from Zu Druids to....

with all the talk about Zu's new lineup I thought there might be some experience and thoughts about the upgrade I am contemplating from Druid iV's to Audio Note HE's. Anyone done this? I am running my system with a 300b set amp plus tube preamp so need high efficiency. Plan is to listen first - probably in the next week or two. The Audio Notes are quite a bit more expensive and the Druids do a lot right so not sure this is a going to be a clear cut decision. Have considered lots of the alternatives such as Definitions, see even a deal on the discontinued Essence's plus a variety of horns, etc.
I am an AN-SPe/HE owner, and someone who has heard the Druids for several extended listening sessions. I think your idea of listening to the Audio Note speakers is a good one. There's a definite difference between the house sound of Zu Audio and Audio Note.

While I prefer the Audio Note sound, I am aware of at least one other Audiogon member who went from Audio Note to Zu Audio and is very happy with the switch.

If you have the right room with corners to place the speakers as AN likes then you can not go wrong with the HE's. Just don't buy/get the dumb ass speaker stands they sell. Get the Sistrum stands or research some other stand to place them on.

Last yr. @ RMAF the AN room was smoking with deep tight bass with a corner setup. If I had the right room I would have never sold my AN speakers. Hard to find used but they do show up here on the Gon. If you have the $$$ buy the high $$$ AN speakers for sale here.

The Zu Druids I have never heard. I took a blind leap of faith and bought the Presence speakers and I am glad I did. In my room/setup they have performed flawlessly. Bass to die for with dynamics that rock the house. They don't have the midrange glory of the AN but have a live upbeat sound that one can listen to for hrs. without fatigue.

I have my Presence speakers up for sale only to buy the DEF. 1.9.

Go to RMAF and hear both. After having both speakers I can hear the house sound of both @ the show every yr. I have gone.
I'd love to go to RMAF - on my must do list one of these years, every year I think about it but never make the plans. Glory thanks for advice on the stands - I was considering buying the AN stands as well. I find the dynamics of the Druids and bass (I also have a Method sub) something I never tire of. Have opportunity for a slightly used ANE locally - sense I get is that I will trade some of the excitement of Druids for midrange and a more solid performer top to bottom. I have a great room that is about 18 x 27 feet with corners, the room works well for pretty much any speaker I have had in it from Thiels to Green Mountain Audio to the Druids.
The importance of corners for the AN speakers cannot be overstated. Corners are crucial to proper bass extension, balance and control. There is at least one other Audiogon member I'm aware of who ultimately gave up on Audio Note speakers because he did not have a room conducive to placement of the AN speakers.

Unless you have a room with corners, I'd look at other speaker options. Based on the experiences of other previous AN speaker owners in these threads, trying to dial in the sound of Audio Note speakers without corners is a frustrating endeavor.

If you have corners, then absolutely listen to AN speakers as a good option.

I use sand filled Audio Note stands, and I have no issues with them. I live in Southern California...a place prone to earthquakes, so for me the ability to "lock" the speakers onto stands (with small dots of BluTak) to add stability was an important consideration.
If you can pick them up around the corner (pun) and have corners then buy the AN speakers without hearing them LOL they are that good. They will draw you into the music with the right pre/amp.

If you are in the West coast I would research a different stand then Sistrums. If you want the best out of AN speakers then do your homework on the stands. After hearing the sonic upgrade from the AN stands to the Sistrums I was pissed that AN had made such sh... stands and sold them to me.