of audio equipment out there and I know most of the principals who run these companies.
The Zen's are decent speakers which do not lead the field in terms of build quality or driver technology. I am not saying they don't produce good results but other than one review does not consensus make.
In terms of the Sony speakers, this is a true craftsman's product. I haven't heard them so I can comment, I would say lavish construction and attention to detail can produce extremely good results.
Audio Feil you bring nothing to the discussion, stop harassing everyone.
If you have anything relevant about these or any other speakers chime in if not you should shut up.
I guess you don't like or advocate any of your speakers or you would have comments on them.
I have in my time sold Wilson, JM Labs, Avalon, Thiel Meadowlark, Proac, Escalante, Acoustic Zen, Von Schewekert, Dali, PSB, B@W,Linn, Sonus Faber, Monitor Audio, Eggleston, Audio Physic, and more than I can remember.
Feil you are not worth my time, please list your experience not as an audiophile but as someone with more than a hobbyists level of experience. I have 25 years of experience as doing this as a profession and my shop has over $800,000.00 worth of the best brands of audio.
Please show us pictures of your shop and list your experience you are a self proclaimed know it all who knows nothing.
Differing show reports have all been very impressed with that new Sony speaker, most saying it was a highlight of the show.
I think this has suprised everyone, I mean, Sony?
But regarding the AZ, which I have never seen nor heard, I can say as a keen reader of every audio website and blog, that there is no consensus at all that this speaker is the one to have under 30k.