New Zu Audio Soul Supreme Speakers


Hey All,

Just got a new set of Soul Supremes...finally after a long wait to match up with my Undertone. All in American Walnut!

https://photos.app.goo.gl/oCWkegRgbAed85a47

Still getting used to the sound - good, detail, imaging and dynamics. But have noticed what seems like some slight quality control and/or consistency issues.

My Undertone has great looking veneer, but came with a non trivial gash in the veneer. Zu was cool enough to create a small discount for the issue to apply to my Soul Supremes. The speakers then, came with some small but questionable changes to the construction. Instead of clean looking buttoned screws for the connector plate that is used on all other products...they use larger Philips head screws that don’t seat flush. Im told from Zu thats the new standard? Also the veneer doesn’t seem to match the quality previously used on the Undertone.

Anyone else recently picked up speakers from Zu and having the same experiences?


reed338
Those screws are tardy looking. The veneer seems ok, not great...but they're not that expensive either, right?
That’s not the right screw for that application. 
Definitely not the right fastener for this application and not what they ever used in the past...looks like a handful of woodscrews. Weird right? But was told, this is what they now use and no one else has complained. Though they would sell me the proper fasteners if I wanted them. lol!
All I can say regarding those screws is WOW!
What the hell?
Really?
Obviously looks like the wrong application regardless of what they say. If that's the case I know have to lower my opinion of Zu Audio, and I own a pair of their speakers.
If you have not done so yet, I'd send Zu Audio your photo's to double-check and ask if those are really the screws they are using now.
Lak, I did and also asked if they had proper screws to sell me why didn’t they use them...their response below.  Why I put on here, I was thinking hmmmm is anyone else seeing this recently from Zu?

"The button head screws are no longer used on the backplate of the Soul Supreme.

We have button head screws because they are used on other things. This has not been an issue with anyone else receiving them, you are the first to have requested such."

What's all the fuss about the screws? A guy is touting his new speakers and gets all this feedback,  Till I looked at the pics, I would ask for restitution and possibly do something to remedy this. Needs an insert of some sort and a machine head screw. 
Hi -

I own Zu speakers and love them.  I would prefer speaker grills, but have made my peace with that.  If these things are going to gnaw away at you and your enjoyment of the speakers, then just return the speakers.  

Rich
That would bug me too.  Clearly not the right type of screw for that application.  To me that does not instill confidence.  What other compromises were they satisfied with?  That's what would go round in my head.
Maybe you should send Zu a copy of this thread so they know "it’s not just you" that has an issue with their inappropriate hardware choice. Looks very amateur.  
That's screwy!  Those aren't the screws that are shown in the photos on their website.
If it bothers you that much a simple fix would be a trip to a hardware store and get  some "finish washers". Bring 1 screw with you so you can size up the finish washer. It's the back of the speaker, not seeing a big deal here.
Mark, sure is just a detail. And I could easily spend couple bucks to buy the proper fasteners they typically use. But why didn’t they build them normally in the first place...corelli is right really makes you wonder what other compromises are lurking

Oh well, was mostly curious if other recent Zu buyers see this too
Are their margins that tight that they skimp on 5c screws? Looks poor and reflects badly on their aesthetic sensibility and pride of workmanship. 
Functional but would not be my first choice of screw aesthetically. A little weird looking but hey.... I hung a shelf on the wall with similar screws recently and wish I didn’t but not a big deal nobody notices except me.

Can’t be hard to replace.  Zu should help you with that if it bothers you.  
You might consider sending them a link to the photos of the Soul Supreme they have on their website and point out that they did not ask you for permission to make a change from the product you thought you were buying.  You might also point out that for them to resell the speakers, should you decide to return them, would cost them more than to send you the proper screws.  


Soul Supreme | Zu Audio | Hi-Fi audio speakers and cables hand built in the USA 


And you might point out that even their less expensive speakers do not have the cheaper looking phillips head screws they gave you.


Omen | Zu Audio | Hi-Fi audio speakers and cables hand built in the USA


Finally, I would be asking that Sean call you to explain why they are not  honoring their 60 day guarantee promise which is to do everything possible to make their customers happy.


60-Day Guarantee | Zu Audio | USA Made Hi-Fi Speakers and Audio Cable
I am generally a function over form kindof guy. But those are simply not the correct screws for that application and these are not Walmart priced speakers. Assuming these are still in the return period I'd ask them to  send me the correct screws at no cost or I'll just return them for my money back. If you love them already I guess I'd just purchase the correct ones and move on. That first response of theirs leaves a bad taste regardless.   
Screwy! "...came with a non trivial gash in the veneer " --That alone would fire me up. If they saw it and hoped you wouldn't, shame on them. If they didn't see it, they're sloppy and shame on them. If this and the screw issue are indicative of their quality control, I am not impressed.
I looked at the pictures before I rest of your post, and my first thought was "What crappy looking screws."  They look like they're from Lowe's.  Having said that, they are in the back where they probably won't be seen ever.  Are the screws on the front that hold the drivers in OK?
Interns! We are all a little on edge after being cooped up for a year.  It will nice to get out and be "live" again.  I bet someone was trying to be helpful and put those on without anyone noticing.
  
Those speakers are on my list to hear.  Can you compare them to any others you've owned?

The "new screws" remind me of a George Gobel quote...

"Did you ever get the feeling that the world was a tuxedo and you were a pair of brown shoes?"

Odd choice considering the aesthetical efforts they obviously take with their products.

DeKay
Yeah, no. Absolutely not acceptable.

Those are not the correct screw. It looks like they ran out of the button-head and just used whatever matching set they could find.

Bummer, I was going to put a deposit down on some Dirty Weekends
I am more than reasonably certain this is a supply chain issue.

I have spoken with a half dozen manufacturers in as many industries in the past two weeks who cannot source their usual spec'd screws for products, and are making substitutions that aren't to their normal cosmetic standard. Very few are made in the US. So we get what's available in the combined trade war / COVID19 era.

I will check in with Sean and circle back. The veneer looks fine, btw.

Phil

I would think the same thing...although they have the screws lol

But I do think thats an argument for the veneer.  The grain definition and coloring is missing compared to other Zu products I’ve seen including my own sub.  Looks lower grade ...maybe a different supplier

Thanks Ill be calling them Monday


I cannot determine via the photos that there is anything substandard in the veneer. The cabs, engineered wood and veneering are entirely US-made and I haven't seen anything substandard happening there.

Phil
Not trying to argue with ya Phil...but id have to say 'US-made' materials and supply chains aren't immune to covid issues.  Acutally Id hazard a guess they're far more fragile and susceptible to disruptions than the state-run industries of China.  Sadly
Congrats on your new speakers. Zu speakers offer great value for the money, are efficient, and have a sound that is amicable to many followers. When I auditioned, they just did not mesh with my own predilections on sound.

Blemishes aside, it will be interesting to see how your break in goes and how the sound improves.

What’s wrong with the cabinet? All I see is knots within the veneer which is normal for wood. From what you stated, I am interpreting that you said your Undertone had the blemish issue, perhaps you can post a pic or two of the Undertone with the blemish, or highlight the portion of the pics you posted that have the blemish if it is this speaker.

Why don’t we all say the excuse given for everything and anything regarding quality control, negligence and lack of personal responsibility these days:
COVID.

Those screws look like the silver lube-coated decking screws from the hardware store. 
In the non-counter-sunk holes they really stand out, like cheap, mismatched substitutes.
The Zu site shows stainless or satin chrome, allen-head cap screws.
It does make one wonder what else they did to save a few bucks.
Very disappointing! 
I have many Zu cables and have always been very happy with the quality, but this is a little disturbing.
I wouldn't expect it on $1,000 Dirty Weekends, let alone the $4,500, base price Soul Supremes.
>>Not trying to argue with ya Phil...but id have to say 'US-made' materials and supply chains aren't immune to covid issues.  Acutally Id hazard a guess they're far more fragile and susceptible to disruptions than the state-run industries of China.  Sadly<<

My point wasn't that US made wood products are immune from COVID supply chain disruptions. They are; especially anything that can be used in consumer products and construction. But the supply chain for Zu's cabs is a relatively short one, improving the odds. I can't see the problem via the photos but I am sure Zu can make it right for you.

Phil
Well, at least the screws are on the back of the speaker and you don't have to view them on a regular basis. You should not have to but you can always swap them out for the correct screw heads etc.
Regardless, congratulations your speakers will sound great :-)
As a Zu owner I'm shocked by those cheap looking screws.  It just looks bad, like they just used whatever they had laying around.  They should at least send you replacements. 

I agree with Phil, the veneers look fine.  Their veneer stock is going to vary based on the supply coming in and you get what you get there.