Did anyone hear the Zu room at CES/THE 2011?

I did. The first time I listened, they were playing the giant $45k (Dominance?) speakers, biamplified with a pair of Pass Labs XA30.5s. I thought they sounded excellent. Then I went back, and wasn't so impressed witht he sound. I saw that they had replaced the Pass with a 2.5 Watt SET amp (I think the internal sub was still powered by a Pass). To me, the life, energy, resolution, and naturalness just wasn't there. At least one other person there who had heard both said he preferred the tube amp, saying it "made him feel more connected to the music." I wanted to say, "No, the king is naked! You're just saying that because you think you're supposed to," but I didn't. I recognize that he may have heard something I didn't. Apparently, others thought the same as him, because they left the tube amp in for the rest of the show. So my question is, was I the only one who thought the Pass sounded better?
Yes Like you I heard both versions-- I must admit I did not care for either--Zu's frankly are sort of uninvolving and I cannot "gel" with them.

Those big fella's they were demonstrating sounded as if the drivers had been cobbled together in a box to make music come out-

I put Zu in same category as DeVore bland and boring

There are better out there.

Not sure I recall ever hearing anyone describe DeVore as bland and boring, or even dis them at all. But that's been my impression the few times I've heard them.
Hi Team212,

Every ones ears are different, but "uninvolving" would be the farthest from what I would describe Zu as. I have Omen Defs
and they are very involving! Rich, open, airy, super dynamic, and most of all musical. My guess is something was up with the synergy of the system, or set up, or a combo of things?? But, I have never heard the Dominance so cannot speak for them, but, my experience with Zu has been fantastic, and I have owned many speakers.

What speakers do you own?
Morning Glory,

Easy boys!-- don't want to upset the applecarts just he did ask for

opinions and I fully understand the speakers I mentioned will /could

mate superbly with other first rate ancillary equipment.

I'm simply stating my observations and my reasoning for not putting them on my prospective lists-and

decisions made with my own music Compilations.

Harbeth, ProAcs and SF Guarneri's at present.

Just sold Big Rockports ( my Shindo amp not quite powerful enough!) before that Avalons, Wilson, SoundLab,

B+W, Stacked Quads,Snell AIIIs,Dahlquist, Klipschorns,Dayton

Wrights, Chartwells/etc.

Good Listening,

Hi Again,

Sorry Thought I should mention what I do consider a fine current well

priced speaker "out there"

Green Mountain Audio

Just for perspective, what rooms did you like at CES/THE? My favorites were Hansen and Tidal.
I found the DeVore room interesting in that he was playing a new, unusual sounding speaker. When playing a certain type of music, I guess you'd call it ragtime maybe? Early 20th century style folk music, they sounded quite realistic, but with other types of music, didn't sound very good at all. I suspect they had colorations that worked well with that type of musical recording, but showed themselves as colorations on other types.

A lot of speakers you have/had.Were the speKers you sold boring?

What front end was on the Dominance?
Yoh Hon, Yes the Tidal Diaceras were letting the music Flow effortlessly the room--I prefer them to the bigger Sunrays-they seemed to envelope the room rather than the Musical experience( latter in the Constellation room)

Hansens-not so much-- I'd vote for the Martens over them-but I would'nt own either- they seem to be pushing the sound out rather than freeflowing--if you get my grift!

The Avalons were their usual refined selves -but after owning Charles Hansens marvellous Ascent II's i'm beginning to think they've gone too smooth and syrupy. I own original SF Guarneris- if you compare these to the newer Mementos- it is like chalk and cheese--they got it right the first time.

The Evolution Acoustics were spectacular-- for $2K a bargain but I'd like to hear them without JTinn's
bag of tricks in the mix-- they sounded far better in that room than they should have!

Sorry to be a Party Pooper but take a listen to the ProAcs particularly the Carbon 6's--my pick for best in
show 2010 CES and the lesser ones this year still at least filled the room and appeared superb in their projection--unlike 90% of the offerings that seemed constipated to deliver any meaningful emotion

The medium Vandersteens I like --but sadly not the Big Red Ones-- once again the constipated syndrome-likewise the Wilson Alexandrias.
On the other hand the Sashas unlike it's predecessors were lively,clean and showing great speed and dynamics

Like I said Green Mountain Audio-- fine products-always engaging when I've heard them

The 1.7 Maggies gotta be best bang for the buck out there-- longevity has it's rewards.

So my pick of the speakers at 2011 LV

The Beta Kondo field Coil.

Good Luck with your quest

Hi Team,

I personally was not upset up at all about your
opinion on the Zu's. There are a hundred variables
to consider as we all know. I have mine singing in my
room with just Emotiva gear.
Many great speakers out there for sure! BTW.. I agree (somewhat)
on the Green Mountains. Owned Europa ( 3 pair..loved) Callisto (fair),and C-3 (hated). Like you said, no perfect
speaker exists!

Happy Easter!
Hi Again G,

Nah-just the usual Audiophool "upgraditis!" thinking the grass is greener with the next product--over a fair few years now that list.
Nope can't say any were boring-some tried to bore a hole in my head with overly etched output --but they were quickly tamed or disposed of--Ha!

The Dominance room if I recall had Pass Amp and aTube Pre--but cannot remember the name.

Good Listening

Have a read on here and the Zu site about just what happened at that show and you'll be mightily impressed they showed up let alone stayed. Zu speakers are probably the most engaging speakers I've heard but the Dominance was very much there by the skin of its teeth.
Team - I agree on the Tidals, and they were playing some really good music, and seemed to enjoy playing my music. I listened to the orange Vandies, but they were playing them so loud, I couldn't stand it. Even when they lowered them, I thought it still too loud to really form an opinion. Where the heck was Green Mountain? I've wanted to hear them for years, but have never had the chance. I would have made a point of seeking them out if I had known. The Maggie room was defintiely memorable - more resolution and control than anything I've ever heard. They were playing symphonic / piano music that would sweep up into a giant crescendo, then stop. The way the reverb continued on after teh sudden stop of the main sound was like nothing I've ever heard. I don't think I could love them, though. I suspect the sound I was hearing from them at CES would have become fatiguing after a while, but it's hard to say. Very intimidating room; I didn't dare ask them to play my plain old CD. Were they using hi-res digital?
MaHughes - I took a look around here and the Zu site but couldnt' find anything. What happened? Do you have a link?