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Reference 3A Sema Zen

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  • Reference 3A Sema Zen

    There is so little information about these speakers available and practically no feedback on their sound. Is there a place in the US where one could hear them?

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    Source: Kuzma XL DC, Kuzma 4Point 14 inch, Benz Micro LP-S MR; Phono: Zanden 1200 Mk3; Tuner: Magnum Dynalab MD-108T Signature; Line Stage: Zanden 3000 Mk2; Power amp: conrad-johnson ART; Speakers: Avalon Time; AlsyVox Botticelli (ordered); Grounding: Tripoint Troy Elite NG/Emperor Mk2; Cable system: Cardas Clear & Clear Beyond; Stands: Finite Elemente Master Reference & Master Reference Heavy Duty; Power strip: Cardas Nautilus; Acoustics treatment: Svanå Miljöteknik AB (SMT);

  • #2
    Do you know who makes them.?
    Magnepan 1.6 QR Loudspeakers, Amherst A-2000 MOSFET 150 WPC Amp, Conrad Johnson PV-10A Modded Tube Line & Phono Stage, Electrocompaniet MC II Class A Head Amp, Shelter 501 Mark II Cart (St) , Graham Engineering 2.2 Tonearm (St) , VPI Aries-1 Turntable (St) , VPI Clamp, Denon DL-102 Cart, (M) , Luxman Tonearm (M) , Kenwood KD-500 Turntable (M) , Michell Clamp, Marantz 20B Analog FM Tuner, Teac A3300SX R2R, Pioneer SACD, Onkyo DX-6800 CD Transport, DIY 24B/192K DAC, DIY Silver Interconnects

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    • #3
      Originally posted by JCOConnell View Post
      Do you know who makes them.?
      Google is your friend. http://www.reference3a.com/

      Speakers: Horning Eufrodite Ellipse III on Stillpoints Ultra 5S feet
      Amplifier: Silver Circle Audio 300B Monoblocks with Takatsuki 300B tubes
      Preamp: TW Acustic RPA-100 Line Stage
      Phono Stage: TW Acustic RPS-100
      Turntable - TW Acustic Raven AC w/ Black Knight Anniversary Upgrades
      Tonearm: Kuzma 4-Point 14" with Air Tight Opus-1 Cartridge
      Tonearm: TW 10.5" with Miyajima Zero Mono
      Vinyl Care: Audio Desk Pro Ultrasonic & VPI 16.5 RCM
      CD/SACD: Playback Designs MP-5 to Bricasti M1 DAC
      Tape: Tascam 42B-NB (Refurb by Soren Wittrup)
      Tape Stage: Doshi V.3
      Power Conditioner: (2) Silver Circle Audio TCHAIK 6
      Wire: Custom Furutech PC's & IC's + Inakustik LS-4004 Air Speaker Cables
      Tweaks: Stillpoints Aperture II Panels & Stillpoints Ultra SS's sprinkled about - SRA Ohio Class and Symposium Super Plus Platforms

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      • #4
        Reference 3a from Canada, same company (Divertech) that distributes Copland and used to distribute Antique Sound Labs. I heard the smaller version of this at a show a few years ago and it was seemed to have a lot of potential (limited by the room a the show). The smaller Reference 3a speakers are extremely good, and all are easy to drive.
        Steve Lefkowicz
        Senior Associate Editor at Positive Feedback
        --------------------------------------------------------
        http://www.audionirvana.org/forum/ti...ounding-system

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        • #5
          certainly that style of design, tower, narrow and deep is quite popular now.
          Magnepan 1.6 QR Loudspeakers, Amherst A-2000 MOSFET 150 WPC Amp, Conrad Johnson PV-10A Modded Tube Line & Phono Stage, Electrocompaniet MC II Class A Head Amp, Shelter 501 Mark II Cart (St) , Graham Engineering 2.2 Tonearm (St) , VPI Aries-1 Turntable (St) , VPI Clamp, Denon DL-102 Cart, (M) , Luxman Tonearm (M) , Kenwood KD-500 Turntable (M) , Michell Clamp, Marantz 20B Analog FM Tuner, Teac A3300SX R2R, Pioneer SACD, Onkyo DX-6800 CD Transport, DIY 24B/192K DAC, DIY Silver Interconnects

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          • #6
            Last year I had a pair of Ref3a de capo BE in my system for a number of months. Their claim to fame is a phase-coherent crossover-less speaker with a woofer that covers several octaves only the tweeter uses a single element (series capacitor @ 6db/octave). Their cone material is very light/stiff the speaker as a whole is easy to drive being >90 db in sensitivity. IIRC the original design was mfr in Switzerland decades ago and the tooling/rights were acquired by the current owners in Canada.,

            Reference 3a speakers have a reputation of being highly resolving and transparent not unlike a 'stat or ribbon speaker and a good match with SET amps. I found all of this to be mostly true but at the expense of a smooth amplitude response, ultimately the speakers wore me down with exaggerated upper mid/lower treble which made long term ownership untenable. My take away was a Jekyll-Hyde personality, on some music it was near SOTA in other circumstances especially on music with a lot of horn/brass instruments it became execrable.
            Linn Kilmax LP12 | Audio Research Ref Phono 2 SE | innous ZENMini | Kii Three

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            • #7
              Sorry guys if I wasn't clear enough, but I'm interested ONLY in their flagship model Sema Zen and where can they be auditioned in the US.
              Source: Kuzma XL DC, Kuzma 4Point 14 inch, Benz Micro LP-S MR; Phono: Zanden 1200 Mk3; Tuner: Magnum Dynalab MD-108T Signature; Line Stage: Zanden 3000 Mk2; Power amp: conrad-johnson ART; Speakers: Avalon Time; AlsyVox Botticelli (ordered); Grounding: Tripoint Troy Elite NG/Emperor Mk2; Cable system: Cardas Clear & Clear Beyond; Stands: Finite Elemente Master Reference & Master Reference Heavy Duty; Power strip: Cardas Nautilus; Acoustics treatment: Svanå Miljöteknik AB (SMT);

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              • #8
                Originally posted by timztunz View Post
                Google is your friend. http://www.reference3a.com/
                It's hopeless.
                SP-10 MKII table with custom power supply designed and built by Peter Noerbaek with an SME 3012R with Dyna XV-1S cartridge, VPI Avenger table with rim drive and JMW -12-3D arrm with Lyra Etna SL cartridge, Zesto Andros 1.2 phono stage, Otari MX-55 tape deck, Ampex 350 repros, Roon Nucleus Plus server, PS Audio DSJ DAC, ARC Ref 6 pre, ARC Ref 75 amp, JBL 4345 speakers with a pair of Def Tech Ref subs.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Marcus View Post
                  Sorry guys if I wasn't clear enough, but I'm interested ONLY in their flagship model Sema Zen and where can they be auditioned in the US.
                  Reference 3a or Divergent Technology is located about 40min ride from me. Even so, they are very illusive from a dealer representation point of view. I tried to get a demo for a friend starting out with the 3a's through a dealer but it was difficult.

                  You'll have to call through to Tash Goka and hope for the best - I doubt you'll be able to listen other than at his distribution/"factory" facility in Waterloo, Ontario.

                  Nice speakers.

                  Front end: Aesthetix Io Eclipse with 2 Power Supplies and Volume controls
                  Brinkmann La Grange & RonT Tube Power supply with Kuzma 4-point ,FR64S, Brinkmann 12.1 , .Koetsu Jade Platinum,Koetsu Rosewood Signature Platinum, Lyra Atlas, Lyra Etna SL Goldfinger Statement, KLAUDIO RCM, HRSM3X
                  Amps: Wyetech Topaz, Futterman H3 Quad II,Citation II, Marantz 8b, 5 ,2
                  Pre-Amps:Marantz 7, Marantz Model 1 Consolette Pair
                  Speakers: Quad ESL 57, Beveridge Model 3 DD amps, REL S/2 x 2
                  Otari 5050BXII, DeHavilland 222

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by kcin View Post

                    Reference 3a or Divergent Technology is located about 40min ride from me. Even so, they are very illusive from a dealer representation point of view. I tried to get a demo for a friend starting out with the 3a's through a dealer but it was difficult.

                    You'll have to call through to Tash Goka and hope for the best - I doubt you'll be able to listen other than at his distribution/"factory" facility in Waterloo, Ontario.

                    Nice speakers.
                    Thanks kcin!
                    Source: Kuzma XL DC, Kuzma 4Point 14 inch, Benz Micro LP-S MR; Phono: Zanden 1200 Mk3; Tuner: Magnum Dynalab MD-108T Signature; Line Stage: Zanden 3000 Mk2; Power amp: conrad-johnson ART; Speakers: Avalon Time; AlsyVox Botticelli (ordered); Grounding: Tripoint Troy Elite NG/Emperor Mk2; Cable system: Cardas Clear & Clear Beyond; Stands: Finite Elemente Master Reference & Master Reference Heavy Duty; Power strip: Cardas Nautilus; Acoustics treatment: Svanå Miljöteknik AB (SMT);

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                    • #11
                      Personally I preferred the older series of Reference 3a with the silk dome tweeters as opposed to the new BE tweeters that seem to me to be something manufacturers can advertise and tout for measured response but that usually wind up being fatiguing over longer periods. The MM DeCapo for a time was my personal favorite speaker in the class for two years until I directly did a shootout with them against the Audio Note AN K/Spe standmount. My 3 front runners at the time, including the De Capo dropped out of the picture.

                      Hearing the new Reference 3a line in Hong Kong I was surprised at the upper mid lower treble and I greatly prefered the other speakers the store was carrying (another little known line) called RossoFiorentino

                      They were about the same price but IMO sounded rather a lot better. Reference 3a back when they were a French company under Daniel Dehay had a sort of magic but I am not hearing it anymore. UHF Magazine out of Canada covered a lot of Reference 3a and formerly just 3A in the 1980s and 90s. I think if you can find these era speakers you will get a less Hi-Fi and more natural presentation. Drivers have a sonic signature and having materials that share some semblance of sameness is important for cohesiveness IMO.

                      Here is RossoFiorintino

                      Click image for larger version

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                      Senior Reviewer at dagogo.
                      Speakers: Audio Note AN E/Spx HE Alnico, & AX Two, KEF LS-50, Wharfedale Vanguard, Tannoy CR650
                      Pre: Audio Note M3MKiii Phono Balanced
                      Power: Kingko KA 101, Rotel RB 1050
                      Analog: Audio Note TT2 (two motor), Arm 1(V2), IQ1 MM
                      Digital: Audio Note DAC 0.1x, Line Magnetic 215CD & 502CA DAC
                      Cables: Audio Note Vx silver and Lx copper ICs, AN-Spe spker cables

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                      • Rob
                        Rob commented
                        Editing a comment
                        I heard the orginal 3a with silk dome tweeter when they were introduced into the 'States around the early '90's. My then favorite dealer was fawning all over them. I was too, then we inserted a pair of Celestion SL700s driven by Ralph Kartsen's MA-1 OTL amps and all bets were off...I still appreciated the Ref3a for what it did well and was resigned in the fact i couldn't have them then, but i'd own a pair some day. It wasn't until last year a pair of BEs fell into my lap.
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