I’m glad you posted this as I have been very curious about the Zu sound. In speaking with Sean over at Zu and what I’ve read, I would think rock and blues would be right up their alley.
What is your budget? It looks to be around $1500 - $3000 from the speakers you listed.
I don’t really have any recommendations for you. I’m sure folks will chime in here.
Bass is very room-dependent, hence the differing opinions on the bass output of various speakers. Why not just get a sub and cross the Zu over at 100hz or so, which will free up the Zu from having to produce low bass. Worth a try if it's bass you crave. As to a smooth treble, many rock and blues records are mixed pretty bright and when you play them back over a high-end speaker it becomes more obvious. I would try a sub first and see what happens rather than flailing around hoping someone recommends a speaker you can live with.
Room acoustics matter a great deal. They can tighten up the bass and smooth out the treble.
For the latter, use blankets, and try throwing some around on the floor, behind and between your speakers, as well as adding pillows above your sofa, etc. Not permanently, of course. For that I suggest you talk to GIK.
Hate the GE speakers. The opposite of smooth and balanced, and I don't care what the reviewers say.
Good luck! I thought I wanted full range bass in my music room so I grabbed my dolly and brought my ht sub into the room and using test tones I got flat results down to 20 hz and with the freedom to move the mains out I was also able to get the peaks down to a couple db. End result? probably the least musical experience ever! all I could focus on was how much crap in my room rattled! For music I found I actually prefer speakers that roll off around 60 hz for most recordings. Put some treatments on the first reflection points to tame the bright also playing with toe in helps. I had a pair of speakers that actually had to be pointed at my opposite shoulders to tame the treble.
Let me throw this out for your consideration...the ear/brain wants to hear a balance....bass and treble. If for some reason...room, speakers, positioning, etc. there is not enough bass, then the treble is perceived by the brain as being "too bright".
Before you give up on the Zu..s, you might be surprised by what the addition of a sealed subwoofer will do to the overall balance of the sound....with a sub it will seem more open, smoother, less bright....and with the kind of music you prefer, you will be happy you retained the Zu punch which you are less likely to get from any of the speakers you mentioned.
Steve59 mentioned that in his case, he had optimized to get results down to 20hz which made things rattle and not seem musical....my suggestion would be to run the Zu...s full range and then bring the sub in around 60hz and just turn it up slightly...not to shake the room but to add that little bit of deeper low end you are missing....and then after a few days you may turn it up a little more...or maybe even back a little more...but with a little tweaking, you can get a really good blended sound with the Zu..s
Eric is right...before doing anything expensive try the cheap way.... move around furniture, pieces of carpet, speakers, and you'll be amazed at the difference something will make. I moved 2 padded chairs, which made the system really sing with lows that shake the house.
Adding a sub will net you far more bass than just changing speakers.
If yogi you decide to change speakers, the GE Triton 3+ would be your best bet. You can dial in the amount of bass you like.
I agree with genesis777-- add a sub first! I added 2 JL Audio E-110's and the change is amazing. Not only does it add bass, and highly refined and not boomy bass, but also increases dynamics and slam. I listen to rock mostly and have a pair of Raidho XT-2's and they are fantastic-- but they also benefitted from the JL Audio subs. And the subs aren't expensive at all--- only $1500 each, or $1750 in gloss black. Highly recommended. You do have to dial it in with phase adjustments and crossover level, but once you have it dialed in-- they are amazing.
Another +1 for adding a sub.
I recommend REL. I was in the same situation and wanted to upgrade my speakers to bigger floorstanders but adding a proper sub solved my problems. Its been said countless times that crossover setup and volume configuration can be a PIA though.
For the brightness try swapping out interconnects? Sometimes that helps.
Form the list of spk i've not heard the golden ears for a very long time so would not comment if the bass is active they might float your bass bit. The deftech don't think will fill the need for smooth highs & fast bass either. The PMC ive heard many times they do have smoother highs but the bass has a lot of textural details so if you like what i'm saying they might be a better pick of the lot.
But bass is dependant on many things. Not sure what the rest of your chain is & neither the room bit. So it would help to understand & sort those things as well if possible.
All the best.
I am surprised no one promotes the idea of master setting speakers. This can make a big difference. After doing this, I would add a pair of REL T/9i subwoofers and play them in stereo to create a bigger sound stage. I was told two are much better than one. I will be curious to hear what others thing, as I am a beginner and there is so much knowledge and experience in this group.
Some toilet paper over the tweeters will soften the highs. Old jbl tweek!
I agree with the many others that suggest a sealed sub. Beware of REL many of their models have a passive radiator which can have disastrous effects on low mid clarity. checkout Soundoctor.com white papers for some excellent information about subs.
I also agree with Eric that room acoustics matter a greatly.
Cheap old tweek that is not a subtle difference is to put morlite caulk rope on speaker basket. Put it on heavy on driver basket and tweeter, certainly if it is stamped metal basket even heavy basket will benefit. Also using it as a gasket for a tight fit between driver and speaker cabinet will help. To me the bass is bigger and more solid, image is better and seems like it drops noise floor a little.
We need more details. Source, amp, cables, power cords, room size, preferred sound signature and taste of music. Also, how loud you usually listen to.
Room acoustics is always very important, of course. If you decide to go with subs, yes, two subs is almost always preferable but you can start with one.
In my system I can demonstrate how one power cord on the integrated amp adds or subtracts bass, to put other things aside for now. I mean both the bass quality and how low it can go. In other words, everything matters, some things more and some less.
Still, you might find that you have to replace your speakers.
Another + for move the speakers and listening seat around to find the missing bass. The room gives half of what you will hear. Chances are you will find what you are seeking.
But then, if you just have the itch to buy new speakers...
You'll still have to experiment with positioning...
And the cycle continues ad infinitum...
upgrade your power cable to the Server or Power supply same P.Cable on DAC Well it's what i did to get everything right better Bass also Eddie
Sounds like a job for a subwoofer. The best subs are made by Audiokinesis; the system is called 'The Swarm'. Its four rather small subwoofers. Two are placed near your regular speakers, the other two are placed asymmetrically in your room. The idea is to kill the standing wave that often exists in many rooms. By doing so you get well defined uniform bass everywhere in the room. Its quite effective! And Duke's speakers are always reasonably priced.
Davey??? We lost Davey.....
The great thing about speakers are: they don't know what type of music they're playing. They either show you how the music/movie was recorded, or they add or take away from what you're hearing in the recording. Does a voice sound like a voice - then it's probably right.
Speakers are an instrument much like a piano or guitar. The electronics are who is playing the instrument. Some instruments don't sound good with the musician playing it. Hand a Taylor guitar to Jeff Beck, Eddie Van Halen, Eric Clapton, Chet Atkins, you're going to get four different sounds out of it, but someone is going to make that guitar sing and sound right. The instrument may have the tone you like, but the electronics can change the perspective. But again, the system doesn't know what type of music it's playing. The human voice is the one instrument everyone is an expert on and I say listen to that and the system, or the speakers, or the electronics will tell you everything you need to know. Then you'll understand how big of a variance there is in recordings and soundtracks.
Check out Paradigm's Premier or Prestige Series.
Dear @daveyonthecoast : Your Zu speakers in reality can't gives you or handled the bass range you are looking for. In reality its works as a small monitor speaker and the manufacturer specs confirm it:
Bandwidth: 45 – 22 kHz " no one could ask for bass true bass with your speaker, it's a design limitation in its price market price.
I never heard that Zu model but I can think that over 80hz could be a good performer.
What your Zu speakers need is to add/integrates a pair of self powered subs system wired in true stereo fashion. You don't need anything else as could be to buy new speakers.
Look for subs that comes with high-pass filter because you will need it.
Regards and enjoy the MUSIC NOT DISTORTIONS,