Zu loudspeakers

spiritofmusic

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Jun 13, 2013
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Tao, I love a lot of what I hear in horns, just never convinced on the final package. Yr horns are one of the few that maybe could fully convert me. In the meantime...
 

caesar

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May 31, 2010
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[QUOTE="the sound of Tao, post: 563529, member: 5937"...
Can’t imagine that speaker amp pairing not benefiting from the musical and structural gain of a very good preamp. This isn’t an audiophile assertion but rather purely a music loving one. Without good musical organisation and gain structure they could almost tend towards being a bit more overbearing and wayward rather than sensitively nuanced and musical. Not quite just right, more random and assertive but strangely musically not right. For the same reason I’m not a real fan of naim. Each to their own, but I feel a middle path approach is better, for high sensitivity however I figure just go horn or go home... they might be genre restrictive but if you love music they are the best... errr flame suit on... ps purely subjective call.[/QUOTE]

Hi Tao,

I think it’s an Audion thing. (SET issue????) Not a Zu issue.

Audion amps are integrateds as they come with a volume control. Audion says a preamp is suggested but not necessary. Audion is talking about their own preamp, I am sure. Adding any tube preamp I have tried slows the system tremendously and takes out Audion’s virutres of speed and transparency – it sounds broken. I am not willing to invest the time at this time to find a “very good” preamp to make things even better when things are great already. As you know, a lot of this stuff is trial and error, and I just don’t have the time or desire at this point.



And speaking of Audion, it has tremendous synergy with Zu. I would not be surprised if Audion sounds better with Zu than some of the SET amps considered “best” and cost six figures, such as Kondo, Tenor, Ayon, etc. I wonder if anyone has a clue regarding the synergies or if this will be a mystery to our deaths.



To your final point regarding horns, I think every speaker technology has its virtues and faults. Gotta have several systems if you are really picky.
 

bonzo75

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Feb 26, 2014
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Hi Tao,

I think it’s an Audion thing. (SET issue????) Not a Zu issue.

Audion amps are integrateds as they come with a volume control. Audion says a preamp is suggested but not necessary. Audion is talking about their own preamp, I am sure. Adding any tube preamp I have tried slows the system tremendously and takes out Audion’s virutres of speed and transparency – it sounds broken. I am not willing to invest the time at this time to find a “very good” preamp to make things even better when things are great already. As you know, a lot of this stuff is trial and error, and I just don’t have the time or desire at this point.



And speaking of Audion, it has tremendous synergy with Zu. I would not be surprised if Audion sounds better with Zu than some of the SET amps considered “best” and cost six figures, such as Kondo, Tenor, Ayon, etc. I wonder if anyone has a clue regarding the synergies or if this will be a mystery to our deaths.



To your final point regarding horns, I think every speaker technology has its virtues and faults. Gotta have several systems if you are really picky.
Tenor is not a SET. It is an OTL and far superior to these SETs you mention except it used to blow up and take the driver with it.
 

spiritofmusic

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Jun 13, 2013
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Ked, that's like saying a particular supercar is the best, despite the engine regularly catching alight, or the timing chains shearing after 5000 miles and destroying the engine (both true stories for the Citröen SM, arguably the most advanced car in the world in 1970).
 

spiritofmusic

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FWIW Ked, my demo of Zus leading to sale was on Atmasphere OTL, plus Pass SS. I ran them initially on Hovland tubes/SS, then all Audion 845s, and now Nats 211s.
 

bonzo75

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Feb 26, 2014
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FWIW Ked, my demo of Zus leading to sale was on Atmasphere OTL, plus Pass SS. I ran them initially on Hovland tubes/SS, then all Audion 845s, and now Nats 211s.
So now Atma is same as tenor because it is OTL? Atma, tenor, Einstein are all very different sounding. I only like tenor. And Berning quads which is a ZOTL is good for some applications
 

spiritofmusic

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Jun 13, 2013
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Ked, no-one is positing any false equivalences. All I'm saying is I've heard Zu now on all SS, tube pre/SS pwr, OTL, two lots of SETs ie 845s and 211s.

SETDrugs here loves Zu on Mayer 2A3, Ceasar ditto on Audion 300B.

Phil Ressler is about to post an in depth review on the new Druid VIs on a whole bunch more amp options.

Whether you prefer Tenor to Atma is irrelevant in respect of this thread. What is relevant is that Zu is an excellent option for so many amp combinations in so many different room types.

But feel free to let us know again you prefer Tenor. Maybe you can contribute something relevant by seeking out a demo of Zu on Tenor, and report back, but hey, don't blow the drivers out.

This thread is a love letter to the Joy Of Zu, and why we Zu devotees have an absolute whale of a time connected to music thru them.
 
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caesar

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May 31, 2010
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So now Atma is same as tenor because it is OTL? Atma, tenor, Einstein are all very different sounding. I only like tenor. And Berning quads which is a ZOTL is good for some applications
I think Atmasphere MA2 / Soundlab combo is spectacular. Would love to own those amps one day. In fact, I am confident to generalize that If you got stats, OTL is a must, just must have the proper power for the speaker. Atma sphere lower-powered models are also great with Martin Logan hybrids. Not lean!

That damn synergy!
 
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the sound of Tao

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Jul 18, 2014
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Tao, I love a lot of what I hear in horns, just never convinced on the final package. Yr horns are one of the few that maybe could fully convert me. In the meantime...
Given your playlist I think you’ll struggle to find a horn to cover everything you love to listen to Marc.
The Pap Horns are better with RnB and rock than the other horns I have heard but still when I play some tracks I feel less convinced than if I had been playing on either the Maggies or the Harbeths.
That said I haven’t given up trying and am considering a sub/bass horn for those evenings when I need to put the doof into doof doof.

On all the other music I love and play the Pap horns are doing everything I could imagine being possible to just fully engage me in the music... I am smitten.
 
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the sound of Tao

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Jul 18, 2014
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[QUOTE="the sound of Tao, post: 563529, member: 5937"...
Can’t imagine that speaker amp pairing not benefiting from the musical and structural gain of a very good preamp. This isn’t an audiophile assertion but rather purely a music loving one. Without good musical organisation and gain structure they could almost tend towards being a bit more overbearing and wayward rather than sensitively nuanced and musical. Not quite just right, more random and assertive but strangely musically not right. For the same reason I’m not a real fan of naim. Each to their own, but I feel a middle path approach is better, for high sensitivity however I figure just go horn or go home... they might be genre restrictive but if you love music they are the best... errr flame suit on... ps purely subjective call.
To your final point regarding horns, I think every speaker technology has its virtues and faults. Gotta have several systems if you are really picky.[/QUOTE]

Caesar this is the bottom line... though I’d just suggest it isn’t being picky as much as realising that the speakers you have may ultimately direct your musical listening and so owning more than one system may be because of the need to be able to access certain types of music and in certain types of listening ways.

I find horns are less diurnal and that fully engaged evening listening is their forte.

When I am doing daytime stuff the Harbeths are more in the zone.
 
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spiritofmusic

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Tao, for me Zus provide a bit of horns magic in a package which is best for my choice of amps, and critically, choice of genres.

I find horns tick all the boxes on immediacy and texture that I could want, well beyond Zus, but fall back on their tendency to be too forensic and unforgiving on a lot of sub par masterings that I own.

The recent Rush Hemispheres 40th anniversary release just doesn't work for me on horns. Neither does Magma.

Zus are just less unforgiving of poorer stuff while providing the texture and density that I don't hear so much from other box spkrs that aren't really SET friendly in an 800 sq ft room.
 

spiritofmusic

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*hyperbole alert*
I'm not saying Zus sound like horns.
 

KeithR

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Spirit, appears the Definition may (finally) be completed this year.

I did notice the other day while playing some old school cds that Zus are better on poor masterings than my current Devores.
 

the sound of Tao

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Jul 18, 2014
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Tao, for me Zus provide a bit of horns magic in a package which is best for my choice of amps, and critically, choice of genres.

I find horns tick all the boxes on immediacy and texture that I could want, well beyond Zus, but fall back on their tendency to be too forensic and unforgiving on a lot of sub par masterings that I own.

The recent Rush Hemispheres 40th anniversary release just doesn't work for me on horns. Neither does Magma.

Zus are just less unforgiving of poorer stuff while providing the texture and density that I don't hear so much from other box spkrs that aren't really SET friendly in an 800 sq ft room.
The test of time is a convincing one Marc, the Zus do it for you, I wouldn’t let that go.

I would consider getting in a pair of horns and keeping the Zu’s in rotation if at all possible. Unless ofcourse having two sets of speakers sets you or your other half into rotation.

Currently I’m in one listening space and just swapping around with the speakers every now and then till I’m sure which speakers I will live with going forward. I’m giving myself about a year to make that call.

I doubt I would be able to let go of the horns (actually at this stage am now certain) but having them will require a second set of speakers to cover all the musical bases whereas if I had to have one pair of speakers the Harbeths can do it all... but then I’d never be able to get the memory of the music that I experienced with the horns out of my head. So currently on the horns of a dilemma! Lucky I can keep two pairs of speakers but definitely struggling with the notion of having three tho. Something must give eventually and perhaps some measure of sanity will yet prevail.
 
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spiritofmusic

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Jun 13, 2013
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Tao, re Zus and horns in rotation, I'm considering the Kronos.

I can be on one counter-rotating platter, Ra on the other.

We'll meet twice a day.
 

morricab

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Apr 25, 2014
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The test of time is a convincing one Marc, the Zus do it for you, I wouldn’t let that go.

I would consider getting in a pair of horns and keeping the Zu’s in rotation if at all possible. Unless ofcourse having two sets of speakers sets you or your other half into rotation.

Currently I’m in one listening space and just swapping around with the speakers every now and then till I’m sure which speakers I will live with going forward. I’m giving myself about a year to make that call.

I doubt I would be able to let go of the horns (actually at this stage am now certain) but having them will require a second set of speakers to cover all the musical bases whereas if I had to have one pair of speakers the Harbeths can do it all... but then I’d never be able to get the memory of the music that I experienced with the horns out of my head. So currently on the horns of a dilemma! Lucky I can keep two pairs of speakers but definitely struggling with the notion of having three tho. Something must give eventually and perhaps some measure of sanity will yet prevail.
Time to explore horns that are potentially better than what you have and can "do it all".
 

spiritofmusic

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Jun 13, 2013
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There certainly are those horns, Brad, if I take €100k as an upper limit.

Pnoes w BD5 drivers, AG Trios w Basshorns, Cessaro Liszts, Haigner Gammahorns, Azzolina Grand Sferas.
 

morricab

Well-Known Member
Apr 25, 2014
2,860
238
63
Switzerland
The test of time is a convincing one Marc, the Zus do it for you, I wouldn’t let that go.

I would consider getting in a pair of horns and keeping the Zu’s in rotation if at all possible. Unless ofcourse having two sets of speakers sets you or your other half into rotation.

Currently I’m in one listening space and just swapping around with the speakers every now and then till I’m sure which speakers I will live with going forward. I’m giving myself about a year to make that call.

I doubt I would be able to let go of the horns (actually at this stage am now certain) but having them will require a second set of speakers to cover all the musical bases whereas if I had to have one pair of speakers the Harbeths can do it all... but then I’d never be able to get the memory of the music that I experienced with the horns out of my head. So currently on the horns of a dilemma! Lucky I can keep two pairs of speakers but definitely struggling with the notion of having three tho. Something must give eventually and perhaps some measure of sanity will yet prevail.
Can you tell me what make/model compression driver is on the horn. All PAP says is that it is a 1.4 inch polymer diaphragm. If we knew the make/model then it would be interesting to try a 1.4 inch driver from Radian or Beyma with either an Aluminum or Titanium diaphragm. I have Beyma CP350Ti (discontinued model) 1 inch compression drivers in my Odeon horns (woodend spherical horn crossed around 2Khz) and I find them to be give simply more realistic highs than plastic diaphragms I have heard or conventional tweeters. I am sure this is not universal and might even be specific to these particular Beymas (they had a serious reputation 20 years ago) but it might be worth exploration on your part. The specs should tell you if it would be compatible with the existing crossover or not. Look at the Radian 850pb or 951pb and the Beyma CP755Ti or CP755nd.
 

morricab

Well-Known Member
Apr 25, 2014
2,860
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Switzerland
There certainly are those horns, Brad, if I take €100k as an upper limit.

Pnoes w BD5 drivers, AG Trios w Basshorns, Cessaro Liszts, Haigner Gammahorns, Azzolina Grand Sferas.
I don't think that kind of money is necessary but if you go up there then Aries Cerat Symphonia must also be on the list. Some horn hybrids like Dynamikks Monitor 12.18 and Odeon Nr. 38 should also be on the audition list, not to mention the hoRNs Universum III and Tune Audio Anima.
 

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