Zu loudspeakers

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
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Latter two never gonna happen. Animas count in my worst demo experiences. At Munich in 2016 on the big Traformatic SETs all I could do was scratch my head. Horns Universum left me cold at another show.
 

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
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E. England
Oh, Animas also at a dealer. On Modwright SS. Exasperated best sums up my opinion after 2 hours. Horns Universum just doesn't appeal.

Maybe Ked will be interested, I already have spkrs I love.
 

Exlibris

Active Member
Oct 7, 2015
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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.
I'm just wondering if it is the open baffle woofer arrangement that doesn't cover all the bases or if the problem is the horn driver. You had mentioned adding a sub so that's what made me think it might be the OB bass.
 
Feb 10, 2019
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Fountain Valley, California
Kevin, there's a guy on AGon who's sold his Soul Supremes to go w the new Druid VIs, and is loving what he's hearing.

In my case, the Zu sound was so compelling in 2008 that at the demo I wrote the cheque there and then for the Definitions 2. I struggled a lot w poor room acoustics and dialing in, even w the impvts wrought going to the 4s.

In the new room here, my 4s came alive fully on digital, but I still struggled w my analog thru them.

Now this has been sorted, I'm getting a totally compelling sound on both lp and cd (streaming next year hopefully).

The Zus are now fully doing the microdynamic, reflective, illuminating thing, not just the big microdynamic thing that I could only nail a few years ago.
Marc,

I'm sure the Druid mk6 is a great speaker but I'm so happy with my Soul Supreme right now and my budget is depleted after all the Thomas Mayer gear that I have no desire for change. I also love the form factor of the Soul Supreme . Since my system is mostly near field I prefer the main driver a bit closer to the floor and the tweeter on top. Sean can take as long as he needs but I'll wait on the update to the Soul Supreme. This will give me some time to recharge the savings account.

Like Caesar said, this hobby is all about the enjoyment and satisfaction and emotional engagement of the sheer beauty and creativity of the artists. You know you've settled on something special when you have to force yourself to turn off the music to tend to life's daily chores or to eat and sleep. After all these years, in the end the essence of this hobby I feel I've attained with my system and whether or not someone has a better or more expensive amp or speaker is irrelevent to me as life is too short to be constantly running in circles to chase one's own tails.
 
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bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
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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.
Of those I would take only the pnoe with BD5, though I would take the trios for amplified where the listener likes the bass horns. I wouldn't go for the the next two, would choose Devore, vintage modded tannoys over them , as well as panels and cones, universum over the devore and the tannoy. Never heard the Azzolina
 
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the sound of Tao

Well-Known Member
Jul 18, 2014
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Time to explore horns that are potentially better than what you have and can "do it all".
Brad I spose it all hangs on my exact definition of doing it all... I can’t afford anything that I’d actually choose over the pap horns at any rate. Wishlist would extend to Pnoes, I love the Animas and OMAs, only interested in the trio from AG... but truth is these do some things as good as the better horns at any rate.
They have a BMS compression driver and it’s top end is as sophisticated as the Maggie 20.7s and its mid range is better by virtue that the SET amp will drive the horns but not the Maggies.
Every horn has constraints tho and for playing anything other than some dance tracks or RnB these things are awesome. They are amazingly good at even large scale complex orchestral and the only speaker I’ve heard that challenges the Maggies on opera and piano. So I think I’ll keep them :)
 

the sound of Tao

Well-Known Member
Jul 18, 2014
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I'm just wondering if it is the open baffle woofer arrangement that doesn't cover all the bases or if the problem is the horn driver. You had mentioned adding a sub so that's what made me think it might be the OB bass.
100% yes, it’s just on the edge of being fine enough without sub (much the same as the Maggie 3.7s) and the thing with a horn OB is a fantastic panel like open quality tho sometimes I swear they are fussier and just as revealing as the Maggies.., but if this was say front loaded horn or with bass reflex ports assist I’d probably get just a tad more box slam coming through the bass. Have plenty of options still to explore tho and am now toying with the idea of an isobaric sub.
 
Likes: Exlibris

tima

Industry Expert
Mar 4, 2014
520
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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
Atma-Sphere is better than Tenor. Atma-Sphere doesn't blow up.
 

bonzo75

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Feb 26, 2014
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Atma-Sphere is better than Tenor. Atma-Sphere doesn't blow up.
I agree it doesn't, and if it does the tube blows up in isolation, not taking the rest with it. Service is very good too
 

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
7,331
456
83
E. England
As the biggest proponent of Zu here, I'd always wondered why I didn't get as good results w them as others like SETDrugs and 212Cobra. Even Keith R who has moved on got his Zus fully singing early on.

And I've just worked it out. I've spent a couple of days redialling my tt setup. New 50kg slate platform to act as an inert, and critically fully level surface for Stacore tt platform. I've managed to fully optimise tt, arm, cart.

With 180kg of slate under the stylus of my tricked out tt, plus revelatory carbonfibre armwand to my air LT tonearm, my lp collection is totally fresh sounding.

So, what I always ascribed as an Achilles Heel of Zu, ie a tendency to opacity in mids, lack of ultimate air and microdynamics, has been totally shown to be misplaced.

My cdp from which music was never compromised thru the Zus should have alerted me the issue was not Zu, but my analog.

W new tt setup, the Zus on lps, as on cds, are really open, delicate, textured. Classical and jazz are a revelation, before never a go-to on lp for me.

I'm only a decade late to my own party LOL.
 

Exlibris

Active Member
Oct 7, 2015
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Canada
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100% yes, it’s just on the edge of being fine enough without sub (much the same as the Maggie 3.7s) and the thing with a horn OB is a fantastic panel like open quality tho sometimes I swear they are fussier and just as revealing as the Maggies.., but if this was say front loaded horn or with bass reflex ports assist I’d probably get just a tad more box slam coming through the bass. Have plenty of options still to explore tho and am now toying with the idea of an isobaric sub.
100% yes, it’s just on the edge of being fine enough without sub (much the same as the Maggie 3.7s) and the thing with a horn OB is a fantastic panel like open quality tho sometimes I swear they are fussier and just as revealing as the Maggies.., but if this was say front loaded horn or with bass reflex ports assist I’d probably get just a tad more box slam coming through the bass. Have plenty of options still to explore tho and am now toying with the idea of an isobaric sub.
I look forward to hearing about your developments. I've just posted on the "What's best in highly sensitive/efficient speakers." thread so as not to go off-topic on this Zu thread. I do want to demo Zu speakers based on all the great things I've heard about them on this thread.
 
Last edited:
Jan 29, 2012
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Of those I would take only the pnoe with BD5, though I would take the trios for amplified where the listener likes the bass horns. I wouldn't go for the the next two, would choose Devore, vintage modded tannoys over them , as well as panels and cones, universum over the devore and the tannoy. Never heard the Azzolina
Bonzo,
Are planning on completing a Zero Distortion write up on the vintage Tannoy system at some time?

Jeff
 

bonzo75

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Feb 26, 2014
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Bonzo,
Are planning on completing a Zero Distortion write up on the vintage Tannoy system at some time?

Jeff
Yes after I go through more, and also do a Westminster tour
 
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Jan 29, 2012
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Brad I spose it all hangs on my exact definition of doing it all... I can’t afford anything that I’d actually choose over the pap horns at any rate. Wishlist would extend to Pnoes, I love the Animas and OMAs, only interested in the trio from AG... but truth is these do some things as good as the better horns at any rate.
They have a BMS compression driver and it’s top end is as sophisticated as the Maggie 20.7s and its mid range is better by virtue that the SET amp will drive the horns but not the Maggies.
Every horn has constraints tho and for playing anything other than some dance tracks or RnB these things are awesome. They are amazingly good at even large scale complex orchestral and the only speaker I’ve heard that challenges the Maggies on opera and piano. So I think I’ll keep them :)
I'd love to hear these speakers. The line has sometime for every open baffle taste: horn, HEIL, wide bander, etc.
 

caesar

Well-Known Member
May 31, 2010
3,047
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Caesar,

My system has settled with Zu Soul Supreme, Thomas Mayer 45/2a3 power amp and Mayer 10Y preamp. My source is Euphony PTS server and my dac is the Yggydrasil A2. I'm streaming Qobuz via Roon ; it sounds like a dream. I can't agree with you more on most of the preamps out there until the Thomas Mayer 10y arrived. The Mayer amplification chain has totally transformed my system, particularly the preamp. NO more changes, this is a lifetime investment. Unless Sean comes out with a significantly better update to the Supremes at a reasonable cost, this is it.

Together with the amazing Soul Supreme, I've never enjoyed music and even movies like this before. Tone, emotion, musicality, transparency, and just an organic effortless nature to the sound that makes listening such a pleasure that once I get started its extremely difficult to stop. Its like I'm in a deep trance with the music. Very therapeutic as well to unwind after hard days work. Thats how addicting the sound can be so I know exactly what you've been trying to say in your last few posts.

Cheers!
Hi SETDrugs,
Congrats on finding your bliss! I am not too familiar with Thomas Mayer gear. I have only read about it on this site, in Bonzo's blog thread, but I have not experienced it.

How did you end up hearing about it and selecting it? What else did you hear and how does it compare? Have you heard any Audion models, by any chance?

Thanks

P.S. Great to hear that you are all set for a long time.
 

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
7,331
456
83
E. England
Caesar, I ran Audion a few years after I acquired my first pair of Zus. Black Shadow 845s, thence in tandem w 4 box true dual mono Quattro preamp. I have to say I only got an impvt running the Black Shadows w the preamp.
 

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