Did anyone to go to the Napa, California, Zu House Party to pre-launch the Zu Experiences? If so, any thoughts?
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I wasn't able to get to NorCal to hear the first public prototype of the Experience, but I did see Sean a few days before when he passed through SoCal. There is still significant work to be done on converting the one-off prototype design to a serially producible speaker that also works economically. The basic objective is to combine something reasonably close to Definition's practical packaging with as much of Dominance's scale, focus and clarity as possible, without losing any of Zu's trademark tone density. Having heard Dominance, and from what I know of the design and manufacturing decisions for Experience, plus the direction Definition has taken through it's last three versions, I believe when Experience is released later this year, those who hear it will consider the objectives fully met.
Phil, greetings, I haven't read anything new from you since the initial flurry of positive comments on the Def 4, some 3 years ago.
If it's of any interest, I modded the 4's initially by replacing the stock spikes w/Symposiuim Acoustics Rollerblocks. Then the Zu-approved Duelund Cast caps to the Radian supertweeters high-pass filters network. And then Lundahl transformers to the Hypex sub amp Class D modules.
These changes transformed the 4s from amazing to stellar, esp opening up a level down in the bass that was just not present before. And some sweetening of the Radians, allowing a more airy presentation.
So I'm fascinated to know how the new Experiences are going to top all this. Sean I know is keeping his cards close to his chest, but surely you can reveal a LITTLE about what the design choices are likely to be.
Esp in trying to squeeze Dominance-territory performance into a Definitions-sized package.
Zu had their Experience prototype at Rocky Mountain Audio fest, being driven by a Peachtree amp. I was fortunate enough to hear it, and I must say, I was very, very impressed. There wasn't a speaker in the show that came close to producing its sound stage, and in my mind, it was one of the top three speakers in the show. This is a remarkable speaker, but sadly, it's far out of my price range.
Have been in some discussion w Sean of Zu who has permitted me to release some info
First, the front firing 18" at RMAF prototype likely to be replaced by twin 12" side firing subs, the FRDs likely to roll off at 35Hz to them, and good down to well below 20Hz
There will be built in amplification, but Zu are recommending outboard amps for the subs, at present 20W/ch First Watt B7 seems to be the amp of choice chez Zu. This is because Sean has boosted the efficiency of the subs to that nearly approximating the FRDs, '00s of Watts not needed anymore An outboard low pass filter box will be provided for sub amps using analog filters w greater range of adjustability than current Def 4's
The paper drivers are having some tech at bleeding edge. I'm not at liberty to explain fully, but end result will be massive increase in stiffness w no increase in weight
Lastly, the cabinet will be maxxed for stiffness w ply/resin molded monococque/carbon fibre impregnation multicoring, to max stiffness while remaining light, yet providing a massive anchor to the twin subs
This all suggests to me some thinking from the kind of cabinets used by Vivid Giya and Rockport
All in all, Sean is confident the final released design will maintain the traditional Zu dna of tonal density and verve associated w high efficiency and lack of energy sapping x'overs, with greater dynamic continuity btwn FRDs and higher efficiency subs, greater bass-room integration with the side firing subs, and ability to portray lower level info/micro dynamics with the cabinet rigidity/inertness realised by multicore technology
All in all, a proper set of engineering objectives met to justify the serious price tag of $30k, if Sean's enthusiasm is anything to go by
For my part, the dramatic step up Def 2s to 4s was significant, and Sean claims the Experiences well exceed that margin when going to them from the 4s
I totally trust him on this claim