Zingali Acoustics, Cary Audio, Pear Audio Blue, Ortofon, Reference Components | T.H.E. SHOW 2021


Zingali Acoustics (website) in the Reference Components room was one of the more talked about rooms at T.H.E. Show 2021—which is saying something in several respects. Most obviously was that there was attendance, and indeed the Zingali room was busy enough for most of the show days that I had a hard time taking pictures or getting a lengthy listen. Thankfully, everyone was wearing masks without complaint, and respecting room occupancy and distancing rules. The check-in desk even asked for proof of vaccination (or a negative test) before entry. A big kudos to T.H.E. Show runners for being responsible on that front.

Words and Photos by Grover Neville

Once I did get a chance at the Zingali room, I was pleased by what I heard—while the speakers were a bit beamy, once you got in the sweet spot the sonic picture was effortless. Lightning quick, dynamic, tonally even and harmonically dense without being bloated anywhere. I detected a hint of resonant coloration around 1,500 Hz, but I couldn’t say if this came from the speakers or from the room. In any case, it wasn’t especially bothersome and the upper mid-range on Legrand Jazz, which almost every room conveniently seemed to have a copy of, was smooth and pleasant. If you like the fast, open, precise sound of horn speakers, these seem like a fine contender, and to my ears struck a nice balance between forward and relaxed that made every song listenable.

Maybe most remarkably was an absence of any bass issues in this tiny room, something confirmed by the folks at Reference Components, the US Zingali distributor and first-time exhibitor. Whatever was done here certainly worked, and I came back to this room for a listen twice because it was that pleasant. My only small complaint was that imaging was focused to one extremely tight spot, though I grew up listening to Vandersteen Model 3s, so I must emphasize this was a rather small quibble.

cary audio

Electronics were provided by Cary Audio, and while I’m not familiar with the models on display, the tube compliment was pretty much exclusively carefully selected NOS, and the sound displayed practically zero unpleasant color. In fact I’d venture to say it sounded cleaner than many of the solid state electronics at the show, while also being more balanced and pleasing on the top end. The Reference Components and Zingali room was a real highlight, and a great showing for the pedigreed Italian company which only recently re-entered the US market.


The Twenty 1.2 EVO speakers from Zingali Acoustics specs do impress; power handling is 500W RMS with an overall nominal Impedance of 6 Ohm. The frequency response covers 30hz-21 kHz adeptly, while sensitivity at 96 dB/1 W/1 meter makes them easy to drive, as you’ll see by the amplifier choices. Weight wise, they come in at 115 lbs dry, and the drivers include a 1’ compression driver (44 mm coil), an Omniray GZ 12″ horn woofer (75 mm coil), which is vented with a bass reflex port.


Zingali Acoustics Speakers

  • Twenty 1.2 EVO 30th Anniversary Edition
    – Satin full color – $18,407 USD
    – Satin color with wood-stained Horn – $19,361 USD
    – PLUS (Satin cabinet with wood baffle and horn) – $21,045 USD (model shown in system)
  • Client 1.5 EVO
    – Satin full color – $45,598 USD
    – PLUS – $52,528 USD
  • Client 3.12 EVO
    – Satin full color – $43,774 USD
    – PLUS – $50,340 USD
  • Client 3.18 EVO
    – Satin full color – $86,425 USD
    – PLUS – $98,210 USD


  • Cary Audio CAD-805 RS Single Ended Triode monoblocks – $15,559/pair USD
    (w/Sylvania 1950’s 6SN7GT, Gold Lion 300B, GE 211 NOS power tubes, 27 watts output)
  • Cary Audio SLP-98P – $4,995 USD
    (w/Tung Sol 1940’s 6SN7GT Black Ovals)


  • Pear Audio Blue Kid Howard Turntable with Coronet 2 Tone Arm – $5,000 USD
  • Pear Audio Blue Outboard power supply – $1,995 USD
  • Ortofon Credenza Bronze cartridge – $1,960 USD
  • Pear Audio Reference Preamplifier/Phono Stage – $5,995 USD


  • CleanAudio Interconnects – $550 USD
  • CleanAudio Speaker Cables – $490 USD
  • CleanAudio Power Cords – $175-$495 USD

Photos continue below, and more T.H.E. SHOW 2021 coverage can be found HERE.


About The Author

Grover Neville, Contributor

Grover is a recent transplant to Los Angeles, CA, and a graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory, where he studied music, creative writing, and how to wear skinny jeans. After graduating Grover pursued a freelance career in audio, doing professional research in the fields of Auditory Cognition, Psychoacoustics, and Experimental Hydrophone Design.

Before moving to Los Angeles, Grover worked and lived in Chicago, Illinois as a mixing and mastering engineer, working in genres such as Avant-garde Classical music and Jazz. As a recent transplant to L.A., Grover now works in the music, video game, and film industries.

He is also actively pursuing a career as an independent musician, composer, and producer. Grover wrote for Innerfidelity and Audiostream, before finding his forever-home at Part-Time Audiophile.

1 Comment

  1. Thank you Grover for visiting our room at T.H.E. Show – twice even!! We’re very happy that you were impressed!

    In reading your wonderful review, we wanted to offer the following because we always want our listeners (press or otherwise) to have the best possible experience:

    You noted that you detected a hint of coloration at 1,500 Hz and you found imaging was too tightly focused. We think the two are related! Most of the time, we left the room entrance door open. Not surprisingly, the hallway was noisy, so to compensate we turned up the volume a bit. As many know, hotel rooms can over-respond acoustically. There were two results of the higher volume: First, coloration at 1,500 Hz wouldn’t be surprising because the ISO 226:2003 Equal Loudness curve shows that there is normally an increase in db required at that frequency to make loudness perceived to be equal throughout the acoustic spectrum, so this was probably engineered into the recording, as is often done. Not saying we *know* this is what happened, but we think its more than coincidental..

    Secondly, when the volume was turned up, the acoustic energy began to excite the room beyond its capacity (vibrating walls, etc.), and this caused interference with the music and “pushed” the musical image forward too strongly, sounding over-etched and too directed. Both the coloration at 1,500 Hz and the tight imaging could be explained by the increase in volume and room excitement.

    In contrast, we did not hear this effect at normal volumes when the hotel floor had quieted down at the end of the day, and we have never experienced an overly tight image with Zingali loudspeakers, even when played louder in normal (ie non-hotel) listening rooms.

    The Omniray horn waveguide design disperses mids and highs in a 360-degree pattern, making them extraordinarily easy to set up in virtually any room (but mind your volume in a hotel room!), and when properly set up, the resulting soundstage and imaging is large and extended. One can walk around a room with Zingali loudspeakers playing and hear the imaging from any location, even from behind the speakers!

    We’d love to invite you to do a deeper dive with these extraordinary speakers in a more normal environment!

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