The Reference Components Room: Zingali Acoustics Twenty 1.2 EVO Thirtieth Anniversary Edition loudspeaker, Cary Audio CAD-805 RS monoblocks & SLP98P preamp

After a 15-year hiatus, Italy's Zingali Acoustics returns to the US with the Twenty 1.2 EVO Thirtieth Anniversary Edition loudspeakers ($21,045/pair in walnut finish). To these ears, the re-introduction is notable, because Hilary Hahn's violin sounded glorious on her performance of Prokofiev's Violin Concerto No.1. Sweetened by Cary Audio's 27Wpc CAD-805 RS single-ended triode monoblocks ($15,995/pair) with a host of new, old, and NOS tubes and a Cary SLP-98P preamplifier ($4995) with Tung Sol tubes from the 1940s, the sound was magical.

There was a bit of pull to the right, apparently caused by the need to switch between 33 and 45 on the Pear Audio Blue Kid Thomas set-up and phono stage, and bass wasn't perfectly in control, but that didn't detract from the entrancement.

"I can't get over how full and wonderful the violin sounds," scribbled the Serinus. "It makes me want to listen, listen, and listen." The soundstage was to die for.

Hoping I got this right—I wrote fast—the speakers have a specified sensitivity of 96dB, and have a bass reflex port on their bottom. Frequencies from 1kHz up are handled by the horn. Various baffles are available, with 1½" solid wood reportedly sounding best. Given that the model shown lies in the middle of Zingali's range, I can only wonder if their largest speaker sounds anywhere as good as this one.

Ortofan's picture

... ought to be:

Do the notes by JVS include the identity of the phono cartridge used in this demo system?

Jason Victor Serinus's picture

Ortofon Credenza Bronze. Sorry for omitting it. A terrible offense, I acknowledge, given your handle. We're trying something new for this show by eschewing endless lines filled with equipment lists and prices. They take forever to type up, and are less than exciting to read. But they can also fall short for some readers, I realize.

Ortofan's picture

... end of the audio reproduction chain - to be vital pieces of equipment.
All the more reason to specify the items in use, particularly when the resultant sound quality makes you want to "listen, listen, and listen."

We'll assume that your spell checker converted Cadenza into "Credenza."

Jason Victor Serinus's picture

The equipment list says "Credenza." Blame it on the Devil.

ReferenceComponentsLtd's picture

It was indeed a spellcheck error, but on our part. Apologies to Ortofon, with acknowledgement of their fine product, and to JVS.

John Atkinson's picture
Fixed. Thanks.

John Atkinson
Technical Editor, Stereophile

daveyf's picture

Funny that you mentioned this, I noticed exactly the same thing..and attributed it to a room issue. The right speaker on the Di Meola album ( pictured) was far too prominent.

Jason Victor Serinus's picture

It was a cartridge set-up issue, and was corrected on the last day.

Ortofan's picture

... "Time Warp" song from the Rocky Horror Picture Show - even though the lyric is "a step to the right."

Jason Victor Serinus's picture

This room's Interconnects, power and speaker cables were from Victor Liang’s LA-based Clean Audio. Liang's approach includes braided copper tuning rings that are placed onto system components in order to control components’ magnetic fields and produce a cleaner signal. While there was no way to evaluate cabling or rings during the show, if they did make a significant impact to the beautiful sound I heard, more power to Liang and his designs.

ReferenceComponentsLtd's picture

JVS was inadvertently provided with incorrect turntable information. Not the Kid Thomas, which is Pear Audio's more advanced model, the one used in the demo room was Pear Audio's entry-level Kid Howard with Cornet 2 tonearm $(4,995) and outboard power supply ($1,995).

ReferenceComponentsLtd's picture

Reference Components Ltd. is the U.S. distributor for Zingali Acoustics loudspeakers. For further information, go to