NSMT or Zu?

I have a Hegel H120 integrated (75 wpc) and am considering new speakers.  My room is large so efficiency is a consideration, budget is about $3000 max. Am looking at the Zu Omen II and NSMT.  NSMT is intriguing but also confusing as they have so many options in the price range (Model 15, 25, 50, ?) Thoughts?  Experiences?



The NSMT Model 50 Jamaica is closest to the Zu Omen II, pricewise. Interestingly, the transmission-line NSMT is quoted as "not needing a subwoofer" while being spec'd to 42 Hz bass response, whereas Zu Omen II goes to 38Hz with useful response a little lower. Both companies put their main drivers in a direct connection with the tweeters on a high-pass filter. The difference is that Zu's full range driver is driving sound up into the 10-12kHz range, at which point the harmonic-completion duties are handed off to the supertweeter. The NSMT hands off driver duties in the mid-4kHz range and is a ported speaker with some peak notes emphasis. The Zu is neither sealed nor ported -- it uses their Griewe driver-to-room acoustic impedance matching scheme that is remarkably and passively adaptive to room considerations.

Both companies have some similar convictions (avoid crossovers) and some differences (Zu pushes the handoff between main driver and supertween above 90% of the music content, and avoids ports). The woof-tweet-woof arrangement of the NSMT tower limits floor and ceiling effects like Zu's more expensive Omen Def Supreme, but the Zu brings more dynamic, tonal and behavior unity to the party, and a bit deeper, faster, more tuneful and toneful bass. I'd go for the Zu Omen II for its tonal, transient and dynamic unity but the NSMT is in the crossoverless realm with more than decent chances of success for you.


Wow, that is amazing feedback and much appreciated.  Mind if I ask how you know so much about these speakers?  Just curious.  But again, thanks!  
BTW, I have the NSMT model 50 on order with a 60 day trial period.  Not sure Zu will do the same, but hoping they will.  

I know Zu's full line and have been a customer/user continuously for the past 17 years and counting, having had three versions of Zu Definitions in that time, and three versions of Druid each model concurrently in two systems. People find me here and if they are in Southern California, more often than you might imagine ask if they can bring something to compare to items in my systems, including Zu. I had a request from someone to bring a pair of NSMT to listen to so that's how I know. The underlying principles are easily researched wrt to each company's PoV and codified approach to speaker design.


Zu does 60 days in-home evaluation period, refund if returned. They require you evaluate for at least 45 days to gain an honest assessment, once you've adjusted to Zu's traits & advantages, before full refund. They don't get many returns but they get some and it's no hassle.


Terry London loved the model 50s...and they have a 30 day return....

But...part of the consideration should be when the day comes that your are ready to try something else, how easy will they resell and what percentage of the price you paid will you get back.

Not a lot of resales with the NSMT so its hard to tell....

Lots of resales with the Zu...they are pretty easy to resell...and now that they no longer make the dirty weekend...the resale price is creeping up....but it still might be worth buying preowned.


Hi I had the Zu Omen Dirty Weekend and then the Soul. The only NSMT I have heard is the 100's and there is no comparison.  The NSMT is double the price and double the sound quality of the Zu Soul 6.  They are both made in USA which is great and I would have loved to keep the Zu's but they were just not for me.  The NSMT is end game speakers.  Best JH

I just came across your post. You seem knowledgeable. I hope you don't think the Model 50's low frequency stops abruptly at 42Hz. Since the second line in the specs is : Bandwidth: (-10 dB): 28 Hz - 20 kHz. That means, with room reinforcement, the Model 50 can provide usable bass output down to 28 Hz. By the way the Model 50 is a double transmission line speaker not a ported speaker. What should also be noted is that the Model 50 is time coherent and, with the woofers wired in series, it is powerful a point source without the Doppler effect that can occur with large concentric drivers.