Acoustic Zen: Warmth and Beauty

Twin•Audio•Video teamed up with Acoustic Zen to pair the large and imposing Acoustic Zen Crescendo loudspeaker ($16,000/pair) with Triode Corporation Ltd. of Japan's Tri TRV-4SE tube preamp ($1,900), the power module of the Tri TRV-845SE 20W pure class-A integrated amp ($6000), and Tri TRV-CD4SE tube CD player with 192kHz upsampling ($2200). The Crescendo is a 3-way, 125 lb transmission-line design with 6 ohms nominal impedance, 89dB sensitivity, and a frequency range of 20Hz to 30kHz. Also in the room on the floor were two ORB power traps (aka power conditioners/distributors), the Kyoto ($6000) and Kamakura ($3900), and, of course, Acoustic Zen cabling. This system did a fine job of capturing music's beauty and warmth. Which is saying a lot.

Seen in the photo are Robert Lee (Acoustic Zen, left) and Santy Oropel.

Bill's picture

Jason-would you mind going into a bit more detail on this room?

FSonicSmith's picture

I would love to see a S'phile review of one of the AZ speakers, preferably the Adagios, which I have. Since the Adagios have been reviewed extensively elsewhere, I predict if a review were to be done, it would be of the newer and less reviewed Crescendos. I haven't met him face to face, but I have talked a bit with Robert Lee. They don't come any nicer or humbler or down to earth.

Jason Victor Serinus's picture

In response to Bill's request, I regret that the answer is no. Or, rather, I can't. I have just counted 33 exhibit rooms at Axpona, some holding multiple systems. I was responsible for close to 30 rooms. Many of the exhibitors are not accustomed to displaying at audio shows, and did not have price sheets available. A few did not even remember their prices, and needed to either consult literature or go on the net to retrieve them. All that was extremely time consuming. Then, of course, I wanted to listen, and sometimes there were people ahead of me, or all the seats were filled. In short, I've given you as much as I can. I was intrigued by the speakers, and told Robert that I hope to hear them sometime in my system. If that ever happens, and I either review them (for another publication - I don't review for Stereophile) or hold a demo for the Bay Area Audiophile Society, I'll have the opportunity to give them a full, long listen.

Bill's picture

Thank you so much for your reply Jason.

crcam91961's picture

I spent quite a bit of time in the Triode/Acoustic zen room at Axpona this week. It was for me the reasonably priced sound of the show. The 20w class A TRV-845SE was outstanding. Jason's comments about it's ability to capture music's beauty were right on. The 845SE was $5000 which is at the limit of my finacial capabilities but the price list showed several push-pull amps in the $2500 range. As Jason describes the amp section was driven by a separate pre-amp in this set up, but I had them disconnect the pre and listened just to the integrated. There was a little loss of bloom and fullness but the sound for me was still outstanding. The only system at the show that bested this for my taste was the BAT/SCAAENA system which I think would total $250,000+
(my own system is a Stereophile class b rated Cayin tube amp, clearaudio emotion se, ps audio phono pre, with Tyler acoustic Linbrooks augmented with a REL sub)