For the audiophile who has always lusted for a pair of Avantgarde speakers but either can’t fit them in to their room or find them too expensive, the ZERO 1 is heaven sent. With a dimension of 43.5″ tall, 19″ wide and 16″ deep (with the stands), the ZERO 1 is more room accommodating than its other models. Plus, it was also designed for the audiophile who wants to enjoy music from horn speakers without all the clutter from a multi-piece setup. The ZERO 1 you see here is a powered speaker, DAC and preamp all rolled into one. Each speaker has three amplifiers on board – a 500W Class D amp that drives the 12″ bass driver and two 50W Class A/AB amp that powers the 6″ horn mid and 1.25″ horn tweeter. This pair you see here even has the optional analog input (XLR) for the audiophile who wants to hook up a turntable to it. Otherwise, it has five digital inputs – one AES/EBU, two SPDIF, one Toslink and one USB. The DAC onboard does 24 bit/192KHz upsampling and input selection and volume control are all handled by the stylish and swanky aluminum remote that looks like a microphone. Frequency response is an impressive 30Hz to 20KHz.
Unlike some of Avantgarde larger models, the ZERO 1 was easy to fit and fill our listening room that measured 20 feet by 14 feet. Setup was extraordinarily simple. We just ran a digital cable out from our CD player into the ZERO 1 and connected the Synergistic Research reference ethernet cable ($2,400 value for the 4m) between the two speakers where one of them acted as the master and the other the slave. After that, it was turning it on and just sitting back and enjoying the speakers. The speakers benefited greatly in our room when we had them slightly toe in. The soundstage was large but had a more precise focus when they were toed in. Imaging was holographic and big which kind of made our room feel small so this speaker has the potential to fill larger rooms with ease. Finish is satin white and had one previous owner. There is a lot more to say about these speakers but we would let you go and read it up on Absolute Sound’s write up on them.
Cosmetically, the speaker looks really good. Minor scuff marks here and there a bit of paint touch up around the brand emblem on one of the speaker (due to the badge coming off during shipping). We have the original box, manual and two remotes. Due to the size of the speaker and weight, they will have to be shipped freight where they will be strapped on a pallet. Local pickup from our store welcomed.