Krell amp with Zu Essence speaker

I currently have Krell Evolution 400 monoblocks. I have ordered Zu Essence speakers. Will these two work together? I see most reviewers of the Zu use low power tube amps. Will this amp hurt the Zu?
No,unless you get crazy with the volume knob.
Kinda overkill, isn't it? Zu specs state
Average Room / Moderate Volume 2 - 8 Watt
Large Room / Loud 8 - 30 Watt
Large Room / Concert Level 30 - 80 Watt
At least you won't have to worry about clipping and distortion!
With reference to Tpreaves's post, a problem you could have is that you won't be able to move your preamp's volume knob very far before you have earth-shaking volumes. I don't know what preamp you use, but many that use standard attentuators sound their best as you get about half-way (12 o'clock) on the volume knob, and some that use resistors (like my Jadis) may have much larger increases in volume for the first portion of the volume knob, with the finer gradations in attenuation/volume control as you get closer to and beyond the 12 o'clock position. In the latter case, it would potentially be more difficult for you to have just the right volume for your listening if you are stuck between 6 and 9 on the volume control.
Other than the potential volume issue as Rcprince noted, the Krell is a better impedance match than typical tube amps. From JA's measurements:
With tube amplifiers having the usual high source impedance, the disparity between the impedance in the mid-treble and that above 10kHz will shelve the top octave down.
Yeah it depends on the pre.It might be overkill.Some might want to use those Krells (or another amp they like such as the Parasound JC1 also400 watts) and then use passive pre so as to be able to attenuate volume not just a small amount and lose fine control.Passives which some like for neutrality but I have never do to lack of dynamics and bass.Zu has some wild spread on their speakers being able to run off SET 8 watts but rated to handle up to 300 or 200 continuous.So being careful you probably won't damage them but might have limited volume attenuation (like I have with a KRC2/KSA300 Krell but that because the pre output is to high a gain which is what RCprince was talking about but for mine it's over the full knob spectrum).Just my opinion but using those amp on a $3,500 speaker is kind of waste (but with Krell your going to get bass "grip" like no other and hear what those woofers can do).
If you have heard and like the Essence why not think about selling amps and match everything up best for Zu's?I always think speaker choice first amp and pre that match up to it's needs.It's a flexible speaker and you can choose a lot of gear to use with it but 400 watt amps I dunnuh know....
Thanks for all your input. Within a year I plan on buying Revel Ultima2 speakers and think the Krells that I already have will work well with them. I bought the Zu's on a whim because they seemed unique. I currently have Paradigm S8 speakers that I use with the Krells. I heard Emotiva has new small 200 watt monoblocks for $329 each that might go well with the Zu's.
Did you get a listen to the Essence yet? I bought a pair a little over a month ago. Will be another month before I receive them. My situation is quite a bit different- I have all tube gear and a MastersounD Compact 845 SET amp- about 30 wpc. I chose the Essence because I want to experiment with a high efficiency design, since I have a low power system. With that Krell, you may find yourself needing earplugs...that thing is gonna be ear splitting. You should easily be able to generate spl's in excess of 120 db with that rig. Ouch. It's gonna be like having the Concorde take off in front of your face. Have fun. An advance purchase of hearing aids may be in order, too. Zu says the Essence can handle up to 300 wpc, I believe....not that you'll ever get there without an incredible amount of pain, but having the reserve is always nice. And if you don't like the neighbors, well, you've just created the perfect weapon with which to attack them.
I have not listened to the Essence yet. I am new to this hobby. I have never even heard a tube amplifier. I would like your opinion when you get your Zu's.
Absolutely. I'll let you know. Should be here by mid-March. I imagine yours are on the manufacturing line right now, too. You may want to try a tube amp with the Essence. They're designed for that, and the 12 ohm load they present is right up a tube amp's alley. With Krell, you've got some of the best solid state stuff out there. Tubes are another ballgame. You will someday need to check it out. I have a Jeff Rowland amp sitting idle. After I got the MastersounD, there was just no going back to solid state. The Rowland is purely a backup now.
If you are committed to solid state and ZU, I'd recommend giving Pass Labs FirstWatt series of amplifiers serious consideration. Aleph J or the F1-F5 amps. They were designed with high efficiency speakers in mind.
I got to listen to the Essence during Ron's Zu House Party Tour and we pushed everything through them up to 250 watts and they really shined with the extra power. They try to package it with a Peachtree Nova but in the opinion of everyone who was listening we pulled it out and hooked up an old Classe amp and a Butler TDB2250 using a Modwright pre then a Bella Max from Response Audio and the sound just took off. The Essence is a speaker that I would consider if and when I decide to upgrade. Totally amazed at the sound reproduction from these speakers. Wait until you get them ,you will be amazed.
Hope so. Should be about two weeks now. Shouldn't need a lot of power with these. Most speakers need to get over the 100 dB mark to really start to sing and exhibit their best. With the Essence, that should take about two watts of power. Full range speakers are odd, though. Seems like you either like them or hate them. Which is why I went with Zu- you don't like 'em, you have 60 days to return them for a full refund. Not a bad deal, a two month in house demo. Who else offers that?
If you are new to high end audio

And you already have a set of ZU Essences

And you have never heard a tube amplifier

Then you owe it to yourself to try one out on that speaker!

In most rooms with many tube amps they will play as loud as you can stand to be in the room, with power to spare.
Absolutely. My Essence just arrived today. Great match for my MastersounD Compact 845 amplifier. Detailed, smooth, great soundstage and imaging, and plenty loud with only 30 wpc.
Afc, could you comment on the sound of the Essence?
The first thing that struck me was the detail. Can hear stuff that really wasn't obvious with my monitors. The highs are silky smooth- much better than the cone drivers on the monitors. Good bass- not thundering, but solid. Excellent soundstage and imaging. Negatives? They seem, compared to the Aliantes, a bit sloppy in the mids once in a while. Perhaps sloppy is a bad term- jumbled is more like it. But that's fairly minor, and the details and sounstaging plusses compensate more than enough. It's more like "live" music. Doesn't seem manufactured at all.
Donzi, did you get your Essence yet? What finish did you get? Need some pics, man! Had some time to really air it out the past few days. I will absolutely guarantee you one thing- if you hook those babies up to those Krell monoblock monsters, you will damage your hearing if you turn them loose. My ears are ringing with only 30 wpc- and I haven't even come close to having the volume knob halfway up yet. The louder these speakers go, the better they seem to sound. They really seem to open up at higher volumes without losing any detail, soundstage or imaging. The imaging, in particular, is fantastic. Sounds pop out from all over the room, not just the center. I think you'll really like them. I know I do. For me, it was a great choice as a main speaker. Need to listen to some Legacy Focus HD's- I've heard some fantastic things about them, but I've never had the privilege of listening to them. Not a big price jump from the Essence, and although the load is only 4 ohms, they're very steady. The Essence, rated at 12 ohms and 9 ohms nominal impedence, has a pretty funky impedence curve- there's a dip to about 4 ohms for the ribbon tweeter component.
I did get the Zu Essence speakers few weeks ago. I got the desert dune with black accents. The color is the only bad thing about the my Zu's. The brown and black looks very institutional. I am running them with my Krells. The sound definitely is forward with an airy and open mid-range. I love the highs. I am interested in hearing them with tube amps. I can't imagine the sound getting much better with tubes. I also have a pair of revel F12s that can't match the Zu's mid-range open airy sound. The Zu's ribbon tweeter is a step above the Revels tweeter. The Revel does have just a tad more low end solidity than the Zu's. I am very happy with my Zu's. I do still worry that somehow I might be damaging the speakers with my big Krells. For fun I will be hooking up a Rel subwoofer this week to work with the Zu's. I usually use the sub with the Revel F12's only.


What color did you get? I should have spent the extra $800 on an upgraded color.
Jet black gloss upgrade. Pic up on the "my system" link. I like the JL sub with the Essence. Set the low pass frequency at about 75 Hz, it sounds very good. Augments the low end of the Essence quite nicely.

I doubt you'll damage them with the Krells. It would get painfully loud before you even get close to overdriving them, or even straining them. Mine are loud with only 30 wpc. I can't imagine what 350 would be like. You're talking about more than a 9 dB jump with that sort of power. It would be brutal.
you might try McIntosh instead of the Krells if you wish to stay with solid state. more synergy indeed.
anyone here running the Essence with Peachtree Nova? I have the nova and looking to upgrade to the Essence
I don't think there is anything you can do to make a Zu sound....ummm... different.
I run them with a Moon i-3 integrated and they are just great. I will purchase a good SET when the piggy bank is full and improve on the Moon CD-1's DAC with either an Eastern Electric DAC+ or an AudioNote DAC. Moon is fab with the Essence speakers. I understand the Nelson Pass J2 is as well if you want to go with solid state. The speaker can harmonize well with both types of amplification.
I was thinking of trying the Essence. What is your strength vs weakness opinion on them?
I currently have Focal 918s. Just curious how they may compare?
Probably overkill but definitely should work.

I'd be interested in how the results sound compared to the kinds of tube amps often used with those and other high eff. speakers.

Donzi2000 I'm looking for those wood trims for my XPA-1 amps, please help me, let me know where I can get them.