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.

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