Vandersteen Treo CT's in walnut with mahogany stain replaced Acoustic Zen Adagio's.  The Treo CT's are an order of magnitude greater fidelity than the AZ Adagio's.  The timber, tone and realism is so much more like real music rather than good HiFi.

The listening room right side opens up to a 10' entryway.  Behind the listening seat is open to a 15' deep dining room.  The speakers are 7' apart, 2' from the front wall with the listening position 8' away.  While not an ideal listening room configuration, it manages to work very well.


Room Details

Dimensions: 13’ × 15’  Medium
Ceiling: 10’

Components Toggle details

    • Vandersteen Treo CT
    Vandersteen Treo CT's in Mahogany stained Watnut
    • Duelund Coherent Audio (DCA) DCA12GA & 16GA speaker wire
    Duelund Coherent Audio 12GA plus 16 GA speaker bi-wires.  5' DCA tinned-copper with a baked oil impregnated cotton dielectric.  These wires sound better to me than the Acoustic Zen's in terms of musical realism.  They have a rich, relaxed overall tonal balance and fulness yet retaining everything that the AZ's brought. Resulting in a natural life-like tonality.  I had AZ convert my single wire Holograms to bi-wire.  They had excellent speed and articulation and clarity.  But the new Duelund CA's are so much more/better!
    • REL Acoustics S/5 SHO subwoofer
    My newest sub... placed in-between the two front speakers as part of a Distributed Base Array with the other two RELs in the rear.
    • REL Acoustics R328 Subwoofer
    This sub is now in the right rear corner as part of a Distributed Base Array.
    • REL Acoustics B-2 subwoofer
    This classic REL Britannia sub is now in the left rear corner as part of a Distributed Base Array.
    • Ayre Acoustics AX-5 Twenty
    Outstanding integrated amp... much better than my previous McIntosh MA 7270/ARC LS-15 with GNSC mods that I was using before.
    • Kimber Kable Hero XLR
    3m balanced IC's
    • Ayre Acoustics QB-9 Twenty
    The Twenty upgrade to this QB-9 DSD made a huge improvement.  I'm so glad I made the investment.  I can't imagine how much I'd have to spend to get beyond this sound.
    • Shunyata Research Venom USB cable
    Currently using Shunyata Research Venom USB cable.
    My alternate cable is the Curious Cables (Rob Woodland) 200mm USB link.
    • Aurender N100H
    Music server with 4 TB internal storage and 120G RAM cache for playback
    • MIT Zcord II
    MIT Zcord II's power cords the Aurender and the Ayre QB-9 DAC,
    MIT Zcord power cord on the Ayre AX-5 Twenty
    • Zoethecus Equipment Rack with 5 z-slabs
    Zoethecus Cherry Wood Equipment Rack
    • Graham Slee Era Gold V
    Connected with Analysis Plus Copper Oval-In IC's.  The Era Gold is such an outstanding phono-pre.  While I have not auditioned very many phono-pre's this sound quality has got to be up there with the $3k - $5k group.  Has good bass to clear and present highs!
    • European Audio Team C-Sharp
    New turntable in use with the Thorens out of circulation.
    • Sumiko Amethyst
    Sumiko Amethyst Moving Magnet Cartridge
    • DH Labs SilverSonic
    Tonearm cable
    • Thorens TD-160
    I've have it for over 20 years and had it modded with damping and new sub-plenth.
    Fitted with AudioQuest Turquoise x2 Hyperlitz cables and Shure VN35MR (V15 type III) cartridge.
    • McIntosh MR-80
    Tuner in custom burl walnut cabinet connected with Acoustic Zen Matrix Reference II Zero-Crystal IC's.

Comments 9

Steveott - Thanks for the comment.  The Treo's and REL's integrate very well.  There is no x-over between the Vanys and RELs.  I use a Radio Shack sound Level Meter and Stereophile Test CD vol.1 1/3-octive warble tones (200Hz down to 20 Hz) to set the REL x-overs and output levels to achieve as flat a response as possible.  My Treo in-room response w/o RELs was -2.5 dB @ 31.5 Hz, -6 dB @ 25 Hz and -10 dB @ 20 Hz.  With the RELs add the response is +1 dB, -3 dB and -1 dB.  I can't ask for anything more... very satisfied.


Great room. How do your new REL's integrate with the Treos? Also, are you using a crossover to roll off the Treos in the low end?
Thanks, Steveo


Nice! I bet that sounds great. Treo CTs were on my short list when I wanted to move up from my 2Ce Sig IIs but I ended up with Thiel CS2.4s, then I completely replaced all the passive parts from the binding posts to the driver hookup wire. I had my QB-9 DSD upgraded to the Twenty version . . . all smiles.


Hey dhilton, beautiful system and set up.  I too am a Vandersteen devotee (on my third pair now).  To be honest, I did not fully realize the importance of positioning until the last couple of years.  EVERY room is different, but I have found my Quatros sound best when the distance between the middle of the tweeters is the same as the distance from the middle of the top to my forehead (when seated in my listening position).  And ........ playing with the degree of toe-in is significant as well as making that degree exactly the same on each side.  I was taught a very simple method for that if you're interested. 
Play on


Thank you for the compliments.  I'm located in Grants Pass, Oregon


Hello dhilton,

Very nice system in a nice looking room. Well done. I'm in the NW also, west of Seattle on Whidbey Island. Are you also located in Washington State, or elsewhere in the Great Northwest?

Best regards,

Ag insider logo xs@2xislandmandan

Very nice system and beautiful natural wood room.


The Ayre integrated opened this system up by greatly improving resolution and highs.  My prior amp/pre were McIntosh MA 7270 and ARC LS-15 with extensive mods by Great Northern Sound Co.  Even so I was not quite satisfied with the SQ.  It did not open up until the Ayre AX5 Twenty.  
The Adagio/Ayre are a great match.


Love the look of those Acoustic Zen speakers in your audio room set up. How do the Ayre components match up with the Adagio's sonically?


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