Read the 6 Moons review sounds like they are just going to start shipping. Looks like they made some last minute upgrades! I'd call them.
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Just posting here to hear some feedback from actual end-users.. I have a pair of Druid Vs.. and of course the question of whether the upgrade is worth the cost up as crossed my mind many times already!
Let me add that Zu seems very good about getting back to people, so a quick call or email should get some more info.
Garett says my pair is being shipped this afternoon. With luck I will have a pair in hand by the end of next week and can do an initial out-of-box sound comparison to my well-trodden Soul Supremes. I’m moving in about 6 weeks so this will be a good comparison of the VI’s in a smaller room for now (something I was hoping to do before I move as to hear the differences in the rooms, all else constant...my new space is about 3x the size of my current listening room).
Sorry if this is off-topic but I'm real curious to know what amps do you folks use with your Druids. The 101dB sensitivity along with a 16 ohm (10 ohm min) load must pose a matching challenge with most popular brand amps, particularly SS design, in the market. I'm looking at the Omens as a replacement for my home-made single driver speakers currently paired with a Sophia Electric 10wpc class A integrated.
There’s a very good (and long) thread on the topic if you search this forum...it will be hours of reading, but thoroughly informative. Search something like “Zu Druid Round-up” maybe? Forget the exact title...
From memory many liked your Sophia with them...I would certainly try that first. My current Soul Supremes have the same drivers and roughly the same specs as the Druid 5s. I’m very successfully using Audion Golden Dream monos (parallel 300Bs), Thoress 845s monos (845s, obviously), and a Melody 845 integrated. All sound fantastic but different due to the tube topology, as you would expect. I bought all 3 based on that thread, I think. I ran a First Watt SIT-2 for about 6 months...the only SS amp I really liked with them, but ultimately never loved it, and sold it a month ago after sitting on it for a couple of years. If solid state is your preference, there’s a new First Watt out that I might try over the SIT if you can demo it...from my reading on it.
Gerrit is awesome. I am very impressed with the customer support they have given me considering I purchased my speakers second hand, and they never try to upsell you (I had at one point considered upgrading the capacitor in them)
Cant wait to hear your impressions and review parsons; especially considering you have soul supremes.
Regarding amps, I have tried a few with good results: Luxman mb3045 monoblocks (kt88 push-pull about 40w) Luxman Mb88u monoblocks (kt88 60w more like a McIntosh Design) and Luxman kmq7 (sort of an old dynaco design) All sounded good.
I asked Gerrit his recommendations when I was exploring 300b stuff, he wrote:
”The 300B should work no problem on the Druid. The ones we’ve found work well are the Melody 300B mono blocks with the Western Electric tubes and also the Audion Silver Night Anniversary/Special edition.”
i will say these speakers, in general, are very sensitive to everything upstream. DAC, pre, amps, etc are all noticeable. It’s taught me a fair amount about tuning a system.
Of course this is all personal preference, but I agree that these speakers allow you to really expand the front-ends and continue to hear the improvements provided. What's impressed me is that I've made rather significant upgrades over the last 2-3 years, and the speakers keep revealing the improvements without feeling like they are a weak point that is holding the whole system back.
I have several pretty significant headphone rigs to run in parallel to these speakers, using the same front-ends and sometimes the same pre-amp, and I'm impressed at how tonally and emotionally similar these speakers are in comparison to the high-end headphones sets I have. I hear the same improvements through the speakers that I do through the high-end headphone rigs--that says something to me.
This is also a totally personal preference, but in my experience, if you can get a significantly good, dynamic, and clean 300b amp (or monos) in front of these level Zu speakers, it's truly something you'll be emotionally engaged in and have a hard time beating if you like the dynamic-yet-not-fatiguing and super emotionally engaging sound. Add a well-matched pre-amp, and I suspect you will walk out of the majority of high-end show rooms with systems costing 3x what you have in yours, and not feel like you'd trade straight-up for them. In many cases you won't even like the hi-fi sound coming from them that will be SUPER evident to you after you've had a properly matched Zu kit.
I'm not a Zu fanboy. I have had Zu speakers sound like total crap, btw, so I'm merely reiterating previous points that the higher-end speakers in their line can be amazing when properly matched.
Really interesting feedback Parsons, and clearly my experience isn’t unique in terms to their sensitivity to the rest of the system.
Ive upgraded everything else around my setup now: running a Luxman DA06 DAC, a Luxman c600 preamp, and some vintage Luxman MB88u monoblocks. (60w KT88 push-pull) I really wonder and go back and forth if a SET amplifier would be better; I listen to a lot of modern indie and rock and the while the Zus do well with little power, they really can kick out some crazy dynamics with some power. Wish I knew someone with a good 300b setup I could borrow for a day!
I love KT-88s too, and I am not at all surprised the Luxman stuff is turning out to be awesome for you. Since you have the itch already, I will tell you, I ran PrimaLuna integrateds (2 different models) with the Zus (loved them with the Zus), and eventually upgraded the Dialog Premium HP to KT150s from KT88s. The KT150s are a bit better than the 88s in most regards, and worse in none. Bigger stage, even better dynamics, a little better clarity. The 88s are very good...my only reason to mention is that you should try some different stuff if you love the KT88 sound like I do, but want to hear where you could go with different tube topologies. I haven't heard the Luxman stuff, but I have no doubt it's very top notch and so I don't want to push you by suggesting you're leaving a bunch on the table...that would be like telling someone with a really nice 535i that they're really missing out by not getting a 540i. Or a 7 series. Or an M3. They're all great, but different.
I was where you are about 12 months ago--no friends with low-power tubes or local shops that carried anything I could demo. I don't know about your budget, so this may not be an option for you, but I read for months and months and rolled the dice on a couple different used amps, none of which I was disappointed with in the end. I settled on a used pair of parallel 300B monos (Audion Golden Dreams with some upgraded caps) that were highly recommended on this site by some that appear to be serious experts at powering Zu's higher-end stuff. But the two 845 amps I bought are really close and great in their own rights.
The good news is that the used market for 300Bs seems strong, and if for some reason you didn't love it, I suspect you could get what you paid pretty quickly. Might be an experiment worth taking if you can't find a dealer to loan you some. 845s are also interesting...I found them to be nicely between the sound of the KT150s (and KT88s) and the 300Bs.
OK, so my Druid VIs arrived--days before I expected.
Way too soon for serious reactions, but they sound really good (perhaps great?) cold out of the box. I have no idea how long they burned in at the factory, but they do have the tell-tale "just slightly slow" sound that brand new speakers all seem to have for me...songs you know super well sound just the slightest bit off from a timing perspective. This usually goes away with 12-24 hours in my experience.
Tonally they still sound like awesome high-end Zus, but I might suggest that (at this second) they tilt just the slightest bit more toward the pinpoint accurate and detailed hi-fi sound. That statement is not really a compliment coming from me--but don't read too much into it--they don't sound like hi-fi speakers that I despise. I'm also only about 9 feet from them and I think they will ease a bit with break-in and also gain a little more front-to-back depth in a day or two.
They look frickin' amazing, btw. My mother-in-law happened to be over when my son and I unpacked them, and actually said "gosh, those are really good looking speakers."
More to come as they break-in.
Black Hole Black Matte. My Undertone is Matte Black Nextel and I would have assumed them to be the same, but maybe I’ll look closer and see if there’s a discernible difference. They’re both really awesome looking. I think my Soul Supremes are the same as the Undertone. The matte black is stunning on these speakers. My Unions are gloss black, which is also really sharp, but the mattes are killer.
Sounds nice! My Druids are Piano black.. but I feel the VI might lend itself to the matte finishes better. I also sort of struggle with an additional $2K for the gloss finishes on the VI.
Is it possible for you to post pictures on here? I tried to send you a PM but I guess that isn't a feature on audigons forum.
As hoped and expected, the "edge" is coming off these nicely as the hours roll through. Timing is right now...no perception of drag in the timing like the first couple of hours. The soundstage is pushing back into the room and past the back wall more every hour, and there's even more air and ease between the instruments. Decay is improving and at times is stunning. As I've noticed in past improvements, I'm not aware I'm turning the volume up a lot higher because the cleanliness and music doesn't sound "shouty". No complaints from the family that it's too loud, even thought it's at higher volumes than before.
They are already a clear upgrade over my Soul Supremes, which are killer speakers that I still love dearly. I'm definitely noticing more sparkle up top with cymbals, and in spite of being more pinpoint on some details, they're losing the hi-fi'ness I was noting when fresh out of the box. I expect that to disappear completely over the next few days based on the first 12 hours or so.
Nice... keep the updates coming. Right now you are carrying the torch on this forum for Druid VI owner impressions!
I've been tempted to get Druids. I love my DefHeads (top half of Def IV's) to death, and I also enjoy cranking my Omen DW's. I just sold my Superflys as they were spending too much time on the sidelines. I really enjoyed my Superflys, but they are a bit more fussy than the Omens or the DefHeads.
I've always been curious about Zu's matte finishes. Having gloss finish on my Superflys always made me nervous... too easy to get marked up. My parents would come visit and set something on top of them and it would drive me crazy. Walnut and hickory finishes make me breathe much easier. My hickory Omens almost look indestructible. With that said if I were to get Druids I'd probably get V's mostly due to budget but also because I don't think Zu offers wood finishes for the VI.
I can confirm the gloss black and the matte black are both stunning in their own rights--I have Zus in both (two sets and a sub in matte). I'm currently favoring the matte but that's obviously a personal thing. I can't imagine anyone being anything but in love with either.
Ironically I'm a mid-century walnut fanboy, and I've never ordered a pair in the walnut.
I have not been able to play these 24x7 as I've had family working to pack up my house during most days (and they didn't want to listen to music, apparently), and so I'm guessing I maybe only have 30 hours or so on them so far.
At 20 hours or so, I felt like maybe tonally the speakers were tilted just slightly toward the upper registry at that part of the break-in. I didn't feel like I was hearing the same midrange growl and oomph that I was used to from the full-range drivers in their speakers. Piano strikes felt a little thin, maybe? Maybe? It wasn't bright or biting, but voices maybe just felt a tiny bit tilted upward tonally. Total speculation but maybe the two drivers were burning in at slightly different paces.
10 hours more now and I feel like it's coming back into the Zu balance you would want/expect (assuming you're buying the Zus for that particular balance). As mentioned previously, the hints of pinpoint "hi-fi" sound are totally gone thank goodness, but they are definitely even more detailed than my Soul Supremes.
The soundstage is physically taller than the one produced by my Soul Supremes, which is to be expected given their physical height differences. It feels natural, not exaggerated. It's still maybe a little more forward than I would ultimately prefer in my small 11' wide room, but that has moved back (improved) with time, so maybe it will continue with further burn-in.
Probably the biggest single difference, aside from detail, that I'm hearing between the SS's and the Druid VIs is the amount of decay. The VIs are seeming to have an even blacker background that it really allowing a nice, natural decay...to a degree I haven't had before.
As the break-in continues, I'll turn the Undtertone off and try to get a feel for the low-end and report on that.
Glad to hear these are progressing nicely!
@missioncoonery is it a common thing to think of eminence drivers are junk? Not looking for a flamewar.. just curious given Zu speakers have a lot of fans, and they have been using eminence for a very long time. That said.. their eminence speaker when its all said and done is not very garden variety.
Parsons, very good to hear that with break in the tonal density and “shove” that Zu is famed for is coming along, but with added benefit of more natural decay etc.
This suggests to me Zu are successfully mating their core DNA with a more mature sound incorporating greater delicacy, microdynamic shadings, less colouration.
Ive been running Definitions for a decade now, first the Mk2, and since 2012 the Mk4 (latter upgraded with Duelund caps and Lundahl transformers to the integral Hypex sub amps).
Ive spent a small fortune, and lost a lot of hair sorting a really good audio room/isolated power grid, and the Definitions have absolutely benefitted, transformed even.
Im v much looking forwards to when the new Zu flagship Experiences are released in the next 12-24 months.
If they maintain what you’re hearing in your new Druid VI, and provide even more, they will slay.
Congrats on early good news re the new Druids.
Zu does not use off-the-shelf Eminence drivers, they are built to Zu's spec and then Zu does additional assembly. Lots of speaker companies do this. DeVore has SEAS drivers built to spec. To me it's like the choice of a chip in a DAC, it becomes just one of many factors when listening to the end result.
Looks like Srajan has finished his Druid VI review. When I fire up my Srajan translator he seems to be saying Druid VI is more of a hifi speaker that will appeal to more types of audiophiles such as the chamber music crowd, basically a more resolving version of the V.
He mentions more speed and attack, which I think Parsons is also alluding to with the increased decay and blacker backgrounds. This seems astounding, as I considered Superfly to be a lightning-quick speaker to begin with. I need to hear a pair of Druids. Any Druids, LOL
I just read his finalized review. Yes, I suppose we appear to be saying about the same thing...
Assuming the Vs sound like my Soul Supremes (both with the identical drivers, I believe), the VI is slightly more resolving, forward, and perhaps punchy. It's not, to me (any longer, anyway), hi-fi sounding to be clear, but it leans a tad in that direction relative to some of it's Zu brethren (this is my 4th pair), many of which were no slouch in regard to detail. I suppose that might, as suggested, appeal more to the "hi-fi" crowd...who knows. I also don't expect it to be accused of sounding like a guitar amp, as some of the older Zus were by some of those folks.
It has a bit more grip in the corners, perhaps due to it's more-refined traction control, suspension and all-wheel drive, which ultimately let's you go a little faster (louder), perhaps at the expense of a little wheel spin or an ass-end kicking out a bit. That may or may not be what you're ultimately hoping for with your new Zu speakers. But it's still pretty damn fun to drive and impressive, to me anyway.
Parsons, my Zu journey has been Definitions 2 in 2008, to Definitions 4 in 2012, to Duelunds/Lundahls upgrades to the 4 in 2015. Each change has been to greater fidelity with no sacrifice of the Zu dna/usp.
I was just a little concerned that Sjraen’s summing up of the Druid VI possibly suggested Sean may possibly have gone too far with the new Druid in trying to achieve a more palatable speaker to those listeners who might usually be Magico, Wilson or B&W customers.
I’m very glad to see that isn’t the case, that your new Druids VI maintain all the core presentation we love about Zu with more of an evolution towards a more typical list of attributes ie more transparency, delicacy, less colouration.
In the decade I’ve owned Zus, especially since the Definitions 4 with upgrades, and very much since they’ve flowered in my new room, I’ve heard any number of amazing alternatives including brilliantly modded Apogees ribbons, Martin Logan stats, AG Duos and Pnoes horns, and I can honestly say none makes a more compelling case for ownership than my Zus.
That in my book is a Hell of a positive endorsement for continued loyalty to the Zu cause.
I haven't yet heard the Def 4s...I strongly considered a used pair last year, but I ultimately passed as that was prior to my knowing I would have such a large listening space in my new house (I wasn't planning on moving when I considered the Def 4s/ordered the Druid 6s). I simply don't have the space for the Def 4s in my current room. I don't think I made a mistake or would change now that I've heard the 6s--I think they will do fine in a 3x larger space, but I have no doubt I would love the Def 4s too.
I tried to get Sean to put Duelunds in my Druid 6s--I got a very quick response from them via email that said "We really don't think you need them, and if we were you we wouldn't" or something to that effect. I suppose I know why now--they're plenty resolving and detailed enough, which they probably knew at the time. Would LOVE to hear a pair with them, though, just for comparison and "science." Maybe then it would be too much of a good thing?
My local dealer has B&W and I spent an hour with their big boys. The hour was honestly more than I could take, and I don't need to hear them again. I don't mean to offend if you're reading this and you like their sound--it's just really, really not for me. These are far from that.
I've done 2 four-hour stretches with these so far, and zero fatigue. I've only run my Audion Golden Dream parallel 300B monos (18 wpc) with KR Audio XL tubes with them, as my 845 amps are already at my new house. Given their extra oomph and grip, I am kind of tempted to pick up a little sweeter, lower wattage gooey midrange SET (2A3?) just out of morbid curiosity as to how that combo would sound. Would that give these a little more laid back sound?
Parsons, yes the Definitions do need space to breathe.
I have them set up 8’ apart, 4’ from side walls, 9’ from front wall, 12’ from me, another 16’ behind me.
That’s what converting the loft space in a Victorian chapel gives you re dedicated room.
I’m blessed with this space, it’s enabled me to eek out the last iota of goodness from my 4’s.
Re the Duelunds, they massively upped the ante on my 4’s, adding a lot of sweetness and texture to the overall sound, I’d certainly consider them further if I were you.
Your comments on your new Druids maintaining what we all
love about Zu but adding new layers of insight, has really encouraged me to keep my mind open to considering the Definitions successor when Zu release it in the next couple of years.
Like the Defs, I also suspect my new Druids may be feeling a tad constrained in my current space. I played around a tiny bit with the positioning (not much room to work with) and essentially have them now with no toe-in at all, only about 18" from each side wall. As probably expected the "pinpoint" slightly forward accuracy decreased a tiny bit, but there is still the additional level of detail over my previous quite-detailed Zus. I like the sound even better this way.
This probably goes without saying, but one other thing I've failed to mention is that I can hear deeper into the layers of the mixes...each instrument can more easily be discerned and followed, but they still all hold together with the musical cohesion you crave--so it's not distracting, as I've heard with some really detailed equipment.
Loving them for sure. Can't wait to get them in my new space.
Parsons, that’s excellent news. There’s always a danger that if a new product sounds more “nuanced”, “refined”, “accurate” etc, it may lose its joie de vivre, immersiveness, heft, drive.
It sounds like the VIs are not falling prey to improved SQ at the expense of ditching core Zu attributes.
Reports like yours are filling me with confidence that any future Definitions successor from Sean will follow the same pattern.
And the performance I’m wringing out of my 4s really puts a lot of 2-3x pricier rivals to shame.
At half of the Druid 6s (which I now absolutely adore, btw), the Druid 5s would be a heck of a buy, in my opinion. I still LOVE my Soul Supremes, which have all of the same drivers, I think. Both sets of speakers at their current pricing would be a great pickup. If you can afford 2x, I do recommend the Druid 6s.
I'm shocked at how few posts/reviews I'm seeing/finding/reading on the Druid 6s. Perhaps no one is buying them? I'm still extremely impressed with them, and totally glad I made the jump from the Soul Supremes. I'm sadly still without my new listening space due to some renovation issues (contractors here are impossible to hold onto so everything is taking 5x longer than it should to complete). So the 6s are still at the old house (which hasn't sold, also sadly). But first-world problems beget a dedicated listening space that I can now play as absolutely loud as I want to in an otherwise empty house.
I heard a pair of Zu Druid 5s last week at a friends house for the first time, and while I enjoyed them a lot (and think they probably sounded a tad better than my Soul Supremes), I still greatly prefer the Druid 6 sound. I do believe they are a substantial improvement, in Zu levels that is (all of their high-end stuff sounds great, so it's relative). A lot more detail (which seems crazy to say), and a better low and middle-low end all else equal.
Where are the Druid 6 owners?
Zu just shipped me some paint samples for my new VIs and I'll be making my decision on color in the next week or two. We are leaning towards a matte red similar to Zus Sangria color with all black anodizing. My friend took delivery of his VIs after RMAF last year. He had the all black pair that Zu was showing off in their room. I've been over to his house a handful of times and have been blown away at how amazing they sound. Coming from Soul Supremes (which I love) I can't believe how detailed the VIs are down low.
My wife and I are moving to a new home and our listening room will be around 700 sq ft. We are planning to pair the VIs with two undertones and run a dedicated sub amp to help pressurize the space. Based on so many Zu customer reviews, we are going with the Audion 300B SE. I was thinking about snagging a pair of the Golden Dreams that were for sale on Ebay a few weeks ago, but was hesitant because of upgrades that had been done to them. Was that you Parsons?
Back to my impressions of my friends VIs. As Parsons said, the sound stage is noticeably higher than the SS. This is not a bad trait. To me the difference is like listening to a band that is playing at your eye level with the SS compared to a band playing elevated on a stage with the VIs. The VIs outshine the SS in every way in my opinion and that is hard for me to admit. My Soul Supremes were my first Zus and they hold a very special place in my heart. Personally, I'm not a huge fan of the sound he is getting from his amps and I think the 300b tube will be exactly what I am looking for. Every person is different and that is by no means a dig at his awesome rig.
Do you have your new listening room up and running Parsons?
Cottguy, it's fascinating to hear of your early, highly positive impressions. 213Cobra/Phil is due v soon to leave a lengthy in depth ongoing review which will build on yr words.
I've been running Definitions for a decade now, initially the 2, now the 4, w Duelund caps and Lundahls upgrades, and the performance I'm getting in my room is simply staggering.
To think that Sean is truly upping the ante from Druid V to VI can only mean the upcoming Definition VI and totl Experience will be quite something.
I really wanted to leave things as they are. But, but LOL...
I'm really excited to get mine set up in our home and start dialing them in. I'm jealous that you've been running Definitions for a decade! We were initially planning to wait for the Experience to come out, but we decided to sell our home sooner than expected forcing me to sell my Soul Supremes. The Omens are amazing speakers for the money, but after living with the SS, it is just too hard to wait for the Experience to come out. It is going to be very interesting to see how the new driver design trickles down (and up) through their line.
I've been on an amazing journey w Zu. Raucous and exciteable Definitions 2 in my old, v poor acoustic space. Newer more sophisticsted yet familiar full blooded Defintions 4, still hampered by my old space. Move to new, vastly better sounding room, 2 years of optimising inc a critical couple of analog upgrades, and the Zus are reborn, the straight arrow communication, now w vastly better all round performance.
And now we hear Sean is surpassing himself w Druid VI.
@cottguy Believe it or not I'm still in the final stages of renovations on the listening room, but I still have the 6s and a vinyl system set up at the old house (which still hasn't sold). Still loving the 6s. In the final stretch...paint and flooring.
I've got some new amps running across both the 6s and the Soul Supremes--a bespoke 45 SET from Radu Tarta, some upgraded 3.3 M60s OTLs from Atma-Sphere, and a 25th Anniversary Decware. All have strengths and something you might prefer. I think I'm leaning toward the Atma-Sphere M60s for their slam and yet nuanced sound. Perhaps the slightest trade-off in "SET magic" but they have their own magic. I've kept the Thoress 845 monos and Audion 300b Golden Dreams for now and will test them in the new space, but suspect I may prefer one of the previous 3 mentioned.