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Zu Audio speakers


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Hi Ian,

I am a fan of their speakers and Sean Casey, one of the principals in the company. It started a few years ago when a friend purchased the Druids for his near field listening room. They may not be perfect but they can sure get you moving. Very dynamic and with surprising bass. I have a much larger listening room so I went out and purchased a used set of Definition 1.5's. Three years later now and they still are very satisfying to me. Since they have a very high and stable sensitivity (101 db, they work very well with low powered tube amps. This will be my next experiment. If you have any specific questions, email me.

 

Cheers!

Ed

 

Ed[br]So much music, so little time![br]Mac Mini Itunes - Ayre QB-9 or Ayre C5xe into Ayre K5xe - Ayre V5xe - ZU Definitions

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They use a modified 10" eminence woofer that you normally find in bass guitar amps in their earlier versions ...not sure about the Omen. Not sure of the fidelity across the full range but they sound lively and are a great speaker to pair with a low power tube amp. Colorful for sure and a lot of fun.

 

Benchmark DAC2, Active speakers: ATC 150's, 100's, 20's, C6CA, C6 Subwoofer.

 

Headphones: Only for playing drums. I don't like sounds in my head. The best headphones suck. Nothing can replace good speakers played loudly. And nothing absolutely nothing is a substitute for live music!

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4 years ago our local audio society hosted a demo of the "Definition" model. I thought it was grossly colored in the midrange, treble and bass.

 

Published frequency response measurements of their initial "Druid" model were quite ragged. It's extremely hard to design an almost full range, crossover-less driver with flat frequency response.

 

HQPlayer (on 3.8 GHz 8-core i7 iMac 2020) > NAA (on 2012 Mac Mini i7) > RME ADI-2 v2 > Benchmark AHB-2 > Thiel 3.7

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I have been using the Zu Audio "Essence" speakers for nearly a year now. I use a pair of Quicksilver tubed monoblocks to power them. I really like them, having upgraded from Monitor Audio RS6s. I did not like them as well with the Class D amp in a Cambridge Audio 840a integrated amp. Between the longish break-in and swap to tubed amps, these are great speakers.

 

My system specializes in Jazz and Vocals. I have learned however that they do well in Rock and Organ as well. If I needed a "thump" though, I would need a subwoofer, but that was true of the RS6s as well.

 

In general I think that fullrangers are somewhat of a religion. Be sure you like the concept before investing heavily. It takes different speakers, and a lot of power to have even tone from 20hz to 20Khz. Full range and lower power tubed amps aim at the frequency covered by voice and hand instruments. Happens to be what I like, so take it with a grain of salt. I did prefer to buy here in the states.

 

[Home Digital] Bricasti M12 > DIY M2x Monoblocks > Daedalus Audio Muse Studio Speakers

[Home Analog] Technics SL-1200G > Boulder 508 (Zu DL-103/Hana ML/Denon DL-301 II)

[Office] Laptop > Kitsune R2R lvl3 > Violectric V281 > Focal Utopia Headphones (balanced)

[beach/Travel] Laptop > DragonFly Red > Ether Headphones

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are cool! They have great dynamics and great presence and body. As other folks have mentioned, they have a house sound which is quite distinct and very un "hifi". They can rock, but if one is looking for resolution, transparency, and soundstaging look elsewhere.

In a way, they are kind of old fashioned sounding, warm and rounded, but with great micro and macro dynamics, presence and musicality.

 

SO/ROON/HQPe: DSD 256-Sonore opticalModuleDeluxe-Signature Rendu optical--Bricasti M3 DAC--DIY Purifi Amplifier-Focus Audio FS888 speakers-JL E 112 sub-Nordost Tyr USB, DIY EventHorizon AC cables, Iconoclast XLR & speaker cables, Synergistic Purple Fuses, Spacetime system clarifiers.  ISOAcoustics Oreas footers.                                                       

                                                                                           SONORE computer audio

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After being overwhelmed by all of the great music at RMAF, it was hard to remember what was nicer than what.

In my minimal note taking I specifically added the Zu's to my list if speakers to look into furthur. I cannot comment on the sound in particular but they did, as I said, make it onto my list so they must have sounded pretty good to me during my short preview.

 

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The German company Manger sells loudspeakers using their proprietary full-range driver that, to my ears, was more pleasing and had a smoother, flatter tonal balance than the original Zu I heard a few years ago.

 

I haven't heard the latest Zu models.

 

HQPlayer (on 3.8 GHz 8-core i7 iMac 2020) > NAA (on 2012 Mac Mini i7) > RME ADI-2 v2 > Benchmark AHB-2 > Thiel 3.7

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  • 2 months later...

I was not a fan of the Zu Druids that I heard a few years back at the Stereophile show in NYC. They were great with small combo jazz but fell apart with Led Zep and just could not rock.

 

Now the Soul Superflys are another story, they are remarkable for their $2600 list price and were an absolute steal at the $1800 sale price they ran. I also have a pair of Alon Lotus SE speakers and I would put the Zu as their equal. They are vastly different speakers though I can't decide which to keep at this point.

 

Also the Omen's were great for the money but the Superfly was to me much better. Look for the Superfly definition later this year.

 

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  • 9 months later...

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